Czech Lawmakers Warn Against Medical Tourism to China for Organ Transplant

Czech Lawmakers Warn Against Medical Tourism to China for Organ Transplant
Chinese doctors perform forced organ harvesting in a still from a video. (Courtesy of China Organ Harvest Research Center/Screenshot via NTD)

Don’t travel to communist China for organ transplants because these organs could be forcefully carved out from living individuals.

That’s the message from the Czech Republic’s deputy minister of health, Václav Pláteník, following a public hearing at the lower house of the Czech parliament, where lawmakers and rights advocates discussed how to end the persecution of Falun Gong in communist China.

Falun Gong is a spiritual discipline that combines meditative exercise with moral teachings based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. The faith group has faced relentless persecution by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) since 1999, which includes mass arrest, detention, torture, and other abuses. Its tens of millions of jailed practitioners have been a prime target of forced organ harvesting.

A petition in Czech demanding an end to the CCP’s persecutory campaign of belief system has gathered more than 50,000 signatures, triggering the session of the Committee on Petitions in the lower house on April 23.

“We recommend the state authorities to pay sustained attention to the fate of the oppressed Falun Gong followers in China,” the committee for petitions stated at the event.

A resolution adopted by the European Parliament in January also condemned the ongoing persecution of Falun Gong, urging its member states to denounce CCP’s organ transplant abuses publicly and sanction its perpetrators.

The resolution also raised the plight of a German citizen’s father, who is currently held in a Chinese jail for his faith in Falun Gong. The father, Ding Yuande, has been detained since last May after a dozen plainclothes Chinese police took him away from their tea plantation without a warrant. Last December, he was sentenced to three years in prison. The EU resolution called for the immediate release of the man and other persecuted Falun Gong practitioners.

NTD Photo
Ding Lebin, whose father is held in a Chinese jail for practicing Falun Gong, spoke at a public hearing at the lower house of the Czech parliament in Prague on April 23, 2024. (Milan Kajínek / The Epoch Times)

At the hearing in Czech, Ding Lebin expressed concerns about the prospect that he may never see his father again, saying it’s possible that the elder Ding would be killed for his organs by China’s ruling party. “I am extremely worrying [sic] about the fate and safety of my father,” he said in written testimony that was shared with The Epoch Times.

Under the CCP’s watch, the practice of forcibly harvesting vital organs from living individuals for profit has been industrialized to staggering proportions and has added to the abuses of vulnerable groups, such as detained Falun Gong practitioners, according to extensive research, eye-witness accounts, and evidence that has emerged over the past decade-and-a-half.

An independent tribunal held in London and headed by Sir Geoffrey Nice concluded in 2019 that forced organ harvesting had happened for years in China “on a significant scale” and that killing to supply the transplant industry continues to this day. The main source of organs, the tribunal said, are China’s Falun Gong practitioners.

Czech officials condemned such abuses.

“The abuse of Falun Gong practitioners in the area of organ transplants is condemned not only in the Czech Republic, but in all parliamentary forums around the world. It is an unacceptable practice,” Eduard Hulicius, the deputy foreign minister, told the hearing.

Mr. Pláteník said the health ministry is aware that some European countries have adopted strict laws that aim to deter their citizens from traveling abroad to receive illicit organ transplants, especially from countries like China to combat medical tourism for organ transplants.

Israel is among the first nations to enact legislation that bars its citizens from engaging in this grisly practice. Israel’s Organ Transplant Law, which came into effect in 2008, essentially banned the purchase and sale of human organs.

NTD Photo
Václav Pláteník, a deputy minister of health, speaks at a hearing on the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong at the lower house of the Czech parliament in Prague on April 23, 2024. (The Epoch Times)

Several European countries, such as Spain and Belgium, have adopted similar measures. The Czech government is considering doing so.

Following the hearing, Mr. Pláteník stated that the Czech health ministry “warns against transplant tourism to China.”

“In addition to the health risk, you can receive an organ forcibly removed from a prisoner,” Mr. Pláteník said in a statement issued after the hearing. “In the Czech Republic, transplants are strictly monitored.”

The issue of the CCP’s crimes of forced organ harvesting has also been coming into growing focus in the United States. Three states have enacted legislation prohibiting organ transplant tourism.

The most recent one is Idaho, whose governor signed such a law on April 10. The House of Representatives also passed a resolution last year that would sanction people involved in the human rights atrocity.

From The Epoch Times

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