DAFOH Statement on the 2024 Universal Periodic Review on China

The Universal Periodic Review exists to challenge abuses and to strengthen human rights and the rule of law. It does not exist to provide a safe haven for perpetrators of those basic rights. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Why is it important that we speak up against violations of human rights in other countries? If we do not take a stand, our silence contributes to letting abusive practices go unchallenged and victims continue to suffer. In addition, silence emboldens perpetrators to expand their repressive actions beyond their own borders, compromising the freedoms and rights that we take for granted in our home countries.

This can be seen today in the forced organ harvesting of living Falun Gong practitioners that has occurred unabated for a quarter century in China. An undisclosed number of victims, likely more than a million Falun Gong practitioners over the past 25 years, have been murdered for the purpose of harvesting their organs for transplantation. With coercion and insidious propaganda, many industries in the West, including training hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and medical organizations, have implicitly agreed to sacrifice legal and ethical standards to cooperate with China in these mass murders.

Moreover, some of us could become another kind of victim to China’s illegal transplantation infrastructure: While forced organ harvesting may appear to be a remote occurrence to those of us in the free world, it would become relevant if we, or our relatives, needed an organ transplant. When confronted with the choice of a yearlong wait for an organ in our home country or the chance to receive an organ within two weeks in China, it becomes a matter that requires an intact moral compass and a robust conscience: killing a Falun Gong practitioner in illegal detention to procure an organ is unacceptable and a crime that we cannot support.

China has undermined universal human rights by establishing this crime against humanity that not only serves personal profit through the sale of organs and likely through clinical research and other profit driven activities, but also aims to eradicate Falun Gong practitioners who are persecuted because they cherish truthfulness, compassion and tolerance. These principles are antithetical to the lies, hate and intolerance used by the Communist regime to maintain totalitarian control.

It is imperative that the free world ends its silence on China’s human rights abuses and, with courage and conviction, addresses forced organ harvesting during the Universal Periodic Review on January 23, 2024.

DAFOH Open Letter


China’s Denial of Universal Human Rights —

A Call for Courageous Action at the 2024 Universal Periodic Review

As the global community convenes for the 2024 Universal Periodic Review in Geneva, a significant opportunity arises to affirm an unwavering truth: No nation is exempt from the tenets of human rights, and no government stands above the law of human dignity.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a cornerstone of global ethics, underscores the inviolability of human life and the security of the individual. These principles are not mere political positions, they are fundamental rights that every citizen of the world inherently deserves.

Yet, these rights are egregiously violated by the practice of forced organ harvesting—a heinous act requiring a state machinery capable of such large-scale atrocity. After 2000, the People’s Republic of China has been implicated in such practices against Falun Gong, motivated by the intent to extinguish practitioners and their belief in the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance.

China has failed to provide plausible answers to questions regarding the origin of organs and instead engages in opaque practices in organ transplantation, which violate the WHO Guiding Principles of transparency and traceability.

On January 23, 2024, China faces scrutiny by the international community at the Universal Periodic Review. Since the previous Review in 2018, the landscape has significantly shifted:

  • Independent investigations and assessments, such as the one by the China Tribunal published in 2020, have concluded that forced organ harvesting has occurred in China and labeled China a ‘criminal state’ for its role in forced organ harvesting.
  • Despite the Tribunal’s findings and other sources of credible evidence, which have emerged in the last few years, research tells us conclusively that the practice of forced organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners, Uyghurs and other prisoners of conscience continues unabated in China.
  • Academic research demonstrates that the ongoing persecution of Falun Gong practitioners constitutes a ‘Cold Genocide.’
  • China’s handling of the COVID-19 outbreak raised serious questions about its transparency and cooperation with global health mandates.
  • The erosion of human rights in Hong Kong and aggressive foreign policies witnessed throughout the globe, including support for contentious, malevolent global actors, highlight China’s progressive deviation from international norms.

China’s actions reflect a disturbing ideology that a ‘perfect world’ necessitates the elimination of dissenting voices. This is antithetical to the principles of human rights, which advocate for coexistence and understanding through values such as those practiced by Falun Gong.

After over two decades of ongoing forced organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners in China we have to acknowledge a stark reality: As an international community, we have failed to stop this crime against humanity and cold genocide.

A decisive stance against practices like forced organ harvesting and the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners is not just a test of political will but a moral imperative for the preservation of human dignity and universal rights.

The call for an immediate end to forced organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners is not only a call for their right to life, but also a call for our right to learn about their practice of truthfulness, compassion and forbearance.  

What should be done?

  1. All United Nations member states can critically and courageously question China’s human rights record during the Universal Periodic Review. We urge each of them to do so.
  2. We propose the creation of a Special Rapporteur on forced organ harvesting of living prisoners of conscience in China. DAFOH offers to contribute to this effort by providing the expertise of a DAFOH rapporteur to provide objective findings and additional information to the UNHRC and any government.
  3. We call for the establishment of an International Criminal Tribunal for Forced Organ Harvesting in China.

Co-signatories of the Open Letter

Manuel Acosta Elías, Regional MP, ESP

Ann-Sofie Alm, MP, SWE

Lord David Alton, House of Lords, UK

Kazuo Aoki, Fmr Trading Co. Exec, JPN

Julio Ariza, Fmr MP, Journalist, ESP

Nathalie Bassire, MP, FRA

David Beyda, MD, Prof, Chairman, Bioethics, USA

Dominique Bourg, Hon. Prof, CHE

Malcolm Byrne, Fmr Senator, IRL

Hyeon Gyu Cho, PhD, Prof, Dir., China Center, KOR

Jaewoo Choo, PhD, Prof, Chinese Foreign Policy, Kyung Hee University, KOR

Ji-Tae Choung, MD, PhD, President, Korean Academy of Medical Sciences, KOR

Young-Key Cho, PhD, Prof emeritus, Korea University, KOR

Hon. Irwin Cotler, Fmr Minister of Justice, CAN

Ognian Daskarev, author and journalist, BGR

Eberhard Deisenhammer, PhD, Prof, AUT

Jean-Philippe Delsol, President, IREF, FRA

Mihaela Djorgova, Chairman of Society and Values Association, BGR

Heather Draper, PhD, Prof, Bioethics, UK

Angel Dzhambazki, MEP, Co-treasurer, ECR Group, BGR

Ewa Ernst-Dziedzic, PhD, MP, AUT

Sam Farr, Fmr Congressman, USA

Baroness Finlay of Llandaff, House of Lords, UK

Oskar Freysinger, Fmr MP, CHE

David García Gomis, MP, ESP

André Gattolin, PhD, Fmr Senator, FRA

Snezhana Georgieva, journalist, philosopher, Bulgaria 24 TV Host, BGR

Vlad Gheorghe, MEP, ROU

Elisabeth Götze, PhD, MP, AUT

Hee Chul Han, MD, PhD, Prof, KOR

David Hardingham, Director, China Watch, UK Yamada Hiroshi, MP, JPN

Françoise Hostalier, Fmr Sec. for Education, FRA

Song-Lih Huang, MD, ScD, Prof, Director, Human Rights Policy Center, Covenants Watch, TWN

Hermann Hunger, PhD, Prof, AUT

Lord Philip Hunt of Kings Heath, House of Lords, UK

Rintaro Ishibashi, MP, JPN

Ivan Ivanov, Fmr MP, Chair of EWRC, BGR

Stoyan Ivanov, former MP, SKAT TV Host, investigative journalist, BGR

Lotta Johnsson Fornarve, MP, SWE

Lubo Kanov, MD, Politician, BGR

Nikolaos Karydis, MD, PhD, Prof, Transplantation, GRC

Zain Khalpey, MD, PhD, Heart Transplantation, USA

Peter Kichashki, constitutional lawyer, executive director, Institute of Modern Politics, BGR

Khancho Kojouharov, author, journalist, “Visible and invisible” Show Host, BGR

Branko Kolarić, MD, PhD, Director, Teaching Institute for Public Health, HRV

Andrey Kovatchev, MEP, Head, Bulgarian Delegation in the EPP, BGR

Ilhan Kyuchyuk, MEP, Co-President ALDE, BGR

Elisabet Lann, Municpial Councilor, SWE

Katrina Lantos Swett, President, Lantos Foundation, USA

Jacob Lavee, MD, Heart Transplantation, Fmr President, Israel Society of Transplantation, ISR

Heesung Lee, MD, PhD, Director, KAEOT, KOR Ji-Yong Lee, PhD, Prof, KOR

KarkBum Lee, PhD, Prof, KOR

Seungwon Lee, MD, PhD, President, KAEOT, KOR

Vili Lilkov, PhD, Prof, Physicist, Councilor, BGR

Jan Loones, Fmr Senator, BEL

Declan Lyons, MD, PhD, Lecturer, IRL

Niclas Malmberg, Fmr MP, SWE

Hiroaki Maruyama, Fmr Chair of City Council, JPN

Edward McMillan-Scott, Fmr MEP, VP EU Parliament, UK

John Mills, Col (Ret), Fmr Dir., Cybersecurity, DOD, USA

Kotaro Miura, Political Analyst, JPN

Yves Moreau, Prof, BEL

Alexandru Muraru, MP, ROU

Takashi Nagao, Fmr MP, JPN

Kazuhiro Nakamura, MD, Director, Home Care, JPN

Jaime César Naranjo Ortiz, MP, CHL

Sir Geoffrey Nice, KC, UK

Miki Ohtaka, Journalist, JPN

Sev Ozdowski, Hon. Prof, Fmr HR Commissioner, AUS

Emil Paskalev, MD, DSs, Prof, Chairman of the BSN, BGR

Martin Patzelt, Fmr MP, GER

Annick Ponthier, MP, BEL

Ivan Rachev, Deputy Chief Editor, Finance newspaper Banker, BGR

Marco Respinti, Editor, Bitterwinter, ITA

Benedict Rogers, Deputy Chair, Cons. Party HRC, UK

Wendy Rogers, PhD, Prof, Clinical Ethics, AUS

Thomas Rohden, Councilor, DNK

Haris Romas, Fmr Reg. Deputy Gov. and Councilor, GRC Hans Rothenberg, Fmr MP, SWE

Petri Sarvamaa, MEP, FIN

Ewa Schädler, MP, POL

Jim Shannon, MP, UK

Nina Shea, Director, Center for Religious Freedom, Hudson Institute, USA

Vladimir Sheytanov, Attorney, BGR

Jaeyoon Song, PhD, Prof, KOR

Robert Spalding, PhD, Brig Gen (Ret.), CEO, Subutai Strategy, Sen. Fellow, Hudson Institute, USA

Dimitar Stoyanov, internationally renowned, award-wining investigative journalist, BGR

Russell Strong, MD, Prof, Transplant Surgeon, AUS

Ramona Strugariu, MEP, ROU

Alexander Tacov, author, political analyst, BGR

Lyubomir Talev, Politician, BGR

Cătălin Teniță, MP, ROU

Hermann Tertsch, MEP, ESP

Verónica Toller, Prof, Journalist, Expert, Human Trafficking, ARG

Borislav Tsekov, Fmr MP, Chair, Institute of Modern Politics, BGR

Col. Vilis Tsurov, Chairman of Association of the Officers in the Reserve “Atlantic” (AORA), BGR

Evelina Tsvetkova, MD, Dir., Transplant Coordinator, BGR

Stephan Turnovszky, Weihbischof, Engineer, AUT

Adrian Zenz, PhD, Director, Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, USA



Alianza Iberoamericana Europea Contra el Comunismo

Association Initiative Citoyenne

CAP Liberté de Conscience

Center for Uyghur Studies

Coalition Against Global Genocide

Federazione Italiana Diritti Umani

Genocide Watch

Gerard Noodt Foundation

Global Human Rights Defence

Greek Genocide Resource Center

Human Rights Without Frontiers

Initiatives for China

International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China

International Society for Human Rights – Sweden

Justice For All

Peter Tatchell Foundation

Romanian Independent Society of Human Rights

Rotary Satellite Club of Ending Forced Organ Harvesting

World Uyghur Conference

Forced Organ Harvesting:

Persecution of Falun Gong: