On April 24, the first of five presentations on unethical forced organ harvesting in China was held in the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. MSP Bob Doris chaired the event. In November, 2012 Doris launched a motion condemning the CCP ‘s unethical harvesting of organs from living people and obtained support from various political parties. Attending the presentation were MSPs, city councillors, city council workers, academics and human rights groups. In a show of support, MSPs who were not able to attend in person sent representatives from their offices.
Speakers included researchers and authors David Kilgour, and David Matas, journalist Ethan Gutmann, DAFOH member Dr. Harold King. Dr. EnverTohti, a Uighur surgeon and witness to the CCP’s live organ harvesting in China, spoke about his experiences.
Bob Doris announced a plan to investigate medical institutions in Scotland to assess if Scottish citizens have gone to China for organ transplantations. Doris noted that if there were any incidences of citizens involved then legislation should be carried out to prevent any further collusion.
MSP John Finney stated: “I think it is important for Scotland to take significant and effective measures, regardless of whether the Scots are directly involved or not. We will still try to help end this (crime) and support relevant measures taken.”
On April 25, the second presentation was held at the University of Oxford, alma matter of renowned speaker David Matas who attended law school there in the 1970s. The speakers also included David Kilgour, Ethan Gutman and Dr.Huige Li. About 40 medical scholars, doctors, lawyers, and representatives from theology and culture attended the presentation.
On April 26th, all four speakers again presented their findings at the University of Cambridge. The local chapter of Amnesty International hosted the presentation. DAFOH members, volunteers and the Amnesty students’ group collaborated on this well attended event.
On April 29 the British Parliament hosted a well attended panel discussion. The speakers presented exhaustive evidence of force organ harvesting practices from imprisoned living Falun Gong practitioners. Falun Gong practitioner Annie Yang shared her personal account of illegal detainment in prison in China and persecution for her spiritual beliefs.
MPs, their representatives, government officers, human rights activists and main stream media journalists attended the event. David Kilgour and Ethan Gutmann had a private briefing at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London.
Shadow Minister of Justice Andy Slaughter, having received many letters from his constituents asking him to attend, stated he was shocked at the problems revealed by the guest speakers. Although aware of China’s unethical organ harvesting practices Slaughter had not anticipated such a broad range of human rights offenses.
“In the past, organ harvesting occurred in other countries. But today what we talked about is not one or two accidental criminal offenses, but the country is participating in the crimes. It is entirely a big problem.”
Slaughter said that the UK needs to enhance education in medical ethics, “I think this is something we should consider, because it is clear that there are loopholes. Any mandatory organ transplantations were considered murder in the UK. But if people went overseas to get this source of organs for transplantation and then returned to England, it is surely what we need to focus on…… clearly this is an important thing. Ministry of Foreign Affairs is here today, the Home office is here today, if they take action and consider the matter seriously, then we will see what we can do.”
Presiding councillor Ingrid Cranfield and the guest speakers proposed recommendations that the British government take measures to stop forced organ harvesting and the persecution of spiritual groups in China:
- Establish a cross-party committee, such as the Falun Gong forced organ harvesting committee.
- Draft a set of regulations, similar to those set forth by the Israeli government, to prohibit British involvement in organ transplant tourism in China.
- Non-citizens, upon entering the UK, should be asked to disclose if they have been involved in forced organ harvesting/trafficking or unethical organ transplantation. The US model has such a measure of inquiry for immigrants entering the country.
- Prohibit the training of Chinese doctors specializing in transplant medicine, following the Australian legislation.
- Take a tougher stand against human rights abuses in China and look to the work of the Canadian Parliament in this area.
- Investigate and ban slave labor products manufactured through Chinese re-education and forced labor camps.
On May 3rd more than 100 people attended a presentation at the University of Leeds. BBC Radio broadcasted live interviews at the event with the speakers, and with European Parliament Vice President Edward McMillan Scott, Yorkshire and Humber region MEPs, and a victim of the persecution and illegal detainment Falun Gong practitioner Mrs Yuyu Williamson. The BBC radio host reminded the audience, saying that if they want organ transplantation, they must first figure out that the organs obtained are not from mandatory organ removal, because in China some people’s organs are harvested and sent to the international market to sell.
French translator and journalist David Dubroeccq, from the global activist network AVAAZ, talked about plans to launch a campaign to encourage AVAAZ members to participate. He said: “I think it is our responsibility, Britain, France and all the world’s countries to put pressure on the CCP for immediately stopping live organ harvesting, stopping killing people and prisoners of conscience. I believe that we can do a lot. We need to mobilize people around the world to stop these atrocities.”
British media covered the UK presentations, and on April 30, BBC Radio at Leeds interviewed David Kilgour and Ethan Gutmann. BBC radio in London aired interviews about live organ harvesting crimes committed by the CCP and broadcasted on the BBC’s live morning program. An interview with David Kilgour and former Chinese transplant surgeon, Dr. Enver Tohti was aired live on the BBC World News program in the afternoon.
In a live interview David Kilgour and Ethan Gutman described the humanitarian crisis in China. “The Falun Gong are an innocent peaceful group persecuted by the CCP,” said Kilgour, “It’s true there indeed exists large-scale harvesting of organs from Falun Gong practitioners for profit. Different from western countries’ legal systems, the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong is not according to the Chinese Law. A policeman’s letter can send you to a forced labor camp and you stay there for 3 or 4 years. The whole government is involved with China’s illegal organ transplant system. China has a large number of prisoners of conscience, and they have been used as an important source of organ transplants.”