An Extreme Evil on Earth —
Becoming Aware of China’s Genocide and Taking Action
by Carlos Iglesias Jimenez
When we analyze the concept of genocide described in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide from December 9th, 1948, we realize how far human evilness can reach. If there are leaders of certain dictatorships who are capable of exterminating groups of people for ethnic, racial or religious reasons, then this means that the degeneration of human values has reached its maximum level.
Throughout history, genocides took place with the participation or complicity of the highest circles of power under dictatorial regimes. Any and all means available within a state’s disposal, including economic and strategic resources, would be utilized to accomplish the goal of eliminating an entire group of innocent human beings.
Using a wide range of methods, from domestic as well as international propaganda campaigns to murder, the persecution of Falun Gong initiated under the former head of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Jiang Zemin, in 1999 and carried out by all levels of the government, aims to completely eradicate the adherents of this belief system. Brainwashing, aimed at forcing Falun Gong practitioners to give up their beliefs and “transform” their thinking to better reflect Party ideology, torture—which is often so abusive that it leads to death and forced organ harvesting, which always results in a Falun Gong practitioner’s demise; actions that fulfill the definition of the crime of genocide as stated in Articles II and III of the 1948 Convention. In recent history, the Rwandan genocide claimed at least 500,000 deaths in 1994 and the Srebrenica genocide claimed more than 8,000 deaths in 1995. Since 1999, more than 100 million practitioners of Falun Gong have been subject to brutal, state-run persecution in China and worldwide.
It is usually, if not always the case, that genocide is denounced only after it has developed from its early stages, when countless lives have been tragically lost. This is most certainly the case for the innocent victims in China who practice Falun Gong (otherwise known as Falun Dafa), a peaceful and spiritual self-improvement system based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion and tolerance.
When the Convention on genocide was adopted by the United Nations in 1948, it seemed that a collective conscience had emerged; that a higher evolution of humanitarian values aimed to protect lives, human dignity and peoples’ beliefs.
But what remained unnoticed is that in those very moments after World War II, what was taking shape in the East, and more specifically in China, was the most destructive, cruel and heartless dictatorship of human history. The CCP, a tyrannical regime that not only tries to destroy a large segment of its own people— millions of well-meaning people, who are trying to improve their morality and compassion for all beings—but is benefiting from their destruction, killing tens of thousands on demand for their organs.
This is the reality that was made clear to me by many victims of these terrible crimes. And in hearing about these horrendous tragedies, I felt compelled to act within my power as an attorney to help these innocent people. I was fortunate to be able to draw upon the Spanish Laws of universal jurisdiction established in the Organic Law of Judicial Power of Spain. Article 23 of the Laws was, at the time, the most advanced law in the world with regard to the protection of global justice, as it allowed for the possibility of persecuting perpetrators of genocide or torture regardless of their nationality and of the nationality of their victims.
My Personal Journey to Combat the Genocide of Falun Dafa Practitioners
My interviews with the victims were quite intense; their stories recalled such immense suffering, it was difficult for me to bear the anguish I experienced in listening to them. However, I was touched by their steadfast faith and will to obtain justice. Their greatest wish was for people around the world to no longer be deceived by the CCP’s propaganda but instead to be fully aware of the brutality of the persecution.
The decision to take action could not be delayed, as there were a series of circumstances at that time that seemed to make the CCP invulnerable to prosecution for genocide.
These circumstances included:
- The impossibility of bringing criminals in China to justice (what is known as territorial principle) because the CCP is precisely who has the power and exercises control of the genocide in China.
- The CCP has not signed the Rome Statute that established the International Criminal Court (ICC), making it impossible to take these crimes before the ICC, because its jurisdiction is not recognized.
- The CCP has the right of veto in the United Nations Security Council, making it impossible for the United Nations to take specific actions against China. This protective wall of the Chinese Communist Party could and should only be demolished with a universal jurisdiction, based on the laws of countries like Spain, and at the same time could serve as a loudspeaker to let the world know the truth of these terrible crimes against humanity.
The only thing left for me was to go with my heart and act.
Thanks to the help and collaboration of my colleague Dr. Terri Marsh, Executive Director and Senior Litigation partner of the Human Rights Law Foundation, as well as the interviews with several Falun Dafa practitioners and relatives of practitioners killed or tortured in China, I filed a lawsuit in Spain on October 15, 2003 against the primary party responsible for this atrocity, Jiang Zemin, for the crimes of genocide and torture.
Under Jiang’s rule as leader of the CCP, three actions and specific instructions on Falun Gong practitioners were ordered: “Defame their reputations, ruin them financially and destroy them physically.” Together with Jiang, the lawsuit also named Luo Gan, the coordinator and executor of the 610 Office, which controlled the persecution against Falun Dafa. I call it the “Chinese Gestapo,” whose mission was not different than operating for the state, above the law and without any control, in order to identify and illegally detain Falun Dafa practitioners. The 610 Office also instructs forced labor camps, where practitioners are tortured to death.
One important aspect of this tragedy is that all the logistics of the persecution and the propaganda by the CCP apparatus requires huge amounts of the national budget, financed by Chinese citizens and used for the sole purpose of eliminating a significant part of its own people. What kind of leadership eradicates its own people? Is the CCP worthy of representing a nation with a history of 5,000 years, carrying the suffering of its own innocent citizens with their blood on its flag?
The intense statewide propaganda has served to generate the government’s hatred of Falun Dafa while intending to turn the Chinese people away from what had been a hugely popular and widely embraced practice. Before the crackdown on July 20, 1999, up to 100 million Chinese people—by the government’s estimates—were improving their minds and bodies through this peaceful cultivation system. Initially, the media boasted of the practice’s benefits to society—the government was saving billions on health care—but this took a dramatic turn as the government applied in full force its agenda of elimination. The strategy of genocide began with countless lies, defamations and slander. The CCP utilized the strength of the entire media—mainly state-run television, radio, press and news agencies—to build a huge mountain of fabricated lies about Falun Dafa.
The aim was to disarm the conscience of the Chinese people, to render the nation insensitive to the ban on Falun Dafa. This way, a clear message was sent to the Chinese people, warning the population how dangerous it is to have beliefs that are not in line with those of the CCP.
The arbitrary and illegal detentions were on the rise every day, according to the Human Rights Commission of the United Nations and NGOs such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Reports of thousands of Falun Dafa practitioners were locked up in prisons and forced labor camps without judicial guarantees, where, under the most wrenching horror, the most unimaginable form of torture that a human being had ever known was taking place.
Until now, I had been unable to communicate in writing or share in public discourse the terrible pain that so many thousands of innocent people were suffering in the darkness of forced labor camps in China. I felt such tremendous despair before the testimonies of the victims. I could only mourn when Dai Zhizhen, with her daughter Fadu in her arms, told me the story of her husband’s cruel murder; I could only mourn when I personally heard the story of painter Zhang Cui Ying, who suffered terrible torture of mind and body for practicing Falun Dafa; I could only mourn when then-student Zhao Ming thoroughly described how he was forced to squat daily for over ten hours a day with his heels raised, how he received electric shocks on his body and was forbidden to sleep, that he was handcuffed to a chair and beaten by guards every time he closed his eyes; or how Falun Dafa practitioner Chen Yin suffered the greatest humiliation that a woman can endure, forcibly undressed and thrown into a cell with male prisoners, where she was sexually assaulted, and then drenched with ice-cold water for days on end.
The original lawsuit against Jiang and Luo Gan was followed by additional lawsuits in Spain against senior leaders of the CCP who were directly involved in the persecution of Falun Dafa, specifically Jia Qinglin, Wu Wangzhen and then-Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai. Bo had previously held the posts of the governor of Liaoning Province and mayor of Dalian City, and was directly responsible for the largest massacre against Falun Dafa practitioners in the province’s labor camps as well as being one of the principle perpetrators of live organ harvesting of Falun Dafa practitioners.
All of the lawsuits followed the process of universal justice in Spain and numerous investigations were conducted, bringing to light evidence that demonstrated the horrors and tragedies of the evil deeds committed by the CCP against its own people.
The most terrible atrocity, however, was yet to come to my knowledge, something unconscionable to any human being, something that made me shudder and left me deeply shaken, the greatest crime in the history of mankind: the harvesting and sale of organs from living people. At first, I was unable to believe it, as no one belonging to the human race could reach this extent of wickedness and evil, but this was a reality: Under a state-sanctioned program, organs were being harvested from thousands of live, healthy Falun Dafa practitioners, so that the government could reap financial gain.
The questions I asked myself were no longer that of a lawyer, but of a human being:
What kind of demon is the CCP, which actively promotes, coordinates and reaps benefits from the mass, forced removal of organs from their own people?
What kind of evil entity is one that, once the organs are forcibly harvested, incinerates the corpses in order to dispose of the evidence, only to charge large sums of money for each organ harvested, upwards of $150,000 for a liver or a pair of kidneys?
What sort of criminal minds, absolutely diabolical, are capable of creating and developing a corrupt organization, whose multi-million dollar revenues come from killing thousands of people and who have turned this atrocity into a lifestyle?
How can they lead the Chinese nation and represent the Chinese people, who they torture, murder and allow their bodies to be carved into pieces and sold?
I finally understood the extent of the tragedy, the enormous horror that is the CCP, which sells to the Western world an image of a prosperous economy and soaring middle class, and yet hides the fact that much of their products are made under torture in labor camps—at no cost—by an army of hundreds of thousands of innocent people; prisoners of conscience who, under torture, are forced to work continuously for 16 or 18 hours a day, in order to produce the products that the rest of us in the world enjoy.
Or how multi-million dollar fortunes have been generated from the sale of organs from living people in the most repugnant and appalling form of commerce ever witnessed in human history.
I discovered the true intention of the CCP in China’s gloomy prisons and labor camps, which is none other than to destroy the values that represent the most benevolent and noble attributes of humankind.
Investigative reports from 2006 by Canadians David Kilgour and David Matas on organ harvesting of Falun Dafa practitioners in China revealed to me the gigantic scale of this genocide.
Their interviews with practitioners who had been arrested and imprisoned in labor camps confirmed that while imprisoned, they were subject to medical health checks and blood tests, with the only plausible goal to murder them for their organs (Falun Dafa practitioners are regularly tortured so such tests are clearly not used to improve their health).
In Europe, the resolution on organ harvesting in China adopted by the European Parliament on December 12th, 2013, underlines the international community’s concerns regarding these atrocities. The resolution asks that European countries pay attention to and condemn the abuses of forced organ harvesting in China. It also urges the European Union to conduct a full investigation to stop these crimes against humanity, and requests the release of all prisoners of conscience in China, including Falun Gong practitioners.
We must dismiss from our minds any barrier that limits us to consider these crimes as matters of state, or as political or internal affairs of another country. This is precisely the game that those who are guilty of genocide want us to play. They want the world to believe that state sovereignty trumps human dignity and life, universal freedoms and international laws.
Sixty-six years after its inception, we remember the Preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 10th, 1948, after the end of the Second World War:
“Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief.”
Reading this preamble breaks my heart, knowing that one of the countries that signed it—as well as being a member of the United Nations and holding the privilege of veto in the UN Security Council—is, under the leadership of the CCP, responsible for the murder of more than 80 million people.
Reading this preamble I cannot help but to remember with deep emotion all the victims of the brutality of the CCP dictatorship; the innocent children, the elderly and all the men and women who, since the Party first came to power in 1949, have been tortured and killed for their beliefs. I am devastated by all the millions of Falun Gong practitioners in China whose happy and peaceful lives have been destroyed by this evil cult whose purpose is to destroy truthfulness, compassion and tolerance, turning the earth into a living hell.
I believe that not one of the articles declared in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights have been fulfilled nor found protection or coverage in China under CCP rule. I clearly affirm this statement with the evidence of those that have tried to bring to justice the notorious leaders of the CCP for their crimes of genocide and torture. I affirm this with the conviction that the Chinese people are suffering from the greatest and most terrible dictatorship in the history of mankind.
All the platitudes, propaganda, lies and deceit that the CCP uses in its international relations have a common denominator when it comes to the issue of human rights: The manner in which the Chinese government treats its own people, Chinese officials insist, is an internal affair, not a political matter subject to analysis by or discussion with sovereign states.
These are the excuses made by the perpetrators of genocide in their engagement with Western leaders, who fear losing business arrangements, trade agreements and any economic advantages that come with a stable international relationship.
In light of such pressures that democratic leaders face, only moral values, ethics and the human spirit can prevail and reveal the truth. The questions are clear:
Do we silently accept and become accomplices of those accused of genocide in exchange for economic agreements? Does that not make us co-responsible for the genocide, torture and the crime of large-scale organ harvesting?
Should we accept that this genocide is a matter of sovereignty for the CCP, which has the authority over the Chinese people to direct the affairs of state in a sovereign manner?
Have we perhaps forgotten our commitments made in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? Have human beings become objects subject to the arbitrary decision of their leaders?
“Torture is not considered by international law as a function of a head of state,” affirmed Lord Nicholls on November 25, 1998 in the House of Lords during the process of Pinochet’s extradition from Spain to England. We must not forget the evil game of the CCP, which manipulates the truth and aims to prevent all of us from discovering the reality of today’s most egregious humanitarian crimes.
It is evident that this genocide of mass torture and murder committed since 1999 cannot, under any circumstance, be regarded as merely a political affair, a matter of state sovereignty, and certainly not, as the CCP would have us believe, an internal affair. We are talking about the most heinous crimes against humanity, a persecution of 100 million people, and in face of these crimes we cannot permit ourselves to negotiate. We can only have the courage and dignity to tell the Chinese Communist dictatorship that human beings are not a commodity, that they are not simply pieces of meat that can be cut up and sold to the highest bidder.
International institutions and organizations, democratic governments and parliaments, are simply groups of people who make decisions; they have feelings, opinions and values, and they are the ones whose hearts can change the reality of our world. It is as simple as this: Breaking the silence on genocide saves human lives.
From these pages I am appealing to individuals, not institutions, not to position or rank, not to organizations, but to the heart of each person who has a responsibility to both the national and international public. You are the ones who can stop this terrible atrocity and who can use your conscience to convey the reality of what is happening in China under the dictatorship of the CCP. The great suffering of these victims does not only stem from physical or mental torture, but from the impotence of ignorance. It is therefore essential to convey the truth to people around the globe, to share our knowledge and to ensure that all people are aware of these terrible acts against humanity.
These are the most serious crimes against humanity. Our silence and indifference to these crimes allows the perpetrators to continue without reservation. Are we not giving permission to these crimes? Are we not transmitting a message that these heinous crimes have no consequence? Are we not promoting new perpetrators of genocide and torture to emerge as these crimes go unpunished?
All of us, especially those with public responsibilities, should recognize our own limitations on this earth—our time and opportunities for action are limited. We must take this moment to consider our choices and what we have or have not done to ensure a better world for all people. History will judge how we responded, or did not respond, to present circumstances.
The day will come when the noble Chinese people, originating from the most glorious civilization and culture of mankind, will blossom again, and leave behind the terror of brutality and cowardice of the Chinese Communist Party. The day will come when justice will be brought to Falun Dafa and its unwavering principles that could not be destroyed by the wickedness of the Party. And the day will come when harmony will return for all Chinese people, and they will regain their culture of 5,000 years, and justice and truth will return to the hearts of these good people. We just need to make sure that we are part of these important events and that we stand on the right side of history.