Presented with a list of nearly 20,000 documented torturers, kidnappers, murderers, and sadists, complete with their full names, places of work, job titles, and often phone numbers—most police forces might get ready for a series of high-profile arrests. But in China, those listed are the cops.
The World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong, an independent investigative group based in New York, recently released in a Chinese-language report all those particulars of 19,839 Chinese cadres in the security forces. All of the individuals are alleged to have participated in or in their respective areas led the persecution against practitioners of Falun Gong, a traditional Chinese spiritual practice.
“From when we were established, WOIPFG has every day collected information and evidence of the persecution of Falun Gong,” said Wang Zhiyuan, a spokesperson and researcher for the Organization, in a telephone interview. “We’re publishing them to bring more awareness to the persecution of Falun Gong, and to provide comprehensive evidence of the Chinese Communist Party’s persecution, and to prepare for the great trials that will take place.”
Terri Marsh, the executive director of the Human Rights Law Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based legal group, said that her organization has been preparing for the trials of many of the same individuals identified by WOIPFG.
“Indictments, a draft statute, applicable liability theories, and so on, are being submitted to the United Nations, the European Parliament and all relevant justice organs, recommending the establishment of a Human Rights Court for perpetrators like those identified in this report,” she said in a statement.
Marsh added: “The Human Rights Law Foundation commends the WOIPFG for its painstaking research and highly credible investigation and reporting.” Her foundation is responsible for a lawsuit in Spain that resulted in the indictment of five high-level Communist Party officials for their roles in the persecution of Falun Gong.
Nearly all the names in the WOIPFG database are accompanied by links to online articles which document the specific activities carried out by the individuals in the persecution of Falun Gong. It is unlikely that these names are the final word on those who have participated in the persecution. Wang says that they will keep adding to their records.
Falun Gong is a spiritual practice based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. It became a target for persecution in 1999, after former regime leader Jiang Zemin became afraid of how attractive the teachings of Falun Gong were to the Chinese people. Jiang Zemin saw Falun Gong as a challenge to the Party’s attempt to control how people in China think.
Of the massive list of names, 1,887 belong to agents with the 610 Office, an extraconstitutional Party organ established specifically to oversee and implement the persecution of Falun Gong; 2,997 belong to agents associated with the Political and Legislative Affairs Committee, which has been the main Party-controlled body implementing the persecution, while the rest of the names belong to police, secret police, prosecutors, jail wardens, and others that implement the persecution on the front lines.
This includes sending Falun Gong practitioners to labor camps, jails, or brainwashing centers, where they are subjected to high-pressure tactics, frequently involving torture, to coerce them to renounce their beliefs.
“The publication of this name list also gives all these perpetrators an opportunity. If they come to change and realize their fault, and take concrete action to join the ranks of those opposing the persecution, that will help them and their families,” a note by WOIPFG accompanying the name list says. Otherwise, they will be held fully responsible for their role in the persecution, the note says.
Wang Zhiyuan, the WOIPFG spokesman, says he expects the publication of the list will act as a disincentive for the persecutors. “The Communist Party promotes the persecution through paying and encouraging the perpetrators. They think that committing these crimes will help their careers,” he said. “Our publication of this name list exposes their crimes and will deter them from engaging in persecutory acts.”
WOIPFG is most well known for the investigative phone calls its staff made to China posing as buyers of transplant organs. Their callers elicited doctors and hospital staff to admit, on the record, that they had a ready supply of organs from Falun Gong detainees.
A Dr. Lu from Nanning City Minzu Hospital, in Guangxi Autonomous Region, was asked repeatedly whether he could obtain organs from Falun Gong practitioners. In the third direct affirmation of the fact, he said: “Correct. We would choose the good ones because we assure the quality in our operation.”
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