EU Parliament Action Against Forced Organ Harvesting

On May 5th in Strasbourg, France, the European Parliament passed an emergency resolution expressing “serious concerns about the reports of persistent, systematic, inhumane and state-sanctioned organ harvesting from prisoners in the People’s Republic of China, and, more specifically, from Falun Gong practitioners.”

Sponsored by Belgian MEP Maria Arena, the emergency resolution states that China’s forced organ harvesting may constitute crimes against humanity and calls for “independent monitoring by international human rights mechanisms, including the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.” Arena hopes to prevent the European transplant industry from engaging with perpetrators of forced organ harvesting. The resolution was also sponsored by Dutch MEP Peter van Dalen, who has been outspoken on the subject and has argued that Europe can no longer turn a blind eye.

International human rights lawyer David Matas presented specific case studies from his extensive research to the MEPs which informed the drafting and adoption of the emergency resolution. One of the more compelling cases he included was that of Chinese transplant doctor and former Deputy Minister of Health Huang Jiefu who received two livers within 24 hours for a transplant operation in 2005. Drawing on available information about the timing of various portions of the procedure, Matas shows that “two living donors were killed at calculated timing to satisfy Huang Jiefu’s order of two backup livers.” Another case was Lu Guoping, a transplant doctor who admitted in a recorded telephone call that “he used to go to a prison to select Falun Gong practitioners for their organs.”

Matas related Uyghur Surgeon Enver Tohti’s account of performing organ extraction after an execution as well as the confession from an anonymous military doctor in Shenyang who emailed The Epoch Times with details of the process of killing Falun Gong practitioners on demand for their organs, explaining that “anyone targeted for organ transplantation would be taken away from prisons, forced labor camps, detention centers, secret camps, etc. At that point, their real name would be replaced with a code corresponding to a forged voluntary organ’s name—the next step would be to undergo the live organ transplant.”

Other specific examples presented by Matas came from a healthcare worker in Jinan, a police officer in Jinzhou, a vice president of a medical university, and an official of the Ministry of Public Security.

The emergency resolution is the first action the European Parliament has taken on the issue since its initial resolution in 2013. It is a welcome step, but in an interview with The Epoch Times, DAFOH Executive Director Dr. Torsten Trey points out that simply “calling” on China to address the issue is not enough, “We need actions on China, not calls. China heard these calls for two decades and ignored them.”