Dissidents file torture lawsuit; BRANDED CHINA SAID MEDITATION WAS 'CULT' Edinburgh refugee doc accuses ex-leader.
Byline: BILLY BRIGGS firstname.lastname@example.org
CHINESE dissidents in Scotland have accused a former president of sanctioning torture.
The six based in Scotland are among a group of 30 Chinese nationals in Britain taking legal action against Jiang Zemin, China's leader from 1993 to 2003.
They include doctor Di Yu, who lives in Edinburgh after being granted refugee status in 2013 by the UK Government.
She was locked up for five years for refusing to abandon the banned spiritual practice of Falun Gong.
The practice is labelled a cult by the Chinese Communist Party but opponents accuse them of religious persecution.
Di Yu's lawsuit, sent to the Supreme People's Court of the People's Republic of China, says Jiang was part of the "cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of Falun Gong practitioners in China".
Di Yu says she was taken to a brainwashing centre in 2001 and urged to denounce Falun Gong.
She added: "When I refused, they forced me to squat and kicked me and swore at me. They also threatened me that I would not be allowed to see my daughter any more."
Di Yu was arrested again in 2005 and spent five years in prison.
A separate lawsuit against Jiang was filed by Mingfang, a Glasgow-based refugee.
She said: "I have been subjected to severe mental pain and suffering to force me to confess to crimes I did not commit" The refugees are also starting a campaign to persuade the Scottish Government to make it illegal for anyone to travel to China for an organ transplant.
They have the backing of Edinburgh SNP councillor Jim Orr. He said: "We are seeking an MSP to sponsor a Bill to restrict transplants abroad to countries with ethical and transparent transplant systems."
What is Falun Gong? FALUN Gong was first taught publicly in north-east China in 1992.
It combines meditation and qigong exercises with a moral philosophy centered on truthfulness, compassion and forbearance.
Its teachings incorporate elements drawn from Buddhist, Confucian and Taoist traditions.
By the late 1990s, it was seen as a potential threat to the Chinese state because of its many practitioners and independence from official control.
A demonstration by Falun Gong supporters in 1999 demanding legal recognition is widely seen as sparking the persecution that followed.
NAMED Jiang Zemin
ACTION Doctor Di Yu with her daugher Yonghui