80 Illinois State Lawmakers Urge Members of Congress to Support U.S. Lawsuit against Former Chinese Leader
CHICAGO (FDI) – In a joint letter to Illinois Members of Congress, 80 Illinois state representatives urged their federal counter-parts to “vigorously support” the class-action lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Illinois against former Chinese leader, Jiang Zemin.
“The attempt by a brutal tyrant through brainwashing, torture, rape and murder to compel tens of millions of his own peaceful people to give up their beliefs is disgusting,” wrote the Illinois state lawmakers. “Our own humanity demands that we condemn these crimes against humanity.”
In July 1999, Jiang Zemin – who was head of the Chinese Communist Party at the time – launched the persecution of Falun Gong, targeting the 70 – 100 million people who, according to a Chinese government survey, were practicing Falun Gong. In the past four years, thousands have been killed from torture and abuse in police custody, and well over 100,000 have been sent to forced labor camps for their beliefs. (special report)
On October 18, 2002, individual plaintiffs filed a class-action lawsuit in U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Illinois, against Jiang Zemin and the Falun Gong Control “6-10” Office – an office established by Jiang in 1999 with authority over all levels of the Community Party and the government for the purpose of “eradicating” Falun Gong. Human rights advocates have called the “6-10” Office a Gestapo-like agency.
“Certain crimes in their enormity demand that all decent people speak out,” wrote the Illinois lawmakers. “The lawsuit…holds Jiang Zemin and the Falun Gong Control Office accountable for their crimes. We must all hold Jiang Zemin accountable, and we may do so through support of this lawsuit.”
The letter also addressed many of the illicit activities carried out by Chinese consular officials in the United States, which target American practitioners of Falun Gong.
“Here in Illinois we have experienced a pattern of actions directed at Falun Gong practitioners whose only purpose could be intimidating these individuals and interfering with their lawful and peaceful activities,” wrote the Illinois lawmakers. “We cannot allow any foreign government to presume to determine how Americans will exercise their constitutional rights.”
The letter is co-sponsored by Arthur L. Turner, the Deputy Majority Leader representing the 9th District and Mike Boland, a representative from the 71st District. The letter dated May 29th was co-signed by 78 other members of the Illinois State Assembly and delivered to members of Congress on June 3rd.