Following the repeated submission of overwhelming evidence of crimes against humanity, the Foreign Affairs & Trade Committee met last month to discuss unethical organ harvesting in China.
In a statement, Committee Chairman Pat Breen TD explained the allegations against the Chinese communist regime. “Organ harvesting, the removal of organs from a donor without obtaining prior free and voluntary consent, is considered a crime against humanity, as well as a threat to medical science in general,” he said. “China, under pressure from the international community, has agreed to phase out its practice of harvesting organs from executed prisoners. However, human rights groups, medical practitioners, lawyers and politicians around the world have demanded an immediate end to forced organ harvesting in China.”
In a highly unusual move, however, the Chinese embassy in Dublin quickly produced a statement to reject the “blatant lies and sensational rumours” the embassy claims the Foreign Affairs Committee hearing had served to disseminate. In a text littered with inaccuracies and unsubstantiated rejections of claims regarding forced, live organ harvesting in China, the embassy said it was “…deeply disappointed by, and strongly opposed to, the recent hearing…”.
While the embassy’s text itself is almost comical in its feigned indignation, it is recognisable as a typical example of communist regime propaganda—rejecting any allegations out of hand, and using defamatory terms such as “blatant lies” and “vicious, groundless accusations” to describe the independent and forensically-researched reports presented to the Foreign Affairs Committee.
Call for Action
During the Foreign Affairs Committee debate, however, Senator David Norris had moved that it be noted that the Special Rapporteur of the United Nations had issued two reports detailing allegations of organ harvesting in China. Senator Norris also asked the Committee to note that the UN and the Council of Europe are planning to introduce a new binding international treaty to prevent trafficking in organs, tissues and cells, and he called on the Government to actively support UN and Council of Europe initiatives, including at the Human Rights Council, to oppose the practice of forced organ harvesting in China.
Forced, Live Organ Harvesting
Authorities on forced organ harvesting in China who were present at the meeting included David Matas, a renowned Canadian human rights lawyer, who has researched the subject extensively and co-authored reports describing the methods, systems and vast scale of state-sponsored organ harvesting in China. Writer, journalist and independent investigator on organ harvesting Ethan Gutmann presented the shocking results of his investigation, while Declan Lyons represented Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting in Ireland, an organisation that aims to provide the medical community and society with objective findings on unethical and illegal organ harvesting. As the vast majority of organ harvesting is carried out on practitioners of the peaceful meditation practice Falun Dafa, a representative of the Irish Falun Dafa Association, Ms Dongxue Dai, was also present.
Responding later to questions in the Dail from Brendan Smith TD, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore expressed the Government’s unease at the practices of China’s communist regime. “The Government follows closely reports of human rights violations against Falun Gong practitioners, including reported cases of organ harvesting, and is concerned about the situation,” he said. “Human rights issues, including the treatment of Falun Gong practitioners, are issues discussed regularly with the Chinese authorities during both bilateral and multilateral meetings.”
Even though the practice of Falun Gong is apolitical and merely encourages practitioners to honour the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance in their daily lives, former Chinese Communist Party leader, Jiang Zemin, became both fearful and jealous when the number of Falun Dafa practitioners rose to over 100 million in the late 1990s.
When he instigated the persecution of Falun Gong in China in 1999, Jiang introduced the Communist Party’s infamous policy to crush the practice: “Ruin their reputations, bankrupt them financially, and destroy them physically”. The communist regime thus set about creating a huge propaganda apparatus to defame Falun Gong, while simultaneously forcing practitioners’ employers to fire them by levying massive fines on workplaces that employed Falun Gong practitioners. The mass incarceration and torture of practitioners in labour camps and prisons served as the regime’s way of trying to destroy practitioners physically, a policy that soon accomodated the widespread harvesting and trade of organs from unwilling Falun Gong practitioners.
Falun Gong practitioners in Ireland have been informing visitors to the Chinese embassy and passers-by of the regime’s crimes since the persecution began.
Irish Legislation on Organ Harvesting
During questions in the Dail, Minister for Health James O’Reilly explained that the removal of human organs without consent, or for payment, is an offence under European Union Regulations from 2012, under which it is an offence to traffic, harbour, import, or export organs contrary to the Regulations and the Directive.
According to Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore, the Department of Health is also preparing legislative proposals for a Human Tissue Bill which will set out a detailed consent framework for the removal, donation and use of organs from deceased and living persons for the purpose of transplantation.
However, when asked whether he had discussed the issue of forced, live organ harvesting during his visit to China last year, Dr O’Reilly admitted that he had failed to raise the issue. “I wish to advise the Deputy that the issue of forced organ harvesting practised against practitioners of Falun Gong in China was not discussed during my visit in August 2012,” he said.