UK Parliamentarians, both from the House of Lords as well as the House of Commons, have shown their support since the start of the persecution of Falun Dafa (Falun Gong) in China in July 1999. Many have spoken at debates, rallies, seminars and formally raised questions in Parliament. There have also been 15 Early Day Motions from supportive Parliamentarians and the Prime Minister has received 129,700 signatures of support from UK residents.
(As Part of European Parliament)
Although UK Parliamentarians are not able to make resolutions or declarations, the UK was part of the European Union until 2020 and had 73 Members of European Parliament (MEPs). UK MEPs supported the 2013 EU resolution against organ harvesting in China as well as written declaration 0048/2016 titled “Stopping organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience in China”. This was adopted in 2016 and states “There have been persistent credible reports on systematic, state-sanctioned organ harvesting from non-consenting prisoners of conscience in the People’s Republic of China, primarily from practitioners of Falun Gong peaceful meditation and exercises but also from Uighurs, Tibetans and Christians.”
Human Rights Dialogs with China
Although most European countries rely on the EU-China human rights dialogues to raise issues of human rights, the UK is one of two European countries that continues to hold separate human rights dialogues directly with China annually.
Recently, an amendment to the Medicines and Medical Devices Bill, that started in the Commons by Marie Rimmer MP, has now been debated twice in the House of Lords, with cross-party support. This amendment adds the origin and treatment of human tissue, including human organs, to the list of matters about which regulations may be made by the appropriate authority, in the context that informed, valid, uncoerced and demonstrably documented consent may not have been given for the harvesting of such human tissue and organs. In short, it is an amendment that calls on the UK Government to take action on the harvesting of human organs and human tissues from Falun Gong practitioners as well as other prisoners of conscience in China.
In January 2020, Lord Hunt of Kings Heath had a First Reading of his Private Members Bill “Organ Tourism and Cadavers on Display Bill”. Lord Hunt told NTDTV in an interview “People from other countries are paying lots of money to go to China, and almost ordering an organ by order, it really is shocking. My bill is a bill to stop people from the UK doing that.”
- PARLIAMENT BILLS
- Parliamentary Debates
- Parliamentary Group Statements
- Early Day Motions
- MP Statements
- Parliamentary Seminars
1. Parliament Bills
Medicines and Medical Devices Bill, Committee Stage (House of Lords, October 2020)
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath
“My Lords, the world is increasingly aware of China’s forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience. This horrific crime of forcibly removing the organs from living victims—the process leading to inevitable murder—has recently been found by the China Tribunal to be happening extensively. The organ recipient may have had their life saved, but at the expense of another innocent life. It is now a multimillion-pound commercial business in China, with wealthy Chinese officials, Chinese nationals and organ tourists receiving treatment in high-end recovery centres.
“Last year, the China Tribunal, chaired by Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, concluded:
“forced organ harvesting has been committed for years throughout China on a significant scale and that Falun Gong practitioners have been one—and probably the main—source of organ supply.”
and that: “In regard to the Uyghurs the Tribunal had evidence of medical testing on a scale that could allow them, amongst other uses, to become an ‘organ bank’.”
I point out to the Grand Committee the vast body of evidence of forced organ harvesting in China. Such evidence includes: detailed statistical analysis of transplantations and donations; numerous recorded undercover telephone conversations, including with well-known Chinese officials admitting to the practice of forced organ harvesting; legal and policy statements and practice of the CCP; advertisements and admissions of university and military personnel; incredibly short waiting times; and a large number of personal testimonies. The China Tribunal spent 12 months assessing all available evidence. Additionally, its international panel of highly respected individuals interviewed over 50 witnesses, experts and investigators, and formally invited representatives of the People’s Republic of China to respond. I do not believe it is sufficient for the UK Government to ignore this any longer.”
Baroness Finlay of Llandaff
“…This means that human tissue sourced from China—where people are imprisoned and tortured, and where organs are extracted and sold for profit, a process which kills the donor—can legally enter the UK and be used in medical research.
I too have met Sir Geoffrey Nice and seen the extensive evidence to the China Tribunal. Liu Yumei, an elderly Falun Gong practitioner, was originally arrested on 31 December 2000 in Beijing. Police officers threatened that if she did not give her name and address, they would take away her organs and her family would not find her corpse. She was severely tortured during her detention, shackled to a bed by her neck, sexually abused, electrocuted and force-fed urine mixed with rice and was forcibly blood tested by a prison doctor.
Many other tribunal witnesses underwent torture, blood tests and organ scans while in detention.”
“…It is appalling that Falun Gong and Christians are targeted as donors, although I hate to use the word “donor”, which suggests that the organ is freely and willingly given, whereas the evidence to the contrary is total. This amendment would urge the Government to introduce legislation to ensure that the UK is not complicit in this. I support my noble friend Lady Northover, the noble Lord, Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, the noble Baroness, Lady Finlay of Llandaff, and the noble Lord, Lord Ribeiro, who put his name to the amendment. If the Government do not support this amendment, will the Minister confirm that she will be prepared to look at bringing forward, on Report, a government amendment to stop this abhorrent practice?”
Lord Alton of Liverpool
“…Meanwhile, in a series of other questions, I specifically raised the plight of Falun Gong practitioners, 1 million incarcerated Uighurs, Tibetan Buddhists, house church Christians, underground Catholics, and a whole host of cases involving abductions, disappearances, torture, ethnic cleansing, executions and potential genocide.”
“…The connection with Dalian is particularly troubling, because the Dalian district of north-west China, and specifically Dalian’s public security bureau—the local police and prison service—is known for human rights violations, organ transplant activity and the persecution of Falun Gong. During the “Real Bodies” exhibition, the NEC stated that all bodies on display were “unclaimed bodies” which had been donated legally, but how could it possibly verify that? The connection with the PSB and unclaimed bodies used in the exhibitions had long been suspected and, in 2012, the chairman of the Dalian Hoffen Bio-Technique, Sui Hongjin, admitted:
“Dozens of corpses came from Public Security. They were procured by the Public Security Bureau”.
In China, the term “unclaimed bodies” can be interpreted in multiple ways. First, this can be a term for people who have died in hospitals with no known next of kin but, equally, it can be a term for prisoners of conscience who have, while suffering detention and imprisonment, refused to provide their real identities through fear of repercussions for their family and friends. Multiple investigations from different sources have concluded that large-scale unexplained organ transplant activity has taken place and continues to do so. In these investigations, the PSB has been documented as a key element between the prison and labour camps and hospitals performing organ transplants.
In June 2019, the China Tribunal referred to by the noble Lord, Lord Hunt, and others and chaired by the redoubtable lawyer, Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, a prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, said in a unanimous determination—set out in detail in his Gresham lecture, which can be watched online—that it was “certain that Falun Gong was a source—probably the principal source—of organs for forced organ harvesting”.
In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Sir Geoffrey said that the UK Government ignored continued organ harvesting in China to avoid acknowledging “an inconvenient truth”.
Along with others, I have urged the Government to be more committed to shining a light on this horrific practice, and to raise the matter directly with the World Health Organization—an issue which the noble Lord, Lord Collins, and I have both asked the noble Lord, Lord Ahmad, about. On 23 September, the noble Lord, Lord Ahmad, confirmed that a letter to the WHO had now been sent. I welcome that, but when I asked in an Oral Question for them to publish the contents of that letter, the Government refused to do so. So much for open government. I have submitted a freedom of information request to the FCDO. Surely, as a principle of transparency and openness, this correspondence should be in the public domain. This is a global issue with national repercussions. It is a global trade involving both Chinese nationals and foreign tourists using organs linked to abuse of prisoners, ethnic and religious minorities and prisoners of conscience, and with some reports suggesting that victims are killed on demand for their organs.”
“My Lords, I fully support Amendment 24. The issue of organ harvesting was raised in the other place and at Second Reading by me and other noble Lords. The ability to use human tissue in medicines and transplants saves many lives and is a great achievement of modern science. However, we need to make sure that the way human tissue is obtained and used is completely ethical. At the moment, we do not have legislation that properly stops organs that have been obtained forcibly or without proper consent from entering the UK. That is completely unacceptable.
We should be greatly concerned about the treatment of Muslim Uighurs and Falun Gong in China. The detention and persecution of these innocent people is a crime against humanity. Millions are suffering in
inhumane conditions. They are tortured and a great many have been murdered. Last year, the China Tribunal, chaired by Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, concluded that forced organ harvesting in China had been practised for a substantial time, involving a substantial number of victims. The tribunal also found that Muslim Uighurs were used as an organ bank.
The British Medical Journal found that 99% of studies that looked at organ transplants in China did not report whether the organs used were donated with consent. This is unacceptable and a disturbing violation of human rights. It is also illegal. Furthermore, The Economics of Organ Harvesting in China report found that large profits had been made from organ harvesting.
I appreciate that although the companies, including British ones, may not be directly involved with organ harvesting, they could be part of a wider system that provides devices, drugs, materials and know-how for transplantation. Sir Geoffrey Nice QC also stated that anyone interacting with the People’s Republic of China was interacting with a criminal state. If we do not have proper checks on human tissue entering the UK, we risk being complicit in this crime.”
“…The tribunal concluded that crimes against humanity had occurred, beyond reasonable doubt. The tribunal found that the market of human organs and tissue is a state-sanctioned project where, in many cases, victims who are persecuted for their beliefs are subsequently tortured and their organs removed while still alive. That is absolutely appalling. Evidence included recorded undercover telephone calls, some of which were at the very highest levels in the Chinese Government, including the Minister of Health and above, and which indicated the highest authority for this practice. A number of these calls indicated that human organs were available on demand. The significance of that is chilling.
We know that China, as well as many others, has aspired to lead in the field of transplantation. We have also heard from the noble Lords, Lord Hunt and Lord Alton, and others how lucrative this field is. Doctors from leading Chinese transplant hospitals admit, in undercover phone calls, that organs harvested from Falun Gong detainees are available. A Chinese government official who called himself “the butcher” compared live organ harvesting to “slaughtering pigs”. He said:
“After scooping the organs out, I would sell them.”
Four methods of live organ harvesting were exposed during the tribunal, including killing prisoners by removing organs, lethal injection and “Organ harvesting under the pretext of brain death”.
The tribunal concluded with certainty that acts of torture had been inflicted, particularly on the Uighur population.
Last year, the BMA medical ethics committee’s chair, John Chisholm, described forced organ harvesting as a “gross and continuing violation of inalienable, fundamental human rights”.”
Lord Collins of Highbury
“…In its final report, the China Tribunal concluded that:
“Forced organ harvesting has been committed for years throughout China on a significant scale”, with Falun Gong practitioners and the Uighurs being the main victims. As my noble friend Lord Hunt said, Sir Geoffrey Nice and the tribunal spent 12 months assessing all the available evidence. Additionally, the tribunal’s international panel of highly respected individuals interviewed over 50 witnesses, experts and investigators, and formally invited representatives of the People’s Republic of China to respond. Of course, Sir Geoffrey himself has an incredible reputation as the former lead prosecutor of Slobodan Milošević at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
Some of the other evidence I want to draw attention to is a study by the medical journal BMJ Open, and reported on by the Guardian, which raised ethical issues on over 400 studies conducted in China using an estimated 85,477 organ transplants. Of those studies, 99% failed to report whether organ donors had given consent for transplantation. The paper concluded that:
“The transplant community has failed to implement ethical standards banning publication of research using material from executed prisoners. As a result, a large body of unethical published research now exists, raising questions of complicity to the extent that the transplant community uses and benefits from the results of this research.”
As we have heard in the debate, the Government of the People’s Republic of China deny all such claims, relying on the fact that the WHO cleared them of wrongdoing. In June, I reminded the Minister, the noble Lord, Lord Ahmad, that 12 months earlier he had “shared my concern that the evidence on which the WHO cleared China was based on self-assessment” by the Chinese authorities. At that time, the noble Lord, Lord Ahmad, stated: “The Government’s position remains that the practice of systematic state-sponsored organ harvesting would constitute a serious violation of human rights”. He assured the House that the UK regularly raised these concerns with China. At the recent meeting with other noble Lords with an interest in this amendment that I referred to, the noble Lord, Lord Ahmad, confirmed that the UK had sent the full report of the China Tribunal to the WHO, asking it to respond to the evidence.”
Second Reading of the Medicines and Medical Devices Bill (House of Lords, September 2020)
Parliament hears All-Party calls for the Government to take action on the harvesting of human organs and human tissue from Falun Gong practitioners and other prisoners of consience.
Lord Hunt: Finally, I turn to the abhorrent practice of forced organ harvesting taking place in China today, and to the importance of ensuring that the UK is not in any way complicit in these crimes. In a letter to me last night, the Minister referred to the World Health Organization’s view that China is implementing an ethical voluntary organ transplant system. That is simply not credible, and in fact it is based on a self-assessment by China itself. A much more objective assessment comes from the China Tribunal, which concluded:
“Forced organ harvesting has been committed for years throughout China on a significant scale.”
At the moment, human tissue and organs can be imported into the UK from countries such as China without traceability, documentation or consent. Marie Rimmer MP tabled an amendment in the Commons to deal with this. A similar amendment will be tabled here and I very much hope that the Government will agree to it.
Lord Collins of Highbury
The UK has arguably some of the most ethical and comprehensive consent requirements for human tissue in the world, yet imported human tissue slips through the net. It has also been reported that two UK companies supply organ-preserving devices to mainland China, which could explain how they are being transported around China.
I hope the Minister will heed the words of my noble friend Lord Hunt of Kings Heath and other noble Lords and ensure that the Government have the means to ensure that the UK is no longer complicit in the harvesting of human organs from living victims.
Baroness Northover: We simply cannot allow human tissue from victims of forced organ harvesting to enter the UK. We have become more aware in recent times of the treatment in China of the Falun Gong and the Uighurs.
If the Minister has read the report, he will know the tribunal concludes that crimes against humanity have been committed against these groups beyond reasonable doubt.
As the noble Lord, Lord Hunt, noted:
“Forced organ harvesting has been committed for years throughout China on a significant scale and that Falun Gong practitioners have been one – and probably the main – source of organ supply.”
The Human Tissue Act 2004 has strict requirements for tissue sourced within the UK, but it does not restrict imported tissue in this way. That gap must now be filled if we are to maintain that the UK has the highest standards in this area. The Minister will be hearing the signs of cross-party support, and I trust that the forthcoming amendment will be immediately accepted by the Government. That is clearly right, but it is also vital if the UK is to remain a leader in the life sciences field.
Like others, I would like to see the Bill tackle the misuse of human tissue and organs. In the letter sent yesterday by the Minister, he says the “government takes these allegations seriously and we continue to monitor all available evidence”, but monitoring is simply not enough.
Human tissue from abroad has no consent or traceability requirements to enter the UK, nor do we prohibit commercial gain. However, we should do and this Bill gives us the opportunity to do it.
Baroness Butler-Sloss: My Lords, I will raise two issues, the first being organ harvesting. I propose to support the amendment of the noble Lord, Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, and the noble Baroness, Lady Finlay of Llandaff. Like other noble Lords, I am very concerned by the activities in China. There are other countries where organs, particularly kidneys, are also sold, and we should not be allowing them to be used in this country.
Baroness O’Loan: There has been a reference to the work of the China Tribunal and to reports of a state-run programme of forced organ harvesting in China, the organised butchery of living people to sell body parts, which the China Tribunal compared to the “worst atrocities committed in conflicts of the 20th century.”
We know that Uighurs, Falun Gong practitioners and others are being killed and subjected to forced organ harvesting.
… It is profoundly important that this Bill provides for proper regulation. We can provide regulation to prevent companies being empowered and enriched by the mass crimes that may be facilitated elsewhere. This will show the People’s Republic of China and the Chinese Communist Party that the balance between human rights and commerce will change.
Baroness Finlay of Llandaff: Regarding China’s organ harvesting and experimentation on detained citizens, the Minister wrote to me last night, citing the WHO’s view as reassuring. It is not, as many noble Lords have already pointed out. Consent documentation for tissues from outside the UK is required only on an advisory basis. It must be statutory. There are now reports of Covid vaccine experiments in China being carried out on prisoners without consent. The UK cannot ignore increasing evidence of abuses, so I will co-sign an amendment to close the glaring gap. The Government can then prove that they really take this extremely seriously.
Response from the Government Minister, Lord Bethell: On China and organs, I have heard clearly the points of the noble Lords, Lord Hunt, Lord Collins, Lord Sheikh and Lord Alton, the noble and learned Baroness, Lady Butler-Sloss, the noble Baronesses, Lady O’Loan and Lady Northover, and my noble friends Lord McColl and Lord Ribeiro on imported human tissue, the suggested role of British firms in enabling this trade, the plight of the Falun Gong and the Uighurs, and potential forced organ donors. As the noble Lord, Lord Alton, put very clearly, the idea that British companies are profiting from these trades is abhorrent.
Parliament hears All-Party calls for the Government to take action on the harvesting of human organs and human tissue from Falun Gong practitioners, Uighur Muslims and other religious minorities, and political dissident. Details of an amendment tabled to the Medicines and Medical Devices Bill
Medicines and Medical Devices Bill, Report Stage (House of Commons)
Marie Rimmer MP : “Amendment 19 would empower the appropriate authority to make provisions for the process of developing or manufacturing medicines in relation to the origin and treatment of human organs. This is necessary because of the actions by the Chinese Government in Beijing. The China tribunal, headed up by Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, launched the first independent legal analysis of all evidence relating to organ harvesting in China and found beyond reasonable doubt that forcible organ harvesting was taking place. China was invited to provide evidence to this tribunal but failed to do so.”
“Further, a study by the medical journal BMJ Open has raised ethical issues on over 400 Chinese medical studies, and there is clear evidence that China is abusing the human rights, including the right to life, of Uyghurs, practitioners of Falun Gong, conscientious objectors and political prisoners. There is no reason to believe that China is not also experimenting on such prisoners without consent and then harvesting organs to examine the results of such experiments and we must protect the UK health system from being morally compromised by this.”
“..The importing of human body tissue for medical research does not require any consent or traceability—it is only advised, not required—meaning that human tissue from countries like China can legally be imported to the UK for the purpose of medical research without traceability, documentation or consent. Imported human body tissue for use in medicines requires traceability from donor to recipient. Although technically consent documentation does not legally require consent, in reality it would be difficult to demonstrate donor selection requirements without it.”
“Without my amendment, we have no assurance that harvested organs cannot find their way into our national health service. Although the legislation and regulations provide guidance, it is just that: guidance. Why should we not want to make it clear that harvested organs will not find their way into this country? International checks on the system are failing, with the World Health Organisation’s assessment of the Chinese organ transplant system actually being one of self-assessment, as stated by the WHO to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Thus, the regime breaking the ethical standards is also assessing whether it meets them.”
“The British Medical Association has called on the Government “to reconsider its position on this issue in light of the findings of the Tribunal”. My amendment would empower the Government to do just that and close the hole in the existing legislation. It aims not to shut down the trade in medicines between the United Kingdom and China, but to ensure that it is ethical. It would not force the Government to implement the regulations now; it would merely empower them and the relevant authorities to take the steps necessary to regulate on this issue, when and if they are prepared to do so.”
“I do not intend to push my amendment to a Division today, although frankly, I should not have to: the moral and practical case is as clear as day, and the Government should accept it. It seems that they will not do so at this stage, but they should when the Bill is debated in the other place. I want to make it abundantly clear that I will not let this matter lie. A growing group of cross-party parliamentarians, both here and in the other place, are determined to stop this from happening. We now need the Government to do their bit. I will leave it there.”
Medicines and Medical Devices Bill, Committee Stage (House of Commons)
Marie Rimmer “I beg to move amendment 1, in clause 2, page 2, line 23, at end, insert—
“(o) the origin and treatment of human organs used in the process of developing or manufacturing medicines”.
This amendment empowers the appropriate authority to make provisions on the process of developing or manufacturing medicines in relation to the origin and treatment of human organs.
It is a pleasure to serve in Committee under your chairmanship, Mr Davies. The purpose of the amendment is to empower the Government to make regulations providing for the treatment of human organs in the development of the manufacturing of medicines. This is necessary due to the actions of the Chinese Government in Beijing.
The China tribunal launched the first independent legal analysis of all evidence related to organ harvesting in China. The tribunal is headed by Sir Geoffrey Nice, QC, who served as the lead prosecutor of Slobodan Milošević. It stated:
“Forced organ harvesting has been committed for years throughout China on a significant scale”.
I have forwarded copies of this document to all members of the Committee. I am trying to be as transparent as possible—this is not about trying to kid or trick on our commitment. I am sure that people in the country would agree. All members have copies, which I sent out over the weekend. I have given a short version of what the independent public tribunal said. Clearly, on the second page, it stated:
“Forced organ harvesting has been committed for years throughout China on a significant scale and that Falun Gong practitioners have been one—and probably the main—source of organ supply. The concerted persecution and medical testing of the Uyghurs is more recent, and it may be that evidence of forced organ harvesting of this group may emerge in due course.
The Tribunal has had no evidence that the significant infrastructure associated with China’s transplantation industry has been dismantled and absent a satisfactory explanation as to the source of readily available organs concludes that forced organ harvesting continues till today.”
There is therefore clear evidence that China is conducting medical testing on organs forcibly harvested from Uighurs, the Falun Gong, conscientious objectors and political prisoners. Indeed, a study by medical journal The BMJ raised ethical issues about more than 400 Chinese medical studies. The harvesting of organs from those people not only is an abhorrent act in and of itself, but often involves forced brain damage and vegetation of the person involved, of course leading to their eventual death.
Those papers that I sent to all Committee members refer to a debate in the House of Lords on 2 March, which raised the issue of the tribunal on forced organ harvesting in China. On that harvesting, Lord Alton commented that the “organised butchery of living people compares to ‘the worst atrocities committed in conflicts of the 20th century’, including the gassing of Jews by the Nazis and the Khmer Rouge massacres in Cambodia”.
The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office informed the UK House of Lords that the World Health Organisation, which previously advised that China’s transplant system is ethical, responded:
“The evidence that it uses is based on the self-assessment made by the country that is a signatory, and in this case that is China.”
That comes from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The British Medical Association calls on the Government to reconsider their position on this issue in the light of the findings of the tribunal, and to use their influence with the international community to ensure that a full, proper investigation takes place.
We therefore need to take the necessary steps to protect the United Kingdom’s healthcare system from being morally compromised through an injection of Chinese medicines developed in a way that breaches some of the most basic human rights. This amendment does not aim to shut down trade in medicines between the United Kingdom and China. Leaps in progress made for preserving human rights should be readily shared and traded across the globe. However, these leaps in progress should not come at the expense of innocent human lives, and we must do all that we can to ensure that this practice cannot be profited from.
By passing this amendment, the Government will be empowered to make regulations ensuring that medicines supplied in the United Kingdom meet basic human rights standards with regard to how organs have been obtained in their development and manufacture. Any medicines that meet these standards and any other standards set by the Government will, of course, be welcomed into the United Kingdom.
This amendment does not force the Government to implement these regulations now; it merely empowers the Government and the relevant authorities to take the necessary steps to regulate around this issue when they are prepared to do so. I can therefore see no moral or practical reason why members of the Committee would not wish to see this amendment added to this Bill, and urge the Committee to consider it.”
Organ Tourism and Cadavers on Display Bill, First Reading (New session, January 2020)
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath’s Private Members Bill.
Organ Tourism and Cadavers on Display Bill, First Reading
Organ Tourism and Cadavers on Display Bill, First Reading
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath’s Private Members Bill.
Lord Hunt told NTDTV in an interview “People from other countries are paying lots of money to go to China, and almost ordering an organ by order, it really is shocking. My bill is a bill to stop people from the UK doing that.” https://www.ntd.com/bill-that-bans-traveling-abroad-for-illegal-organ-transplant-introduced-in-the-uk-parliament_396446.html
2. Parliamentary Debates
China Debate (House of Lords, June 29, 2020)
Lord Collins of Highbury: My Lords, the final report of the independent tribunal into forced organ harvesting in China described the practice as a crime against humanity. Last July, the Minister shared my concern that the evidence on which the WHO cleared China was based on self-assessment by China. What is the Government’s assessment now of the tribunal’s full report and what has been the result of the United Kingdom’s representations to both the WHO and the Chinese authorities?
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: My Lords, the noble Lord is quite correct: the final report was issued on 1 March, and we noted that the testimonies added to the growing body of evidence about the disturbing situation that the Falun Gong practitioners, Uighurs and other minorities are facing. The Government’s position remains that the practice of systematic state-sponsored organ harvesting would constitute a serious violation of human rights, and I assure the noble Lord that we regularly raise these concerns with China. We have also consulted the World Health Organization in both Geneva and Beijing, although it maintains its view that China is implementing an ethical system. We will continue to keep this policy under review.
Organ Trafficking: Sanctions (House of Lords, March 02, 2020)
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath (sponsor): My Lords, I welcome what the Minister has said and the action that is being taken to introduce the sanctions regime he has referred to, but he will know that I have recently been sent a report from the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong which shows that over 7,000 doctors in China are involved in the systematic killing of prisoners through the horrific enforced body harvesting trade in that country. Could he assure me that, notwithstanding what he has just said, the Government will nonetheless look sympathetically at taking action under these new provisions in order that these doctors are brought to book?
Hong Kong Debate (House of Lords, October 2019)
Lord Alton of Liverpool “Falun Gong practitioners told a parliamentary hearing how bodies have been turned into sources of forced human organ harvesting. An independent tribunal, chaired by Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, concluded that there is “incontrovertible evidence” that this has happened. We will hear more about this from my noble friends Lady Finlay and Lady Grey-Thompson. The Minister has the names of Chinese officials involved in this and other forms of persecution. Perhaps he will tell the House whether Magnitsky powers will be used to pursue those culpable.”
Baroness Finlay of Llandaff “In the early 1990s, Falun Gong, with its Buddhist origins and fundamental tenets of truthfulness, compassion and forbearance, was favoured by the People’s Republic of China. As it became popular, it was proscribed by the atheistic state, and adherents appear to have been systematically persecuted, imprisoned in labour camps without cause, tortured and an unknown number killed. They are prisoners of conscience, along with Uighurs, house Christians, and Tibetans.
Those of us in rich, vibrant societies cannot understand what the perceived threat is to the communist state from people whose philosophy is non-violent and peaceful at all times. Yet now there is extensive evidence that China has been killing its Falun Gong prisoners of conscience to remove organs for commercial human transplantation. I recently met Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, chairman of the Independent Tribunal into Forced Organ Harvesting from Prisoners of Conscience in China, whose judgment makes harrowing reading. That evidence-based judgment, delivered in June this year, followed the earlier interim judgment that:
“The Tribunal’s members are certain—unanimously, and sure beyond reasonable doubt—that in China forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience has been practised for a substantial period of time involving a very substantial number of victims”.
Is it possible that some doctors could perpetrate such crimes against humanity, even at times taking organs before the person was clinically dead? Shamefully, it seems so. The tribunal’s findings cannot be buried along with the bodies of the victims, so will the Government support the Bill of the noble Lord, Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, to cut off demand from any UK residents who want to participate in this transplant tourism?”
Baroness Grey-Thompson “As I researched this subject, I became aware of the work of Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, a distinguished prosecutor and respected expert in crimes of mass atrocity and forced organ harvesting. One could say that on the one hand that China has been at the forefront of medical developments, but we have to consider at what cost. In 2004, 13,000 organ transplants were carried out in China, but where are the organs coming from? It has been publicly known for many years and was reported on in 2009 in China Daily that approximately 65% of transplanted organs still come from death row prisoners. That brings me back to the work of Sir Geoffrey Nice. In the final judgment of the China tribunal, he said:
“Forced organ harvesting has been committed for years through China on a significant scale and that Falun Gong practitioners have been one—and probably the main source of organ supply. The concerted persecution and medical testing of the Uyghurs is more recent and it may be that evidence of forced organ harvesting of this group may emerge in due course”, and that, “forced organ harvesting continues till this day”.”
Baroness Northover “Most recently, we have had the report from the China Tribunal on forced organ harvesting in China. The chair of that tribunal, Sir Geoffrey Nice, is present here today. The tribunal on organ harvesting concluded that the,
“Commission of Crimes Against Humanity against the Falun Gong and Uyghurs has been proved beyond reasonable doubt”.
The noble Baronesses, Lady Finlay and Lady Grey-Thompson, laid out the tribunal’s appalling conclusions. Can the Minister say whether he has personally read the China Tribunal’s report? If he has not, will he go away and do so? This issue will not go away. If he has, can he say what action the UK Government will take on the matter, particularly as he is Human Rights Minister?”
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon “The noble Lord, Lord Alton, and the noble Baronesses, Lady Finlay and Lady Grey-Thompson, raised the issue of the Falun Gong and its practitioners. The noble Baroness, Lady Northover asked me specifically about the tribunal and I note the presence in the Gallery of Sir Geoffrey Nice. I had occasion to meet him recently to discuss this issue and I can assure all noble Lords that we are aware of the findings. A final report is still due but we are watching this space carefully. The noble Lord, Lord Alton, specifically has had various exchanges on this issue. It is not lost on us; it is an important priority and I assure noble Lords that I will continue, as Human Rights Minister, to keep an eye on this issue.
On the wider issue of religious freedoms in China, again raised by the noble Baroness, Lady Finlay, the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Salisbury and the noble Lord, Lord Alderdice, among others, I can assure all noble Lords that this remains a priority for both Her Majesty’s Government and for me as Minister for Human Rights. We have not held back. We have regularly raised the issue of human rights and religious freedoms in our expressions, statements and formal contributions, particularly at the Human Rights Council. I recognise the immense work that has gone on to address concerns around Falun Gong in particular. Equally, we remain deeply concerned—and have raised these concerns—about the persecution of Christians, the Uighur Muslims and other minorities within China and we will continue to do so.”
Uyghur Debate, House of Lords
Uyghur Debate, House of Lords
Baroness Berridge (Con): My Lords, there have been consistent reports from within these re-education camps that Uighur Muslims were forced to give DNA tissue and blood, and consistent allegations that Falun Gong followers have been subject to forced organ harvesting. Have we spoken to the Chinese about our worries about those tests and their purpose, and whether they are in any way connected to the recent worrying reports of rogue gene editing in China?
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: My noble friend makes some important points. On organ harvesting, I am fully cognisant of the issue of Falun Gong, which I know the noble Lord, Lord Alton, has raised several times. As my noble friend may be aware, Sir Geoffrey Nice conducted a report on this matter, the preliminary findings of which have been made available; the final report is still due. Foreign Office officials attended the launch of the preliminary report and will attend the follow-up meeting. On the other issues she raises, let me assure her that in all our interactions with the Chinese Administration, we have made it very clear that their actions are disproportionate, discriminatory against particular communities and, indeed, counter- productive in the longer term for China as it seeks to establish its position on the world stage. I assure my noble friend that we will continue to raise these issues through all avenues.
Debate in the House of Lords on China: Organ Harvesting – Questions on July 25, 2019
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Westminster Hall debate (House of Commons, 26 March 2019) — China: Forced Live Organ Extraction From Prisoners of Conscience
CHINA: FORCED LIVE ORGAN EXTRACTION FROM RELIGIOUS PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE
The debate was initiated by Jim Shannon MP.
Jim Shannon MP: “I beg to move that this House has considered forced live organ extraction.” …
“For years, human rights organisations have reported that the Chinese Government are complicit in forcibly removing the organs of religious prisoners of conscience to supply organs on demand for China’s vast and lucrative transplant industry. That horrifying practice is so terrible that it is hard to believe. A major world power—a permanent member of the UN Security Council no less—is treating human beings like commodities, like cattle, because they profess the wrong faith. Can any of us even begin to imagine living in a world where Government officials could stroll in, round up all the Christians in the Chamber—with respect, that probably includes most people here—and take their organs to supply to anyone who needs them? That is totally unacceptable.” …
Fiona Bruce MP: “Indications suggest that prisoners of conscience routinely have their blood type and DNA assessed, so that they can be made available for this tragic and sinister practice of forced organ removal. Indications suggest that specific groups are being targeted, such as prisoners of conscience and people of certain faiths, including Falun Gong, Uyghur Muslims, Tibetan Buddhists and House Christians. This is religious persecution and a crime against humanity —the crime of crimes.”…
“Will we once again hear the phrase ‘never again’ spoken with regret when eventually the truth comes out about this issue, as it surely will one day? It is not the case that nothing can be done. Our Government could inquire about the numbers of organ removals and their sources, as we have heard. They could reduce demand by banning organ tourism. … This is not a case of a few voluntary organ transplants; it is a case of alleged mass killings through forced organ removal, of religious persecution, of grave allegations of crimes against humanity. It cries out to be addressed. Those who fail to do so will one day be held to account.”
Afzal Khan MP: “I found it very difficult to learn about these graphic practices in China. I am simply appalled and disgusted by them. Credible research from multiple organisations, including the British Medical Journal, suggests that many thousands of people are being killed for their organs, particularly people in minority groups and most notably practitioners of Falun Gong—a peaceful, meditative practice—although Tibetans, Uyghurs and, potentially, House Christians have also been targeted for political reasons.”
“The allegations that Falun Gong practitioners, Tibetans and Uyghurs have been victims of this horrific practice are well documented and strong. The international community has strongly condemned organ harvesting in China, and action needs to be taken to end this abhorrent and unethical practice. The UN special rapporteurs on torture and on freedom of religion or belief have both requested that the Chinese Government explain the sources of the organs and that they allow them to investigate. There has been no response.” … “My primary concern is that people’s organs are being harvested because of those individuals’ beliefs.”
Patricia Gibson MP: “This barbaric, inhumane practice must end. As my hon. Friend said, the international community, including the UK—I hope that the UK will lead the international community on this, but I will settle for the UK being included—must leave China in no doubt about how repugnant this practice is to any country that has any sense of decency or places any value on the dignity of human life. There can be no equivocation, no excuses and no turning of blind eyes.” …“The fact that Falun Gong practitioners are targeted in this way in China goes to the heart of the matter, as the hon. Member for Strangford has articulated, because an attack on freedom of religion is an attack on all freedoms. The right of all people to worship their God in peace, however they perceive their God, is a fundamental right. The threatening of that right endangers the very basis of freedom, in the widest sense, as the hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton pointed out.”
The Minister for Asia and the Pacific, Mark Field MP: “We also have substantial evidence of incidences of persecution of other religious minorities, including Christians, a range of Muslims from different sects, Buddhists and Falun Gong practitioners. … The UK Government are deeply concerned by the situation. In the last year no fewer than three different Ministers, including myself, have raised our concerns about human rights directly with our Chinese counterparts when visiting Beijing or at various international and public forums.”…
“We do not just want to put laws in place. We want to ensure they are effective.” … “we will go back and try to look at things, particularly international comparators, to see how we can craft legislation that will be effective in the way that all of us would desire.”
“We shall continue to engage with China on a full range of issues, including human rights. … We shall continue to promote universal freedoms and human rights, and to raise serious and well-founded concerns with China at the highest levels.”
“It is rather important that all of us utilise our energies in any way we can to address the important issues raised today, which I know we will come back to. I hope Members will work closely with the Government—with the Foreign Office and other Departments—to try to ensure that the terrible scourge of involuntary organ harvesting is, before too long, firmly in the past.”
3. Parliamentary Groups Statements
IPAC Statement, July 2020
Statement by Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC)
On the 21st anniversary of the persecution of Falun Gong, the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC) issued a statement in support of Falun Gong. They condemned the crime of forced organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners and urged the world to help end the persecution.
IPAC UK members: Sir Iain Duncan Smith MP and Baroness Helena Kennedy
On the twenty-first anniversary of the persecution of Falun Gong
Posted on 20 July 2020
Twenty-one years ago the Chinese Communist Party began a campaign of persecution against Falun Gong practitioners. We take this solemn moment to remember also the Uyghurs, Tibetans, Christians and other religious minorities that have been targeted with increasingly severe repression and grave violations of human rights.
Over the past two decades the campaign against Falun Gong practitioners has resulted in the imprisonment of hundreds of thousands of its followers, where they have been subjected to some of the most severe forms of torture.
Particularly troubling are reports of the targeting of Falun Gong prisoners for their human organs. Evidence of forced organ harvesting in China emerged 15 years ago and an independent and rigorous legal project – the China Tribunal – last year found beyond reasonable doubt that this practice had been perpetrated on a widespread, state-sponsored, and systematic level.
Today we highlight the plight of the Falun Gong together with all religious minorities who have suffered from repression under the rule of the Chinese Communist Party. We remind the world of the depravities they continue to suffer, and urge the world to stand up and speak out for an end to such repression, an end to impunity, and for justice, accountability, human rights and human dignity for all the peoples of China.
Conservative Party Human Rights Commission (CPHRC) Report and Inquiry in Parliament (July 2016)
Fiona Bruce MP chairs the CPHRC which produced the report “THE DARKEST MOMENT—The Crackdown on Human Rights in China, 2013-16” which includes the persecution of Falun Gong as well as a separate section on Organ Harvesting in China. Further, Ms Bruce also led a hearing in Parliament specifically on the subject of forced organ harvesting in China, inviting David Matas, Ethan Gutmann, Anastasia Lin and Enver Tohti to give evidence.
The CPHRC Organ Harvesting Report concluded, “The evidence received by the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission should require all of us, and particularly Her Majesty’s Government, to ask some serious questions and to urgently seek ways to investigate and stop this barbaric practice.”
4. Early Day Motions
EDM 766, 21 July 2020 — 21st Anniversary of the suppression of the Falun Gong
Early Day Motion 766: 21 July 2020
21st Anniversary of the suppression of the Falun Gong
Sponsor: Jim Shannon MP (Link)
That this House notes with great sadness the 21st Anniversary of the suppression of the Falun Gong; further notes the horrific organ harvesting that continues to take place with the knowledge of the Chinese Government; expresses our condemnation of this persecution and support for the Falun Gong and their right to practise their faith without fear; and urges the Government to raise this issue again with the Chinese Government and consider sanctions to impose travel bans and asset freezes against those involved in serious human rights violations in China against the Falun Gong.
Medicines and Medical Devices Bill, Second Reading (House of Commons, March 2020)
Marie Rimmer MP “We cannot sacrifice the health, rights and dignity of other human beings just to gain medicines for people in our country. When we look to China, for example, we see that the evidence supplied by the independent China tribunal, which was released in full yesterday, overwhelmingly shows that organs have been harvested from unwilling political prisoners and prisoners of conscience such as members of Falun Gong and the Uyghur Muslims.”
Jim Shannon MP “It is important that is put on the record. There was a question in the other place today on this very issue of organ harvesting. The hon. Lady and I, like others in this House, recognise that commercial organ harvesting is happening in China. Is it not important for our Government, and for all responsible Ministers, to contact the Chinese authorities directly to ensure that organ harvesting does not take place? It is not just the Uyghur Muslims but Christians and those of other ethnic minorities, too. They are all being discriminated against for being alive.”
Marie Rimmer “The China tribunal report was issued yesterday, and it clearly states that organ harvesting is being done in a commercial, business-like manner. It is absolutely horrendous. People are being taken into prison for nothing, and their DNA is taken. A doctor who now drives an Uber taxi in London was forced to remove the liver and kidneys of a Uyghur Muslim while he was still living, which is horrendous. I and a number of others intend to get this resolved. We must ensure that medicines entering the United Kingdom have not been tested on or developed using those organs or any other human rights abuses, and I am sure the Government are aligned with me on this issue.”
EDM 677, 12 December 2017 — FALUN GONG AND HARVESTING ORGANS
EDM (Early Day Motion) 677: 12 December 2017 (33 supporters)
FALUN GONG AND HARVESTING ORGANS
Sponsor: Jim Shannon MP
That this House calls on the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to condemn the persecution of Falun Gong and the crime of harvesting organs from Falun Gong practitioners and other prisoners of conscience in China.
EDM 2138, March 04, 2019 — FORCED LIVE ORGAN EXTRACTION FROM PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE IN CHINA
EDM (Early Day Motion) 2138: 04 March 2019 (53 Supporters)
FORCED LIVE ORGAN EXTRACTION FROM PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE IN CHINA
Sponsor: Fiona Bruce MP
That this House notes with concern, allegations of forced organ harvesting in China and associated reports of suppression, persecution, torture and mass arbitrary imprisonment faced by religious and ethnic minority groups including Tibetans, Christians, Uyghurs, and practitioners of the traditional Chinese meditation Falun Gong, that includes allegations of forced live organ extraction; acknowledges the interim judgement of the ongoing China Tribunal, chaired by Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, that such reports are beyond reasonable doubt, that in China forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience has been practised for a substantial period of time involving a very substantial number of victims; notes that ltaly, Spain, Israel and Taiwan have introduced legislation banning their citizens from participating in organ tourism, and the Canadian Senate and Parliament have also approved similar legislation; urges the UK Government to prohibit UK citizens from travelling to China for the purpose of receiving organ transplants; and calls on the UK Government to give urgent consideration to other measures it could take to hold China to account for this alleged practice and to condemn it in the highest possible terms.
EDM 1814, July 03 2009 — Religious Freedom in China
EDM (Early Day Motion) 1814: 03 July 2009 (77 Supporters)
RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IN CHINA
Sponsor: David Howarth MP
That this House notes the Chinese government’s systematic persecution of those peacefully expressing their beliefs, including detention without trial, torture and judicial execution; further notes, in particular, that July 2009 marks the tenth year of the use of these measures against Falun Gong practitioners; further notes the Vice-President of the European Parliament’s request to the UN Secretary General to initiate an inquiry into this issue; and calls on the Government to support unequivocally the Vice President’s call for an inquiry, and to make representations to the UN Secretary General to that effect.
EDM 1167, March 01, 2016 — ORGAN HARVESTING IN CHINA
EDM (Early Day Motion) 1167: 01 March 2016 (15 Supporters)
ORGAN HARVESTING IN CHINA
Sponsor: Jim Shannon MP
That this House calls on the Chinese government to end organ harvesting from all prisoners as this practice contravenes world medical guidelines; calls on the Government to work on legislation so that UK individuals and organisations do not unknowingly consent to the crime of human harvesting; and calls for the release of all Falun Gong practitioners.
Question for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
February 2020 (Statements?)
Lord West of Spithead: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the final judgement of the China Tribunal set out in its report Independent Tribunal into Forced Organ Harvesting from Prisoners of Conscience in China Final Judgement and Summary Report, published on 17 June 2019, which concluded “forced organ harvesting has been committed for years throughout China on a significant scale and that Falun Gong practitioners have been one – and probably the main – source of organ supply’, whether their proposals for new Magnitsky-style legislation will include known organ harvesting perpetrators; and if not, why not.”
Minister of State, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: “The Foreign Secretary has announced that the UK will establish a global human rights sanctions regime under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018. We will lay secondary legislation to establish this sanctions regime in the coming months. It would be inappropriate to comment on potential designations before these regulations come into force.”
Question to the Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (July 2016) (statements?)
Mary Glindon MP: Can the Minister tells us exactly what action he is taking to question the Chinese Government about their brutal persecution of those who peacefully practice Falun Gong, particularly in relation to the live harvesting of organs?
Hugo Swire MP: We have raised concerns about reports of organ harvesting, as well as about the torture and mistreatment of detainees, during the annual UK human rights dialogue. We will continue to do that at the next round. Equally we pay close attention to the human rights situation in China and we remain extremely concerned about restrictions placed on freedom of religion or belief of any kind, including Falun Gong practitioners.
Seminar in the House of Commons “The inconvenient truth for the UK government about China” (September 2019)
Sponsored by Jim Shannon MP. After nearly two years a people’s tribunal, which was chaired by Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, returned a final judgment regarding China’s treatment of prisoners of conscience. The judgment, published in June, stated that “forced organ harvesting has been committed for years throughout China on a significant scale and that Falun Gong practitioners have been one – and probably the main – source of organ supply.” The panel of speakers who will be talking on this subject include David Matas, Ethan Gutmann and Enver Tohti.
Parliamentary Seminar on the Persecution of Falun Gong in China, July 2018
Parliamentary Seminar on the Persecution of Falun Gong in China, July 2018
Jim Shannon MP, Chair of the APPG for International Freedom of Religion or Belief, hosted a seminar to mark 19 years of arrests, detention, torture and killing of Falun Gong practitioners because of their faith. The human rights abuses continue unchecked as China persists with its national policy to eradicate Falun Gong.
Seminar in UK Parliament revealing organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners in China
Lord Thurlow sponsored a seminar in Parliament with former Canadian Secretary of State, David Kilgour, and international human rights lawyer, David Matas, who presented their ground-breaking report on organ harvesting in China (organharvestinvestigation.net). The extensive report showed that the State was harvesting organs from Falun Gong practitioners in China on a large scale.
Seminar on Organ Harvesting in China
Hosted by Daniel Zeichner MP, the guest speakers were Ethan Gutmann, David Matas and Enver Tohti. Mr Zeichner said “…organ harvesting in China began to emerge ten years ago, with new evidence emerging and Chinese officials denying it ever since, but the new report contains more data proving its continuation.”
Baroness Finlay of Llandaff, a member of the House of Lords, was shocked to learn that organ harvesting involving such a large number of victimes was still going on in China. She felt that the UK and international society should take solid actions to stop the persecution. Baroness Finlay said, “It’s a terrible persecution that we heard about. People are risking their lives. I have a concern that actually all the Western nations have been too shy of putting into trade agreements, for example, that trade agreement depends on an agreement not to transplant tourists…We need to be bolder.”
Debate in the House of Lords on China: Organ Harvesting – Questions on July 25, 2019
Lord Collins of Highbury: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the Final Judgment and Summary of the Independent Tribunal into Forced Organ Harvesting from Prisoners of Conscience in China, published on 17 June.
Minister of State, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: The evidence provided disturbing details about the mistreatment of Falun Gong practitioners, and raised worrying questions about China’s transplant system. We continue to monitor all available evidence in this regard.
Lord Dholakia: Now that the tribunal’s report is available, will the Minister ensure that it is put on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website so that people travelling to China for medical tourism are aware of how such organs are secured? There seems to be no transparency on this matter. We have a proud tradition of respecting the human rights of individuals wherever they may be.
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: I will certainly take the noble Lord’s first suggestion back to the FCO. My understanding is that Canada, Spain, Israel, Italy and Taiwan have now implemented schemes on the very issue of monitoring people travelling to China for transplants. That is something I wish to explore further with Home Office colleagues.
Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, is the Minister aware that witnesses at last night’s inaugural meeting of the all-party parliamentary group on Uighurs expressed great concern that many of the Uighurs in detention centres—there may be as many as 1 million—along with Falun Gong practitioners and people from other minorities are being targeted through DNA tests, which they fear may then be used for the harvesting of organs?
Petition to help stop the persecution delivered to Prime Minister
On 20 July, multiple events took place in central London to raise awareness about the 20-year-long persecution of Falun Gong in China. A petition containing 90,000 signatures collected and delivered to the Prime Minister’s Office.
Parliamentarians show support for Falun Gong Rally in Parliament Square
Falun Gong practitioners held a rally on July 16 2019, in front of the UK Parliament to mark the 20 years of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) persecution. They also held a forum inside the parliament building to inform people of the brutality of CCP’s brutal persecution, especially the state-sanctioned live organ harvesting. They called on the British government and the international community to help stop the persecution. The Parliamentary supporters who came to show support or sent supportive messages were: Lord Hylton, Patrick Grady MP, Marie Rimmer MP, Baroness Lister of Burtersett, Caroline Lucas MP, Ian Murray MP, and Chris Stephens MP.
Seminar in Parliament marking the 20th year of persecution for Falun Gong
Jim Shannon MP hosted a seminar on 16 July titled ‘How the UK Might Get China to Stop Committing Crimes Against Humanity’ to raise awareness about the continued persecution of Falun Gong in China. Members from the House of Lords as well as House of Commons attended and the room was packed. The seminar covered the background of Falun Gong, the persecution in China as well as the recent judgment by the China Tribunal and current legislation enacted to combat organ harvesting.
Human Bodies: Commercial Exhibition Oral PQ
3rd Round Table Briefing on Forced Organ Harvesting in China, held in Parliament
This event took place in Parliament on Tuesday, 16th October 2018, hosted and and chaired by Jim Shannon MP. Evidence was presented from Lord Alton of Liverpool, Senior Medical professionals and leading academics.
The event was the third such event organized at the U.K. Parliament in the last 12 months. One of the issues on the agenda was the claim that the Chinese government is killing prisoners of conscience (particularly, religious minorities, including Falun Gong, Tibetan Buddhists, Uighur Muslims and unregistered House Church Christians) to supply the organ harvesting industry. The claims of organ harvesting in China are supported by substantial evidence from independent sources.
2nd Round Table Briefing on Forced Organ Harvesting in China, held in Parliament
Lawmakers in UK Parliament heard evidence from leading investigators at an April 17 briefing about forced organ harvesting in China. Among the nine speakers were Nobel Peace Prize nominee Ethan Gutmann, former Canadian Secretary of State (Asia-Pacific) David Kilgour, and Benedict Rogers, Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission.
“This is thousands upon thousands upon thousands of people being forced to hand over, unwillingly, their organs,” said Jim Shannon MP, who co-hosted the round-table with Fiona Bruce MP.
“In the room today, you had Conservatives, DUP, Labour and others who would hold positions as peers in the house,” he said. “We’re all horrified, totally horrified about what’s taken place.”
EDM (Early Day Motion) 173: 12 July 2017 (18 Supporters)
PRACTICE OF FALUN GONG AND THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST ORGAN HARVESTING
Sponsor: Patrick Grady MP
That this House notes the long-standing campaign against forced organ harvesting, and pays tribute to the sheer determination of all those who have dedicated so much time to bringing this issue to the attention of policy makers around the world; further notes that the Chinese Government has admitted that it has used organs from executed prisoners, and has claimed that it will phase out the practice within five years; is concerned that without a system of transparency and traceability in place, organs from executed prisoners, including from many thousands of Falun Gong practitioners who are prisoners of conscience, may still be used in this manner; notes claims by campaigners that Falun Gong practitioners continue to be subjected to persecution, arbitrary detention, unfair trials, torture and other ill-treatment; notes with concern reports that Falun Gong practitioner Chen Huixia was detained in June 2017 and, according to her daughter, tortured in detention because of her beliefs; welcomes Amnesty International’s campaign and efforts calling on Chinese authorities to immediately release imprisoned Falun Gong practitioners; and calls on the Government to raise these ongoing concerns when they meet with representatives of the Chinese Government.
Question to the Leader of the House of Commons
Jim Shannon MP:“On 25 July, we mark 18 years of brutality against Falun Gong practitioners in China. So many families have been destroyed and so many people have lost their lives for their faith in Falun Gong’s guiding principles of truthfulness, compassion and tolerance. Despite all its resources and the inside knowledge, China has not provided any information to show that the forced organ harvesting of prisoners of conscience is not happening. Will the Leader of the House agree to a statement or, better still, a debate on this important issue?”
Andrea Leadsom MP: “The hon. Gentleman raises a harrowing issue, which many hon. Members across the House will have been made aware of. It is certainly something that he should raise at Foreign Office questions, and it would also be worthy of debate either on the Adjournment or in Westminster Hall.”
Documentary about China’s Forced Organ Harvesting Screened at UK Parliament
The Conservative Party Human Rights Commission held a screening of the documentary Hard to Believe, a film that reveals the state-sanctioned organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners and other prisoners of conscience in China. Parliamentarians, medical experts, and human right activists attended the screening. Chair and deputy chair of the commission, Fiona Bruce MP and Benedict Rogers hosted the screening in Parliament.
Parliamentary Debate on Forced Organ Removal: China (October 2016)
Jim Shannon MP sponsored this debate in Westminster Hall, House of Commons on 11 October.
Mr Shannon opened, “I beg to move, That this House has considered forced organ removal in China.
This is a very difficult subject to talk about, but there are those of us who have followed this issue in China and listened to people who have come to the House to present petitions and speak to us about it. We have watched the film on the issue and had a briefing in the House as well. Many Members of the House have been vociferous and outspoken on the issue. I commend the hon. Member for Congleton (Fiona Bruce) for the hard work that she has done on it in the House. We admire her courage, tenacity and commitment to the issue. The rest of us will add our contribution.”…“today’s debate is not based on a horror story as we approach Halloween; it is not make-believe. It is a horror that is all too real in China. As it has been brought to our attention, I feel that we have a role to play in returning this scenario to the realms of urban legend. That is why the debate is so important.”…“Previous speculation that approximately 40,000 to 65,000 organs were extracted from prisoners of conscience is now seen as a serious underestimate, particularly as the number of Chinese hospitals that have informally confirmed the use of Falun Gong prisoners as a primary organ source continues to grow.”…
The Debate Pack (House of Commons Library prepared summary) states that “Successive UK governments have expressed concerns about claims of organ harvesting. They have done so in the context of the ongoing ‘UK-China Human Rights Dialogue’ and the ‘UK-China Strategic Dialogue’.”
The Speaker of the House of Commons, The Rt Hon John Bercow, hosted the premier screening of the film The Bleeding Edge in Speaker’s House. The film focused on the issue of organ harvesting of Falun Gong prisoners of conscience in China. The screening was followed by a panel discussion with lead actress Anastasia Lin, Ethan Gutmann, director Leon Lee and executive producer Jason Loftus. Prominent Parliamentarians from both houses were in attendance.
UK Falun Dafa Association and DAFOH Submit 11,000 Signatures to Prime Minister
The UK Falun Dafa Association and Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH) submitted more than 11,000 signatures on August 22, 2016, on a petition to the office of Prime Minster Theresa May, calling for the British government to help stop the Chinese Communist Party’s large-scale forced organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners and safeguard universal values.
UK Government Concerned about Human Organ Harvesting in China (April 2016)
The UK Foreign Office has expressed concern regarding organ harvesting in China. In a statement dated late March, the Foreign Office said: “The UK Government is concerned about the practice of organ harvesting from prisoners subject to the death penalty in China and reports of illegal trafficking of organs. We understand that some 600,000 people in China each year require organ transplants and that there is a great shortage of organs due to social taboos about transplants. We also understand that the Chinese Government has acknowledged the practice of organ harvesting from these prisoners and the trade in their organs.”
The Foreign Office said: “We are concerned about the use of such prisoners’ organs.” They also said: “Should we obtain other information in the future which substantiates the claims, we would certainly consider raising the issue with the Chinese authorities.”
The Foreign Office expressed a supportive view: “The Government continues to have concerns about human rights abuses against Falun Gong adherents in other contexts and will continue to raise those on appropriate occasions with the Chinese authorities.”
Question for the Secretary of State of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (November 2015) (Statement?)
Tom Brake MP:“The Minister will recall that in an exchange on 22 October he confirmed that China is ready to co-operate with the UK and other countries in the area of human rights. Were matters such as Tibet and the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners, the alleged forced harvesting of organs, and the harassment of Ai Weiwei discussed with the Chinese President when he visited the UK?”
Hugo Swire MP:“The right hon. Gentleman credits me with almost total recall, but our position has been consistent. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary raised the issues of Falun Gong and organ harvesting with State Councilor Yang Jiechi during the UK-China strategic dialogue in Beijing in August. We have raised specific concerns about reports of organ harvesting on numerous occasions, including in response to a written question on 15 July.”
Rally in Parliament Square raises awareness about the continued persecution of Falun Gong (July 2015) (statements?)
Lord Hylton attended the activities on July 15. He said, “For a long time, I have been concerned about human rights in China. You are right on demanding those responsible for terrible abuses to be prosecuted and brought to justice. My best wishes!”
Daniel Zeichner MP said, “I’m very concerned about what’s going on. From what I heard, the persecution is ongoing. Especially the abuse of organs–deeply troubling.”
Ian Murray MP wrote: “We should stand together and confront persecution wherever we find it. Tolerance and respect are the pillars of a civilized and mature society. People should not be persecuted for practicing what they believe in. I hope today’s gathering sends out a clear message of solidarity coupled with the hope that things can be better in the future for all who choose to practice Falun Gong.”
Michael Ellis MP wrote, “I am sorry that I am unable to join you today at this rally. The freedom of people around the world to be able to practice their beliefs is important and is a human right that should be respected by all Governments around the world. The reported persecution of practitioners of Falun Gong in China is extremely troubling and I hope that amends can be made soon. I know that the UK Government often raise the issue of Human Rights with their Chinese counterparts and that this Government strongly supports the rights of all to practice their beliefs wherever they live.”
David Amess MP came out to speak with practitioners and show his support for Falun Gong.
Forum on China’s State-Sanctioned Forced Organ Harvesting Held in UK Parliament (November 2014)
Dr Julian Huppert MP and Ingrid Cranfield, Deputy Mayor of Enfield, co-hosted the forum. The speakers were David Kilgour, David Matas, Ethan Gutmann and Dr Alex Chen (from DAFOH).
Mayor Cranfield said, “Little by little, you have informed people about it [CCP’s organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners]. Once people are informed, they are likely to take action… For the evil to succeed, it only requires the good people to do nothing. Whatever little we can do, we should do. Every person can do something. It will bring a change.”
Questions in Parliament on Foreign Affairs – China (2013)
Dr Julian Lewis MP: May I congratulate my hon. Friend, not only on securing the debate, but on getting the tone right? I am sure that those of us who remember the era of Mao Tse-tung can see how gradually but significantly China has modernised and, to an extent, liberalised, but does my hon. Friend agree that the persecution of organisations such as Falun Gong and the repeated allegations of horrors, such as the harvesting of organs from people who have been executed, are still a stain on China’s reputation, which we must do everything, by increasing links, to encourage it to abandon?
Kerry Macarthy MP: There were also reports earlier this summer that China would soon begin
to phase out the use of executed prisoners’ organs for transplants. I am sure that the Minister is aware of the campaign about forced organ harvesting, although it is not in his portfolio. His views on that, and on restrictions on freedom of religion or belief, including the treatment of Falun Gong practitioners, would be interesting. The use of the death penalty and secrecy on the number of executions carried out in China are also matters for concern.
Mark Pritchard MP: My hon. Friend speaks with a great knowledge of history and makes excellent points, both on religious persecution of the Falun Gong and on organ harvesting. Both those things are wrong and do not befit a modern society in any country, in any part of the world. If China is to be taken seriously as a modern society that is listening to the international community and to its own people, it will take action to remedy both those issues. …
China needs to do far more to stop the persecution of religious minorities. Again, this is a contravention of its own constitution, international law and UN conventions. Many cases exist today of Christians, Buddhists, Muslims and others, including Falun Gong, being imprisoned, beaten and tortured. Churches and other places of worship, outside the heavily controlled state religious institutions, face attack daily.
From Roman emperors to Arab warlords and now, today, to China’s communist ruling elite, the Christian church has always been subject to those who want to extinguish its flames of faith, but that will never happen. It is communism that is dying the world over, not the Christian church. China’s ruling elite needs to get on the right side of history.
Screening of documentary, Free China, in UK Parliament Draws Wide Support (July 2013)
The first public screening of the newly released, award-winning documentary Free China: The Courage to Believe took place in the British Parliament. Members of Parliament (MP) and the public were visibly shaken by the stories portrayed in the film.
Neil Parish MP hosted and introduced the film. He said, “This film clearly depicts how Falun Gong is being persecuted by the Chinese regime in China. It also covers the issue of organ harvesting, which is just horrendous, and how thousands of innocent Chinese peoples’ lives are being affected.”
“It is a very powerful film. It also shows real people and the problems that they’ve encountered,” he explained. “Like the mother who was so badly persecuted and her daughter who was so brainwashed that she thought that Falun Gong was evil. And it just shows you that when you have a totalitarian state, it can actually turn people’s minds against an innocent group of practitioners.”
David Burrowes MP said, “Falun Gong practitioners’ plight should attract worldwide attention. Our government should table the discussion to ensure that this evil [organ harvesting] is fully stopped. Falun Gong should be respected. They should be allowed to exercise their natural human rights.”
Seminar Held in UK Parliament: Taking Action to Stop Live Organ Harvesting (April 2013)
Ingrid Cranfield MP hosted the seminar and pointed out that the Chinese regime’s persecution of Falun Gong practitioners, especially the crime of live organ harvesting, is none other than a typical sign of genocide: “It’s a human rights issue and it has many features in common with genocide and mass murders elsewhere in the world. You first make sure those people who are your enemy or threaten you are not regarded as human any more with propaganda. And if they are not human, it’s ok to kill them. Isn’t it?”
EDM 160, June 11 2012 — Falun Gong
EDM (Early Day Motion) 160: 11 June 2012 (28 Supporters)
Sponsor: Dr Julian Huppert MP
That this House notes the 13th anniversary on 20 July 2012 of the start of the persecution of Falun Gong in China; calls for the release from detention and imprisonment of all Falun Gong practitioners held for peaceful practice of their beliefs; recognises that the Chinese government divides people by class, politics, religion and economic backgrounds; and expresses its concern about this infringement of human rights.
Practitioners Deliver Petition to the Prime Minister’s Office (July 2011)
UK Falun Gong practitioners delivered 20,000 signatures to Prime Minister David Cameron which were collected across the UK over the past year, calling on the UK government and the general public to learn the facts, show concern over the CCP’s crimes against humanity, and join efforts to stop the persecution of Falun Gong in China.
Conservative Party Human Rights Commission (CPHRC) Inquiry on Religious Freedom (June 2011)
Chaired by Nicola Blackwood MP, the CPHRC held a hearing in Parliament inviting Human Rights NGOs to give evidence on violations. UK Falun Gong practitioners were invited and gave evidence. The resulting report by CPHRC is titled “The Freedom to Believe, Protecting and Promoting Article 18” which outlined China’s inability to recognise religious freedom and recommended “To follow the example of the US and Australian governments by specifically calling for an end to the persecution of Falun Gong.”
EDM 1862, June 07 2011 — Falun Gong No. 2
EDM (Early Day Motion) 1862: 07 June 2011 (18 Supporters)
FALUN GONG (No. 2)
Sponsor: Dr Julian Huppert MP
That this House notes the12th anniversary on 10 July 2011 of the start of the persecution of Falun Gong in China; calls for the release from detention and imprisonment of all Falun Gong practitioners held for peaceful practice of their beliefs; recognises that the Chinese government divides people by class, politics, religion and economic backgrounds; and expresses its concern about this infringement of human rights.
EDM 544, July 19 2010 — Falun Gong
EDM (Early Day Motion) 544: 19 July 2010 (22 Supporters)
Sponsor: Dr Julian Huppert MP
That this House notes the 11th anniversary on 20 July 2010 of the start of the persecution of Falun Gong in China; calls for the release from detention and imprisonment of all Falun Gong practitioners held for peaceful practice of their beliefs; recognises that the Chinese government divides people by class, politics, religion and economic backgrounds; and expresses its concern about this infringement of human rights.
Conservative Party Human Rights Commission annual report (2008)
In the section on Freedom of Religion, the 2008 report states “Falun Gong has been banned in China, and practitioners have faced severe persecution. Many have been sentenced to re-education through labour, and an independent investigation carried out by Canadian legal experts David Kilgour and David Matas in 2006 suggests that reports of organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners are true.”
Over 30 UK Parliamentarians Sign a Petition Calling for the Freedom of Wenjian Liang (May 2007) — WHAT?
A total of 34 UK MPs, Lords, and MEPs have signed a petition calling for the freedom of Wenjian Liang, who together with her husband Zhiyong Lin, were sent to labor camps in Guangzhou China in March 2007 for “illegal gathering” with six other Falun Gong practitioners in her own home.
David Cameron MP’s office, Leader of the Conservative Party, wrote, “He was horrified to learn of the imprisonment of your sister and her husband and absolutely understands your concerns over this. David believes that respect for human rights in China continues to be a matter of serious concern. The detention and harassment of democracy activists, religious practitioners and Falun Gong adherents runs contrary to international human rights standards, and he is aware that religious beliefs, freedoms of association, expression and of media are systematically curtailed in the People’s Republic.”
Grand Parade Held in London to Stop the CCP’s Atrocities (August 2006) (statements?)
Several Members of the European Parliament and the British Parliament sent statements or letters to express their support for Falun Gong practitioners and to wish them great success in the activities. In his statement, Edward McMillan-Scott, Vice President of the European Parliament, said that the Chinese Communist regime’s evil atrocity of systematically harvesting and selling organs from living Falun Gong practitioners for profit is indeed extremely despicable and shameless. He said that the U.N. should conduct an investigation into these allegations. Helmer Roger, Member of the European Parliament, said that the Chinese Communist regime’s persecution and torture against Falun Gong practitioners is extremely shameless, and that only after the CCP allows freedom of belief, can it be accepted and respected by the international community.
EDM 966, November 08 2005 — Religious Freedom in China
EDM (Early Day Motion) 966: 08 November 2005 (84 Supporters)
RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IN CHINA
Sponsor: David Howarth MP
That this House calls on the Chinese government to release from detention and incarceration all Falun Gong practitioners and all others held for the peaceful expression or practice of their beliefs, to permit the resumption of free public and private religious practice, including that of Falun Gong practitioners, to desist from all discrimination in access to public services and employment against Falun Gong practitioners, to abolish the system of re-education through labour of religious believers, and to remove from its criminal code all provisions criminalising peaceful religious organisations; and urges the Chinese government to implement the recommendations of the UN Committee Against Torture, to allow domestic and foreign human rights observers to attend criminal trials, and to revise regulations that effectively censor the media and the internet and that interfere with the freedom to seek, receive and impart information in accordance with international human rights standards.
In November 2005, a seminar was held in UK Parliament sponsored and chaired by Lord Thurlow with Former Chinese diplomat Chen Yonglin and former 6-10 Office policeman Hao Fengjun who defected to Australia, smuggling documents out from China. Chen claimed there are 1,000 Chinese spies operating in Australia alone. Hao said he left China after witnessing the torture of a Falun Gong adherent.
Falun Gong Practitioners Submit Petition and 8,000 signatures to the Prime Minister’s Office (September 2005)
In order to rescue Falun Gong practitioners taken into custody and persecuted illegally in China and also their relatives and orphans, on September 1, several British practitioners went to London to the British Prime Minister’s office, Tony Blair, at 10 Downing Street to submit a petition together with more than eight thousand signatures. They also presented a human rights report on Falun Gong by the United Nations.
Speech by Lord Thurlow, Former UK Under-Secretary of State, on World Human Rights Day (December 2004)
Lord Thurlow said, “In 1999, Jiang Zemin, overriding the wishes of his colleagues in the Chinese Politburo, introduced a campaign to suppress the innocent group Falun Gong for nothing but their beliefs, amounting to no less than 100 millions Chinese citizens. Suppression of people for their beliefs is known under international law as genocide. The Chinese Government is guilty of genocide and those who have introduced this horror that has lasted for more than 5 years must be brought to justice.”
EDM 389, December 14 2004 — Falun Gong
Early Day Motion 389: 14 December 2004 (97 Supporters)
Sponsor: Patsy Calton MP
That this House calls on the Chinese Government immediately to release from detention and incarceration all Falun Gong practitioners held for the peaceful practice of their beliefs, to permit the resumption of public and private Falun Gong practice, to remove all mention of superstitious sects, secret societies and evil religious organisations (Article 300) from the PRC Criminal Law, to abolish the inherently arbitrary re-education through labour system and to allow anyone who has been deprived of his liberty the right to a court hearing and process; further calls on the Chinese Government to re-issue invitations to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and the Special Rapporteur on Religious Freedom to visit China on terms consistent with their mandates, to permit domestic and foreign observers to attend all trials including those of Falun Gong practitioners as provided for under international human rights standards, and to implement the recommendations of the UN Committee against Torture; and urges the Chinese Government to revise regulations that effectively censor the media and the internet and that interfere with the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information in accordance with international human rights standards.
UK MPs and Lords Raise Their Concerns About China’s Human Rights Record
Ian Stewart MP said “I am concerned about repeated reports of human rights abuses … I urge the People’s Republic to exercise tolerance in relation to organisations such as Falun Gong.”
Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Minister, Bill Rammell MP responded “…we urge that the rights of Falun Gong adherents be respected.”
John Wilkinson MP said “… As people of a democracy, we believe in the right of people to exercise their religious faith, whatever it may be… for example, the Falun Gong movement should be permitted in the PRC. We hold such fundamental freedoms dear, not only in this country but in Europe as a whole.”
UK Member of the House of Lords Supports Lawsuit Against Jiang Zemin (2003)
Dr. Rudi Vis MP wrote to a practitioner, “Thank you for your letter of 11th July concerning the persecution of Falun Gong especially by the ex-communist leader Jiang Zemin. I was already familiar with the crimes and with the proposed lawsuits but it is always good to receive reminders of the crimes committed. I entirely agree with the content of your letter.”
John Thurso MP said in his letter, “It was very kind of you to write as you did on the 11th July about the continuing persecution of those practicing Falun Gong in China. It is an issue which I have recently raised with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and I am most grateful for the information you have provided.
“The leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, Charles Kennedy MP, expressed in his reply that he was most grateful for the letter regarding the lawsuit against Jiang. He assured that his colleagues and he in the Liberal Democrats would take the practitioners’ concerns and suggestions very seriously.” (Link)
Lord Moyne said, “Suing Jiang Zemin is a very interesting development to me. People can see now that even for a country like China, a leader could escape punishment for the crimes he has committed. But no matter how the case goes, it surely will raise the attention of the general public and media. Through the process, the Chinese government will see that persecuting Falun Gong does not get them anything; on the contrary, they are hurting themselves.” (Link)
UK MPs Concerned of Falun Gong in HK Under Article 23 Legislation (2002-2003)
Nigel Jones MP tabled a written parliamentary question to the UK Foreign Minister regarding “the Chinese Government’s attempts, under [the] Article 23 legislation to curtail the practice of Falun Gong in Hong Kong without consultation with the people of Hong Kong” and asked “whether this is in contravention of safeguards given to the people of Hong Kong when the territory was returned to China.”
The Foreign Minister, Bill Rammell MP, replied, “These concerns were voiced by many individuals and organizations, including Falun Gong. We are now studying the precise wording of the draft legislation.”
“It is vital for the future prosperity of Hong Kong that its people and the international community perceive this [compatibility of the Article-23 legislation with international covenants on human rights] to be the case… We shall continue to watch this crucial issue very carefully.” (Link)
Howard Flight MP exposed the Jiang regime’s pressure: “In June, matters came to a head when the Chinese Vice-Premier Qian Qichen was reported as saying that the Government of Hong Kong should get a move on with enacting article 23 … He claimed, however, that it would be illegal for Falun Gong members to retain links with Falun Gong practitioners outside Hong Kong–that is, on the mainland.”
Mr. Flight stressed, “A main concern is that the legislative proposals could potentially allow the Government to ban any organization of which the Beijing Government disapprove, where provisions in the area are not even specifically required by article 23 of the Basic Law.” (Link)
Oona King MP wrote, “I agree with the [UK] Government in opposing the Chinese suppression of religions and practices such as Falun Gong.” (Link)
Statements of Support Brian Jenkins MP, Glenda Jackson MP (2002)
(September 2002) Brian Jenkins MP said, “Freedom of expression and freedom of speech are basic civil liberties, which we should all fight to keep. When basic human rights are infringed upon we should all stand up and be counted. I will continue to support the practitioners of Falun Gong” (Link)
(August 2002) Glenda Jackson MP said, “I remain deeply concerned with the treatment of Falun Gong leaders and adherents in China. Such treatment is in direct contravention of provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights” (Link)
CHINESE EMBASSY AND CORRESPONDENCE ABOUT FALUN GONG PRACTITIONERS
Early Day Motion 1320, 15 May 2002 (47 Supporters)
Sponsor: Lynne Jones MP
That this House notes that the Chinese Embassy has circulated unsolicited material to honourable Members regarding Falun Gong; notes the discourtesy of the Chinese Embassy in failing to reply to letters from honourable Members in relation to human rights for Falun Gong practitioners in China which calls into question the sincerity of the message from the Chinese Ambassador in the document commemorating the 30th Anniversary of the establishment of China – UK ambassadorial diplomatic relations, that constructive dialogue on the basis of mutual respect and equality is the only positive way in handling differences; and calls on the Government to seek assurances from the Chinese Ambassador that points of concern raised by honourable Members will receive a considered response.
UK Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee urges the UK Government and EU to Table a Resolution Criticising the Jiang Regime at the UNCHR
(February 2002) The Human Rights Annual Report 2001 published February 2002 said that “The Human Rights Annual Report comments at some length, and rightly so, on abuses of human rights in China, including restrictions on the exercise of freedom of religion and belief.” (Link)
UK Parliamentary Seminar raising awareness about the persecution of Falun Gong
Lord Moyne said, “The fact that we are all gathered here today will no doubt be carefully noted by the Chinese Communist Government, and it is right that it should be. It shows that the actions against the Falun Gong excite condemnation in influential circles outside China…it is important that, in every country in the world, attention is drawn constantly to the disgraceful behaviour of the Communist authorities to people whose practices and beliefs pose no kind of threat.”
UK Parliament holds seminar to discuss the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China
Dr Stephen Ladyman MP, chaired a session organized by the European Friends of Falun Gong at the Houses of Parliament in the UK on the afternoon of February 27, 2002. The theme of the seminar is “China’s Human Rights Violation: How Europe Should Help Stop the Brutal Persecution of Falun Gong Practitioners.”
Iain Luke MP said, “We need to work together to urge China to allow its people to have the basic human rights in the free world.”
Sue Doughty MP’s Letter Supporting Falun Gong
UK Parliament Debate on Religious Liberty Mentions the Persecution of Falun Gong (October 2001)
Baroness Cox said, “Broadly, we can identify three types of ideology that are responsible for most contemporary religious persecution. The first is atheistic communism. … In China, the state permits religious practice only in state-controlled organizations, thus controlling their leadership, meetings and teaching. Those who refuse to comply pay a high price. Muslims, Tibetan Buddhists, the Falun Gong and Christians are suffering oppression. Tens of millions are believed to be suffering harassment, fines, detention, forced labour, ‘re-education’, imprisonment and torture.” (Link)
Early Day Motion 304: 24 October 2001 (62 Supporters)
MISS MINGHUI YOU
Sponsor: Iain Luke MP
That this House calls upon the Chinese Government to issue a passport to Miss Minghui You, the 21 month old daughter of two Chinese nationals currently resident in Dundee; notes with concern that Miss Minghui You appears to have been denied a passport as a result of her parents being practitioners of Falun Gong; and further calls upon Her Majesty’s Government to do all in its power to ensure that the Government of the People’s Republic of China upholds the human rights of all Chinese citizens, and all minority groups within Chinese society including those who choose to become Falun Gong practitioners. (Link)
UK Foreign Office Minister’s Letter of Support to UK Falun Gong Association (September 2001, Link)
The UK Foreign Office Minister, Denis MacShane MP, wrote to the Falun Gong Association (UK) on 13 September describing the actions of the UK government saying, “we have been deeply concerned at the treatment of Falun Gong leaders and adherents since the group was banned in July 1999. I would reiterate that concern and assure you that the Government follows events in connection with Falun Gong carefully, reviewing our policy on a regular basis, especially in the light of the numerous reports of harsh treatment in custody or during interrogation.”
“Through our policy of dialogue with the Chinese, we have made it clear that such actions are unacceptable and in direct contravention of provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which China signed in October 1998 but has yet to ratify. Falun Gong has been raised at the highest levels with the Chinese authorities. The Prime Minister did so with Chinese President Jiang Zemin on 19 October 1999. Robin Cook, when Foreign Secretary, pressed Chinese Foreign Minister, Tang Jiaxuan, in New York on 12 September 2000 for swift action to improve respect for human rights in China.”
“We also raise the Chinese authorities’ mistreatment of Falun Gong adherents during the regular UK/China human rights dialogues with China.”…“The Chinese authorities can be in no doubt about the strength of our feelings on this important issue.”
Audrey Glover, Head of the UK Delegation to the UN Commission on Human Rights (July 2001)
Audrey Glover, Head of the UK Delegation to the UN Commission on Human Rights, visited China in July and called on the Chinese authorities to cease the use of administrative detention, a system used against Falun Gong adherents, which allows for detention without trial. (Link)
Debate in the House of Lords on China: Human Rights (18 July 2001)
Lord Alton of Liverpool: “China systematically uses re-education centres and imprisonment for religious believers and political reformers. These include political dissidents, such as members of the banned China Democratic Party, and anti-corruption and environmental campaigners. Suppression of the Internet, arrests, detentions, unfair trials and executions, the imprisonment of hundreds of Buddhist monks, Christians and members of Falun Gong, and the barbaric treatment of women and children through the one-child policy, must surely cause each one of us to question how we can persist with a policy of business, sport, and aid as usual. “
Lord Hylton: “The Falun Gong came into existence from 1992 onwards as a result of the teaching of Li Hongzhi. He had studied earlier for 30 years under widely-respected Buddhists and Taoist masters. At first, his teaching was commended by the authorities. Outside observers consider that the teaching has given new hope and self-discipline to many people, especially to the rising generation, who found themselves growing up in a moral vacuum.”
“However, since 1998, the state has abruptly changed tack, without giving adherents of the Falun Gong the option of joining a registered association. The whole security apparatus has tried to suppress the movement with ruthless violence. No public or private practice of exercises and meditation is allowed. Tens of thousands of these people have been sent to labour camps, often without trial. They are also sent to prisons and mental hospitals, just as occurred in the Soviet Union in its latter years. Torture and beatings are widely used to extort renunciations. British, Canadian and Australian citizens have been violently abused when visiting China for religious purposes.”
“There have been some 200 known deaths in custody. Yet the persecuted–it is important to emphasise this point–have never responded with violence.”
This totally unacceptable state behaviour continues despite international protest, notably at the UN Human Rights Commission. Earlier this year, I took part in a delegation to the Chinese Ambassador in London with other Members of both Houses of Parliament. One cannot help wondering whether Falun Gong fell from favour the moment that its membership equalled, or exceeded, that of the Chinese Communist Party.
“The key issue seems to be religious toleration, whether for Christians, Muslims, the Falun Gong, or the Tibetan Buddhists. Will Her Majesty’s Government work steadily for this, remembering that freedom of conscience and religious worship are central to United Nations declarations and covenants? Will they seek the release of those imprisoned for their beliefs and religious activities? Will they ask for the abolition of registration as a means of control, and for the use instead of the criminal law against anyone causing public disturbances or harm to the common good? Finally, will Her Majesty’s Government ask for a new, nation-wide law in China for the protection of religious freedom based on international standards?”
Lord Desai: “ It is not wishful thinking to say that China’s inability to deal with the Falun Gong points to one of its system’s biggest weaknesses. If it cannot deal with 10 million or so religious, reasonably non-violent, people and if it has to take extreme measures to control the Falun Gong–as occurred in Hong Kong recently–the system cannot be all that strong. I believe that human rights abuses will be brought to an end in China through an internal upheaval.”
Baroness Amos, Foreign Office Minister:“The Government is not complacent about the dialogue process. We recognise that it has achieved little in terms of promoting positive change in Tibet and on the freedom of religion and the treatment of Falun Gong practitioners.”
“… We are deeply concerned about the treatment of individual adherents of the Falun Gong movement. We press the Chinese authorities at every appropriate opportunity to cease the maltreatment of adherents, in line with the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and we shall continue to press the Chinese to release adherents and leaders detained for political reasons.” (Link)
Support Letters from UK Parliamentary members: John Wilkinson MP, Dr. Stephen J. Ladyman MP
May 2001 | Link
John Wilkinson MP: “I believe that the Government of The People’s Republic of China has behaved disgracefully in discriminating against and in some instances persecuting practitioners of Falun Gong. I have already protested to the Ambassador of The People’s Republic of China about this and I think that the British Government has been far too uncritical of the Communist Chinese Government about this. I shall continue to support the practitioners of Falun Gong in The People’s Republic of China. It is a matter of fundamental human rights.”
Dr S J Ladyman MP: “I do of course support the need to protect Falun Gong practitioners and to ensure their human rights”
Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, John Battle, addressed the UN Commission on Human Rights
(March 2001) Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, John Battle, addressed the UN Commission on Human Rights on 22 March, he expressed the UK Government’s concern at the situation in Tibet, the continued detention and harassment of democracy activists, religious practitioners and Falun Gong adherents and the excessive use of the death penalty in China. (Link)
UK Member of European Parliament, Lan Hudghton MEP, nominates Master Li Hongzhi for Nobel Peace Prize
EDM (Early Day Motion) 1151: 14 November 2000 (16 Supporters)
PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA AND FALUN GONG
Sponsor: Lembit Öpik MP
That this House notes the People’s Republic of China’s apparent policy of opposition to Falun Gong practitioners, including labour, prison sentences and harsh treatment detention; welcomes the raising of these concerns with the Chinese authorities by Her Majesty’s Government and our European partners; and urges the Government to consider further initiatives, to underline the commitment of Britain to freedom of religion or belief in China, and to work cooperatively and considerately with the Chinese authorities to understand the rationale for their current position and seek ways to achieve progress regarding policy towards Falun Gong practitioners in China.
UK/China Human Rights Dialogue
A letter from John Battle, Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, stated”We expressed concern at excessive sentences against Falun Gong leaders, harassment of ordinary adherents and the treatment, including reports of beatings, of Falun Gong protestors in Tianamen Square on 1 October. Such actions were incompatible with the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which China signed in October 1998. We pressed the Chinese Government to abide by these provisions.”
Foreign Affairs Committee of UK Parliament Condemns Chinese Government’s Human Rights Record
The Foreign Affairs Committee of the UK Parliament on 30 November issued a 359-page report reviewing the UK Government’s relations with China. The report made many references to Falun Gong and included evidence from UK Falun Gong practitioners as well as reports from human rights organisations on the treatment of Falun Gong practitioners in China.
The report stated, “We conclude that Chinese practices in relation to religions and belief systems are not in keeping with Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which guarantees the rights to hold any religion or belief and to manifest it.”
EDM (Early Day Motion) 508: 10 March 2000 (19 Supporters)
MISS WENJIAN LIANG AND OTHERS
Sponsor: Alan Simpson MP
That this House notes with concern the removal without trial of Wenjian Liang (32) to a forced labour camp in Guangzhou province for two years; notes that her detention and deportation was based entirely on her being a practitioner of Falun Gong meditation and that she now joins some 3,000 other Falun Gong practitioners currently incarcerated in Chinese labour camps and over 35,000 who have been subject to arbitrary arrest; and urges the Government to support a resolution to the United Nation’s Human Rights Commission in Geneva this March and April which calls on China to end this indefensible persecution of its own citizens.