Several politicians from around the world on Sept. 19 took turns at a summit condemning the CCP’s (Chinese Communist Party) continued practice of killing prisoners of conscience to supply organs for its lucrative transplant market.
“Organ donation is a precious act of saving a life, but forced organ harvesting is commercialized murder and without doubt, among the worst of crimes,” said Lord Philip Hunt, a member of the UK Parliament and a former British health minister.
Hunt made the remarks at the third webinar of the World Summit on Combating and Preventing Forced Organ Harvesting. The summit, organized by five NGOs including advocacy group Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH), began on Sept. 17 and will run through Sept. 26.
“I hope this event inspires many around the world to take positive action against this crime,” Hunt said.
China has been one of the favored destinations for people in need of organ transplants, due to the speed at which Chinese hospitals can find a matching organ—sometimes in only days or weeks. Beijing’s explanation for its seemingly ample supply of organs has been that it has a voluntary organ donation system with many registered organ donors in China.
The CCP’s narrative was debunked in 2019 when an independent London-based tribunal, after a year-long investigation, revealed that state-sanctioned forced organ harvesting has taken place in China for years “on a significant scale.”
What’s more, the tribunal stated it was “certain” that organs were sourced from imprisoned Falun Gong adherents and that they were “probably the principal source.”
Adherents of Falun Gong, a spiritual practice also known as Falun Dafa, have been targets of persecution by the Chinese regime since July 1999. Allegations of forced organ harvesting from detained Falun Gong adherents first emerged in 2006.
Hunt pointed to his effort to push forward new UK legislation, named the Organ Tourism and Cadavers on Display Bill, which he said would ensure that UK citizens “cannot travel to countries such as China for organ transplantation.”
He said the bill would also “protect UK citizens from complicity in forced organ harvesting.”
“My hope that it [the bill] acts as a precedent for further action, both in this country [the UK] and around the world,” Hunt said.
In the United States, new legislation was introduced in both the Senate (S.602) and the House (H.R.1592) in March to combat forced organ harvesting and human trafficking. The House bill currently has 31 co-sponsors from both parties.
If approved, it would authorize the U.S. government to deny or revoke the passports of people who engage in the illegal purchase of organs. It would also prohibit the U.S. export of organ transplant surgery devices to foreign entities associated with the crime.
Similar U.S. legislation was introduced in the previous session of Congress in December last year.
“I call on the EU and the U.S. and all other representatives and communities in the free world to stand up for human rights in China, and stop the illegal, inhuman trade of human organs from prisoners of conscience in China,” Swedish lawmaker Ann-Sofie Alm said at the webinar on Sept. 19.
André Gattolin, vice chairman of France’s Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defense, and the Armed Forces, said during the webinar that some politicians have chosen to be silent because of the CCP’s threats.
“To question the forced removal of organs in China is obviously to expose oneself to scathing and outraged denials and sometimes even to threats of commercial or political retaliation from Beijing,” Gattolin said.
“Hence the appalling ‘diplomacy of silence,’ which is far from being confined to France.”
U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) called the CCP’s forced organ harvesting “one of the most barbaric practices in human history” and warned the webinar’s audience of a dark future if the CCP were able to export its views on human rights to the rest of the world.
“A world that conforms to the values of the CCP is one in which those who don’t toe the party line can be put in a concentration camp or have their organs harvested,” he said.
“That’s a vision for a world that nobody wants to live in. And that’s the vision of the world that we are all fighting against.”