At a Glance
CCR and EarthRights International submitted an amicus brief on January 11, 2016, arguing that the Northern District of California's dismissal of the case misinterpreted the Supreme Court's requirement that Alien Tort Statute cases "touch and concern" the United States as set forth in the Kiobel decision, particularly in cases involving U.S. defendants.
Falun Gong practitioners, represented by the Human Rights Law Foundation, alleged to have been subjected to serious human rights abuses in China through the Cisco-developed “Golden Shield” project, a network security system used for the widespread censorship, surveillance, identification, tracking, apprehension, and torture of Chinese dissidents
Doe v. Cisco Systems, Inc. challenges the alleged role of Cisco Systems, Inc., a U.S. network technology corporation, in aiding and abetting serious human rights abuses against a group of Falun Gong practitioners in China. Cisco is alleged to have had a central role in the design and implementation of China’s “Golden Shield” project, a network security system used to facilitate the violent persecution of dissident groups. The plaintiffs were detained for visiting Falun Gong websites, discussing the practice of Falun Gong online, and sharing information about the widespread human rights abuses suffered by Falun Gong practitioners in China. While detained, they were beaten, deprived of sleep, forced to eat laundry detergent, electrocuted, drugged, and subjected to numerous other brutal human rights abuses. One of the plaintiffs was beaten to death while in custody, while another has disappeared and is presumed dead. CCR joined this amicus brief as part of our work to strengthen domestic accountability tools such as the Alien Tort Statute, challenging the district court's dismissal under the "touch and concern" test established in the Supreme Court's 2013 Kiobel decision.