Promoting Ethics in Medicine

Alley of Nations (Flags) at the United Nations

Side event March 22nd at UNHRC in Geneva: “Escalation of Human Rights Violations in the 21st Century: State-sponsored Forced Organ Harvesting of Living People”

Two virtual side events to coincide with the 49th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in March 2022 were organized by CAP Liberté de Conscience (CAP) and co-organized by Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH). The first, entitled, “Escalation of Human Rights Violations in the 21st century: State-sponsored Forced Organ Harvesting of Living People” was held on March 22nd with international experts from ten countries sharing concerns about forced organ harvesting and human rights violations in China.

CAP has had special consultive status to the UN since 2016 giving it the access to organize official side events to UN sessions. Its President, Thierry Valle, who co-hosted the panel of experts with DAFOH Deputy Director Dr. Harold King, explained in his opening remarks that CAP’s mission is to combat “all forms of discrimination based on religion or belief by alerting European and International bodies.” CAP has been reporting on the persecution of Falun Gong in China for over 20 years. “Freedom of belief,” Valle said, “goes hand in hand with Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Assembly and is also enshrined in the preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights - the right to human dignity.”

In his opening remarks, Dr. King provided the history that the “egregious crime of forced organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners has been occurring for over two decades in the People’s Republic of China,” and noted that DAFOH’s informal global petition to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights garnered over 3 million signatures by 2018. “Irrefutable evidence has been gathered and led to a unanimous judgement in 2019 by the China Tribunal.” Since that judgement, we have seen a statement co-signed by 12 UN Special Rapporteurs and experts, a World Summit and the launch of a Universal Declaration on Combating and Preventing Forced Organ Harvesting. “After hearing all these initiatives,” Dr. King said, “I think it is appropriate to say that it is time for the international community to take on these crimes against humanity and stop the state-sponsored forced organ harvesting in China before it is too late.” Towards this goal, the event sought to engage the participation of the speakers, attendees, livestream viewers, and indeed, the UN delegates themselves.

Torsten Trey, MD, PhD, Founder and Executive Director of the Washington DC based NGO DAFOH said, “It is with honor, but also with sadness, that I speak today in memory of the countless victims who were killed for their organs. While we mourn the people who are losing their lives in senseless wars we have to realize that we have failed to mourn the people who lose their lives due to forced organ harvesting in concealed hospitals and detention camps.”

He said that the speakers gathered for this event “[b]ecause we believe in the potential of humankind and in the basic rights of human beings. Human rights advocacy is to engage for those who are not in the position to advocate for themselves and for their own rights. Human rights advocacy gives a voice to those whose God-given rights have been stolen.”

While describing the media’s role in bringing attention to human rights abuses, he pointed out that, “In the field of human rights violations, cameras, media reports and human rights organizations play an important role: they can divert attention and, by staying silent and failing to report on the crimes, can disguise a human tragedy, and even make it disappear [from the public eye]. Conversely, they can bring these crimes to the main media stage. Thus, we have to remind ourselves that the God-given rights that come with our human existence must not be obscured by disinformation, cover-ups or silence.”

“Implausible and excessive transplant numbers combined with a vast expansion of the transplant infrastructure, implausible and manufactured organ donation numbers, and a plethora of eyewitness reports, both from Falun Gong practitioners and non-Falun Gong practitioners…” have proved “beyond any reasonable doubt that the main source of organs for China’s transplant market are Falun Gong practitioners.”

“China has successfully deceived the international community in making the world believe that it has an ethical transplant system. It has become the largest transplant market without having a transparent organ donation program, and without meeting the criteria of the Guiding Principles on Organ Donation and Transplantation set forth by the World Health Organization. Investigators have shown that the Chinese transplant market is heavily based on payments for organs and lacks transparency and traceability,” Dr. Trey explained.

Dr. Trey then posed the question, “Whenever a transplant tourist demands a transplant organ, the process of killing a Falun Gong practitioner for their organs is set into motion. I am asking everyone, do Falun Gong practitioners not deserve the same level of attention and support as other victims of human rights violations?”

“Falun Gong practitioners simply want to improve themselves in their spiritual life; they simply ask for the freedom and right to practice their spiritual practice. They are kindhearted and compassionate members of our societies. They are the bedrock of goodness in today’s world of arguments, wars, and lies.”

He concluded, “By persecuting Falun Gong for over two decades, the Chinese government has pursued a genocide against goodness in humankind. However, as long as we are free, we are free to make a choice and break the silence. So, what do we choose? To make a true statement: By advocating for Falun Gong you actually advocate for yourself and for your own good future.”

Declan Lyons MD, PhD, MSc, MRCP, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Trinity College, Dublin first spoke out in 1999 “against the persecution of Falun Gong shortly after the start of the CCP’s onslaught against its own defenseless citizens in 1999. I was initially appalled to learn that Falun Gong practitioners were subject to incarceration in psychiatric hospitals and forced to endure torture and physical and psychological mutilation, in an attempt to force them to renounce their beliefs in the core principles of truthfulness, compassion and forbearance.” He explained that “Forced organ harvesting is removal of a person’s organs for the purpose of transplantation while the person is still alive - murdering the victim in the process. It is a process that kills victims on demand and is extremely lucrative with a potential return on each body (with usable organs) totaling up to half a million dollars. If, as suspected, Falun Gong practitioners, who are generally in a good state of physical health, are the primary source of these organs and account for the discrepancy between any potential sources of organ donation and the actual transplants that occur, then this must represent the most deliberate eradication campaign ever undertaken against a religious group since the holocaust.”

Dr. Lyons descried the decline in medical ethics, “The principle, that medical skills should only be deployed for the improvement of life and health, is summed up in the Hippocratic injunction ‘First do no harm.’ Sadly, in The People’s Republic we have seen the pressing of some Chinese doctors to unethically deploy their skills for State-directed purposes of political and religious repression. This means however that the entire medical profession is at risk of being politically corrupted.”

He asked how it could be that “the world and some in the Chinese medical community and some in the medical profession elsewhere, choose to avert their eyes from this atrocity?” The answer, he said, lies in “a political system that has no moral compass, [that] needs to perpetrate terror and savagery on its own citizens… Aided by the perversion of science and technology, and comforted by censorship and narrowed access to free reporting, regimes are free to revel in corruption, brutality and horror.” He then queried, “If deliberate and planned medical killing remains unprohibited, then who can be trusted within the medical community to deliver care when it is subsequently needed?”

Dr. Lyons ended his impassioned speech with the call, “Let us sound the alarm for human rights once again as we see that the Chinese revolution is unfinished and that another long march is required so that China will no longer demonize, persecute or tyrannize its own citizens. Only then will it be a nation of wisdom and a worthy home to Falun Gong, one of the great spiritual movements of the 20th century.”

Member of the European Parliament for the VOX Party of Spain, Hermann Tertsch del Valle-Lersundi, Vice President of the Eurolat Delegation and a member of the Foreign Affairs and Environment Committees, stated that we must strongly denounce “the forced removal of organs for transplantation from persons deprived of their liberty, which occurs with monstrous frequency in the People's Republic of China.” He called on “the United Nations Human Rights Committee to raise its voice against this ongoing crime which is taking place before everyone's eyes in the People's Republic of China and which is never denounced with the intensity, force, vehemence and indignation that this terrible permanent crime deserves.”

Bulgarian journalist and philosopher Snezhana Georgieva, editor and presenter for Bulgarian National Television and Bulgarian National Radio, said, “It is very sad when such a great civilization as China with its spirituality and culture, the successor of Laozi, Confucius, great thinkers, and spiritual leaders is an object of condemnation; because this is the country where egregious crimes against humanity are being recorded, crimes against the human body, mind, thought sovereignty, and freedom…. And it is really strange and at the same time, it is not that strange, that the object of persecution of the communist party is Falun Dafa - a spiritual practice that teaches high human values and morals, such as freedom, compassion, creation.”   She concluded, “The practice of forced organ harvesting has to end because it is a stain and shame to humanity!”

Spanish human rights lawyer Carlos Iglesias, European Director of the Human Rights Law Foundation, said, “The crime of forced organ harvesting is possibly one of the greatest crimes committed against humanity and no one who knows how the Chinese system works can ignore that any situation that occurs in hospitals, whether public or Chinese military, are absolutely controlled by the CCP.” He gave a warning to all that “we will be judged by moral, ethical criteria, by the eternal values such as Truth or Compassion which is what has kept this civilization united, and then you and I will be judged at the end of our days to determine if we did the right thing.” He urged all to act now to stop China’s crimes. “Do it! Have that courage! May you be able to say, when the time comes, I did what I had to do, to save lives and to make the world a better place.”

U.S. Congressman Steve Chabot, ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, said, “Over the past several years, especially with the release of the China tribunals final judgment, the evidence has become even more clear that the PRC is indeed engaged in this vile practice, and the scope and scale of organ harvesting in China is truly breath-taking.” He noted that, “As one of the most barbaric practices in human history, it's past time for real accountability for those who perpetuate forced organ harvesting. Today, right now, the civilized world must demand that China end this practice, once and for all. China must be held accountable for this gross violation of human rights.”

Taiwanese international human rights lawyer Theresa Chu, Chairman of the Legal Commission of the Universal Declaration on Combating and Preventing Forced Organ Harvesting (UDCPFOH) described how the declaration is “calling on people to jointly stop the Chinese Communist Party's atrocities of forced organ harvesting, and advocating that all nations around the world put into practice the content of this declaration and enacted criminal laws to severely punish this unprecedented evil atrocity.”

The UDCPFOH’s Legal Commission has spearheaded work on a bill to push the international community to enact criminal laws against China’s organ harvesting. The bill includes a definition of forced organ harvesting, of what conduct constitutes a live organ harvesting crime, and who will be criminally liable for participation in, collusion with, or cover-up of said crimes. The bill recommends “administrative sanctions, including denial of entry or deportation of perpetrators: doctors, nurses or any other personnel engaged in medical or medical-related activities, committing the crime of forced organ harvesting when performing their profession or duties; in addition to criminal liability, their qualifications to practice medical or medical-related professions shall be permanently disqualified.”

These laws will have extraterritorial jurisdiction and no statute of limitation. As forced organ harvesting is a crime against humanity, Chu said, “the most serious criminal punishment should be imposed under each country’s domestic criminal law.”

Chu concluded, “We urge all countries to play an active role in adopting the draft on the crime of forced organ harvesting proposed by our Law Commission for sanctioning and deterring crimes. It is also an important remedy to stop the destruction of human ethics and restore the rule of law through the domestic legislation of their countries. It is imperative. On the day when the historical tragedy of forced organ harvesting ends, may each of us be able to say that I am worthy of my conscience.”

Belgium Parliamentarian Annick Ponthier, member of the Strategic Committee on Belgian Defence and the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Belgium Federal Parliament focuses on “human rights in general and more specifically on the political situation in China.” She explained how “organ harvesting is part of a broader persecution system that the Chinese government uses to erase the religious, the cultural, and philosophical identities of these different groups” and that the Chinese leaders “do not care about human rights at all and have no regard for human life, if those lives don't further their internal communist agenda and their ambition to become a global superpower.”

Canadian human rights attorney and activist David Matas described “eight structures of the United Nations, both those which have attempted to provide a solution to this crime against humanity and those which have avoided doing so.” The United Nations Rapporteur on Torture, Rapporteur on Religious Intolerance, Committee against Torture, and Universal Periodic Review have all called on China to explain discrepancies in its transplant numbers and organ procurement practices as well as for independent investigations into organ transplant abuse involving prisoners of conscience. Unfortunately, organ transplant abuse has not been discussed at the United Nations Human Rights Council regular sessions and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights never responded to a hand-delivered DAFOH petition with nearly 1.5 million signatures from 53 countries presented in 2013.  The petition called for China to immediate end the persecution and organ harvesting of Falun Gong and to prosecute the perpetrators.

Dutch Member of the European Parliament Peter van Dalen, Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Fisheries, a member of the Committee on Human Rights, and a member of the Delegation for relations with the countries of South Asia, said, “it is very important to raise awareness of this issue [China’s forced organ harvesting]” and that “individuals in China who commit these crimes should be targeted for sanctions.” As the European Union is currently having economic discussions with China, Mr. van Dalen urged that “this issue of illegal organ harvesting should be at the top of the agenda, I repeat, at the top of the agenda when we discuss trade relations with China.”

Human rights activist Casey Alves from the United Kingdom called on the “United Nations to implement a three-step strategy to enhance transparency, accountability, and compliance with UN treaties, and to instigate investigations into the People's Republic of China to hold them accountable for crimes against humanity, torture, and breaches of international law.” She said action must be taken immediately by the UN to “trigger an application of the Convention Against Torture to condemn and punish China for the physical and psychological torture they carry out on innocent victims every day for following a spiritual belief.”

Chiu-Chin Tien, former member of Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan and Deputy Minister of Overseas Community Affairs Council and currently Commissioner of the Taiwan National Human Rights Commission, was shocked when told about forced organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners in China. “Previously I had always thought the Nazi’s atrocities were the most heinous evil. I could not imagine any other atrocity more hideous or brutal than that. It turned out that forced organ harvesting is a systematic violation perpetrated by the state power against human rights, a crime against humanity that is baffling and beyond our imagination.”

In 2015, Tien was successful in “amend[ing] Taiwan’s Human Organ Transplantation Act to explicitly prohibit organ transplant tourism. In addition, the amended Act further provides that after returning from receiving a transplant abroad, recipients have to register compulsorily whichever country they go abroad to for organ transplantation. First, you must register the country, the hospital, and the doctor who performs transplantation of which organ. Furthermore, there are penalty clauses. There will be penalty if you do not comply with the requirement of mandatory registration. Finally, we also succeeded in getting the Ministry of Health and Welfare to agree that if an overseas transplant recipient fails to do mandatory registration, if he fails to register as the Act provides, our national health insurance shall not pay for his anti-rejection drugs. He must obtain the drug, which he has to take for the rest of his life, at his own expense.” This legislation has significantly decreased the number of Taiwanese going to China for organ transplants.

Additionally, “In the past a few years, our government has taken a step further to monitor those Chinese doctors who are found by our international organizations to be involved in forced organ harvesting in China. They would be denied entry.”

Acknowledging that profit is a motive that keeps this atrocity from coming “to an end by itself,” Tien implored all “to explicitly prohibit organ transplant tourism in your country’s human organ transplant regulations, and to consider the inclusion of a compulsory registration mechanism into your country’s legal system, such as that of Taiwan.”

In his closing remarks, CAP President Thierry Valle invited attendees to “read and sign the Universal Declaration on Combating and Preventing Forced Organ Harvesting” and expressed his hope that the event achieved the goal of starting “a constructive dialogue.” “If we want to get out of this downward spiral,” Valle said, “respect for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by all states is not an option but a duty.”

American flag waving with the Capitol Hill

First U.S. Federal Bill to Address Forced Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong in China

On December 16, 2021, Representative Scott Perry (R-PA) introduced the Falun Gong Protection Act (H.R. 6319), the first U.S. Congressional bill to address the 22-year-long persecution of Falun Gong. The bill specifically addresses forced organ harvesting, referred to by experts as a form of Cold Genocide, and includes asset blocking impositions and visa prohibitions on Chinese individuals determined by the U.S. President to have “directly or indirectly engaged in the involuntary harvesting of organs within the People’s Republic of China.” In addition, the bill includes a request for a Statement of Policy that the U.S. will “avoid any cooperation in the organ transplantation field while the CCP remains in power” and directs the Secretary of State to determine whether the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong practitioners, whose numbers were estimated by Chinese officials to be between 70-100 million at the time of the crackdown in 1999, constitutes crimes against humanity or genocide under the Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act.

Co-sponsors of the bill include Mary E. Miller (R-IL), Steve Chabot (R-OH), Brian K. Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Rodney Davis (R-IL), Tim Walberg (R-MI) and John R. Curtis (R-UT).

In response to being asked why he introduced H.R. 6319, Rep. Perry told The Epoch Times, “Within the unsurpassed cruelty of China’s Communist regime, the treatment of Falun Gong practitioners must rank among the worst, most debased demonstrations of evil to ever be coordinated by a government against a particular group of people…This particularly shocking lack of regard for the human person must be confronted. It must end.” He stated that China’s forced organ harvesting practice is an “unimaginably horrific and barbaric” act.

Representative Miller said the Chinese Government’s vicious persecution of Falun Gong fits into a larger pattern of suppression. “The Chinese Communist Party persecutes anyone who does not worship the Communist Party and tyrannical government as the supreme power in their life,” she told The Epoch Times in an email.

“The international community should not be embracing China’s oppressive government while China refuses an investigation into the origins of the Wuhan coronavirus and imprisons Christian and minority communities like the Uyghurs and Falun Gong,” Rep. Miller added.

Representative Perry expressed disappointment with the absence of Democrat support for this bill. “Do we stand with humanity? This should be an easy one in a divided nation where there’s not a lot of things we agree on. Certainly, I can’t imagine we don’t agree on that.”

Supporting Falun Gong practitioners, Rep. Perry noted, is not just about a “right and decent thing,” but carries broader implications. Standing up for the largest persecuted group in China and working to end forced organ harvesting in China, a crime which has drawn in the international transplant community as well as the financial industry in Western nations, is about defending democratic values that the regime “intends to do away with … one that is completely incompatible with China’s abuses,” he wrote in an email to The Epoch Times.

“The CCP’s alternative for a broadly accepted international order is a ‘might makes right’ system in which anything may be justified—even egregious violations of human dignity—if the perpetrator is strong enough to physically stamp out any dissent,” he said. “This is why we must continue to confront the PRC’s [People’s Republic of China] human rights abuses and isolate them on the world stage wherever we can.”

“What affects China’s persecuted groups today could affect other people around the world tomorrow—and we cannot let that happen,” Perry added.

DAFOH has created an online petition for U.S. citizens and residents to urge their Congressional members to co-sponsor H.R. 6319.

IMG_5631 2

Universal Declaration Against Organ Harvesting Referenced in UK House of Lords

In a February 4, 2022 debate on the floor of the House of Lords in London, which coincided with the first day of the Winter Olympics, Lord Philip Hunt of Kings Heath made multiple references to the Universal Declaration on Combating and Preventing Forced Organ Harvesting (UDCPFOH). The UDCPFOH was initiated in the fall of 2021 by a coalition of NGOs including DAFOH. During the debate, Lord Hunt, who himself is an initial co-signatory to the UDCPFOH, cited Article 3(2), which reads, “The killing of vulnerable prisoners for the purpose of harvesting and selling their organs for transplant is an egregious and intolerable violation of the fundamental right to life.”

Lord Hunt has proposed two amendments to the Human Tissues Act of 2004, which he says “seek to prevent UK citizens’ complicity in forced organ harvesting by amending the Human Tissue Act to ensure that UK citizens cannot travel to countries such as China for organ transplantation and to put a stop to the dreadful travelling circus of body exhibitions that sources deceased bodies from China.”

An ardent supporter of efforts to end China’s forced organ harvesting crimes against humanity, Lord Hunt explained to his fellow parliamentarians the connection between the mass killings of Falun Gong practitioners in China and the plastinated bodies exhibit touring the world and reviewed the evidence of forced organ harvesting included in the findings of the China Tribunal in 2020, the Uyghur Tribunal in 2021, and a letter sent to China from 12 UN Special Rapporteurs in June.

In addition to Lord Hunt, 11 other members of the UK House of Lords are co-signatories of the UDCPFOH including Lord Alderdice, Lord David Alton, Lord Bishop of St. Albans, Baronness Caroline Cox, Lord Hamilton, Lord Richard Harries, Lord Hylton, Baroness Ruth, Lord Ian McColl, Lord Ranbir Singh Suri, and Baroness Janet Whitaker.

“We cannot stand by and do nothing,” said Lord Hunt who closed his remarks by citing Article 4 of the UDCPFOH that “All governments shall combat and prevent forced organ harvesting by providing for the criminalisation of certain acts and facilitate the criminal prosecution of forced organ harvesting both at the national and international levels.”

The UK bill, “would prohibit a UK citizen from travelling outside the UK and receiving any controlled material for the purpose of organ transplantation when the organ donor or the organ donor’s next of kin had not provided free, informed and specific consent” or when the donor or a third party receives financial gain or other advantage. Additionally, the bill would require annual reporting of UK citizens who receive transplants abroad, and it would impose UK cadaver consent requirements on any “imported bodies on display.”

Lord Hunt was a featured speaker at the World Summit on Combating and Preventing Forced Organ Harvesting organized by DAFOH and a coalition of NGOs in September 2021 and also participated in our International Human Rights Day webinar, Humankind at a Crossroads: Universal Human Rights versus Commercialized Forced Organ Harvesting from Living People

Human Harvest

Calls for the End of Western Complacency Regarding China’s Transplantation Crimes

Recent months have seen a surge of efforts worldwide to prevent western countries from colluding in the horrors perpetrated by China’s transplant industry and to take a clear stand against what has been called the worst crime against humanity of the 21st century.

Canada’s Macdonald-Laurier Institute

At the end of 2021, Macdonald-Laurier Institute (MLI) published a paper on the West’s complacency regarding China’s human rights violations. “Keeping Our Eyes Open to China’s Machinery of Repression,” written by Canadian human rights lawyer and co-author of “Bloody Harvest/the Slaughter” David Matas and human rights expert Caylan Ford, addresses the dangerous misconception that downplaying Beijing’s human rights abuses would lead to reforms in China. This belief, the authors suggest, has not only emboldened the Chinese Communist Party’s vicious suppression of Falun Gong, including the use of forced organ harvesting to murder adherents, but has also given the Government permission to repeat its crimes against such groups as the Uyghurs and Christians.

“Successive Canadian governments, and others around the world, have convinced themselves that soft-pedaling on atrocities would somehow encourage reforms in China. Instead, the machinery of oppression that was built to crush the Falun Gong has metastasized, becoming a permanent feature of [the] Communist Party’s governance apparatus,” Matas and Ford noted.

“For diplomats seeking to advance complex and multi-faceted agendas with China, the persecution of Falun Gong is understood to be a third rail,” the authors noted. “Talk about some other forms of repression, and the Chinese Communists will offer denials and justifications. Talk about [the] persecution of Falun Gong, and the Communists get angry and walk out of the room. Given the risks, it [consequently] seems much simpler and more productive to simply focus on other things.”

Matas and Ford write that the Chinese Government’s ability to “completely eliminate” Falun Gong is, in large part, made possible by the silence seen in Western media on this issue and the failure of so many government officials around the world to call China to task. “Most Canadians know little to nothing about the repression of Falun Gong in China,” Matas and Ford said, adding that “political leaders in Canada seldom acknowledge it.” Furthermore, “some Canadian and U.S. media outlets, likely in response to pressure from the Chinese Government, have apparently ‘spiked or censored stories’ about the persecution campaign against Falun Gong.”

#NotFromChina Pledge

A group of NGOs began a campaign on December 8, 2021 to “help put an end to China’s billion-dollar murder-for-organs industry.” #NotFromChina Pledge, co-sponsored by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC), the International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China (ETAC), and China Aid, asks supporters for a personal commitment to refuse an organ from China if they would ever needed one in order to decrease the demand for unethically and illegally obtained organs from prisoners of conscience.

“It is an abomination that today in the 21st century, innocent individuals, including prisoners of conscience, are killed to harvest their organs for profit,” stated Andrew Bremberg, president of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC), a Washington-based advocacy group.

The pledge can be made on the ETAC website and a personalized “I took the pledge” card can be shared on social media.

According to a report in The Epoch Times, the pledge campaign “drew inspiration from the Taiwan International Religious Freedom Forum in 2019, when China Aid organized more than 70 politicians, activists, and religious leaders to sign a pledge not to receive organ transplants from China.” Bob Fu, president of China Aid, stated that “It was magical in Taiwan when we all took the pledge.” He added, “I am thrilled that this initiative is now going global as it will strengthen our movement and send a clear message to China that they cannot hide this crime any longer.”

U.S. Congressman Chris Smith

 On February 24, 2022,Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ) was interviewed about China’s human rights issues by Jan Jekielek of Epoch TV’s American Thought Leaders. Smith argued that certain U.S. policies, specifically those which have favored trade over human rights, have helped to embolden the Chinese government and have subsequently contributed to crimes such as forced organ harvesting and genocide of the Uyghurs. Smith noted a tendency for the U.S. to minimize China’s malevolent behavior. “There was always an understanding of the human rights abuses being committed, for example, by the Soviet Union, the Warsaw Pact. But when it came to China, there was always a double standard. There was this inability to understand. I think it was by design, not by mistake, that the Chinese Communist Party is vicious. It is cruel. It uses torture as an element of ensuring people’s compliance, but [also to] just punish, kill people by torture.”

Smith also noted that U.S. companies have furthered China’s power to mistreat its own citizens and foment its formidable role as a global hegemony, “…it’s the ultimate police state, and yet they still export so much to this country which enables their military...I’ve chaired 75 congressional hearings on human rights abuses in China. One of them was with Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Cisco…what they were doing on surveilling as well as censoring people on the internet, people who go onto Google, Google Search, they said they were just following orders…the reminiscence that this brings to mind...”

Virginia House Resolution

On February 11, 2022, Virginia’s House of Delegates unanimously passed a resolution on forced organ harvesting. A bipartisan resolution with unanimous (82–0) support was passed after three days of testimony addressing the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) persecution of Falun Gong, including the mass murder of Falun Gong practitioners for their organs.

The resolution entitled Condemning the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners by the Chinese Communist Party was introduced by Republican John Avoli and Democrat Kaye Kory and highlights the 22-year persecution of the spiritual practice, including slave labor, torture, and forced organ harvesting. The resolution also details how CCP-controlled media “dehumanize Falun Gong practitioners to justify these brutal forms of persecution.”

Hudson Institute Center for Religious Freedom

On February 4, 2022, the National Review published a commentary by Nina Shea, Director of the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom. In “The CCP Wages a Second Genocide — against Falun Gong,” she lays out the evidence for the CCP’s clear intention to eliminate Falun Gong. Shea noted that several extensive reports have not only acknowledged the Government’s stated intention to annihilate Falun Gong, but have also demonstrated that large numbers of detained practitioners have been forcibly subject to medical procedures that “inevitably kill them.” Experts now believe that these procedures are also being used on other groups targeted for extinction.

In her paper, Shea includes a recent finding from 12 U.N. experts which offers credence to the determination of genocide. “Falun Gong had 70 million practitioners, by Beijing estimates, when, in 1999, PRC president and CCP general secretary Jiang Zemin directed that they be ‘eliminated.’ The CCP immediately launched a fierce campaign against the group, maintaining, the State Department confirms, ‘an extralegal, party-run security apparatus to eliminate the Falun Gong movement.’ The State Department reports that, in China, Falun Gong practitioners now number between 7 million and 20 million.”

Shea notes that the compliance, and even support, of international organizations and individuals allows China’s forced organ harvesting of Falun Gong to continue unabated. “CCP manipulation of the World Health Organization, observed during the pandemic, has helped cover up this horror as well. In 2020, scholar Matthew Robertson found that WHO’s advisory anti-organ-trafficking task force, headed by Harvard University transplant surgeon Francis Delmonico, was initiated by CCP Central Committee member Huang Jiefu to be influenced by him as one of the prominent members on the “independent” task force. A government release confirms that it was Huang ‘[o]n behalf of China [who] proposed to establish a WHO task force.’ Unsurprisingly, the task force ‘dismissed out of hand’ the charges of organ harvesting, reported Robertson.”

Tea with Erping

 Last month, Erping Zhang, a Harvard-trained China scholar, offered a detailed history of the evidence of forced organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners and Uyghurs on an episode of his podcast series, Tea with Erping. In this episode, China’s Darkest Atrocity: Harvesting Organs from Prisoners of Conscience, Zhang takes his viewers back to 2006, when the first evidence of forced organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners came to light. Zhang highlights the shockingly brazen actions often taken by the government in promoting its illegal transplantation system.  He cites the signage at the Kashagar Airport in the Xinjiang region, an area that had not previously been known for organ transplantation, which includes a special “priority lane” for organ transplant, referred to as “Special Passengers, Human Organ Exportation Lane.”

Beijing, China, November 29, 2021

Turning a Blind Eye to China's Human Rights Abuses

With the Winter Olympics recently being held in Beijing, a spotlight was once again shone on China’s human rights abuses. Included among these abuses is forced live organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience, who are made up primarily of Falun Gong practitioners, according to the China Tribunal and other reports.

In fact, last June, UN human rights experts expressed alarm over China’s organ harvesting atrocities while others claim that the state-run organ trafficking network in China is a billion-dollar industry.

Yet while these crimes against humanity are known to be taking place, many governments, organizations, and corporations around the world have chosen willful ignorance over taking actions to stop them. This includes the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Widely criticized for its complicity in awarding the Olympics to China, Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) said of the IOC, “The International Olympic Committee should be embarrassed in picking the PRC, China, in the first place when you consider their grotesque human rights abuses over the years.” Chabot went on to say, “It’s barbaric to consider in modern times China is actually taking people’s organs involuntarily, but it’s happening, and they’re making money on this.”

According to a detailed map released by the Falun Dafa Information Center, detention facilities are located mere miles away from the Olympic venues. Visitors are surrounded by such horrors without even realizing it. Falun Dafa Information Center spokesperson Erping Zhang stated, “There is no other regime on earth that has the audacity, and international clout, to host the Games while simultaneously detaining such large numbers of prisoners of conscience in settings ripe with abuse and torture.”

Martins Rubenis, former Olympian and current coach of the Latvian men’s luge team, as well as outspoken advocate for human rights in China, was shocked when China was awarded a second Olympics. He says it's a call for each of us to examine our own conscience.

“I believe that this is a moment where each of us has to deeply look within ourselves and tell whether this is acceptable to us, whether we want to live in such a world, or whether we are putting this aside and walking a humane path. I believe that these Olympic Games, and all this situation in the world with the whole COVID boom, will open our eyes a little to the fact that we cannot sell our souls,” Rubenis said.

It’s not just the IOC that has turned a blind eye to these atrocities. Companies such as Intel, Omega, Panasonic, Samsung, P&G, Toyota, Visa, Airbnb, Atos, Bridgestone, Coca-Cola, Allianz have chosen to look the other way in a quest to boost their bottom lines. While publicly calling for social justice and an end to discrimination, racism, and inequality, when faced with a choice between financial gain and upholding their purported principles, they chose profit. When asked to comment on their decisions, not a single company wished to comment.

It’s time for the public to demand that these companies and organizations be held accountable for their complicity and inhumanity. Valuing money over morals only enables China to continue these atrocities. It’s time to make our voices heard, and say enough is enough.


News in Review

French Parliament Questions Cooperation with Chinese Transplant Industry

In Paris, the French National Assembly’s lower House of Parliament took up discussion of a bill to address the direct cooperation between French and Chinese hospitals, the impact of French transplant experts training Chinese doctors, and the role of French pharmaceutical companies in advancing China’s transplant industry which is known for its kill-on-demand system of harvesting organs from living prisoners of conscience. The legislation would, if passed, require greater transparency from French and Chinese hospitals on the nature and extent of collaborations and ensure transplant organs are ethically sourced with free and informed consent from voluntary donors.

Researchers Complete First Successful Pig to Human Kidney Transplant

Researchers at the University of Alabama in Birmingham completed the transplantation of a genetically modified pig kidney into a human being. The patient’s body, considered legally brain dead at the time of the transplant, did not reject the organ because of the manipulation of the pig’s DNA to produce organs that are tolerated by the human immune system. Lead researcher Dr. Jayme Locke gave the shortage of organs as the justification for the procedure. Universities in Maryland and New York have also carried out similar studies on genetically modified pig organs transplanted to humans in recent months.

Child Trafficking as a Source of Organs

The recent social media fascination with a mother of 8 children who was chained up in rural China and thought to have been a victim of human trafficking has shone a spotlight on mainland China’s human trafficking problem. What is less understood is the connection between child trafficking and illicit organ transplantation. The difficulty in procuring ethically sourced organs from children for children makes trafficked children a particularly lucrative source for organs.

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