On December 7, 2005, the so-called defamation lawsuit that lasted for 4 years between the Falun Gong and the Chinese Press Eastern Inc. in Montreal, Canada was eventually decided by Jeannine M. Rouseau, Judge of the Superior Court of Quebec. The claims of the Falun Gong were dismissed with costs in favor of the Chinese Press Eastern Inc..
Crescent Chau, president of Chinese Press Eastern Inc., who had migrated to Canada from Hong Kong in his early years, felt exhausted at the four years' lawsuit against Falun Gong both physically and mentally. He said, however, what he considered most was how to reveal the real face of Falun Gong as the lawsuit itself was indeed a good "text book" that deserved understanding by the public.
"The lawsuit lasts four years and the sentence comes after one year and nine months' waiting. The judge made such a decision on the base of careful reviewing the material submitted by both the petitioners and the respondents," Said Crescent Chau, who was very grateful that two points were clarified by the judgment on its section of an Analysis of the Evidence as to Falun Gong.
It is a controversial movement, which does not accept criticism. "It is a very pertinent comment!" said Mr. Chau, "Since 1999, the Falun Gong has been considered 'an evil cult' banned by the government of China. In a very short time, the Falun Gong carried out lots of demonstrations, large scaled propaganda, distributing fliers almost everywhere. They have tried to stop any negative reporting about Falun Gong by means of harassment and lawsuit in order to gag the critics and La Presse Chinoise." During the lawsuit, the Falun Gong conducted very malevolent defamatory attack against Mr. Chau.
"Some legal experts found it unreasonable and believed that this could be used as a mean to push the respondents to a dead end. There is also a possibility that they intended to get rid of all the voices of opposition!" Said Mr. Chau.
More than 200 Falun Gong practitioners took part in the lawsuit and each of them asked for $100,000 compensation (total 23.5 millions dollars). Besides, their greed for money could be one of the motives. Mr. Chau indicated that during the lawsuit, the Falun Gong asked the judge to lay an injunction on any articles by La Presse Chinoise regarding Falun Gong. However, their propaganda network, including Epoch Times, New Tang Dynasty TV, Minghui Website broadcasted and published hundreds of provocative articles to defame him.
"What I have been facing is a culture-revolution like defamatory attack. Such an attack is rarely seen in a country like Canada."
"Right or wrong, good or evil, it should be concluded by the public. One cannot go against the freedom of speech. As to Li HongZhi's abilities such as 'delaying the Big Bang of our universe', 'opening the heavenly eyes', 'flying into the air' and 'fetching an object in a distance', they are absolutely unfounded and unbelievable."
Because of the lawsuit, Mr. Chau had carefully studied relevant material of Falun Gong. "As media, it is our duty to investigate Li Hongzhi and Falun Gong in an objective way and to make sure that the people victimized by Falun Gong are treated with justice by a reasonable report to the public." Said Mr. Chau.
"Li Hongzhi boasted that his supernatural power is incomparably superior to the Buddha, but he can not prove it. Obviously, he just takes advantage of the Chinese virtues of forgiveness and toleration to deceive innocent people of their sympathies. I think Li Hongzhi must believe in an absurd theory that a lie will turn out to be true after being repeated it a thousand times." Added Mr. Chau.
Within 30 days after the judgement on December 7, 2006, Falun Gong lodged an appeal on January 5, 2006.
On this Mr. Chau said, "To defend freedom of speech, justice and truth, we are ready to face any challenge no matter when and where."
Links: Course of the lawsuit between La Presse Chinoise and Falun Gong
On November 3, 2001, La Presse Chinoise published a public notification of a former Falun Gong practitioner He Bing in the form of advertisement. In her article, He Bing revealed with her own experience some secrets about Falun Gong. Early next morning, Falun Gong practitioners bought any pieces of La Presse Chinoise that day in Montreal. In the meantime, they urged the press to call back all papers distributed or to be distributed, and warned the press not to publish any articles criticizing Falun Gong. On the morning of November 5, two Falun Gong practitioners who's family name were Yang and Shou came to the press, urging the staff provide them with name and information of the people who published the advertisement as well as name, address and relevant information of the printing company that printed the paper. Staff of La Presse Chinoise refused such a requirement for the sake of commercial secret. The practitioner who's family name was Yang said in severe tone that they have called the police and appealed for an lawsuit, "You shall remember what you said, and you are going to answer for it!"
At 1:30 p.m. that day, two other Falun Gong practitioners whose family name were Shun and Li came to the press again, urging the press to publish a "correction", which was again refused by the press. Over one hour later, La Presse Chinoise received lawyer letter of Falun Gong, requiring the press to make apology and correction. The press then hand the letter to its lawyer for further action.
When this happened, a lot of Falun Gong practitioners' relatives in Montreal call La Presse Chinoise, saying practicing of Falun Gong by their family members have resulted in split of their family. President of La Presse Chinoise Crescent Chau, appointed to meet them in his office on December 1. Unfortunately, on the day of meeting, Falun Gong sent out dozens of practitioners gathering in front of La Presse Chinoise to prevent to victims from entering office of the press. They even have close screening and thrashing on the victims.
Later, a total of 232 Falun Gong practitioners jointly appealed to the Superior Court of Quebec, accusing La Presse Chinoise of "defamation" and asked for $100,000 compensation (totally over 20 millions dollars). When held a court on December 10, the court issued Falun Gong with "Interim protective order" under their request, and postponed the lawsuit. In February 2002, La Presse Chinoise issued a special series on which articles written by Falun Gong victims were published. Consequently Falun Gong accused La Presse Chinoise "contempt of court" and said that the press violated IPO.
On April 26, 2002, Judge Pierre Warhol decided that since the IPO didn't state that La Presse Chinoise cannot publish any article about Falun Gong, La Presse Chinoise can publish any article under the permission of Canadian legal system. The judge also rejected Falun Gong's accusation of La Presse Chinoise "contempt of court". On May 9, when held a court for the fourth time, lawyer of Falun Gong asked for an extension of IPO on Falun Gong. They further requested the court to issue new order, requiring La Presse Chinoise submitting copy of articles to Falun Gong before publishing articles about Falun Gong, clarifying that Falun Gong were empowered to argue and that La Presse Chinoise must publish articles of both sides. Both requests were rejected by the judge for reason that "the press are free to publish any article and freedom of speech cannot be interfered."
A court of the final judgment was held on November 10. When lawyers from both sides questioned testifiers, only 12 the 232 Falun Gong accusers presented the court for testifying. The inquisition lasted to November 27 following 11 hearings. From February 23 to 26, 2004 were the time for lawyers from both sides to argue and made presentation. On November 7, 2005, Jeannine M. Rouseau, Judge of the Superior Court of Quebec decided that "evidence of the plaintiffs is insufficient for the court to draw such a conclusion, i.e. the criticizing articles excerpted by the plaintiffs are not accurate or with error, which are published so as to arouse public animosity in Canada or under the persecution of PRC against Falun Gong practitioners. The claims of the Falun Gong were dismissed."
Madam Rouseau stated in the judgment that, "Li Hongzhi repulsed science as something dangerous and misleading" and "Falun Gong is a controversial movement, which does not accept criticism."
(Beijing Anti-cult Association, August 24, 2007)