As thousands of doctors from around the world arrived in Boston to discuss the latest developments in organ transplant, hundreds of practitioners of Falun Gong also arrived to share the latest developments in the investigation of the Chinese Communist regime's practice of selling organs cut out of living Falun Gong practitioners.
The 2006 Congress attracted six thousand transplant specialists- one thousand from China. For five days, Boston will be full surgeons, researchers- and Falun Gong.
The World Transplant Congress is the joint meeting of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS), American Society of Transplantation (AST) and The Transplantation Society (TTS) where physicians, surgeons, scientists, nurses, transplant coordinators, organ procurement personnel, and pharmacists from all over the world can have a forum to share in the cutting-edge research in the field of solid organ and tissue transplantation.
One of the most disturbing developments in the fields of organ transplant is the recent confirmation that the Chinese regime has been using arrested Falun Gong practitioners as a sort of living organ bank, keeping them alive in prison until wealthy customers from around the world applied for organs. Then prison officials scan the imprisoned practitioners' medical records, locate practitioners with matching blood types and antibody indicators, and, using only minor anesthesia, cut open the practitioner to remove the needed organ to provide it promptly and in good condition to the hospital.
Falun Gong is a traditional Chinese meditation and exercise practice that was banned in China in 1999 when its popularity far exceeded that of the Communist party. The ban was enforced by mass arrest, torture killing; countless Falun Gong practitioners have simply "disappeared." Until now, their fate was unknown.
Coincidentally, organ transplants in China tripled in the five-year period following the start of the persecution of Falun Gong. However, investigations by former Canadian MP David Kilgour and attorney David Matas revealed that the number of identifiable donors did not increase at all. Kilgour and Matas found that approximately forty thousand transplanted organs came from unidentifiable sources.
Earlier this year, several people from within China- the wife of a doctor at an organ-harvesting facility, a policeman, a surgeon , and others , came forth to reveal the existence and extent of the organ-harvesting industry in China, and the source of these new organs.
Doctors Discuss Organ-Harvesting
Falun Gong practitioners set up eight sites around the city where they demonstrated the Falun Gong exercises and distributed information about organ harvesting, including copies of the Kilgour-Matas report. Contingents set up exercise display sites and information centers at Harvard, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and in Boston's Chinatown. A larger group passed out information outside of Hynes Convention Center, site of the Congress.
One practitioner estimated that 90% of the doctors he spoke with accepted the information. "Several doctors told me that China wants to join the list of accredited Affiliated Societies of the TTS (The Transplantation Society) but they will never be allowed in, because of [the organ harvesting.]"
Some doctors expressed worry that the respect that their profession has gained through devotion to saving lives could be soiled by news of doctors destroying life to make money.
As one foundation official explained it, some of these lawsuits have dragged on for five years already. The complexity, both legal and political, of suing foreign officials can sap the resources of the injured parties; the HRLF is designed to help in many different ways.
The HRLF was conceived and initiated about a year ago. It is now moving forward with raising funds, reaching out to concerned legal professionals, and amassing a staff to support all these people. HRLF has received a lot of support form individual lawyers, and will be contacting law schools and major law firms.
At the same time, HRLF is partnering with other major international rights groups.
"We are staffed mostly by volunteers right now," the official said. "Lawyers are giving up paying jobs to do donate time to help us. We have gotten a lot of support, pro bono, from some very successful human rights lawyers and we are getting advice from others.
"Because the Chinese regime has widespread influence, it might be difficult for some firms to support our Foundation publicly. Luckily, it is possible now for foundations and organizations to make donations anonymously, we expect that quite a few donations will come in this manner.
"Our focus is to bring to justice all the criminals in charge of or who have given orders to conduct torture and genocide against Falun Gong practitioners in China or around the world, and to help out wherever human rights are being violated."
Donations to the HRLF can be sent through two channels currently: One is through the Human Rights Legal Foundation, PO Box 5743, Sun City Center, Florida, 33571. The other is through the Friends of Falun Gong website; please earmark contributions "For HRLF work."
Shutting Down the CCP Organ-Harvesting Industry
Project Manager Mary Byrom, who is responsible for coordinating all the Falun Gong activities related to the Congress, explained that all their efforts geared towards a very specific goal: shutting down all the labor camps and prison camps in China. "The prison camps and labor camps are supplying the Falun Gong practitioners for the organ harvesting process. If the camps didn't exist, there wouldn't be a pool of forced donors, the hospitals wouldn't have lists of medical records with blood types and such; the regime wouldn't be able to find the people they need to kill to speedily fill their organ orders."
Ms. Byrom explained that while she couldn't detail all the channels through which the plan was being effected, there was indeed a strategy that was proceeding on many fronts.
"We have people contacting the American Medical Association and other associations, and the letters of support we have received say these groups are not just opposed to organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners, but also object to organs being taken from any prisoner, or in any situation where the agreement of the donor is questionable.
Ms. Byrom sits on the Board of directors of the Washington, DC-based Human Rights Legal Foundations (HRLF: see sidebar ) which is also interested in the organ-harvesting issue. The HRLF provides assistance to persons and organizations involved in Lawsuits with the Chinese regime or officials of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP.) The Foundation's lead attorney is Dr. Terry Marsh, a veteran of legal battles with the CCP; she was also lead attorney in the first lawsuit in the United States naming former Chinese dictator Jiang Zemin as a perpetrator of genocide (Jiang initiated the persecution against Falun Gong, and created the 610 Office , a kind of Chinese Gestapo given unlimited rein to arrest, torture, and kill Falun Gong practitioners in China.)
While the specifics were complicated, Ms. Byrom explained that the message of all the events in Boston was quite simple: "Everyone needs to know. The whole world needs to be alerted to the organ harvesting in China, that this is a highly organized campaign of genocide, and that the Chinese regime is also using it to make a lot of money."
The revelations about the Chinese regime's practice of using Falun Gong practitioners as a to provide organs for sale have just first surfaced in March 2006, and already a worldwide furor has erupted. While many people, including many transplant surgeons, might previously have been unaware of the CCP organ-harvesting industry, Ms. Byrom stated with great conviction, "This is not the last time you will see us."