Human-rights affiliated site minghui.org, which covers stories related to both the beauty of and persecution of Falun Dafa, reported that on Oct. 27, the online forum titled “China – Forced Organ Harvesting and the Chinese Communist Party” was held at the Brussels Press Club adjacent to the European Union (EU) headquarters. Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), human rights lawyers, and experts called for an end to the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners and discussed matters of trade sanctions and broad human rights abuses.
Peter van Dalen, an MEP serving on the subcommittee on Human Rights and co-chair of the Parliament’s Intergroup on Freedom of Religion or Belief and Religious Tolerance, indicated that trade sanctions were a desirable tactic to apply when faced with such atrocities as forced organ harvesting of Falun Gong prisoners of conscience in China. He explained that without concrete action, “It’s too much talking about trade, about money, and not enough about human rights and the rights of minorities.” The co-chair further explained, “We do not want to attack China on sensitive issues like organ harvesting, but I really think we should, because organ harvesting is really a very blunt attack on basic human rights.”
According to The China Tribunal, an independent people’s tribunal headquartered in London and headed by Sir Geoffrey Nice, QC, the CCP’s forced organ harvesting has existed for many years, with Falun Gong practitioners as the main victims. The highly credentialed tribunal held a 6-day hearing in 2019, in which thousands of pages of documents and testimonies from 55 witnesses were reviewed. Nice stated, “The conclusion shows that very many people have died indescribably hideous deaths for no reason, that more may suffer in similar ways and that all of us live on a planet where extreme wickedness may be found.” According to en.Minghui.org, Hamid Sabi, a human rights lawyer and legal counsel for the China Tribunal, said he “found the findings astonishing – there is no doubt that organ harvesting has lasted in China for many years.”
Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong, is based on the tenets of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance. The practice has been persecuted in China since July 20, 1999. Massive roundups of Falun Gong practitioners took place on and after that date under the order of China’s leader at the time, Jiang Zemin, who colluded with the CCP to “destroy them physically, destroy them mentally, destroy their reputations.” Due to Jiang’s hold on the military and clandestine operations such as the lucrative, heinous organ harvesting industry, two subsequent leaders of China have been kept from holding full power and from being able to end the persecution of Falun Gong.
According to Minghui, 4,697 deaths from the persecution have been confirmed, but due to the secretive nature of the atrocities, the number is believed by researchers to be exponentially higher. Human Rights NGO Freedom House believes that, like the Uyghur Muslim population in China, Falun Gong prisoners of conscience have also been detained on a massive scale in labor camps and black jails. It is from places such as these that, according to the China Tribunal’s findings, organs are sourced from live prisoners of conscience, with the primary source having long been from Falun Gong practitioners, known for their health and vitality. In recent times, organ harvesting from the Uyghur population has also greatly increased. Freedom House postulated that the CCP is following a “Falun Gong model” for persecuting other minority groups, including Uyghurs.
Although the EU had adopted a resolution condemning the CCP’s forced organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners in Dec. 2013, “it was silence all over the place” from that time forward, according to van Dalen.
The China Tribunal, in a Judgement released in 2020, commented that expressing doubt about accusations was used by governments of the world for “justifying their doing nothing to save those who were in due course to be killed to order.”
However, the CCP’s own actions forced the hand of the EU to defend itself recently. After EU politicians suggested that the CCP’s treatment of the Uyghurs was committing genocide, the CCP ordered retaliatory sanctions against EU politicians. In response, the EU suspended its investment plan with China.
In this climate, van Dalen welcomed the decision, according to minghui.org. He felt that pressure related to trade could give the EU leverage to stop the abuses. “We should use this as a whip stick to make clear to China that the violation of human rights is important,” he said.
Van Dalen warned business people and medical professionals to be wary of China, and for the EU to pay close attention to the country, especially to the forced organ harvesting of prisoners of conscience. The co-chair seeks to bring this agenda item back under the European Parliament’s radar.
Annick Ponthier, an MP from Belgium, said in an interview that forced organ harvesting is an important issue for Europe and that human rights should be safeguarded across political factions. She felt that van Dalen’s warning should be circulated among politicians and that together with her colleagues, she wished to be more vigilant about these topics.