Organ Tourism Ban Proposed
Evidence of Forced Organ Transplantation Increasingly Garners International Attention
NEW YORK — An Australian lawmaker has proposed legislation that highlights injustices in global organ trade. Experts have lauded the proposal as a powerful step toward curbing the grizzly practice of forced organ harvesting – removing donors from people without consent and selling them on the black market, a practice that the Chinese government is believed to employ widely on Falun Gong practitioners.
Momentum has been building among governments around the world to address transplant abuses in multiple countries. The most notable offenses occur China, where a sizable transplant industry exists but, according to government statistics, the number of willing donors is miniscule.
David Shoebridge, a Greens member of the New South Wales Parliament, is behind the most recent action. His law, if passed, would make it a crime for New South Wales residents to receive trafficked organ specimens.
Similar legislation has been seen in Belgium, France, Canada and Israel. And in the last several months, the United States Congress, European Union Parliament and the Australian Parliament have all conducted hearings from experts on organ harvesting from Falun Gong detainees.
The Chinese government has denied the practice despite mounting evidence to the countrary.
Independent researcher and expert on organ harvesting in China, Ethan Gutman, first became aware of the phenomenon in 2006, while conducting interviews with Falun Gong survivors of torture. Amidst horrific, life-threatening accounts of physical abuse, survivors described out-of-place medical exams. Medical experts have identified these tests as those used to ascertain the health of various organs, such as the heart, lungs, liver and kidneys. All of these can fetch tens of thousands of dollars.
Human rights lawyer David Matas and former Canadian Member of Parliament David Kilgour, indicate that between 2000 and 2005, 41,5000 organs were harvested from Falun Gong practitioners. Gutman put the figure at 65,000 by 2008.
“According to Gutman and Matas’ findings, tens of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have been killed in order to extract their organs for sale,” says Falun Dafa Information Center spokesperson Erping Zhang. “It is our hope that other Western governments enact measures to end this grisly, horrific practice.”
In tandem with his proposed legislation in Australia, David Shoebridge’s Green political party is “seeking broad consultation” by conducting an online survey.
More information on organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners can be found below.