Session 3 Politicians, as the stewards and leaders of society, have a responsibility to combat forced organ harvesting

Government leaders and policymakers from Sweden, France, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States unanimously condemned and called for an end to China’s human rights abuses, particularly the regime’s state-sponsored forced organ harvesting of prisoners of conscience, and stood united in advocacy for the global adoption of accepted human values and ethical norms.

Ms. Ann-Sophie Alm, Member of Swedish Parliament, Member of Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC), Sweden

The Chinese Communist Party’s rule has decimated Chinese culture and traditions. There is no free speech or freedom of belief in China and information is strongly controlled and censored. The Chinese regime is openly aiming for world domination by waging a silent war using information, technology, and money, lots of money.

Ms. Alm suggested, “Perhaps that is why illegal organ transplants of prisoners of conscience in China is still taking place, despite it being made illegal. Organs from prisoners that are involuntary donors are free and they can be sold very, very expensively.”

“In China…. there are no waiting times for organs. You can even call a hospital and order a heart at a time that is convenient to your travel schedule. If you are willing to pay extra, you can even get a healthier organ, such as a fresh and healthy heart from a Falun Dafa practitioner,” she noted.

“The world needs to know about these cruel and evil human rights abuses that the Communist Party of China is subjecting its people to.” She suggested that with this knowledge, the world can make a change and “call[ed] on the EU and the US and all other representatives and communities in the free world to stand up for human rights in China, and stop the illegal, inhumane trade of human organs from prisoners of conscience in China.”

Andrè Gattolin, PhD, Senator Haut de Seine, Paris, Co-Chair of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC), France

A staunch advocate for human rights and the international rule of law, Senator Gattolin proclaimed that the “European Union must act to denounce repeated violations of human dignity and fundamental rights perpetrated by the Chinese regime, at the risk of becoming an accomplice.”

He shared that IPAC was making significant progress against the “increasingly repressive and invasive policies” of and the “increasingly flagrant violation of human rights and international law” by the Chinese regime in Beijing.

He felt that the lack of awareness by many Western parliamentarians of China’s forced organ harvesting was due to Beijing’s obscuration, censorship, and intimidation of those who expose its transplant practices. In addition, Gattolin opined that the majority of French people are reluctant to talk about organ transplantation, which is “almost taboo in our society,” and there is a lack of sympathy among the French people as Beijing has used propaganda to mislead them with a false image of Falun Gong as unacceptable.

In France, the Senator’s attempts to introduce or revise laws on bioethics have proved challenging, yet his efforts have resulted in a commitment by the French government to sign the Council of Europe’s Compostela Convention against Trafficking in Human Organs, concluded on March 25, 2015.

Senator Gattolin felt that “our scientific and medical cooperation must absolutely be rethought. Collaboration in these fields raises essential ethical questions and can only be carried out in a spirit of reciprocity, responsibility and high standards.”

He concluded, “The EU must also now take very concrete action to denounce all the flagrant and repeated violations of human dignity and fundamental rights perpetrated by the Chinese regime, at the risk of becoming an accomplice.”

John Hoffman, U.S. Senator from the State of Minnesota, USA

Senator Hoffman said, “Leaders of all levels of government in every country have a responsibility to ensure such violations of human rights cease and that everyone has the opportunity to live free of the terror that is forced, and that is part of forced organ harvesting.”

Upon learning about China’s live forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience, he was shaken to the core. “Forced organ harvesting is truly a monstrous practice that is difficult to conceive even exists until it is brought before you. The idea that there are those that take someone’s life and treat them like parts for pay or favors, still leaves me horrified.”

He described how he is working with fellow legislators in Minnesota on a resolution calling for the United States to oppose these “grievous violations of basic human rights.”

 Françoise Hostalier Former Minister of Education, Member of Parliament, France

 Ms. Hostalier expressed concern that organ trafficking “may one day affect people around us or even ourselves. I am talking about organ transplantation and the risk of being caught up in trafficking without knowing it.”

She wondered what philosophers and writers who were already questioning the moral integrity of science 500 years ago “would say today about China’s behavior, especially in its practice of forced organ removal and lucrative transplants?”

Many may be incredulous as “in our societies based on the respect of humanistic values, how can we imagine what is happening in China? How can we imagine that in a country, at the state level, organ trafficking can be organized from living people who obviously do not consent? This is beyond our comprehension…”

Both the epidemic of COVID-19 and “spoliation by China of the interests of many African states” were cited as examples of how the leaders of “Western countries including France, and the Chinese leaders, do not function, intellectually, with the same software!” She added, “We must therefore already be aware of the discrepancy in the perception of moral and ethical principles that we have with the Chinese leaders.”

She urged the scientific community to open their eyes to the risks of engagement with China. “There is a great risk that our researchers, doctors, laboratories, industrialists, and students, through scientific or economic exchanges, will find themselves complicit in the inhuman and criminal practices of their Chinese counterparts, which are contrary to all ethics, but without being aware of it!”

Steve Chabot, U.S. Congressman from the State of Ohio, Senior Member U.S House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, USA

Longtime advocate for human rights, Congressman Chabot said, “Although many of us have been fighting the evil practice of forced organ harvesting for some time now, the public overall is mostly unaware of this horrific practice, much less than it occurs on a vast scale.” He stressed the importance of raising awareness of this atrocity.

He detailed how “Beijing’s efforts to remake the world in the image of the Chinese Communist Party” is “open and obvious whether we look at the PRC’s territorial ambitions against its neighbors, its rampant theft of intellectual property, it’s manipulation of the international trading system, its penchant for secrecy and cover-ups which led to the COVID-19 pandemic, or any number of other issues.”

Given the CCP’s history and current leader Xi Jinping’s beliefs, Congressman Chabot said the “most fundamental challenge [from China] to the free world is in the area of human rights.”

“Over the past several years, however, the evidence that has become increasingly clear that the PRC [People’s Republic of China] is engaged in state sponsored organ harvesting. In 2019, the China Tribunal released its final judgement documenting widespread and systematic human rights abuses against the Falun Gong practitioners in China. The important practices documented by the China Tribunal echo the findings of other recent efforts to document these horrific abuses. Taken together, these reports make clear that the CCP’s view of human rights stands in direct opposition to nearly every other nation in the civilized world.”

He concluded that “a world that conforms to the values of the CCP is one in which those who don’t tow the party line can be put in a concentration camp or have their organs harvested. That’s a vision for a world that nobody wants to live in. And that’s the vision of the world that we are all fighting against.”

Philip Hunt, Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, House of Lords, former Health Minister, United Kingdom 

 Lord Hunt, who has spoken out against forced organ harvesting many times in the House of Lords, said, “when I first heard about forced organ harvesting in China, I was horrified. Organ donation is a precious act of saving a life, but forced organ harvesting is commercialized murder and without doubt, among the worst of crimes.”

This year, he was successful in making changes to UK law. “In January this year, after huge pressure from across the House, my amendment to the Medicines and Medical Devices Bill was the first piece of UK legislation to fight against forced organ harvesting by ensuring that no medicines in the UK could include human tissues from victims of forced organ harvesting.”

Additionally, he shared that, “In May this year, my Private Members Bill ‘Organ Tourism and Cadavers on Display Bill’ was given its First Reading. This Bill serves to further protect UK citizens from complicity in forced organ harvesting by amending the Human Tissue Act in two ways. First, by ensuring UK citizens cannot travel to countries such as China for organ transplantation. Though the wording of the bill is not specific about the country, but it is specific about the restrictions that are based on ensuring appropriate consent, no coercion and no financial gain. Second, to put a stop to the dreadful traveling circus of body exhibitions which sources deceased bodies from China.” Lord Hunt said the plastinated bodies used in the exhibits in the UK came from “unclaimed bodies with no identity documents or consent, sourced from Dalian Hoffen Biotech in Dalian, China.”

Lord Hunt said that despite the fact that “Spain, Italy, Taiwan, Israel, Belgium, Norway, and South Korea have already taken legislative action to prevent organ tourism in China… International government action must continue. It is all our duty to act when we see innocent people falling victim to such dreadful crimes.”

 Hermann Tertsch del Valle-Lersundi, Member of European Parliament, Member of the Foreign Affairs and Environment Committees of the European Parliament, Spain

When speaking about the forced organ transplants carried out by the Chinese dictatorship, Mr. Tertsch said that “the Falun Gong movement is greatly affected by it and that political prisoners in general are always one of the targets who can at any time be subjected to forced transplantation… We know that this atrocity, this monstrosity happens thousands and thousands of times a year.”

He berated the West over its silence about China’s transplant abuses. “Why are they all so indifferent to the denunciations and so indulgent towards the Chinese communist regime? Because they manufacture a lot there, because they have many economic relations… it is only considerations of immediate economic interests that lead these Western elites to be complicit with the Chinese Communist Party, with the regime of the People’s Republic of China, to hide the monstrosity of the transplants, which are taking away, we do not know how many thousands of political prisoners, of common prisoners, of people from the Falun Gong movement, of dissidents.”

Mr. Tertsch concluded, “We are in a situation full of uncertainties in the world but there are a few certainties that we must always be very clear about: if we want to maintain our aspiration for a dignified life we have to fight against cruelty and injustice such as the monstrosity of forced transplants, we have to fight whoever perpetrates them. We must unite to raise our voices and tell the People’s Republic of China, tell the Chinese dictator, and tell all the allies of this Chinese dictator, that this is intolerable and that enough is enough. “

Robert Spalding, Retired Brigadier General United States Air Force, Senior Director National Security Council, USA

General Spalding explained that “War is about political influence, it’s about influencing an opponent to adopt a political position that they are otherwise unwilling to” and that authoritarian regimes adapted “the global economy… to essentially create the capability to change warfare from primarily a kinetic problem of ones of bombs and bullets, to an information and finance problem. One where these platforms, these social media platforms in the global economy could be leveraged to create political outcomes that favor their interests.”

After describing how this strategy was used during the global pandemic, he adds, “Now this same political warfare is used to desensitize, to deflect any criticism on understanding of things like the genocide of the Uighur population, the lockdown and control of the people of Hong Kong, the mass incarceration and organ harvesting of the Falun Gong, and the outright oppression of certain elements of the Chinese population, particularly those that the Chinese Communist Party fears.”

He then related how this political influence has spread to Western societies. “U.S. corporations, multinational corporations are influenced both in terms of the ability to do business in China or the ability to gain Chinese investment. And this, in turn, creates an incentive on them to basically influence the political systems of their host countries. And so, U.S. corporations are influencing the U.S. political process, the same for Germany, same for every other democracy, in anticipation of the profits that can be gleaned either from working in China or working with China or working with Chinese money.”

Therefore, any attempts to address China’s human rights abuses are met with political pushback domestically by the business communities in those countries and “these nations now are adopting more authoritarian principles because they are incentivized to do so by the Chinese Communist Party.”

General Spalding stressed that the most important action is to decouple from the Chinese Communist Party in “our political, our academic, our financial, and our economic and trading systems, and letting the American free market economy work with other democracies to promote the prosperity of the citizens of those free societies.”

Also, he said we must rebuild, “to use the innovation, technology, talent, and capital that has been flowing for the last 25 years into China, to flow into free societies, to lift the prosperity and productivity of those nations.”

Lastly, he stated, we must “inspire other nations to adopt the principles of democracy.”