On February 24, 2021, The International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China (ETAC) hosted a conference on forced organ harvesting by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Over 100 medical and legal experts, as well as elected officials, attended the online discussion.
After forced organ harvesting in China was exposed to the public in 2006, a large number of independent investigations and research have confirmed the atrocity against Falun Gong practitioners and other prisoners of conscience.
A Large-Scale Crime
One of the keynote speakers was Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, a world-renowned lawyer and a professor of law with decades of experience. Between 1998 and 2006, he led the prosecution of Slobodan Milošević, former President of Serbia, at the UN’s International Criminal Tribunal. On June 17, 2019, the Independent Tribunal Into Forced Organ Harvesting from Prisoners Of Conscience in China (the China Tribunal), also led by Nice, released a 60-page summary of its final judgment on the CCP’s Forced Organ Harvesting.
The China Tribunal began on December 8, 2018, and lasted for several days. It convened once again in April 2019 to further explore the issue of organ harvesting in China. During the hearings, the panel heard evidence from over 50 witnesses and experts on the topic. The ultimate goal for the China Tribunal is to determine whether international crimes have been perpetrated, such as genocide and crimes against humanity.
The China Tribunal found that crimes against humanity, as defined in Article 7 of the Rome Statute, have indeed been committed. This includes, “murder; extermination; imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law; torture; rape or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity; persecution on racial, national, ethnic, cultural or religious grounds that are universally recognized as impermissible under international law; and enforced disappearance,” reported an article from Forbes on June 17, 2019, with the title of “The China Tribunal Pronounced Its Verdict On Organ Harvesting In China.”
During the speech at the ETAC conference on February 24, 2021, Nice announced that the verdict from the China Tribunal was not questioned or challenged. He said it is a people’s tribunal and it showed the rationality of the public. Like him, many citizens have found that forced organ harvesting is the worst crime since World War II.
Stopping the Genocide
Sean Lin, former lab director for the viral diseases branch at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, said Falun Gong practitioners have been persecuted by the CCP for many years and are the primary target for forced organ harvesting. After the Communist regime began its persecution of Falun Gong in 1999, the number of organ transplants all over China has increased dramatically, from military hospitals to a large number of hospitals across the country. When investigators contacted hospitals in China, they were told the waiting time is very short. This means a large organ donor supply system exists in China, despite the fact that voluntary donation in China hardly exists for cultural reasons.
Because of this, Lin warned the international community to be cautious when dealing with the CCP. “If you do not deal with the Chinese Communist Party directly, the [practice] of forced organ harvesting in China won’t stop,” he remarked. The China Tribunal also indicated the international community should demand the CCP take immediate actions to stop the atrocity instead of simply conducting more investigations.
Similar to what former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pointed out, people should first question the CCP’s credibility based on its past behaviors and then verify the facts. Furthermore, it is important to differentiate the CCP from China.
At present, the World Health Organization has been covering up this crime due to influence from the CCP and Huang Jiefu, a high-ranking official involved in organ harvesting that has been recognized by the WHO as a transplant expert. As a result, communist China is threatening the entire world and many governments have not yet implemented necessary measures to curb its threats.
Lin emphasized that forced organ harvesting is not only a crime against humanity but also an act of genocide.
International human rights lawyer David Matas proposed legal actions to sanction Communist China as the current situation in China will not allow the CCP to be held liable for the crime.
Therefore, he called for a unified approach against organ harvesting, proposing a variation of the Magnitsky Act. The Act could be revised to apply to forced organ harvesting. This in turn would make those who were involved accomplices. To further discourage people from participating in the crime, the individuals would not be allowed to join scientific associations or attend conferences.
Wendy Rogers, a Professor of Clinical Ethics at Macquarie University in Australia, also reiterated the heinous crime of organ harvesting and how the CCP is the key perpetrator. Even more shockingly, the Chinese regime has turned it into a profitable industry in China.
Rogers voiced, “Clearly, the Chinese Communist Party bears ultimate responsibility for forced organ harvesting. It is the CCP that has sanctioned the persecution of victim groups and permitted the development of industrial-scale organ transplantation in China.”
Rogers also noted that current efforts to stop the cruelty are far from enough. The victims are human beings, and we have a responsibility to help them.
The solution would require a joint effort from all professional organizations. She proposed that more institutions and scientific organizations could press the CCP and ban doctors involved from attending international conferences or publishing papers. Overseas patients should also be restricted from going on medical trips to China to receive organs harvested from living Falun Gong practitioners.
After the China Tribunal announced its judgment in June 2019, it was cited by numerous governments and human rights groups. The annual human rights report from the U.S. Department of State, for example, not only documented this judgment, but also recorded the deaths of 96 Falun Gong practitioners in China in 2020.
An organ harvesting amendment to the Medicines and Medical Devices Bill in the UK was recently passed in both Houses with government support. The Bill serves as a legislature to prevent complicity in forced organ harvesting within the UK medicine industry. This is the first time that the UK has passed any legislation to combat China’s forced organ harvesting of prisoners of conscience. The Bill became law on February 11, 2021.
Kristina Olney, Director of Government Relations for the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC), said the CCP has run a billion-dollar business associated with forced organ harvesting. While the victims are mainly Falun Gong practitioners, they also include Uyghurs and it is important for the U.S. and other Western nations to stop the tragedy.
On December 16, 2020, U.S. Senator Tom Cotton, together with House representatives Chris Smith and Tom Suozzi, introduced a bill to stop forced organ harvesting in China. Known as the Stop Forced Organ Harvesting Act, this bill aimed to prevent the Chinese Communist Party from harvesting organs from prisoners of conscience.
Marilou McPhedran, MP from Canada, said S-240 had been introduced to amend the Criminal Code and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (trafficking in human organs). On February 22, Canadian MPs voted unanimously to pass a motion from the Conservative Party that designated communist China’s treatment of Uyghurs as genocide.
Sameer Zuberi, MP from Canada, noted Canada was the first country that had acknowledged the CCP’s mistreatment of Uyghurs as genocide through legislation. He said the U.S. had taken the lead to curbing the CCP and expected other countries to follow suit.
Eric Abetz, Member of Parliament from Australia, commented organ harvesting is one of the many violations committed by the CCP on human rights. He said that it contradicts universal values. Although the CCP had been attempting to silence Australia on human rights through economic pressure, it would not shake the Australian government’s determination to fight the CCP’s human rights violations.
Ivan Vilibor Sinčić, Member of the European Parliament from Croatia, elaborated that forced organ harvesting from the CCP is the worst human rights violation. It has lasted for over 10 years and the victims are innocent Falun Gong practitioners who want to be better citizens. When hearing about the tragedy for the first time, he was furious and sad since very few people were aware of this. Right now, more people have heard about it. Due to economic reasons, however, the EU has not criticized the CCP for a long time. This needs to change, not just the EU, but also countries from across the world.
David Kilgour, human rights activist and former lawyer, believes that organ harvesting in China is a form of genocide that threatens mankind’s basic values and even the integrity of society. He hopes Canada would pass foreign interference laws like Australia to curb the CCP.
According to information from Minghui, over 4,000 Falun Gong practitioners have lost their lives to the persecution in China. At least 84 have died in 2020 alone. Due to information censorship and blockade by the CCP, the real number of victims could be much higher. Furthermore, a large number of practitioners have been missing in the 22-year-long persecution since 1999.
Adapted from Minghui.org: Politicians and Experts Alike Condemn CCP’s Forced Organ Harvesting
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