As Xi Jinping Visits U.S., Torture Victims Sue Ex-leader Jiang Zemin in China
NEW YORK — As Chinese Communist Party head Xi Jinping visits the United States this week, pressure is gaining at home for him to bring former leader Jiang Zemin to justice for launching the persecution campaign against Falun Gong.
Over the past five months, more than 166,000 victims of torture and illegal imprisonment have submitted complaints against Jiang to the Supreme People’s Court and Supreme People’s Procuratorate, according to the Minghui website, which has received copies of the complaints (report). Thousands of images of receipts verifying their submission have been posted online (report) and posters have appeared throughout China mentioning the phenomenon (report).
The current groundswell of legal complaints against Jiang emerged after the Supreme People’s Court issued guidelines that came into effect May 1, easing filing procedures and requiring courts to accept administrative cases more quickly. Even state media, in an uncharacteristic display of candor, have noted the overall rise in lawsuits being filed. As a result of the guidelines, the courts are not automatically dismissing the complaints against Jiang, even if they involve a politically sensitive issue.
Those filing complaints include victims of torture inside and outside China. Huang Kui, an engineer now living in Illinois, joined 34 other faculty and students from the prestigious Tsinghua University (known as the “MIT of China”) this summer, suing Jiang for his illegal five-year imprisonment, torture with electric batons, and forced labor.
“In our cell, I first learned about American holiday traditions. I was forced to assemble Christmas tree lights, Spider-man toys, sweaters, and other goods consumers here would recognize,” wrote Huang in an article published by the Hill on Monday detailing his ordeal and suit against Jiang.
“Xi has more power than anyone in China to change the country’s trajectory and hold people like Jiang to account. Let’s encourage him to do so. May my lawsuit and the thousands more like it help change history.”
The acceptance of the complaints by Chinese courts is being seen as an opportunity to present evidence of Jiang’s crimes directly to senior court officials and to inform more within the legal system of the scale and scope of the abuses committed against Falun Gong. Each month since May, the number of complaints submitted has continued to grow.
For more information on the phenomenon see this Falun Dafa Information Center report. To interview Huang or other plaintiffs living in the United States, contact 845-418-4870.