In 2007, Time Magazine named defendant Liu Qi one the most influential people of year. In 2004, a federal judge in San Francisco named him liable for torture and other egregious human rights abuses.
Mayor of Beijing and a member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China, Liu Qi was also president of the Beijing Olympics Organizing Committee for the 2008 Olympics. However, Liu Qi’s tenure as mayor coincided with the Chinese government’s violent crackdown on Falun Gong, a policy that has resulted in a severe campaign of repression and human rights abuses. Under Liu Qi, the city of Beijing has been a focal point of the repression and persecution against Falun Gong since mid‑1999. Practitioners have frequently held peaceful assemblies and demonstrations in Tienanmen Square, Beijing’s – and the country’s – main public square, to show support for Falun Gong and fellow practitioners, to meditate, to appeal to the government to end repression against the Falun Gong, or to protest the government’s repressive measures.
Beijing police and other security forces have repeatedly detained and tortured Falun Gong practitioners participating in such assemblies or demonstrations. The Beijing police and security personnel in police precincts and detention centers frequently use excessive force in conducting arrests. In some police precincts and detention centers in Beijing, police have allowed other inmates to beat Falun Gong practitioners, apparently in exchange for reductions in the inmates’ sentences. Beijing police have used beatings, electric clubs, electric needles, shackles, starvation, and other forms of torture and humiliation to terrorize practitioners and, in many instances, to extract information, confessions, and disavowals of belief in Falun Gong practices and principles.
Abuses being committed by police and security forces in Beijing against Falun Gong have been widely reported in national or international media, by the United States and other governments, and by human rights, religious, and other organizations. Defendant Liu knew or reasonably should have known that Beijing police and other security forces were engaged in a pattern and practice of severe human rights abuses against Falun Gong practitioners.
In 2004, a Federal Court in California entered a default judgment against Liu Qi for violations of international human rights law; to our knowledge, he has not returned to the United States since that time.