Criminal Lawsuit Filed in Finland Charging Head of Gestapo-like Agency in China with Crimes of Genocide, Torture
NEW YORK (FDI) – For the second time in three days, Standing Committee member of the Chinese Communist Party’s Politburo, Luo Gan, was served with a criminal lawsuit for his role in implementing a policy of genocide against Falun Gong practitioners.
During the past four years, the “6-10 Office” in China – described by the United States Congress as an agency charged with “overseeing the persecution of Falun Gong members through organized brainwashing, torture, and murder” – has been the primary instrument for implementing the genocidal policy towards Falun Gong practitioners. (about “6-10 Office”)
Today, Luo – who is vice-director of the “6-10 Office” and is on a three-day visit to Finland – has been charged with crimes of genocide and torture.
The complaint was filed with the chief prosecutor’s office in Helsinki at 8:30am by the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Mr. Erkki Kannisto.
“Luo Gan is suspected of genocide against Falun Gong practitioners in China,” said Mr. Kannisto. “According to the law, [the chief prosecutor’s office] should start a police investigation.” Mr. Kannisto suggested, however, that the politics involved would pose a test for Finnish authorities. “To my knowledge, we haven’t had a similar case in Finland. This is the first [of its kind].”
The complaint is based on the United Nations Genocide Convention, which Finland ratified on December 18, 1959, as well as the United Nations Convention Against Torture, which Finland ratified on September 29, 1989. As a party to these conventions, Finnish Courts are authorized to hear cases which allege violation of its terms.
Plaintiffs in the lawsuit include Ms. Cuiying Zhang and Ms. Jane Dai who both practice Falun Gong.
Ms. Zhang – an internationally acclaimed traditional Chinese painter who has exhibited her work in 27 countries across four continents (website) – was imprisoned and tortured in China for eight months because of her Falun Gong practice.
Ms. Dai’s husband was tortured to death by police in China for refusing to renounce his Falun Gong practice, and his partially decomposed body was later found in an abandoned hut. Ms. Dai struggled for months to obtain her late-husband’s ashes from Chinese authorities and has spent the last two years touring the world with her young daughter raising awareness about the persecution that killed her husband.
Luo Gan and the “6-10 Office” — A Gestapo for Falun Gong
According to an internal Chinese Communist Party document dated June 7, 1999, in a speech to the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee, Jiang ordered the Committee to set up an office for the “leadership group” and named it “the Head Office for Handling the Falun Gong Issue,” also called the “6-10 Office,” named for the date it was officially founded. (about) Jiang personally appointed three chiefs of the “6-10 Office,” one of whom was Luo Gan.
The “6-10 Office” became a well-organized and independent system, spanning from the Central Government to the local governments, and having absolute power over each level of administration in the Party, as well as the political and judiciary branches.
In an Aug. 05, 2001, article from the Washington Post, a three-prong tactic consisting of “violence,” “high-pressure propaganda campaign,” and “brainwashing classes” was cited by a government official as the approach used by the Chinese government to eradicate Falun Gong. “Each aspect of the campaign is critical,” the Post quoted the official. “Pure violence doesn’t work. Just [brainwashing] doesn’t work either. And none of it would be working if the propaganda hadn’t started to change the way the general public thinks. You need all three.”
The Post article went on to say, “In January, Beijing’s secret 610 office, an interagency task force leading the charge against Falun Gong, ordered all neighborhood committees, state institutions and companies to begin using [brainwashing classes], government sources said. No Falun Gong member is supposed to be spared. The most active members are sent directly to labor camps where they are first ‘broken’ by beatings and other torture.”
According to sources in China and thousands of testimonies from victims, the “6-10 Office” implemented a similar three-prong directive given by Jiang in the later part of 2001 to all levels of government:
1. Destroy Falun Gong practitioners physically through systematic, state-sanctioned forced-labor, torture and killings. This also included mental torture through widespread usage of brainwashing facilities, forced conversion, and incarceration in mental hospitals where many were injected with nerve-damaging drugs.
2. Destroy Falun Gong practitioners’ reputations through a worldwide media campaign to demonize Falun Gong and falsely depict its practitioners as dangerous ‘cult’ members and a menace to society.
3. Destroy Falun Gong practitioners financially, which, in a Communist nation where the government can exercise significant control over employment and housing, allowed Jiang to deny Falun Gong practitioners basic necessities for living, such as salaries/pensions, employment, education, housing, etc. in addition to suffering widespread extortion, confiscation of property and state-enforced fines when detained by police.
As vice-director of the “6-10 Office” Luo personally inspected Political and Judiciary branches as well as labour camps around the country to ensure all levels of government implement Jiang Zemin’s three-prong directive for handling Falun Gong practitioners
According to the United Nations Human Rights Commission’s 2001 Report, Luo Gan had intimate knowledge of the forms of torture and abuse used against Falun Gong practitioners in labour camps: “In October 2000,” the UN report states, “prison guards in the Masanjia prison in Shenyang, Liaoning province, allegedly stripped 18 female Falun Dafa practitioners and put them into cells containing male convicted criminals. It is reported that Luo Gan, a high-ranking Communist Party official, was aware of the incident. The 18 women are said to remain in prison.”
Wave of International Lawsuits Target Luo Gan, “6-10 Office”
The Finnish lawsuit is the thirteenth international lawsuit in ten countries to emerge in the past two years against high-ranking Chinese officials or government bodies for their roles in persecuting Falun Gong. (news – website)
It is the fifth international lawsuit to target Luo and/or the “6-10 Office” he oversees.
Three days ago, a criminal lawsuit was filed against Luo in Iceland charging the “6-10 Office” leader with crimes of torture, genocide and crimes against humanity. At the time, Luo was on a two-day trip to the island country that boasts the oldest democracy in the world. (news)
Last month, one of the lawyers who prosecuted Chilean dictator, Augusto Pinochet, filed a criminal lawsuit in Belgium against Luo Gan, former Chinese leader, Jiang Zemin and one other senior-ranking Chinese official on behalf of Falun Gong practitioners. The lawsuit charges the three men with genocide, torture and crimes against humanity. (news)
In December 2002, a criminal lawsuit was filed in France charging the former Vice-Premier of China, Mr. Lanqing Li – who was the acting administrative head for the “6-10 Office” – with crimes of torture. In July 2003, the French criminal court began legal proceedings on the case. (news)
In October 2002, a class-action lawsuit was filed in a U.S. District Court charging former Chinese leader, Jiang Zemin, and the “6-10 Office” with torture, genocide and crimes against humanity. (news)
Luo Gan Faces Unfamiliar Foe in Finland – The Rule of Law
The UN Genocide Convention and related UN statutes explicitly deny immunity to government officials. Thus, the filing of the criminal lawsuit in Finland under these conventions could spoil the “immunity defense” typically put forth by Luo and his peers when faced with criminal or civil charges outside China.
According to the Convention on the Prevention of Genocide, Article IV, “Persons committing genocide or other acts enumerated in article III [genocide] shall be punished, whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals.”
Similar United Nations statutes have echoed this principle when dealing with genocide charges. The Statute of the International Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda (Articles 7 and 6 of the respective statutes) state: “The official position of any accused person, whether as Head of State of Government or as a responsible Government official, shall not relieve such person of criminal responsibility nor mitigate punishment.”
If the articles in the Genocide Convention are carried out, Luo could face a criminal investigation or even arrest during his stay in Finland.
For more information about Luo Gan, Falun Gong, and international efforts to end the persecution of Falun Gong in China, please visit www.faluninfo.net.
Finnish Lawyer Mr. Erkki Kannisto: + 358-40-588-1404
Finnish Falun Gong Spokesman Mr. Hannu Jarvinen: +358-41-458-2627