Fri, Feb 17, 2012 - Page 1 News List

Falun Gong files lawsuit over Beijing mayor visit

By Loa Iok-sin and Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff Reporters

Falun Gong members protest the arrival of Beijing Mayor Guo Jinlong inside the arrivals hall at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport yesterday.

Photo: Chu Pei-hsiung, Taipei Times

Falun Gong practitioners filed a lawsuit against Beijing Mayor Guo Jinlong (郭金龍), who arrived in Taiwan yesterday afternoon, saying he had committed crimes against humanity, including his alleged involvement in the torture and abuse of Falun Gong practitioners and Tibetans.

A group of Falun Gong practitioners in Taiwan, accompanied by attorney Theresa Chu (朱婉琪), filed a lawsuit against Guo yesterday morning with the Taiwan High Prosecutors’ Office, asking it to launch a probe into Guo’s alleged crimes against humanity.

Guo arrived in Taiwan hours after the lawsuit was filed to take part in Beijing Culture Week, hosted by the Taipei City Government.

“Guo’s record of human rights violations started with the repression of Tibetans in Tibet, who struggled for their freedom when he served as the Chinese Communist Party [CCP] chief in the Tibetan Autonomous Region,” Chu told the media outside the prosecutors’ office in Taipei. “Then, when Guo was party chief in Anhui Province, he prepared reports and a strategic handbook for the repression of Falun Gong activities in the province, leading to the illegal arrest of at least 37 Falun Gong practitioners.”

A member of the Beijing Olympics Organizing Committee, Guo was involved in the arrests of 586 Falun Gong practitioners in a six-month period, and more than 100 have been arrested in Beijing since he was sworn in as mayor of China’s capital, Chu said.

Guo became mayor of Beijing in January 2008.

“Guo’s role in the repression of Falun Gong practitioners and Tibetan activists constitutes crimes against humanity, as well as violations of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,” Chu said. “As those human rights covenants have been adopted by the Legislative Yuan as domestic laws, the judiciary should take action if someone accused of such crimes is in the country, as many other countries that have prosecuted Chinese officials have done.”

Chu also panned the government for permitting Guo to visit Taiwan.

“We’ve delivered evidence of human rights abuses for which Guo was responsible to the National Immigration Agency, but he was still granted a permit to enter the country,” Chu said. “Most shockingly, Guo submitted his application [for a permit to visit Taiwan] on Feb. 4, and it was approved on Feb. 8 — even though there was a two-day weekend at that time.”

Guo, who was invited by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), is the ninth Chinese official to be sued for alleged crimes against humanity since 2009.

Upon arriving in Taipei yesterday, he visited former KMT chairman Lien Chan (連戰) at Lien’s office before attending a dinner banquet hosted by former KMT chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) at the Grand Hotel.

The six-day trip is Guo’s first visit to Taiwan and he is expected to discuss cross-strait issues and exchanges with various politicians during his stay.

The KMT insists Guo is in Taiwan to promote cross-strait cultural exchanges and his itinerary will focus on activities surrounding Beijing Culture Week.

Guo will visit the National Palace Museum and Songshan Cultural and Creative Park today, and head to Eslite Bookstore’s Xinyi flagship store before attending a cultural night at the Taipei Arena tomorrow.

Taipei City’s Department of Cultural Affairs, co-organizer of the Beijing Culture Week, said Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) would accompany Guo to the exhibitions at Songshan Cultural and Creative Park, and would introduce art and design work by Taiwanese artists.

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