Doctor Calls for Breaking Silence on China’s Forced Organ Harvesting

Dorothy Li
By Dorothy Li
December 8, 2023Capitol Report

An expert has called for the international community to take action against one of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) most egregious human rights abuses discovered to date: forced organ harvesting.

Forcefully removing the organs of living prisoners—including those detained solely for their faith—and using them to supply the country’s sprawling and opaque transplant industry is known to have been secretly practiced for over a quarter-century in China, according to Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH), a Washington-based medical ethics advocacy group. The latest call from DAFOH’s executive director Dr. Torsten Trey to put an end to this atrocity was delivered ahead of International Human Rights Day on Dec. 10.

“When we talk about forced organ harvesting, we have to understand that we’re not talking about organ trafficking, but the killing of people to harvest their organs. And that’s a phenomenon that we only have seen in China,” Dr. Trey said in an interview with NTD.

“It started probably in 1984 when the Chinese government adopted provisions that allowed the harvesting of organs from executed prisoners,” Dr. Trey explained. “But then in 1999, we saw an uptick of the organ transplants, an exponential increase … the same time when the persecution of Falun Gong started.”

“But it was actually only in 2006 when we learned from whistleblowers that prisoners of conscience, Falun Gong practitioners, were the main source of forced organ harvesting.”

Falun Gong is an ancient spiritual practice consisting of meditation exercises and moral teachings based on truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance, which Dr. Trey said “resonated very much with the public in China.” By the end of the 1990s, Chinese authorities estimated around 70 million to 100 million people had taken up the practice. “It’s a peaceful, completely peaceful, movement,” he added.

However, for then-CCP leader Jiang Zemin, the practice’s surging popularity and moral teachings were a threat to the CCP’s dominance over daily life in China. The Party boss personally gave an order to “eradicate” Falun Gong in July 1999. Millions of adherents of the practice have since been thrown into prisons, brainwashing centers, and other detention facilities across the country, where they have been tortured in an effort to force them to renounce their faith.

While thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have been confirmed to have been tortured to death—the real number is suspected to be many times higher—investigations have revealed that a large, yet undetermined, number of adherents have suffered the forced removal of their organs in state and military-run hospitals across China.

Among those who sought to blow the whistle on this horror in 2006 was a former medical worker at a hospital in northern China. Using the alias Annie, she revealed how her ex-husband, a neurosurgeon at the same hospital, participated in the forcible removal of corneas from about 2,000 imprisoned Falun Gong practitioners from 2001 to 2003. They were all still breathing at the time of extraction.

In 2019, an independent people’s tribunal in London concluded that forced organ harvesting has taken place in China for years “on a significant scale,” and that killing on demand to supply the transplant industry continues to this day. The main victims, the tribunal said, were detained Falun Gong practitioners.

Even though the Jiang, 96, passed away last December, none of his successors have changed the Party’s stance on Falun Gong. “Forced organ harvesting has become almost like an ultimate solution to silence this group,” Dr. Trey said.

‘Break the Silence’

Despite mounting evidence pointing to the widespread use of forced organ harvesting in China, Dr. Trey said the CCP had launched a “sophisticated network of influence” to cover it up and prevent such information from reaching the public.

The international community, according to Dr. Trey, has failed to treat the regime’s gravest atrocity with the appropriate level of seriousness, pointing to “blatant economic pressure and political threats” by the Chinese regime, which he called “political blackmailing,” as well as its “sophisticated use of propaganda [that] has just created a misconception and a false representation of what Falun Gong is.”

“For the Chinese government, the incentive of forced organ harvesting is actually to silence and eradicate … Falun Gong.”

To put this grisly practice to an end, Dr. Trey said the best way was to “defeat the purpose” and “break the silence.”

“If everyone takes a moment to understand what Falun Gong is about … then speak about it, and also understand about the forced organ harvesting, and speak about the forced organ harvesting, we basically lift the concealed eradication to the daylight and that thus defeat the purpose of the [persecution].”

A virtual event to shed light on the forced organ harvesting will be held by DAFOH on Dec. 10, which will present a dozen of international speakers including politicians, experts, lawyers, journalists, and human rights activists, to share insights about human rights violations in China.

From The Epoch Times

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