Identity Constructs as Drivers of Persecution and Obstacles to Justice

Identity can be viewed both objectively and subjectively. Subjectively, identity can be self-constructed or constructed by others.

Persecution often flows from divergences in identity constructs. When that happens, what constraints do those conflicting perspectives pose for legal remedies? In this context, where can justice be found?

This paper will address these questions through a case study – the persecution of prisoners of conscience in China and, in particular, practitioners of the spiritually based set of exercises Falun Gong. The search for justice will focus on the evidence of killing of Falun Gong for their organs.

Bringing justice to the Falun Gong community and bringing to justice the persecutors of Falun Gong becomes impossible in China, not only because perpetrators seek immunity, but also because the pervasive view of the identity of Falun Gong the Communist Party brings to China immobilises justice. The search for justice for the victimisation of Falun Gong then falls to outsiders.

Yet, even for those outside China, the search for justice is constrained by the views outsiders have of what the Falun Gong community is and who Falun Gong practitioners are. The purpose of the paper will be to consider these identity constraints to justice in the context of efforts to address the evidence of the killing of Falun Gong for their organs, and suggest ways in which the constraints could be overcome.

This presentation will follow a screening of the documentary film Hard To Believe.

Read presenter biographies.

Posted by IAFOR