The China regime’s decades-long suppression of a peaceful spiritual discipline has drawn condemnation from the Germany government.
On July 20, marking the 20th anniversary of the launch of the persecution of spiritual practice Falun Gong in China, Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, called out the Chinese communist regime for its abuses committed against adherents of the faith.
“For the last 20 years, the Chinese government has taken the most severe measures in its treatment of the spiritual meditation movement Falun Gong,” Kofler said in a statement.
“On the occasion of the 20th anniversary since the beginning of the campaign against Falun Gong, I take great concern regarding the still-precarious status of its adherents.”
In 1999, the regime banned the practice of Falun Gong, a meditation discipline rooted in ancient Buddhist and Daoist traditions. At the time, official estimates placed the number of adherents at 70 million to 100 million.
Since then, those who continued to adhere to their beliefs became targets of torture, imprisonment, brainwashing, or slave labor. Falun Dafa Information Center estimates that 450,000 to 1 million adherents are detained at any given time.
Kofler noted that many of the practitioners were imprisoned without any due process and, on numerous occasions, did not survive through their prison terms.
Kofler also highlighted another disturbing allegation—that of the regime killing imprisoned Falun Gong practitioners for their organs.
Since 2006, independent researchers and international human rights organizations have called attention to claims of the grisly practice committed by the regime. Various investigations conducted over the years have concluded that the Chinese Communist Party was killing prisoners of conscience en masse—the majority of whom were Falun Gong practitioners—and selling their organs for profit.
A conservative estimate by investigators David Kilgour, David Matas, and Ethan Gutmann in their joint 2016 report places as many as 60,000 to 100,000 organ transplant surgeries taking place in China on an annual basis. This figure far outstrips the officially reported number of 10,000 to 20,000 per year.
Last month, an independent people’s tribunal chaired by Sir Geoffrey Nice SC issued the final judgement following a year-long investigation, concluding that forced organ harvesting in China has taken place “on a significant scale.”
The tribunal ruling said the practice constituted a crime against humanity, and therefore international bodies as well as Western countries are duty-bound to take action against the abuse.
“Governments and any who interact in any substantial way with the PRC should now recognise that they are, to the extent revealed above, interacting with a criminal state.” the judgment said.
On July 15, U.S.-based non profit China Organ Harvest Research Center released a 91-page report (pdf), calling the practice of forced organ harvesting “one of the most hideous human rights disasters of the 21st century.”
“Unlike black market organ trafficking operations elsewhere in the world, the on-demand killing of prisoners of conscience for organs in China is driven by the state, run on an industrial scale, and carried out by both military and civilian institutions,” the report said.
Kofler urged the Chinese government “take a stand” on these longstanding allegations, and open its facilities to allow such claims to be examined.
“It is imperative that the Chinese government increase transparency in organ procurement and allow independent observers free access to detention and internment facilities, so as to address the allegations.”