‘Monstrous crimes’ in China Focus of Discussions at UN

September 19, 2012 Updated: October 1, 2015
UN Human Rights Council's 16th Plenary Meeting
The UN Human Rights Council's 16th Plenary Meeting was held on Sept. 28. Speakers at the meeting and at other sessions at the large gathering addressed organ harvesting in China. (The Epoch Times)

Allegations and evidence that the Chinese communist regime has for years harvested the organs from religious prisoners, on a massive scale, was discussed at the United Nations Human Rights Council recently, following a panel held by the U.S. Congress last week that addressed the same issue. There, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher dubbed the allegations “monstrous crimes” against humanity.

The 21st Session of the Council convenes from Sept. 10 to 28 in Geneva, Switzerland, for a series of meetings. As well as large assemblies, a series of side events sponsored by non-government organizations (NGOs) were held. 

At one such official side panel on Sept. 17, Guo Jun, the editor-in-chief of The Epoch Times’ Chinese editions spoke about her work heading an investigation into the allegations of organ harvesting in China from religious prisoners, specifically practitioners of the Falun Gong spiritual discipline. 

Guo Jun (L), editor-in-chief of the Chinese editions of The Epoch Times, spoke at an official UN side panel event on Sept. 17, about her investigation into organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners by the Chinese Communist Party. (The Epoch Times)

“In our investigation we found that prisoners, detained in labor camps and jails, were almost the sole source of transplant organs in China. The vast majority were practitioners of Falun Gong, a Chinese spiritual practice,” she said.

“The killing of innocents for their organs is an attack on the dignity of humankind and the principles of human civilization,” she added.

The panel was titled “Freedom of Peaceful Assembly” and was held at at the Palais des Nations. 

Researcher Arne Schwarz also spoke there of his work on the same topic. “Kidneys, livers, hearts, lungs and corneas of prisoners have been and are still used in the P.R.C. for organ transplantation in military and civilian hospitals,” he said in prepared remarks. 

“Organ harvesting is a flourishing ‘industry’ (as it is called in China) because rich and influential Chinese people but also foreigners pay very large sums of money for organ transplants.”

He referred to “informed estimates” that put the number of Falun Gong practitioners whose organs were harvested, most of the time after they had been given an anaesthetic but before they had died, as up to 65,000. 

“Mainstream media should no longer turn a blind eye on the allegations concerning organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners,” he said. “International medical institutions should investigate the allegations independently.”

The side panel events, about 100 of which were organized by NGOs, are held according to strict UNHRC regulations and only by groups accredited with the UN. Lists of the panels are displayed on screens around the UN building.

A Chinese delegate was present at this event and gave what one individual present characterized as a “soft and defensive” response, repeating official propaganda against the Falun Gong practice, but not responding to the substance of the allegations or the specific evidentiary points raised.

At the 16th Plenary Meeting on Sept. 18, a large convocation where representatives from dozens of governments and NGOs are present, speakers again discussed the allegations of organ harvesting of religious prisoners in China.

Karen Parker, the chief representative of International Educational Development, at the United Nations in Geneva. She spoke about organ harvesting from religious prisoners in China. (Dong Yun/The Epoch Times)

Guo Jun again spoke there, as did Karen Parker, a human rights lawyer and chief representative of International Educational Development, an NGO affiliated with the UN. 

Parker said that her group was concerned about the “continuing evidence that the organs of many [Falun Gong] practitioners are forcibly harvested,” and added the pointed remark that: “We are aware that the Council as a whole will not address any issue in China due to political considerations. However, we urge that states eliminate the market for organs from China and that the Special Rapporteurs on Summary Execution, the Right to Health, and the Right to Freedom from Torturelook into this matter as an issue of great urgency.”

Usually, delegations respond to charges made against them in plenary meetings. The Chinese delegation did not respond to Parker.

Read the original Chinese article.

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