Falun Gong Dissent in China, Organ Harvesting Developments

A Chinese citizen in Jiamusi, Heilongjiang Province, reads a banner hung by Falun Gong practitioners in 2018 that reads “Kidnapped by Authorities” detailing persecution cases in the area (Credit: Minghui.org)

A Chinese citizen in Jiamusi, Heilongjiang Province, reads a banner hung by Falun Gong practitioners in 2018 that reads “Kidnapped by Authorities” detailing persecution cases in the area (Credit: Minghui.org)

Dear Reader,

Data from the latest issue of Freedom House’s China Dissent Monitor (CDM) indicates that Falun Gong practitioners in China are the most active group of religious believers engaging in peaceful resistance to the persecution they face. 

In other news:

  • A non-profit dedicated to ending forced organ harvesting in China receives a Nobel Peace Prize nomination

  • Two state governments advance legislation aimed at combatting forced organ harvesting

  • Three Falun Gong practitioners in Guangdong province receive lengthy sentences for their activism

  • NTDTV’s “China in Focus” airs an interview discussing our latest report on the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) campaign against Shen Yun Performing Arts

Additionally, February 19 marked seven years since the arrest of Ms. Sun Qian, a Canadian citizen and businesswoman who remains in detention on an eight-year sentence related to her faith in Falun Gong. And lastly, several events at Harvard University on March 7-8 will discuss forced organ harvesting, including a film screening of the new documentary “State Organs”.


Levi Browde, Executive Director
Falun Dafa Information Center


Freedom House Highlights Falun Gong Dissent in China
A Chinese citizen in Jiamusi, Heilongjiang Province, reads a banner hung by Falun Gong practitioners in 2018 that reads “Kidnapped by Authorities” detailing persecution cases in the area (Credit: Minghui.org)

What’s new?

A project by the international human rights group Freedom House that monitors the landscape of dissent in China captured 163 incidents of Falun Gong practitioners engaged in activism since 2022. The Falun Gong cases represented the majority of the 200 incidents involving religious believers during this period. These activities, such as talking to people in public spaces or distributing leaflets, raised awareness about the rights abuses Falun Gong practitioners face and aimed to counter the CCP’s demonizing propaganda about Falun Gong. According to the quarterly CDM bulletin published last week, “nearly all of the activities resulted in repression.” 

Why does it matter?

In the early days of the crackdown on Falun Gong, Chinese officials anticipated that the practice would be eradicated within months. Yet Falun Gong survives across China. The relatively high levels of dissent by Falun Gong believers documented by the CDM is one example of how Falun Gong practitioners continue to peacefully resist even after 24 years of systematic repression. 

What else do you need to know?

The actual scale of grassroots dissent by Falun Gong practitioners in China is even more widespread than what CDM was able to document. According to estimates from Minghui, an overseas Falun Gong website, as many as 20-40 million practitioners are actively engaged in such activities.

Over time, Falun Gong practitioners’ efforts to expose the CCP’s human rights violations have grown and matured. In the early days of the persecution, practitioners in China went straight to the government to file appeals for the right to freely practice or protested in Tiananmen square, but they were immediately arrested. Practitioners have since turned to using samizdat-style print shops to produce informational materials, while practitioners outside China have developed software for Chinese citizens to break through the Great Firewall, established media companies to get information into China, and more. 

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Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

A British lawmaker nominated Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH) for the Nobel Peace Prize, the third nomination the group has received since its founding in 2006. In addition to issuing publications examining evidence of forced organ harvesting, the group regularly hosts webinars and engages governments around the world to establish policies to end this horrific practice. Thanks to the work of DAFOH and others, an exhaustive collection of evidence of forced organ harvesting has been established. This evidence has provided a foundation for international actors to respond to the CCP’s egregious crime against humanity.

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Two U.S. States Advance Legislation Aimed at Combatting Forced Organ Harvesting in China

This month, Utah and Arizona introduced legislation targeting organ tourism to China. The two state bills prevent insurance companies from covering organ transplants in countries known to participate in forced organ harvesting, while singling out China. The Utah bill, S.B. 262, passed in the state Senate on February 26 and advanced to the House for introduction.  Meanwhile, the Arizona bill, H.B. 2504, has passed the state’s House Health and Human Services and Rules Committees, advancing to the Arizona House floor for a vote. The passing of these bills would mean the states would join Texas which became the first U.S. state to adopt legislation combatting organ tourism to China, which came into effect in September 2023.

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Three Guangdong Residents Sentenced

The Minghui website confirmed the sentences of three Guangdong residents this month. Guangdong courts sentenced Ms. Li Youbin to eight years, Ms. Qiu Denong to three and a half years, and Mr. Chen Ruyong to three years. Agents from the Yuancheng District Domestic Security Bureau arrested the three practitioners, along with 21 others, for awareness raising activities in the weeks surrounding China’s National Day in October 2022. The practitioners’ families were not notified of their indictments, trials, sentences, or transfers to prison. 

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HAVE YOU READ THIS? “Falun Gong’s Peaceful Resistence”

This chapter from a 2010 report by the Falun Dafa Information Center provides an in-depth look into Falun Gong practitioners’ peaceful resistance. The article, authored by a graduate student researching dissent in China at the time, not only details the range of activities practitioners inside and outside China engage in, but also provides thoughtful analysis of how the ideological differences between the CCP and Falun Gong influence the vastly different behavior exhibited by each in the context of the persecution.

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How far will the Chinese Communist Party Go in Its Propaganda? False Fire
23 minutes

In an interview with NTDTV, Falun Dafa Information Center Executive Director Levi Browde, discusses the findings of the Center’s report published in January that documented the CCP’s global campaign of artistic censorship targeting Shen Yun Performing Arts. The effort is a key aspect of the regime’s broader transnational repression aimed at Falun Gong practitioners, their peaceful activism, and their supporters around the world. More than 130 incidents of harassment, sabotage, disinformation, and physical attacks by Chinese officials or their proxies targeting Shen Yun have been documented in 38 countries—including the United States—since 2007.

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