NGOs to Launch Summit on China’s Forced Organ Harvesting

By Rita Li
Rita Li
Rita Li
Rita Li is a reporter with The Epoch Times, focusing on U.S. and China-related topics. She began writing for the Chinese-language edition in 2018.
March 20, 2022 Updated: March 21, 2022

A virtual event calling out China’s state-sponsored forced organ harvesting of living people, which targets religious and ethnic minorities, will be held on March 22.

Forced organ harvesting from living prisoners of conscience has secretly existed for over 20 years across the country under the rule of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), spotlighting an escalation of human rights violations in the 21st century, according to the event’s description.

The side event to the 49th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva will launch its online webinar on Tuesday morning. The 90-minute online event is hosted by CAP Freedom of Conscience, is a secular European NGO with United Nations Consultative Status, and co-organized by Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH), a Washington-based medical ethics advocacy group. They will present a dozen of international speakers including politicians, experts, lawyers, journalists, and human rights activists, to share insights about human rights violations in China.

A roundtable discussion followed by a Q&A session will come the following day to seek solutions to China’s industrial-scale organ harvesting and trafficking.

Such crime is “one of the most unconscionable crimes against humanity one can imagine,” said Torsten Trey, founder and executive director of DAFOH. “It is a disgrace that such act that despises human life has occurred for over two decades under the purview of an international body such as the UNHRC [United Nations Human Rights Council].”

“[But] we still have the chance to make a stand for humankind,” he told The Epoch Times.

In 2019, an independent people’s tribunal found, after a year-long investigation, that the CCP was harvesting the organs of non-consenting detainees—mainly Falun Gong practitioners—on a “significant scale.” Practitioners of Falun Gong, a spiritual meditation discipline based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance, have been brutally persecuted by the Chinese regime for more than two decades, according to the Falun Dafa Information Center.

“A stance against the CCP becomes a stance for human rights around the world,” said Belgian politician Annick Ponthier. She first learned about organ harvesting in 2020 after viewing the ruling of the 2019 tribunal.

Epoch Times Photo
Falun Gong practitioners take part in a parade marking the 22nd year of the persecution of Falun Gong in China, in Brooklyn, N.Y., on July 18, 2021. (The Epoch Times/Chung I Ho)

“And it is truly strange,” Snezhana Georgieva, one of the featured presenters of the event, told The Epoch Times. “But at the same time not so strange, that the target of the Communist Party’s persecution is Falun Dafa—a spiritual practice that teaches noble human and moral values such as freedom, compassion, creation.”

Last year, the United Nations published a statement by 12 U.N. special rapporteurs and experts on June 14, echoing the aforementioned concerns. Experts said the most common organs removed from the prisoners are hearts, kidneys, livers, corneas, and less commonly, parts of livers. The process involves surgeons, anesthetists, and other medical specialists.

“We must stand together as an international community for the protection of those whose voices have been silenced by fear, oppression, and brutality,” human rights activist Casey Alves said in a recent interview. Alves, who studied forced organ harvesting in China for her master’s research at Oxford Brookes University, will also speak during the upcoming seminar.

Last September, a coalition of five NGOs organized and hosted the World Summit on Combating and Preventing Forced Organ Harvesting with 38 speakers from 19 countries.

Lord Philip Hunt, a member of the UK Parliament and a former British health minister, described forced organ harvesting as “commercialized murder and without doubt, among the worst of crimes.”

The March 22 webinar will start at 9:00 a.m. EDT  and is currently open for registration.

Presenters of the day include House Judiciary Committee member Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), Dutch politician of the European Parliament Peter van Dalen, Canadian award-winning human rights lawyer David Matas, Spanish politician of the European Parliament Hermann Tertsch del Valle-Lersundi, and Taiwanese legislator Tien Chiu-Chin.

Rita Li
Rita Li is a reporter with The Epoch Times, focusing on U.S. and China-related topics. She began writing for the Chinese-language edition in 2018.