ATHENS (FDI) – One week prior to the opening of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, three Falun Gong practitioners, including 37 year-old Australian citizen Chris Cominos, jointly submitted a criminal lawsuit against former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin, former Vice-Premier Li Lanqing, and Politburo Standing Committee member Luo Gan for genocide and torture.
Plaintiffs appear in Athens at a press conference announcing the filing of a criminal lawsuit against Chinese officials responsible for the persecution of Falun Gong.
On August 5th 2004, European and Greek Falun Dafa Associations in conjunction with International Advocates for Justice (IAFJ), sponsored a press conference in Athens to announce to filing of the suit (press statement).
The lawsuit is based on Greek criminal law, and the sentence can be as high as 20 years in prison. Once formally accepted by the Greek court, Luo Gan, Li Langqing and Jiang Zemin will be summoned to court upon entering Greece. After it abolished dictatorship in 1974, Greece created tough laws to prevent the government from committing crimes of torture.
Lawsuits have been filed in the United States, Europe, Asia, Africa and now Greece to bring those responsible for the atrocities to justice and to put an end to the genocide of Falun Gong in China. (website)
Mr Cominos, who grew up in Melbourne and who has been residing in Sydney for the last few months, is the lead plaintiff in the action and was physically abused by Chinese Police when he visited Beijing in 2001. Ireland resident Zhao Ming and American Frances Bakatsias, residing in Athens, are also plaintiffs.
Mr Cominos was born in Greece and has practiced Falun Gong for more than five years. He is very proud of Athens for holding the 2004 Olympics. He said: “Like China, Greece has great ancient culture and moral heritage. I hope that China will end the inhuman persecution of Falun Gong, uphold the spirit of peace, justice and mutual respect, and take this spirit to the next Olympics in Beijing.”
The Chinese ambassador to Greece recently addressed the media after a meeting at Greece's foreign ministry office. He said: “The Olympic ideal is not related to human rights…” He continued to say that it is wrong to link the situation in the field of human rights to the Beijing Olympics games.
During its bid for procuring the 2008 Olympic Games three years ago, the Chinese Government indicated that the organization of the Games would contribute to human rights improvements in China. The Olympic Watch Committee has already twice condemned the ongoing persecution of Falun Gong and has called on the Chinese Government to respect freedom of speech and religion thereby putting an end to the genocide of Falun Gong.
“Hitler used the 1936 Olympic Games to cover up his genocidal policy against Jewish people,” says Mr. Cominos. “Sadly, this seems to be the same tactic Jiang is using to cover up his illicit bid to ‘eradicate Falun Gong’ in China.”
Mr. Cominos added, “This lawsuit filed in Greece recalls the spirit of the Olympics, so as not to allow history to repeat itself in China.”
The Chinese Olympic delegation arrived in Athens on August 8.