Criminal Lawsuit Filed in Iceland Charging Head of Gestapo-like Agency in China with Crimes of Torture, Genocide
"Iceland has a legal and moral duty to prosecute forcefully and bring to justice persons that are guilty of systematic violations of international human rights" -- Ragnar Adalsteinsson, Advocate to the Icelandic Supreme Court and renowned human rights attorney
LONDON (FDI) — For 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 a policy of genocide towards Falun Gong practitioners. (about “6-10 Office”)
Today in a criminal lawsuit, the man in charge of the “6-10 Office”, Luo Gan, who is on a two-day visit to Iceland, has been charged with crimes of torture, genocide and crimes against humanity. The lawsuit was filed September 8 with the State Criminal Prosecutor in Iceland, Mr. Bogi Nilsson (+ 354-5301600).
The complaint is based on the United Nations Convention Against Torture, which Iceland signed in November 1996. As a signatory to the Convention Against Torture, Icelandic Courts are authorized to hear cases which allege violation of its terms.
Plaintiffs in the lawsuit include Falun Gong practitioners from Australia, Canada, the United States, the UK, Italy, Holland, Denmark and Ireland. They are represented by Mr. Ragnar Adalsteinsson, who is an Advocate to the Icelandic Supreme Court and a renowned human rights attorney.
“Iceland has a legal and moral duty to prosecute forcefully and bring to justice persons that are guilty of systematic violations of international human rights,” says Mr. Adalsteinsson, “including violations of the United Nations Convention against Torture and other Cruel and Degrading Treatment or Punsishment and the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.”
The Icelandic lawsuit is the twelfth international lawsuit in nine 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 fourth international lawsuit to target Luo Gan and/or the “6-10 Office” he oversees.
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 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.”
Lawsuit Plaintiffs: Victims of Severe Torture and Killings
From eight countries across Europe, North America and Australia, the experience of the plaintiffs in the Icelandic lawsuit illustrate the brutality carried out by Luo and the “6-10 Office.”
40-year-old Ms. Jane Dai, a plaintiff from Australia, first read about her husband’s death in a news report on the Internet. He 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.
Graduate student, Zhao Ming — a plaintiff who studies at Ireland’s Trinity College — was detained by Chinese authorities in 2000 after he returned to China for the holidays. Because he practices Falun Gong, Zhao was severely tortured in Tuanhe Labour camp located just outside Beijing. Due to international pressure, Zhao was finally released in 2002.
47-year-old Ms. Wang Yuzhi is a plaintiff who had been a successful businesswoman in northeast China before she was imprisoned in the notoriously violent Wanjia Labour Camp because she practices Falun Gong. After months of prolonged torture and abuse, Labour Camp officials feared Ms. Wang would die in their custody and so released her to avoid responsibility. Soon after, Ms. Wang was able to escape China and now lives in Vancouver, Canada. After making her story public, her family members were rounded up in China.
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.