UNHRC “Legally Obligated” to Stop Organ Harvesting in China

Global religious freedom was at the top of U.S. President Donald Trump’s agenda at the September United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Trump opened a discussion on religious freedom in his keynote address saying, “Today, with one clear voice, the United States of America calls upon the nations of the world to end religious persecution.”

During three weeks of hearings, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) heard advocates present evidence of China’s ongoing religious persecution and human rights abuses, including the live forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience, primarily from faith-based groups such as Falun Gong, Uighurs, Tibetans and House Christians.

Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH) hosted a panel discussion event during the UNGA to highlight the crimes of human forced organ harvesting and genocide in China. Panelists included the Hon. David Kilgour, former Canadian Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific and Dr. Torsten Trey, DAFOH Executive Director, who reminded the audience that the U.N. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide is a mandate and U.N. member states must not shirk their responsibility to act.

Trey declared that the killing of imprisoned Falun Gong practitioners for their organs amounts to genocide under international law. “The victims are specifically targeted as an organ source, not just to provide organs,” he said, adding, “There is a specific intent to eradicate this group of people. Definitive actions from the international community are needed.”

Last June, the China Tribunal concluded, “The Tribunal’s members are certain – unanimously, and sure beyond reasonable doubt – that in China forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience has been practiced for a substantial period of time involving a very substantial number of victims.” This independent People’s Tribunal charged that “thousands of innocents have been killed to order having the physical integrity of their beings — their bodies — cut open while still alive for their kidneys, livers, hearts, lungs, cornea and skin to be removed and turned into commodities for sale.”

In a statement to the UNHRC, the China Tribunal’s senior attorney, Hamid Sabi, shared the Tribunal’s findings, declaring that China is killing religious and ethnic minorities to harvest their organs for sale and that all U.N. member states have a legal and moral obligation to act. The findings revealed that China has been extracting organs from Falun Gong practitioners for about two decades, and that the practice, which constitutes a crime against humanity, is ongoing today.

Over the last two weeks, Sabi’s testimony before the UNHRC has been widely reported by mainstream media from Britain (Independent, The Telegraph) the United States (Reuters, The Washington Examiner, National Review, The Epoch Times, Fox News, The New American, Nation of Change, Europe (Health Europa), India (Khabarhub), and Australia (The Sidney Morning Herald), as well as by business (Business Insider, Quartz, Daily Investor Hub, Safehaven) and religious (Catholic News Agency) media.

At a separate U.N. event, Geoffrey Nice, the China Tribunal’s chairman and lead prosecutor in the trial of former Yugoslavian president Slobodan Milosevic, said, “Governments, U.N. bodies and ruling bodies of medical associations dealing with transplant surgery can no longer avoid what it is inconvenient for them to admit. Crimes revealed in the China Tribunal judgment require immediate action. The time of convenient ‘uncertainty’, when all these entities could say the case against (China) was not proved, is past.”