The Chinese Communist Party has been using prisoners of conscience–mainly Falun Gong practitioners, but also Tibetans, Uyghurs, and Christians–as living and unwilling sources for organ transplants. Around the world, as awareness of this atrocity has grown, so too has public condemnation.
In Australia, two city council members from Parramatta, a suburb and major business district of Sydney, joined Falun Gong practitioners for a human rights event on March 22. The council members said they supported Falun Gong for its peaceful resistance to an otherwise brutal persecution.
“No one should be the subject of organ harvesting,” said council member James Shaw, according to Falun Gong website Minghui, which serves a clearinghouse for first-hand reports from China about the persecution.
The Chinese regime uses imprisoned Falun Gong practitioners as living sources for lucrative organ transplants. A 2014 documentary film, “Human Harvest,” which exposes the organ harvesting, recently won the prestigious Peabody Award.
“Organ harvesting is appalling. It should not happen anywhere in the world to anyone,” Shaw said. “People should be entitled to believe what they believe and practice what they practice, as long as they don’t hurt anyone.”
Shaw is a longtime supporter of Falun Gong and human rights. He is also a Labor Party candidate for the state parliament. “I have a strong view personally that everyone is entitled to practice their religion or cultural beliefs without persecution,” he said. “That is what I said from day one to Falun Gong in Parramatta, and I visited them a number of times and spoke to them, and I strongly expressed that view.”
Falun Gong, also called Falun Dafa, consists of meditative exercises and moral teachings, based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.
The Chinese regime used to promote the practice. Its health benefits cut health care costs, and its moral teachings made the society more stable. Yet, on July 20, 1999, the Chinese regime launched a brutal persecution against Falun Gong shortly after a poll found there were up to 100 million people practicing it in China.
The response from Falun Gong practitioners around the world to the persecution has been in line with their beliefs. They have taken a peaceful approach of exposing the persecution, which the Chinese regime tries to keep a tight lid on.
Council member Andrew Wilson said that after attending events to support Falun Gong in Australia, he received emails from the Chinese consulate attacking Falun Gong. He told Minghui, “The Communist Party are such terrible liars.”
He said, “They [the Chinese consulate] asked me directly why was I out there supporting Falun Dafa. I said, ‘I am supporting the principles. I am supporting human rights. I am supporting truth. I am supporting treating people in a correct manner.'”
“Regardless of what we believe in or what we disagree on, I think we should all be trying to do the right thing for humanity and defending human rights,” said council member Andrew Wilson. “What happens to Falun Dafa practitioners in China is clearly persecution, and I don’t support it.”