Statement at EU Vice-President Press Conference in London

At the press conference in the EU Parliament London Office on February 12, 2008, hosted by EU Vice-President Edward McMillan-Scott

DAFOH was alerted by the report of the co-authors David Kilgour and David Matas stating that organs are forcefully harvested. The co-authors compiled a list of circumstantial evidence that comes to the conclusion that in China organs are systematically harvested from living people, mostly prisoners of conscience and Falun Gong practitioners. We are concerned that the victims are listed in a data bank, which is used to provide organs for transplantation on demand. This form of illegal organ procurement is a violation of all basic ethical standards in medicine and must not be tolerated in the 21st century.




As stated in an AP interview from November 8, 2007, the director of the Beijing Olympics media center, Li Zhanjun, stated, “Falun Gong texts and activities are forbidden” during the Olympic Games. We at DAFOH consider this discrimination against Falun Gong. Moreover are we concerned that this form of discrimination against Falun Gong is also expression of hatred, which we identify as driving energy to maintain the unethical form of forced organ harvesting from living people. The continuous exclusion of Falun Gong from the Olympic Games bears the risk that the dehumanization of Falun Gong practitioners will continue and with it the forced organ harvesting.




Falun Gong is a spiritual cultivation method based on Buddhist and Taoist principles. It is practiced and respected in over 70 countries. Exclusion of Falun Gong from the Olympic Games in Beijing is violating Olympic Principles as stated in the Olympic Charter:

“Any form of discrimination with regard to… a person on grounds of … religion, politics…or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement.”

The IOC rule 51 states, “no kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas.” – We presume this applies to the audience as well as to the host of the Games. We consider the policy of misinformation about Falun Gong to be part of the national ‘political and religious propaganda’ against Falun Gong. According to IOC rule 51, this form of “political, religious…propaganda” is not allowed during the Olympics. We therefore suggest an unrestricted access of Falun Gong during the Olympic Games like any other small or large religious group.

Even at the Olympics in Berlin 1936, the Nazi regime didn’t go as far as banning or excluding Jewish athletes.






The recent statement of the IOC communications chief, Giselle Davies, who saidthat the IOC is “just proud of that decision” [of having awarded the Games toChina] is hardly comprehensible in this context. To speak of a “fascinating evolution of a country [China]” sounds inappropriate if one knows that the forced organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners is believed to have started in the same year when China won the bid for the Olympic Games in 2001. For the past 6-7 years, simultaneous to the preparation time of the 2008 Olympic Games, presumably more than 40,000 Falun Gong practitioners were killed for their organs.




As medical doctors we are astonished that in the 21st century doping and misuse of drugs by athletes causes more outcry in the world of sports than a systematic killing of people for organs – imputed to the host of the 2008 Olympic Games.







Recently the British Olympic Association has asked British athletes to sign a contract not to criticize China’s totalitarian regime. The contract also includes IOC rule 51 that “no kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas.” –

It appears one-sided that athletes are asked to restrain from their freedom of speech during the Olympics, while at the same time the host of the 2008 Olympics does not abide by the principles of the Olympic movement, that discrimination against political or religious groups is incompatible with the Olympic Movement. The Olympic Movement requires compliance to the Olympic Charter, therefore the host of the Olympic Games should be reminded to abide by the Olympic Charter.




The situation has developed over the past 7 years. Many human rights organizations have pointed out shortcomings of the host of the Games. But no appropriate actions have been taken. Those who state “the time is now running short, there is no room for changes” are most likely those who are responsible for the non-action, however their conclusion is irresponsible. There is always enough time to stop injustice, especially if people’s lives are jeopardized – even in the last minute.






British athletes who are urged to sign the contract as described above, should be reminded that they have a right to demand the same compliance to the Olympic Charter from the host of the Olympic Games. The Olympic Charter requires that athletes have to comply with the Olympic Charter, not with the individual preferences of the host of the Games.




All athletes who sign such a contract as mentioned above while at the same time e.g. Falun Gong is excluded from the Olympic Games and the discrimination against it is continuing (as violation of rule 5 of the Olympic Charter), risk to acknowledge that the individual preferences of the host of the Beijing Olympics count higher than the Olympic Charter and that their example serves as precedence case for future Olympic Games. Every athlete and sport fan is asked to find his/her own decision in this question about basic rights andprinciples.