Religious sect sues Chinese official in Taiwan court

Taipei, Taiwan - Buddhist meditation group Falun Gong filed a criminal complaint with a local court Tuesday against a visiting Chinese official, accusing him of persecuting the sect. The complaint against Xu Chunguang, former Communist Party secretary-general of Henan province, was filed in Taiwan's High Court by Falun Gong spokesman Chang Ching-hsi and lawyer Teresa Chu.

Xu, party chief of Henan from 1999-2008, arrived in Taiwan Monday for a week-long visit as head of a provincial trade delegation.

"Xu was deeply involved in the persecution of Falun Gong members. We demand the court investigate, arrest and prosecute him while he is in Taiwan," Chu told reporters.

Falun Gong members in the United States filed a lawsuit against Xu at a San Francisco court in 2007, she said.

The sect has filed suits in 11 countries, accusing the Chinese officials of torturing Falun Gong practitioners and taking organs from them for medical transplants.

It is also pushing Taiwan to enact laws against genocide, torture and hate crimes.

"When these laws are enacted or revised, Taiwan can deny entry to Chinese officials who have persecuted Falun Gong members, and prosecute them if they have entered Taiwan," Chu said.

Falun Gong was founded in China by Li Hongzhi in 1992 as a meditation group. China banned it in 1999, triggering protests by sect members, which resulted in crackdown by authorities.

China accused the group fomenting social unrest. Li, now living in exile in the United States, insists that it only preaches meditation.