Eric and his father’s story is the subject of a new short film, ‘Split by the State’. (Alexander Nilsen)Eric and his father’s story is the subject of a new short film, ‘Split by the State’. (Alexander Nilsen)

“Split by the State”

 

As millions of Australian families prepare to celebrate Father’s Day to honour their paternal bonds, for Sydney refugee Eric Jia, his version of Father’s Day is a lonely affair.

The last time he saw his father Ye Jia was 15 years-ago when he was 3-years-old. This father and son were forcefully split by China’s one-party state, simply because Ye Jia wanted to meditate and follow his beliefs.

Eric and his dad in Shaanxi province China during happier times.  (Alexander Nilsen)

Eric and his dad in Shaanxi Province China during happier times. (Alexander Nilsen)

 

He practices Falun Gong, a traditional Chinese meditation and spiritual practice based on the principles of ‘Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance’. It rose to popularity in China in the 1990’s, with over 100 million people experiencing its health benefits.

: Eric doing the Falun Gong meditation exercise at home in Sydney, Australia. China is the only country in the world that doesn't allow Falun Gong practitioners to meditate freely.  (Alexander Nilsen)

Eric doing the Falun Gong meditation exercise at home in Sydney, Australia. China is the only country in the world that doesn’t allow Falun Gong practitioners to meditate freely. (Alexander Nilsen)

 

These numbers proved too overwhelming for the Chinese regime, which with around 60 million communist members at the time, saw the practice as a threat. Former dictator Jiang Zemin initiated a country-wide crackdown and persecution against the peaceful movement, that hasn’t waned since it began on July 20, 1999.

The decision to persecute Falun Gong was made by former Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin alone. Other members of the leadership favoured a more conciliatory approach, recognising that Falun Gong was peaceful. (NTD Television)

The decision to persecute Falun Gong was made by former Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin alone. Other members of the leadership favoured a more conciliatory approach, recognising that Falun Gong was peaceful. (NTD Television)

 

As days and months turned into years, the state-sanctioned persecution has taken a heavy toll on fathers, sons and families alike, who have suffered severely and have too often been torn apart.

In modern China torture is a routine component of law-enforcement and punishment. Jiang Zemin issued his famous edict, “It is not a crime to beat a Falun Gong practitioner to death.” (en.minghui.org/)

 

Eric and his father’s story is the subject of a new short film, “Split by the State”, its release comes on Father’s Day.

The film’s director Gina Shakespeare said: “this film is dedicated to prisoners of conscience, like Ye Jia, who today number in their millions. It’s also an exposé of the Chinese regime’s relentless use of physical and psychological torture against Falun Gong adherents and their families, told through a young man’s heart.”

Ms Shakespeare recalled being deeply touched as she read Eric Jia’s original letter he wrote to Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in 2016, pleading to save his dad from a Chinese prison.

 

“I knew Eric’s story needed to be told and that the letter he wrote was actually the beginning of a powerful script, one that would also move others” she said.

“Hearing that his dad was spending eight years in a Chinese prison, had been tortured, starved and subjected to filthy and inhumane living conditions, I could never fathom this type of ill-treatment, this just doesn’t happen in Australia” said Ms Shakespeare.

“Eric possesses an incredible resilience and determination. His desire for justice and to be reunited with his father, after all this time has never diminished. I really hope the Prime Minister can pressure China to release Eric’s dad urgently.”

Australia's Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull. (Alexander Nilsen)

Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. (Alexander Nilsen)

 

Eric spends a good deal of time assisting other Falun Gong families still imprisoned in China by speaking out at rallies, collecting signatures for petitions and even calling prisons in mainland China. Surely something his father would be proud of. 

You can also help Eric and his family by sharing the film and by visiting this website and signing the petition.

www.splitbythestate.org

 

 

Read the full article here

Falun Gong practitioners march in downtown Vancouver on July 16, 2017, to call for an end to the persecution of their spiritual discipline ordered by the Chinese regime 18 years ago on July 20, 1999. A procession of practitioners in white hold memorial wreaths to pay tribute to those who have been persecuted to death. (Tang Feng/The Epoch Times)Falun Gong practitioners march in downtown Vancouver on July 16, 2017, to call for an end to the persecution of their spiritual discipline ordered by the Chinese regime 18 years ago on July 20, 1999. A procession of practitioners in white hold memorial wreaths to pay tribute to those who have been persecuted to death. (Tang Feng/The Epoch Times)

This week across Canada and around the world, thousands are gathering in front of Chinese embassies and consulates to mark 18 years since the Chinese Communist Party launched a campaign of violence and hatred to “eradicate” the spiritual discipline of Falun Gong, also called Falun Dafa.

“The Chinese Communist Party’s persecution of Falun Gong is still ongoing. There are 12 Falun Gong practitioners with Canadian ties currently being illegally held in China,” said Falun Dafa Association of Vancouver spokesperson Sue Zhang at a rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on July 16.

As well as giving speeches and holding marches and candlelight vigils calling for an end to the persecution, Falun Gong adherents are seeking help from the Canadian government to free their fellow practitioners from detention and imprisonment in China. Among them is a Canadian citizen, Sun Qian, who has been detained in Beijing since February.

ID card image of Sun Qian. (The Epoch Times)

ID card image of Sun Qian. (The Epoch Times)

Canadian Prisoner of Conscience Abused in China

Sun, a 51-year-old Chinese-Canadian businesswoman and Vancouver resident, is currently being held at the Beijing First Detention Centre, where she has been shackled, handcuffed to a steel chair, continuously pepper sprayed in the face, and now may be indicted for her faith.

Despite appeals for her release by several high-level Canadian officials, including Conservative members of Parliament Peter Kent and Michael Cooper, former Liberal justice minister Irwin Cotler, and Green Party leader Elizabeth May, Sun continues to be detained.

Canadian Falun Gong practitioners continue to be hopeful that Sun will be released as a result of a strong voice from elected officials. 

Sun Qian has been shackled, handcuffed to a steel chair, continuously pepper sprayed in the face, and now may be indicted for her faith

When former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin initiated the persecution on July 20, 1999, Canada was, in fact, the first country to publicly condemn the persecution. “Canada filed an official protest with China’s foreign ministry after 30,000 Falun Gong adherents were detained in 30 cities across China, sources said,” reported The Globe and Mail on July 26, 1999.

Ottawa-based Xun Li, president of the Falun Dafa Association of Canada, also recalled that it was the strong voice of elected officials, along with steady media coverage, that helped to secure the release of Zhang Kunlun, who is believed to be the first Canadian arrested in China for practising Falun Gong.

Professor Kunlun Zhang with his painting

Professor Kunlun Zhang with his painting “Red Wall,” which is based on his experience as a prisoner of conscience in China, at the Art of Zhen Shan Ren International Exhibition in Washington, D.C., on July 18, 2013. (The Epoch Times)

Zhang is a former visiting professor at Montreal’s McGill University. He was arrested in 2000 and sent to forced labour camp for three years but was released in January 2001, shortly before then-prime minister Jean Chrétien’s trade mission to China.

While in custody in China, the professor was subjected to abuse including torture with electric batons. He was also forced to watch broadcasts of hate propaganda vilifying Falun Gong.

“China was afraid of being exposed [for their human rights abuses], because professor Zhang is a Canadian citizen,” Li said.

Large-Scale Killing for Prisoners’ Organs

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a practice of meditation and exercises handed down from ancient China that includes teachings based on the universal principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance. In July 1999, the Chinese communist regime ordered a persecution and an extensive hate propaganda campaign against Falun Gong due to the popularity of the practice that was not under the control of the state.

[The Communist Party initiated] the worst instance of religious persecution since the Cultural Revolution, with the clampdown against Falun Gong.

— University of Ottawa professor André Laliberté

“[The Communist Party initiated] the worst instance of religious persecution since the Cultural Revolution, with the clampdown against Falun Gong,” wrote University of Ottawa professor André Laliberté, a leading scholar on religion in China, in a paper in 2015.

The persecution has garnered condemnation from human rights groups, the United Nations, and various governments around the world.

Sue Zhang cited a February 2017 Freedom House report that details how Falun Gong adherents continue to be subjected to widespread and severe human rights abuses. And the most recent 2016 U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission report states how extreme physical and psychological abuse continues against Falun Gong.

[Our] review found credible evidence suggesting that beginning in the early 2000s, Falun Gong detainees were killed for their organs on a large scale.

— Freedom House 2017 special report

There are also reports by investigators including two Canadian researchers estimating that 60,000 to 100,000 transplants per year are performed in China—as opposed to the official Chinese figure of 10,000 per year—with the primary source being Falun Gong detainees having their organs forcibly removed, and being killed in the process, to supply China’s extremely lucrative transplant industry.

Freedom House noted that it had reviewed the available evidence compiled by these investigators and “found credible evidence suggesting that beginning in the early 2000s, Falun Gong detainees were killed for their organs on a large scale.” “There are reasons to believe that such abuses continue,” the report stated.

Over 50 Falun Gong  adherents participate in a 36-hour hunger strike on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on March 13, 2002, to appeal to the Canadian government to help stop the Chinese regime's order to

Over 50 Falun Gong adherents participate in a 36-hour hunger strike on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on March 13, 2002, to appeal to the Canadian government to help stop the Chinese regime’s order to “kill [Falun Gong practitioners] without mercy,” in this file photo. Police received orders to “shoot on sight” if Falun Gong practitioners are seen handing out or posting Falun Gong flyers in China. (Minghui.org)

Moral Principles

At the Vancouver rally, Li Jianfeng, a former judge in mainland China, praised the principles taught by Falun Gong and called for greater support of the spiritual practice in Canada.

“I call on all Vancouverites to support Falun Gong,” Li said. “What it spreads is ‘Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance.’ … These high-level moral principles, if they can flourish in Canada, will bring us blessings and a good future.”

Following the rally on July 16, Vancouver practitioners and supporters held a march downtown. They will also hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese consulate on July 19. Events are planned in other Canadian cities later this week, including in Ottawa on July 19 and in Toronto on July 21.

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Falun Dafa Association of Canada president Li Xun speaks during a rally outside the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa on June 26, 2017, calling for the release of Canadian citizen Sun Qian who is currently detained in China for practising Falun Gong. (Donna He/The Epoch Times)Falun Dafa Association of Canada president Li Xun speaks during a rally outside the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa on June 26, 2017, calling for the release of Canadian citizen Sun Qian who is currently detained in China for practising Falun Gong. (Donna He/The Epoch Times)

Starting June 25 and continuing for the next few days, rallies appealing for the rescue of a Canadian citizen detained in China are being held in several cities across the country.

Falun Gong practitioners and supporters are staging protests in front of the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa and the Chinese consulates in Vancouver and other cities to condemn the arrest of Vancouver resident Sun Qian and to call for her immediate release.

A Chinese-Canadian businesswoman who became a citizen in 2007, Sun was detained by the Chinese authorities in February for practising the traditional spiritual discipline Falun Gong, also called Falun Dafa.

As the vice president of Beijing Leadman Biochemistry, Sun travelled regularly between Vancouver and Beijing for work. While she was in her Beijing residence on Feb. 19, more than 20 plainclothes security agents barged in, ransacked her home, and took her away.

She has since been imprisoned at the Beijing First Detention Centre’s 414 Prison Room, a facility notorious for its brutal treatment of detainees.

“The arbitrary arrest and mistreatment violated her right to freedom of belief guaranteed under China’s own constitution and international law,” says a statement from the Falun Dafa Association of Canada (FDAC) on the occasion of the national appeal for Sun’s release.

After a visit with her lawyer on May 5, Sun was pushed to the ground by four male guards, sprayed in the face with a pungent chemical, and handcuffed and shackled, according to Sun’s sister, Sun Zan. The handcuffs and shackles remained on day and night from May 5 to May 18. She was also forced to wear the same socks and underwear for over two months.

ID card image of Sun Qian. (The Epoch Times)

ID card image of Sun Qian. (The Epoch Times)

“My daughter has not committed any crime,” wrote Sun’s 78-year-old mother in a statement. “On the contrary, she has become an even better person [through practising Falun Gong]. But under the CCP’s tyranny, she is now detained instead. I have no choice but to worry about my daughter.”

In a speech at the rally in Ottawa on June 26, Falun Gong practitioner Hongyan Lu called for Sun’s release and also talked of her mother, Huixia Chen, who has been detained in China a second time for her beliefs.

“On June 3, 2016, she was again illegally detained, enduring brutal torture and brainwashing even at 60 years of age, unable to have contact with family members,” Lu said. “In February this year, Canadian citizen Sun Qian was abducted from her Beijing residence, illegally held, and endured torture, also because she practises Falun Gong. These are only two cases out of the millions of cases of Falun Gong practitioners being cruelly persecuted in China.”

Since the Chinese regime launched its campaign of persecution against the practice in July 1999 due to fear over its immense popularity, Falun Gong adherents have been systematically subjected to arrest, torture, and killing. It has been estimated that hundreds of thousands, if not millions, remain unlawfully imprisoned.

“I hereby call for the immediate end to the persecution of Falun Gong, the immediate and unconditional release of Sun Qian and my mother Huixia Chen, as well as all illegally imprisoned Falun Gong practitioners. Let all those perpetrators of the persecution be brought to justice,” said Lu.

Falun Gong practitioner David Cordero speaks during a rally on June 25, 2017, calling for the release of Canadian citizen Sun Qian who is currently detained in China for practising Falun Gong. (Feng Tang/The Epoch Times)

Falun Gong practitioner David Cordero speaks during a rally on June 25, 2017, calling for the release of Canadian citizen Sun Qian who is currently detained in China for practising Falun Gong. (Feng Tang/The Epoch Times)

Health Problems Healed

According to the FDAC statement, Sun used to suffer from liver and heart problems as well as depression, but soon after she started practising Falun Gong in 2014, all her health issues disappeared.

Alice Zhang, who spoke at the rally in Vancouver on June 25, a day before the Ottawa rally, likened Sun’s improved health to that of her mother in China, who is also being held in China for practising Falun Gong.

“Like Sun Qian, my mother also had many illnesses for which she was unable to find a cure, and after practising Falun Gong she became healthy and no longer suffered from illness. But now she is being jailed by the Chinese communist regime,” she said.

“I have come here not only to appeal for the freedom of Sun Qian, but also for the release of my mother and all imprisoned Falun Gong practitioners. My hope is that all citizens in mainland China will soon have the right and freedom to practise Falun Gong.”

At the Vancouver rally, David Cordero said he finds it “inconceivable that the Chinese regime is actively building an international image while still persecuting a kind-hearted group of people who believe in truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance,” referring to the guiding principles of the practice.

“This runs counter to the principles of international civil society,” he said. “The Chinese regime should immediately release Sun Qian, and at the same time the Canadian government should make greater effort to urge the Chinese regime to release Sun Qian.”

MP Peter Kent speaks at a press conference in support of efforts to secure the release of Canadian citizen Qian Sun detained in China for her practice of Falun Gong, on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on May 9, 2017. (Jonathan Ren/NTD Television)

MP Peter Kent speaks at a press conference in support of efforts to secure the release of Canadian citizen Qian Sun detained in China for her practice of Falun Gong, on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on May 9, 2017. (Jonathan Ren/NTD Television)

Although Sun’s family members have not been allowed to visit her, she has received two consular visits since she was arrested. Several high-level Canadian officials have appealed for her release, including Conservative members of Parliament Peter Kent and Michael Cooper, former Liberal Justice Minister Irwin Cotler, NDP MP Cheryl Hardcastle, and Green leader Elizabeth May.

“We are grateful to the thousands of Canadians who have signed petitions calling for the release of Ms. Sun and we are also grateful to over a dozen MPs from all parties who have called for Ms. Sun’s immediate release and intervention from our government,” the FDAC statement said.

“We condemn the Chinese communist regime’s illegal detention of Ms. Sun, and we urge the Canadian government to intervene and solidify Ms. Sun’s immediate release and the release all jailed Falun Gong practitioners.”

Falun Gong practitioners  gather in front of the Chinese Consulate in Calgary to appeal for the release of Canadian citizen Sun Qian, who has been detained in China since Feb. 19 for her faith in Falun Gong. (The Epoch Times)

Falun Gong practitioners gather in front of the Chinese Consulate in Calgary to appeal for the release of Canadian citizen Sun Qian, who has been detained in China since Feb. 19 for her faith in Falun Gong. (The Epoch Times)
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Li Heping (right), a prominent Chinese human rights lawyer, was released last week after nearly two years in prison. (Radio Free Asia)Li Heping (right), a prominent Chinese human rights lawyer, was released last week after nearly two years in prison. (Radio Free Asia)

After nearly two years behind bars, Li Heping, a prominent Chinese human rights lawyer, was released from prison last week.

Both his friends and his wife said he was barely recognizable—once robust and healthy, he is now thin and emaciated, his hair turned white, a radical transformation for someone only in his mid-forties.

On July 9, 2015, he was taken away by Tianjin public security officers and sentenced with “subversion of state power.” His arrest was part of a nationwide crackdown in 2015—known colloquially as the “709 Incident”—which targeted over 250 human rights lawyers and activists.

After two years of painstaking advocacy on his behalf, Wang Qiaoling, Li’s wife, was finally able to secure his release. Li was given a four-year suspended sentence, which means he still cannot practice law as before.

Human rights lawyer Li Heping, formerly youthful and robust, looked markedly different and almost unrecognizable after being imprisoned and tortured. (Radio Free Asia)

Representing the Vulnerable

Li Heping garnered prominence for defending political dissidents and vulnerable groups in China, including underground Christians, victims of forced evictions, as well as practitioners of the persecuted Falun Gong spiritual practice.

He also sought to appeal on behalf of blind activist Chen Guangcheng and fellow rights attorney Gao Zhisheng. In 2006, he defended environmental activist Tan Kai, founder of the environmental group “Green Watch.”

In 2007, along with five other Beijing-based human rights lawyers, Li represented Wang Bo, a Falun Gong practitioner, in a prominent case in Shijiazhuang City. In their defense of Wang Bo’s innocence, they jointly published “The Constitution is Supreme, Freedom of Religion”—the first time Chinese lawyers applied Chinese law to systematically defend Falun Gong practitioners as innocent. The defense statement would be frequently referenced by rights lawyers later on when representing Falun Gong practitioners.

As he continued to take on high-profile cases, Li was subjected to increasing harassment, surveillance, and threats by Chinese security forces. In Sep. 2007, he was abducted by plainclothes police and shocked with electric batons for several hours before being left in the woods in the suburbs of Beijing. In 2009, Chinese authorities refused to renew his law license, thus depriving him of his right to practice law and forcing him to turn to legal consultation work instead.

Mounting tensions culminated with his arrest in July, 2015 along with numerous other human rights defenders.

From Defender to Persecuted

According to Li’s wife, Wang Qiaoling, Li was subjected to constant surveillance while detained—with people guarding him even as he used the bathroom—and tortured with beatings and electric shocks.

Furthermore, while imprisoned, Li was regularly forced to consume unknown drugs, ostensibly for high blood pressure, a condition he did not have.

The drugs resulted in bodily weakness, pain in his muscles, and blurry vision. Other human rights defenders released from prison, including Li’s younger brother, Li Chunfu, have discussed similar experiences of being force-fed unknown medication while detained. After being released in January 2017, Li was soon diagnosed with symptoms of schizophrenia.

According to Heng He, a senior political commentator at New Tang Dynasty Television (a sister media company of Epoch Times) the use of drugs as a form of torture is not an isolated occurrence. In 2001, the American Psychiatric Association began drawing attention to forced administration of psychotropic drugs on Falun Gong practitioners detained at mental hospitals.

Heng says that the force-feeding of drugs was “used at a large scale on Falun Gong practitioners before being used to persecute human rights lawyers.” The purpose, he says, is to “break their will” and to threaten those around them by highlighting the consequences of opposing state policy.

In response to mounting evidence of forced administration of drugs, members of Chinese Lawyers for the Protection of Human Rights penned an open letter on May 14 calling for an independent investigation into the use of drugs to torture rights lawyers imprisoned as a part of the 709 Incident.

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Hongyan Lu speaks at a rally in front of the Chinese embassy on April 25, 2017, to mark the 18th anniversary of Falun Gong practitioners’ large-scale appeal for freedom of belief in China on April 25, 1999, and to call for an end to the persecution of Falun Gong. To her right is Falun Gong practitioner Joanna Qiao holding a sign seeking help to call for the release of Lu’s mother, Huixia Chen, from detention in China and facing three years to life imprisonment for her belief. (Donna He/The Epoch Times)Hongyan Lu speaks at a rally in front of the Chinese embassy on April 25, 2017, to mark the 18th anniversary of Falun Gong practitioners’ large-scale appeal for freedom of belief in China on April 25, 1999, and to call for an end to the persecution of Falun Gong. To her right is Falun Gong practitioner Joanna Qiao holding a sign seeking help to call for the release of Lu’s mother, Huixia Chen, from detention in China and facing three years to life imprisonment for her belief. (Donna He/The Epoch Times)

OTTAWA—The largest appeal for freedom of belief in Chinese history was commemorated in front of the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa on April 25, 2017.

On April 25, 1999, more than 10,000 people gathered peacefully in Beijing to appeal for their freedom to practice Falun Gong and the release of arrested fellow practitioners. Forty-five or so practitioners had been beaten and detained in the nearby city of Tianjin.

The 45 practitioners were released that evening, so those who had gathered to appeal left quietly and went home.

However, just three months after the unprecedented appeal, then-Chinese Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin launched a nationwide campaign of persecution to “eradicate” Falun Gong that continues today.

“We are honouring the spirit of peace, justice, and compassion with which that appeal was held 18 years ago,” said Xun Li, president of the Falun Dafa Association of Canada.

“I am here to honour the April 25th peaceful appeal. Meantime I also hope to draw attention to my mother’s case,” said Hongyan Lu, a Falun Gong practitioner living in Ottawa.

Hongyan recounted how her 60-year old mother Huixia Chen suffered from hepatitis B, cirrhosis, stomach problems, and endometriosis in 1998 when she began practicing Falun Gong, also called Falun Dafa.

“Just a few months into practicing Falun Gong that year, all her illnesses miraculously went away and she became good-tempered,” said Hongyan.

However, Huixia was arrested in June 2016, together with other fellow practitioners.  

In the first 20 days after the arrest, Huixia “was tortured and locked in a chair made of metal bars and not allowed to move,” said Hongyan. “This destroyed her health and made it hard for her to walk or stand up. She’s very weak. She has also been forced to endure brainwashing sessions.”

Huixia is detained in Shijiazhuang Second Detention Center.

“My relatives in China are still struggling to get any updates on my mother and unfortunately have made little progress,” Hangyan said. “We have no idea what’s happening or what may happen to my mother under a regime without an independent or effective legal system.”

Hongyan noted that her mother’s experience is typical of the tens of millions of Falun Gong practitioners in China.

“I call for the end of the persecution and the release of my other and all other incarcerated Falun Gong practitioners,” she said.

“It’s time to end this evil crime.”

Falun Gong is a traditional spiritual discipline of the Buddhist school. It consists of meditation, qigong exercises, and moral teachings based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. The practice spread quickly due to the profound benefits experienced by practitioners in their physical health and mental and moral wellbeing.

By the late 1990s Chinese government surveys estimated that 70–100 million people had taken up the practice. Due to paranoia over the immense popularity of the practice, which was not under state control, Party leader Jiang officially launched the brutal persecution in July 1999.

In 2006 the United Nations stated that 66 percent of reported victims of torture were Falun Gong practitioners. The U.N. and other groups have also reported growing evidence of rape, torture, widespread hate propaganda, deaths, and even state-orchestrated forced organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners to supply China’s booming transplant trade.

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April 25, 1999April 25, 1999

EDMONTON—”It was a day when goodness truly triumphed.”

That’s how Michael Cooper, MP for Edmonton-St. Albert, described the April 25, 1999, event in which an estimated 10,000 Falun Dafa adherents gathered in Beijing to peacefully protest the hardening tone of state-run media against their practice and the wrongful arrest of their fellow practitioners in nearby Tianjin.

Cooper was speaking at a rally held in Edmonton’s Dr. Wilbert McIntyre Gazebo on April 22 to commemorate the anniversary of the appeal. The rally also heard from Garnett Genuis, MP for Sherwood Park-Fort Saskatchewan, and adherents of Falun Dafa (also called Falun Gong) who experienced persecution in China.

It was the largest peaceful pro-democratic demonstration in China since the Tiananmen Square pro-democratic demonstrations of 1989. It was a remarkable feat.

— MP Michael Cooper

The protest was the largest appeal for freedom of belief in China’s recent history, and the last time Falun Dafa adherents were able to gather before the brutal persecution against the practice was launched in July 1999 by then-Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader Jiang Zemin.

‘A Remarkable Feat’

“It’s an honour to be here to stand with [Falun Dafa adherents] for truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance, to stand in solidarity to commemorate the brave 10,000-plus men and women who [gathered] in Beijing on that fateful day of April 25, 1999,” Cooper said. Truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance are Falun Dafa’s guiding principles.

April 25, 1999

Garnett Genuis, MP for Sherwood Park-Fort Saskatchewan, talks at a rally in Edmonton’s Dr. Wilbert McIntyre Gazebo on April 22, 2017 to mark the 18th anniversary of the April 25, 1999 appeal in Beijing by Falun Dafa adherents. (Omid Ghoreishi/The Epoch Times)

“Men and women, who stood up for justice, who stood up for freedom, who stood up for human rights, who stood up for the dozens of Falun Gong practitioners who days earlier had been rounded up, arrested, and beaten. It was the largest peaceful pro-democratic demonstration in China since the Tiananmen Square pro-democratic demonstrations of 1989. It was a remarkable feat,” he said.

But the response of the Chinese regime was typical of a “brutal communist dictatorship,” Cooper noted.

Just three months later, Jiang’s regime launched a campaign of persecution against Falun Dafa, which in the past 18 years has resulted in thousands of families being destroyed, many sent to labour camps, many tortured to death, and many more losing their lives in China’s illicit state-sanctioned organ transplant trade.

April 25, 1999

Dr. Minnan Liu from the Falun Dafa Association of Edmonton talks at a rally in Edmonton’s Dr. Wilbert McIntyre Gazebo on April 22, 2017 to mark the 18th anniversary of the April 25, 1999 appeal in Beijing by Falun Dafa adherents. (Omid Ghoreishi/The Epoch Times)

“In the face of some of the most egregious human rights abuses and crimes committed in the modern world by the communist dictatorship of China, how have Falun Gong practitioners responded?” asked Cooper.

“[They’ve] responded peacefully, through education, through a campaign of awareness, to shine light on the evil—the evils that are perpetrated on a day-to-day basis in China against Falun Gong, and the tens of millions of practitioners right across China.”

Forced Organ Harvesting

Cooper told the crowd that he and fellow MP Genuis and others in the House of Commons will continue to press the Canadian government to compel Beijing to stop the persecution and promote “freedom, democracy, and human rights.”

Canada can play a strong role, standing up for universal human rights. We have a responsibility to do that, especially when the government talks about increasing our engagement with China.

— MP Garnett Genuis

Genuis, who recently introduced a private member’s bill to combat forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience in China, said persecution against all faith communities in China is on the rise.

“As China does its best to whitewash its international image, the persecution is escalating, it’s getting worse, and it requires a strong response from those of us in the West and throughout the world committed to justice and human rights,” he told the rally.

Genuis’s bill C-350, which revives a bill tabled in the last parliament by former Liberal justice minister Irwin Cotler, amends Canada’s Criminal Code and Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. The bill seeks to make it a criminal offence for someone to acquire an organ that they know was obtained without consent, and to make those involved in forced organ harvesting inadmissible to Canada.

Luo Zehui (R) recounts through a translator how her father fainted under torture and then cremated while still alive in China for practicing Falun Gong at a rally in Edmonton’s Dr. Wilbert McIntyre Gazebo on April 22, 2017. The event was held to mark the 18th anniversary of the April 25, 1999 appeal in Beijing by Falun Dafa adherents. (Omid Ghoreishi/The Epoch Times)

According to investigations by former Canadian secretary of state David Kilgour, Canadian human rights lawyer David Matas, and American investigative journalist Ethan Gutmann, up to 90,000 organ transplants take place in China on a yearly basis, with the majority of them being Falun Gong prisoners of conscience who are killed for their organs.

“Canada can play a strong role, standing up for universal human rights. We have a responsibility to do that, especially when the government talks about increasing our engagement with China,” Genuis said.

Persecution

The rally heard from two Falun Gong practitioners who personally experienced persecution while in China.

Calgary resident Luo Zehui relayed in an emotional speech through a translator that her father, Jiang Xiqing, was put in a forced labour camp and tortured for practising Falun Gong.

April 25, 1999

Zhang Ping (R) recounts through a translator how she was imprisoned multiple times in China for practicing Falun Gong at a rally in Edmonton’s Dr. Wilbert McIntyre Gazebo on April 22, 2017. The event was held to mark the 18th anniversary of the April 25, 1999 appeal in Beijing by Falun Dafa adherents. (Omid Ghoreishi/The Epoch Times)

Jiang fainted under torture, and was then cremated while he was still alive, a tearful Luo said.

Zhang Ping, also from Calgary, talked about how both her physical and mental state improved with the practice and how she was able to harmonize her relations with family members and those in her community, thanks to Falun Gong.

However, due to the CCP’s campaign of persecution, she was arrested and detained on multiple occasions. She finally escaped China to come to Canada in 2015.

“After leaving my hometown, within less than a year I heard about three more fellow Falun Gong practitioners who died of persecution,” she said.

“There were 43 confirmed death locally and 989 in my province since the persecution started.”

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Falun Gong practitioners raise awareness about organ harvesting and other human rights crimes in China, with residents and tourists in Santa Monica, Calif., on July 17. (Xu Touhui/Epoch Times)Falun Gong practitioners raise awareness about organ harvesting and other human rights crimes in China, with residents and tourists in Santa Monica, Calif., on July 17. (Xu Touhui/Epoch Times)

NEW YORKA petition that has garnered nearly 6,000 signatures in just 2 days calls for President Donald Trump to help end the practice of forced organ harvesting in China.

Trump had his first meeting with Chinese president Xi Jinping on Thursday, but they are expected to get into more deeper discussions on Friday at the summit.  

The White House petition created on April. 5, urges Trump to ask Xi Jinping to end the forced organ harvesting against Falun Gong practitioners and other prisoners of conscience in China.

The forced organ harvesting is part of a wider persecution which began in 1999 by then Communist leader Jiang Zemin and is still happening today against Falun Gong, a peaceful, spiritual practice.

Hundreds of thousands practitioners in detention are vulnerable to becoming victims of forced, live organ harvesting, one of the most atrocious and inhumane practices today, according to researchers.

The Chinese Regime is estimated to have performed between 60,000 and 100,000 transplants each year from 2000 to 2015, the bulk from Falun Gong practitioners, according to a nearly 700-page report published in June last year.

The report authors—David Kilgour, a former Canadian Secretary of State and member of Parliament; human rights lawyer David Matas; and investigative journalist Ethan Gutmann—explain that this is how transplant patients can go to China and get a organ within days or even hours, if they can pay for it. By contrast, patients can be on wait lists for years in other countries.  

The ultimate conclusion of the report, said Matas at the National Press Club in Washington on June 22, “is that China has engaged in the mass killing of innocents.”

If the petition on the White House-sponsored site collects 100,000 signatures by May 5, then the White House is obliged to furnish a response. The text of the petition reads:  

“Irrefutable evidence shows that former Chinese President, Jiang Zemin, not only started a brutal persecution against Falun Gong in 1999, but also initiated the abominable and deadly forced organ harvesting practice against this peaceful group—a practice that is intolerable in the 21st century. The civilized world must stand up against these atrocities and demand an end to one of the greatest human rights violations of our time.

“Mr. President, AMERICA FIRST signifies core American values. The defense of human rights is one of our greatest virtues and the foundation of our nation. You have a chance to show the world that the United States remains the leader in defending human rights and will not remain silent in the face of these crimes against humanity.”

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Over 6,300 Falun Gong practitioners form an emblem of Falun Gong and the Chinese characters, truthfulness, compassion and forbearance at the Liberty Square in Taipei on Nov. 26, 2016. (Chen Po-chou/Epoch Times)Over 6,300 Falun Gong practitioners form an emblem of Falun Gong and the Chinese characters, truthfulness, compassion and forbearance at the Liberty Square in Taipei on Nov. 26, 2016. (Chen Po-chou/Epoch Times)

TAIPEI, Taiwan—After two days of intensive labor and preparation, a huge symbol appeared center stage at Taiwan’s Liberty Square, named for its role in the island’s transition from one-party rule to democracy.

On Nov. 26, wearing yellow, blue, red, and black clothing, about 6,300 practitioners of the spiritual discipline Falun Gong formed a large emblem along with the three Chinese characters for truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance, the core teaching of Falun Gong. The symbol, called “falun” in Chinese and meaning “law wheel,” includes the traditional Buddhist “srivatsa” and Taoist “taiji.” It is the emblem of Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa (Great Way of the Law Wheel).

The participants, mostly Falun Dafa practitioners living in Taiwan, included practitioners from Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Singapore, and Indonesia. The character formation has become an annual tradition, held in November, to commemorate the month back in 1997 when Mr. Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Gong, visited the island for the first time.

“The world needs truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.” said Huang Chun-mei, organizer of the activity and deputy chairman of Taiwan Falun Dafa Association. “If everyone in society follows these principles, our society will be better.”

The character formation, however, bears a much deeper meaning. Huang Chun-mei explained that the character formation would put a check on the continued violent persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China, and, contrary to propaganda by the Chinese regime, show that the Buddhist discipline thrives around the world, with people practicing Falun Gong in over 100 countries.

From Design to Formation

The planning and design actually began over two months ago, said Wu Ching-hsiang, a retired architect, who has been responsible for drawing the blueprints for Taiwan’s character formations since 2009. He has also provided drawings for similar activities held in Washington D.C and New York.

Wu explained in a phone interview why getting the blueprint right was such a lengthy process: “Once, after I finished a drawing and was suddenly told that there would be 1,000 additional participants, I had to quickly redraw the blueprint.”

Wu added that the history of character formation actually originated in China. But unlike those held in China and elsewhere in the world, the formation in Taiwan often involves more complex images.

“Geometric shapes involving straight lines or 90-degree angles are not difficult,” said Wu. “It is images with curved lines that are more challenging.” To provide an example, Wu added that participants form the more complicated, but beautiful Chinese characters in clerical script, a form of Chinese calligraphy nowadays, as opposed to the more simple writing style in the past.

In China, such large-scale character formations were common in China before July 1999, before the persecution started. Since then, practitioners in Taiwan, the United States, and many other countries have tried to keep the tradition alive.

Wu said that in the formation this year, besides the emblem and the Chinese characters, there are also rays of light depicted in yellow. These rays, according to Wu, represent Buddha’s grace illuminating the world.

Preparation

Two days before the formation of the characters, preparation at the Liberty Square begins. Hundreds of practitioners, mostly from Taipei, turn out to manually place colored round plastic sheets and tape them to their designated spots.

Wang Chung-tung, 66, a retired ocean freight captain and former assistant professor at Taipei College of Maritime Technology, said over the years he had previously battled through adverse weather, red ants, and even snakes during the preparation, as the formations were sometimes held on grass instead of concrete.

A sense of gratitude to Falun Gong has led Wang to be diligent over the years in helping out with preparations for the character formation. Wang took up the practice in 2002 after his 20-year-long career working at sea, where “there was a thin line between life and death.” With Falun Gong, he said he has found the meaning of life that he had longed for during his years on ships.

Similarly, Chuang Mao-chin, 56, a retired government official from the National Bureau of Foreign Trade, said he had been taking part in the preparations since 2011. Last year, Mao recalled how he still decided to help out with the preparation even though he was under the weather, because of the gratitude he feels for the good quality of sleep he has enjoyed since he started practicing Falun Gong in 2010.

For many volunteers turning out for the character formation was an opportunity to tell passerby, especially mainland Chinese tourists—Liberty Square is a popular tourist attraction site in Taiwan—about the injustices still suffered by Falun Gong practitioners in China.

“Tourists easily find the character formation very interesting, not just on the day of the actual formation, but days before when the preparation is underway,” said Dr. Huang Hui-chun, 37, a cardiologist working at National Taiwan University Hospital, and a practitioner since 2006.

Huang Chung-peng, 56, owner of a mechanical hardware company in New Taipei City, said he once had to explain how Taiwan is different from China when a Chinese tourist was stunned to find that the Taiwanese government had granted permission to Falun Gong practitioners to hold such a large public activity.

“When mainland Chinese, after using anti-censorship software, see pictures of the character formation, they will realize how Falun Gong is openly practiced in Taiwan,” said Huang Chung-peng.

Opportunity Only in Taiwan

For many practitioners in other Asian countries, to take part in the character formation in Taiwan was an opportunity not to be missed.

“Falun Gong is welcomed everywhere in the world except China,” said Sato Kunio, 53, a hotel owner in the Japanese city of Chiba, who was born in Harbin, China before moving to Japan in 1980. He started practicing Falun Gong in 1996 and has participated in Taiwan’s character formation several times.

For Rosy Ngygen, 34, senior account manager from Vietnam who started practicing Falun Gong in 2012, the opportunity was precious, given that it was impossible to hold a large-scale activity like this in her own country due to political pressure from China.

Ngyugen explained, “The Vietnamese government does not oppose Falun Gong, but it does not want to make the Chinese government upset either.”

Kim Jung Soo, a retired government official in the education department in Busan, South Korea, took part even though he had only been practicing for three days. He thanked his wife for introducing him to Falun Gong. He said she had shown “peace and serenity” as a practitioner for the last 14 years.

While participants were seated for photographing and filming, many tourists paused for selfies with the rare and colorful backdrop.

“Beautiful. I don’t know the history of this, but to my eyes, it’s very beautiful,” said Mrs. Sangsajja, a housewife from Thailand.

Jose Collazo, a business analyst from Puerto Rico, said he had heard about the persecution of the group in China. He enjoyed the character formation.

“It is very colorful. I wish I could see it from up top,” he said.

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Xin Ziling in an undated photograph. (Apollo Net)Xin Ziling in an undated photograph. (Apollo Net)

Xi Jinping is widely misunderstood by the media and intellectuals because they don’t understand the power dynamics inside the Chinese communist regime today, according to maverick retired defense official Xin Ziling.

Born Song Ke in the province of Hebei in northern China, Xin joined the People’s Liberation Army in 1950 at the age of 15. Xin eventually made director of China National Defense Univer­sity, the country’s top higher education institute for defense official.

Today, Xin is best known as a fiery critic of the regime who isn’t afraid to broach sensitive topics—he is the author of a highly critical book on former Chinese dictator Mao Zedong; he has spoken out against former Party leader Jiang Zemin’s persecution of Falun Gong, a traditional Chinese spiritual practice; and joined other scholars and journalists in calling for the regime to end censorship.   

Recently, Xin Ziling was interviewed by the Chinese language edition of Voice of America as part of a series on the Communist Party’s 6th Plenum. Though the interview took place before the recently-concluded meeting, its identification of the faultlines in elite Party politics remains highly relevant. We’ve translated the interview, and edited it for brevity and clarity.

***

Question: What are your thoughts about the 6th Plenum?

Xin Ziling: This meeting concerns the infighting in the Chinese Communist Party. Xi Jinping is heading a group of reformists, and they are being opposed by a faction led by Jiang Zemin.

The 6th Plenum will bring a general resolution to this struggle, and there must be complete resolution in the lead up to the Communist Party’s 19th National Congress; otherwise, the 19th Congress can’t be held. For example, if Jiang is still allowed some say in matters of the day, he could pick another three Politburo Standing Committee members [serving Standing Committee members Liu Yunshan, Zhang Dejiang, and Zhang Gaoli are known allies of Jiang]. How is that acceptable? What will become of China then? I also believe that [Xi Jinping] will conclusively resolve organizational issues at the 6th Plenum.

Now the whole Party has essentially endorsed Xi Jinping assuming the title of “core” leader. In other words, Jiang Zemin’s position as the Party’s “core” is on the wane; previously, Jiang still had influence, but now many cadres are much clearer on the overall situation. I recently read that the leaders of 28 provinces were replaced within a span of nine months. If a cadre refuses to change his political mindset and stance, he will be replaced and dealt with by the Party organization.

I’m optimistic about the prospects. By that I mean that Xi Jinping will be victorious, the reformists will be victorious, and the Chinese people will be triumphant. China cannot possibly progress without the purging of corrupt officials—those big tigers, medium tigers, and old tigers. [“Tiger” is Party parlance for corrupt high-ranking officials.]

It’s also impossible for progress to be made on political reform and issues such as the Tiananmen Square Massacre and the political rehabilitation of Falun Gong if Jiang Zemin isn’t removed. With rows of big tigers obstructing the way, there’s no way to resolve these issues. The conditions and timing must be right for a comprehensive resolution to be reached, and its possible that something will come of the 6th Plenum that will jolt the people and the Party.

Q: Do you that think that Xi Jinping might resolve the issues of Tiananmen and Falun Gong when he becomes “core” leader?

Xin: It’s not a question of probability; Xi Jinping will definitely resolve these issues. Falun Gong practitioners can and have filed criminal complaints against Jiang Zemin with the Supreme People’s Court and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate … these judicial organs have already accepted these complaints. Falun Gong and Tiananmen must be resolved. Xi Jinping cannot carry this burden going forward; he is crystal clear on this matter.

Q: Human rights lawyers have been arrested, petitioners have been suppressed, freedom of speech is being restricted, and many people have been prosecuted for comments they’ve made on the internet. Could these incidents have happened if Xi Jinping didn’t give a nod?

Xin: Let me make a clarification. There are currently two power centers in the Chinese Communist Party. And Xi Jinping doesn’t have complete power before the 6th Plenum.

Take the political and legal apparatus, for example. In theory, after Zhou Yongkang was purged, Xi ought to have regained control over the apparatus. In reality, however, the apparatus’ direction can be influenced in countless ways; many officials are still carrying out Zhou Yongkang’s policies, whether knowingly or unknowingly.

Recently there was a man named Wang Zhiwen [the former Falun Gong coordinator in Beijing] who was prevented from leaving the country in Guangzhou. Xi Jinping is definitely not behind this. Because the people who blocked Wang still have some power.

Nowadays, who does the common folk blame when they are unhappy about something? They blame the top leader, and say that it’s Xi Jinping’s doing even when it’s not his idea. This  situation arises from slandering and the so-called “advanced blackening” [gaojihei in Chinese].

Those old tigers and big tigers from the Jiang faction face the fate of being purged. So they think: If I’m a goner, then I’m going to bring you down, too. They then try to sabotage Xi, and damage his political reputation. But Xi is not behind many incidents; the shutting down of Yanhuang Chunqiu [a reformist publication ran by mostly elderly Party cadres] was the handiwork of Liu Yunshan [the propaganda and ideology chief].  

Right now Xi Jinping cannot abandon his plans at the 6th Plenum or his overall objectives to deal with the specific problems caused by the Jiang faction. As the highest-ranking leader, Xi needs to deal with all these problems comprehensively in terms of strategy, direction, and policy. He needs to get all cadres to implement the Party Central’s policies; having the top leader rectify all problems caused by noncompliant cadres is impossible.

Given the circumstances, many people, including the media and the intelligentsia, have a lot of misunderstandings about Xi Jinping. They see increased restrictions on the media, and people getting arrested. But if Xi isn’t aware of a lot of things until they take place, what is he to do?

Q: Isn’t Xi Jinping aware that his reputation and credibility are damaged when these things happen?

Xin: Of course he is aware. And that is what drives him to resolve all these issues once and for all at the 6th Plenum! If Xi doesn’t take action, what he ultimately faces is Chinese officials dragging their feet, or even performing the opposite of what he wants. Some officials might think: You don’t allow me to take bribes, that’s fine. I will not do any work, and bring the entire government administration to a halt. Then the people will blame Xi Jinping.

The organizational issue can be resolved through the appointing of new officials and wiping the slate at the 19th Congress. Jiang Zemin has build up his factional networks in the Party for over two decades, and the roots he has sunk are intertwining and very deep. This is not an easy issue to resolve, but Xi won’t be able to push through his policies without fixing this issue. Then the case of orders not leaving Zhongnanhai [the officials headquarters of the Party leadership in Beijing] will persist.

Q: For several months, there have been many changes in the ranks of the top provincial leadership. Do you believe that Xi Jinping is responsible for the reshuffling?

Xin: Certainly. Now, many provincial-level cadres are Xi’s appointments. These personnel changes were made to prevent a political coup from taking place during the 6th Plenum and the 19th Congress. That’s also the reasoning behind the reshuffling of top leaders in 28 provinces in 9 months.

Q: After the recent military reforms, does Xi Jinping have complete control over the military?

Xin: You could say that. Military reform is a massive operation; frankly, Mao Zedong didn’t dare to do it, and neither did Deng Xiaoping. What Xi has done is unprecedented, but then again he was forced into it. Guo Boxiong and Xu Caihou [two disgraced former military vice chairs] had Hu Jintao under their thumb for a decade; everyone in the military was loyal to them. If this issue isn’t resolved at a fundamental level, it’s impossible to gain control over the military.

In fact, Xi forcibly wrestled back control of the military, and the struggle continues to escalate. Recently, there were many personnel changes in the military; this was done to clean out the remaining influence of Xu Caihou and Guo Boxiong. Why is this necessary? Because many of Xu and Guo’s subordinates are still in office, and whose side they are on is still unclear. However, the overall situation has been settled, and Xi Jinping is firmly in control of the military. Without controlling the military, there can be no way for Xi to counterattack in this ongoing struggle. So it is reasonable for Xi to have started with military reform, and to purge Xu Caihou and Guo Boxiong.

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Li Mengfei, from New York City, attends the annual Falun Gong conference in San Francisco. (Edward Dye/Epoch Times)Li Mengfei, from New York City, attends the annual Falun Gong conference in San Francisco. (Edward Dye/Epoch Times)

SAN FRANCISCO—Lily Zhang, a Chinese-American woman in her 50s, said that she used to be “a classic Ironwoman,” where she grew up in communist China. The idea connotes a flinty disposition, hatred of class enemies, and a willingness to sacrifice for the “revolution.”

But in a conference held at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in downtown San Francisco on Oct. 24, Zhang and thousands of others, most from the United States, many from elsewhere in the world, reflected on what it means to be free of communist indoctrination, and to have embraced a traditional Chinese spiritual philosophy instead.

Falun Gong, or Falun Dafa, is the name of the practice that the attendees adhere to. It involves a set of meditative exercises and living in conformance to the three principles of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance. Every year, Falun Gong practitioners on the West coast of the United States hold an experience sharing conference of this kind, where they reflect on how they have grown in their spiritual practice and persisted through adversity.

Falun Gong was the most popular meditative practice of its kind throughout the 1990s in China, with the regime estimating that there were 70 million citizens practicing it by the end of the decade, including many influential government officials; Falun Gong sources pegged the number at 100 million. The number of those practicing scared the former Communist Party chief Jiang Zemin, who set out to eradicate the practice and began one of the most severe, ongoing human rights crises in the world.

Thousands of attendees attended the San Francisco Falun Gong experience sharing conference of 2016, held at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on Oct. 24. (Edward Dye/Epoch Times)

Thousands of attendees attended the San Francisco Falun Gong experience sharing conference of 2016, held at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on Oct. 24. (Edward Dye/Epoch Times)

Many of the speeches given at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium discussed efforts to expose and stop the persecution, and the obstacles therein.

Susan Williams, 56, from Halifax, Nova Scotia, has been practicing Falun Dafa since 2009. She came to the conference, first of all, to see how she could improve herself internally — practitioners of Falun Gong see this as one of the pillars of their spiritual discipline — and also to participate in the ancillary events, including parades, protests, and meditation outdoors in groups.  

Williams was particularly eager to use the opportunity to talk to the many Chinese tourists coming to San Francisco, who may have had a little chance to hear about Falun Gong apart from the official Chinese propaganda. Given the sparseness of the population in Halifax, it’s an opportunity that she treasures. “People coming from China should know that Falun Gong is good,” Williams said.

Susan Williams from Halifax, Nova Scotia, attends the 2016 Falun Gong experience sharing conference in San Francisco, on Oct. 24, 2016.

Susan Williams from Halifax, Nova Scotia, attends the 2016 Falun Gong experience sharing conference in San Francisco, on Oct. 24, 2016. (Petr Svab/Epoch Times)

Chow Wai-dong came from Hong Kong for the San Francisco conference, delivering one of the final speeches of the day. He had come into contact with the practice by receiving literature about it handed out by volunteers in the street, he said, and then recounted some of the history of Chinese Communist Party influence in Hong Kong, which is often aimed at disrupting peaceful Falun Gong events there. The current Hong Kong leadership, which is thought by analysts to be connected to Jiang Zemin, the leader who launched the anti-Falun Gong campaign, “brought the gangster element to Hong Kong,” Chow said. Yet, he noted, the more poorly the communist-backed provocateurs behaved, the greater the interest generated in Falun Gong’s own story. “People would queue up for the Minghui newsletter and even grab them off the rack without waiting,” Chow said, referring to a publication run by volunteers which carries news about the situation of Falun Gong in China. 

Jim Battaglini, a young man from Minnesota who speaks quickly, was attracted to Falun Gong after reading about the spiritual journey of the historical Buddha, known as Sakyamuni to Chinese people. “I was looking for a way or method, but I couldn’t find any instruction. Then one time I was on the public library, and I found the main text of Falun Gong, and I read the first sentence and I said: ‘This is it.’” He noted that the focus of his life has changed significantly as a result of his practice, including some days simply standing on the street with a clipboard, collecting signatures from citizens who are outraged at the killing of Falun Gong practitioners for their organs. 

Battaglini remarked on one of the papers read, which discussed successful efforts at bringing information about the persecution of Falun Gong to elite members of society, including policymakers and financiers. “The practitioner explained his successes, but it wasn’t with the idea that ‘I’m great.’ It was about conscientious effort, looking at his own self, and explaining what led to the success.”

Li Mengfei, from New York City, spoke of how she grew up in a family in which Falun Gong was simply a part of life. She spoke about how she applied its lessons, in particular those about looking internally and overcoming psychological obstacles, in her work doing sales in Manhattan.

Lily Zhang, of San Francisco, says she was able to overcome her fear of driving, a skill she had never learned in China, when she was well past her middle-age. Now she drives nearly every day, ferrying other Falun Gong practitioners and materials to events, holding meetings with government officials, and trying to see the persecution in her homeland stopped. She named her vehicle, a black Honda Accord, “my black Prince Charming.”‘

With reporting by Petr Svab and Larry Ong

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  • Author: <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/author/matthew-robertson/" rel="author">Matthew Robertson</a>, <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/" title="Epoch Times" rel="publisher">Epoch Times</a>
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Torsten Trey, the executive director of Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting, speaks at an event in Taipei on Feb. 27, 2013. (Chen Pochou/Epoch Times)Torsten Trey, the executive director of Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting, speaks at an event in Taipei on Feb. 27, 2013. (Chen Pochou/Epoch Times)

Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting, a nongovernmental coalition of medical professionals, has declared the date of Oct. 1 the “International Day Against Forced Organ Harvesting.”  This year is the inaugural occasion, and to mark it the group has called on the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to take action on the abuse.

The concerns of DAFOH, as the organization is often known, focus primarily on what they describe as the killing of prisoners of conscience in China for organs—the practice is believed by researchers to primarily target practitioners of Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been marked for elimination since 1999, as well as other ethnic or religious communities, including Tibetans, Uyghurs, and possibly some “house church” Christians.

Those concerned with the issue are enjoined by DAFOH to download their petition and send it to both DAFOH and the email address of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The petition expresses “alarm… [at] the mass of evidence of forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience in China.”

It calls on the High Commissioner, currently Prince Zeid bin Ra’ad of Jordan, to call upon China to cease forced organ harvesting, “initiate further objective investigations that lead to the prosecution of the perpetrators involved in this crime against humanity,” and also call upon the cessation of the persecution of Falun Gong.

 Falun Gong, a set of five slow-motion exercises and moral teachings centered on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance, gained significant popularity in China during the 1990s, before it befell the wrath of the leader at the time, Jiang Zemin.

According to the most recent research by the investigators David Kilgour, David Matas, and Ethan Gutmann, between 60,000 and 100,000 organ transplants have been conducted per year in China since around the year 2000 — just six months after the persecution of Falun Gong started. During this period, China claimed that almost the sole source of its organs were death row prisoners — even as the number of death row executees fell, year by year.

Given the enormous gap between the number of transplants and judicial executions, however, (researchers say the latter number is only in the thousands per year), researchers have explored alternate organ sources, and concluded that practitioners of Falun Gong are targeted. The evidence supporting this includes surreptitiously recorded telephone calls with doctors who say they have healthy organs from Falun Gong, multiple independent reports of blood-testing in custody, overlap between personnel engaged in the anti-Falun Gong campaign and organ transplantation, and a range of other indicators.

DAFOH highlights on its website a number of statements of international support, including from Japan and the United States.

Hiroshi Yamada, Member of the House of Councillors in the Japanese Diet, is quoted saying: “I sincerely express my condolence to those who were victims of the forced organ harvesting.  We will take an action from Japan so that this Holocaust, which challenges the sublime spirit of medicine, will be eliminated as soon as possible through strong solidarity of people with conscience in the whole world.”

A number of U.S. federal and state elected representatives also provided comments on the occasion. “Dear Members of the United Nations Human Rights Commission,” writes State Rep. Michael F. Curtin of Ohio. “For many years, I have been deeply troubled by the mounting evidence of forced organ harvesting in China and elsewhere in the world.

The U.N. Human Rights Commission has a moral duty to do everything in its power to bring an end to this outrageous scourge, an affront to civilization and an affront to humanity itself.”

Congressman Michael G. Fitzpatrick, a Republican from Pennsylvania, entered the commemoration into the House of Representatives record with a statement on Sept. 30. “This practice is another form of evil in our time and the United Nations will be further alerted to this crime against humanity, as are we,” he said.

Incidentally, or not, the date of Oct. 1 contains additional significance: It is on this date in 1949 that Mao Zedong proclaimed the People’s Republic of China.

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Huang Jiefu, the spokesperson on Chinese transplantation issues, dodges reporters at The Transplantation Society’s recent biennial conference in Hong Kong on Aug. 19. (Yu Kong/Epoch Times)Huang Jiefu, the spokesperson on Chinese transplantation issues, dodges reporters at The Transplantation Society’s recent biennial conference in Hong Kong on Aug. 19. (Yu Kong/Epoch Times)

China’s organ transplantation authorities may be taking a leaf from the public relations playbook of Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump: If you make a stumble, just pretend like nothing happened.

This, at least, would be a potential explanation for the silent substitution of the 491st question in the 500 “Frequently Asked Questions” on the website of China’s Organ Transplantation Development Foundation, a state-linked agency promoting voluntary donation.

In early August, the question asked was: “Can prisoners in jail apply to donate their organs after death?”

The answer: “As long as they meet the basic requirements of organ donation, the organ function is normal, they are willing, and there is no compensation, prisoners can all the same donate organs.”

The existence of the question and answer was, in the first place, a bizarre and public contradiction of the officially stated policy of the Chinese authorities on organ transplant reform.

China’s organ transplantation spokesperson, Huang Jiefu, has since December 2014 been promising that no more organs would be sourced from death row prisoners.

It remained unclear just why a question on China’s own semi-official website, belonging to the foundation run by Huang, would flatly contest his own public promises.

But it seems the answer to that question will now remain a mystery. Sometime later in August, after Epoch Times brought the aberrant Q-and-A to the attention of several Chinese and Western doctors, it was replaced.

“Will information about donations be widely reported by the media?” the new one asked. (No, is the answer.)

A screengrab from an archived version of the website of the China Organ Transplantation Development Foundation, with the replaced question — affirming the use of prisoner organs — highlighted. (Screenshot/Epoch Times)

Yet the question of whether or not death row prisoners are still being used as an organ source remains unanswered. China, after all, has passed no new law banning the use of organs from prisoners, and nor have they rescinded the 1984 regulations that first gave the legal opening for their use.

An email to the foundation requesting comment was not immediately returned.

The failure to make these promised changes has led the international transplantation community to sour on endorsing China’s system, and led to public rebukes from the former head of The Transplantation Society at a major conference in Hong Kong last month.

Meanwhile, attention continues to focus on whether the primary source of organs all along has not been death row prisoners, as China claims, but instead extrajudicially executed prisoners of conscience—primarily practitioners of Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been targeted for elimination since 1999.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution condemning this practice in June, documentaries on the subject are winning prestigious awards, and the issue has been prominently raised in a number of recent reports in The New York Times.

On that topic, Chinese authorities have provided even less explanation than the deleted question. “Ridiculous!” was all Huang Jiefu, a former vice health minister, could muster at the recent Hong Kong conference, declining to address hundreds of pages of detailed evidence that researchers say documents the practice.

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Dr. Annika Tibell, chief physician at the New Karolinska Hospital Project in Sweden. (Karolinska Institutet)Dr. Annika Tibell, chief physician at the New Karolinska Hospital Project in Sweden. (Karolinska Institutet)

STOCKHOLM—Dr. Annika Tibell is one of the world’s most respected voices in the ethics of organ transplantation. Currently Chief Physician for the New Karolinska Hospital Project, commissioned this fall in the capital of Sweden, Dr. Tibell was the lead author for The Transplantation Society’s first policy statement on China in 2006, and was one of the founders of the Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group, a major organization focused on transplantation ethics.

In a recent interview, Tibell joined calls for a major international investigation into China’s organ transplant practices, where researchers believe that for over a decade prisoners of conscience have been the primary source of organs used to supply the massive and profitable industry.

Dr. Annika Tibell, a figure in international transplant ethics, in Stockholm, on Feb. 17, 2011. (Jan Ainali)

The issue came into renewed focus this summer, when a report by investigators Ethan Gutmann, David Kilgour and David Matas presented data indicating that over one million transplants likely look place in China beginning from the year 2000. They believe that the primary source of all these organs is practitioners of Falun Gong, a spiritual practice that has been targeted for elimination in China since 1999.

She says that the new report is comprehensive and in-depth, though the sheer amount of information has made it difficult to grapple with. She calls the report’s estimate of 60,000 to 100,000 yearly transplants in China “staggering” and calls for an in-depth investigation by a “major, established, public organization” such as the UN or the Council of Europe.

“I wish the calls for action to various major organizations had lead to greater results than what we have seen so far. It’s a shame that this has not happened,” she said.  

When The Transplantation Society reviews its China policy in 2017, it should, to the best of its ability, include in its considerations the findings of the Kilgour-Gutmann-Matas report, as well as other new information to emerge since the policy was written, in 2006, Tibell said. She also says the TTS should contribute to the evaluation of the report, and of the general situation of organ sourcing in China.

China has categorically denied these allegations without responding to them in detail, and claimed that the organ source in the past was mainly death row prisoners, but that there is now a voluntary donation system in place.

This claim has met with skepticism by transplantation specialists, including the current leadership of TTS.

“There remains, in many sectors, a deep sense of mistrust of your transplant programs,” said Philip O’Connell, former TTS president, speaking at a press conference in Hong Kong on Aug. 19. “It is important that you understand that the global community is appalled by the practices, which you have adhered to in the past.”

He added: “Many people in the global community are not persuaded that China has changed.”

Philip O’Connell, former president of The Transplantation Society, at a press conference during the Society’s biennial conference, in Hong Kong on Aug. 19, 2016. (Sun Mingguo/Epoch Times)

The Hong Kong conference was The Transplantation Society’s biennial conference, and originally was aimed to coincide with promised reforms in China to end the practice of procuring organs from executed prisoners.

When it became clear that those reforms were not going to come to fruition, however, TTS executives turned sour on China’s promises.

Interacting with China on transplantation issues is “extremely difficult”, Tibell said. One the one hand, she believes in a dialogue that puts pressure on China to change, but thinks it’s a “balancing act.”

“My opinion is that all interaction with China should have the purpose of achieving change. There is no other reason to interact with China”, she says.

When TTS chose Hong Kong as the venue for the 2016 conference – and included a session about a supposed “new era” for the Chinese transplantation system – some felt that this was a victory for China’s attempts to sweep an enormous crime under the rug and be accepted into the global transplantation community.

An investigation before the congress by Epoch Times found at least a dozen deeply problematic Chinese co-authors, presenters and panelists. This was brought to the attention of the TTS.

One example is Shen Zhongyang, the architect behind the booming transplantation center at the Tianjin First Central Hospital, which was heavily criticized by TTS for its extremely short waiting periods for organs – periods investigators say are impossible unless you have a pool of live “donors” standing by to be harvested on demand.

Tibell said that from what Epoch Times presented, Shen’s presence as co-author of an article is “remarkable,” and she expressed curiosity at the rationale behind it.

Another case is that of prominent liver surgeon Zheng Shusen, who chairs a Party-run organization dedicated to vilifying Falun Gong. He has also published a paper showing the ability to source livers within 24 hours, something experts say is practically impossible without a pool of live donors, on standby for execution. Zheng, unlike Shen, was present at the session, but TTS seemed to have attempted to replace him as speaker and later distanced themselves from him.

Tibell said that Zheng’s case “sounds very troubling.”

“It brings to the fore the fact that the current guidelines on interactions with China is completely focused on the professional role in transplantation. A revision of the guidelines should discuss how to deal with a situation like this,” Tibell said.

She is wary of TTS taking up the non-professional roles that doctors and participants in their conferences may have and suggests it would only be suitable where there are grave aberrations from the norm, such as in the case of Zheng Shusen.

Though the conference program committee made a detailed review of papers before they were presented, Tibell acknowledged: “If people lie to our face, it gets difficult.”

She wouldn’t comment on whether she thinks a Chinese surgeon who is part of a secret system that investigators call a crime against humanity would find it difficult to lie to the TTS.

“I don’t like to speculate on what it’s like to live under a dictatorship,” she said.

Israeli transplant surgeon and previously a member of TTS’s Ethics Committee Dr. Jacob Lavee chose to boycott the conference. Tibell says she respects his position, but that obviously TTS as an organization judged otherwise.

“Only afterwards, perhaps in several years time, will we know if this contributed to a positive development, or if it contributed to increased acceptance [of the Chinese transplantation system],” she says.

Tibell was unable to appear at the conference due to the opening of the New Karolinska Hospital she is involved in.

When asked if she would have attended if circumstances had permitted, Tibell was silent for a long time before answering.

“I would have had to consider it very carefully, just given the choice of location. Will I have contributed to positive change by attending, or will I have contributed to increased acceptance for practices I find unacceptable?”

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A re-enactment shows the torture method of being wrapped up in tape (Minghui.org)A re-enactment shows the torture method of being wrapped up in tape (Minghui.org)

A 65-year-old woman said she was sentenced to five years in a Chinese prison, where she suffered “inhumane torture,” for following a type of meditation practiced by millions in China.

Sun Zhuoying said she was sentenced to five years for hanging a banner that spoke out about the Chinese regime’s unlawful persecution of practitioners of Falun Gong, a type of traditional Chinese meditation practice, in May 2011, according to a report published Sunday on Falun Gong information website Minghui.org.

In 1999, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) launched its suppression of Falun Gong, traditionally known as Falun Dafa. Practitioners are routinely subjected to arbitrary arrest, harassment, loss of employment, torture, and death at the hands of CCP officials. Several months ago, a report said Falun Gong adherents are being killed for body parts in China’s popular organ transplant industry. As many as 1.5 million organ transplants may have taken place in China since 2000, which were mostly “harvested” from Falun Gong practitioners, but include other prisoners of conscience, the report said.

Sun described her experiences in a lengthy account, saying she was forced to stand 18 hours each day, her head was beaten “with heavy objects” until she passed out, and she was also subjected to unusual torture methods including being completely wrapped up with sealing tape by other prisoners at the behest of prison guards.

“They forced me to sleep on a wooden board and wrapped me in sealing tape. They bound my hands, feet and body together before wrapping up my feet and legs separately. I couldn’t move even a little,” she said.

She also said she was coerced by prison officials to write a false statement admitting her “crime.” After she wrote a declaration to nullify the statement, Sun was placed in solitary confinement.

“They tortured me so severely that I was often in critical condition. They took me to Shanghai Prison Hospital every couple of months. I once lost consciousness at the hospital from heavy bleeding in my stomach,” Sun added, according to the report.

She described other forms of torture, which was often psychological in nature.

“I was also forced to sit in bed until midnight every day before being allowed to sleep. When my watchers noticed me sleepy, they beat me violently and poured cold water on my neck,” she added. “In the middle of a cold winter they removed my blanket every fifteen minutes at night.”

Sun said she returned home in May 2016.

Amnesty International and other human rights organizations have said the Chinese regime has been carrying out mass arbitrary detentions, show trials, and other human rights abuses resulting from the persecution.

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The Tianjin First Central Hospital. (mapio.net)The Tianjin First Central Hospital. (mapio.net)

A foreign patient receives a life-extending organ transplant in a Chinese hospital. Feeling grateful, he asks a hospital staff who the donor was so that he may give thanks and repayment.

But no one at the hospital—not even the transplant doctor—knows the donor’s identity.

Before his flight home, the patient is issued an official transplantation document. He finally learns the identity of his life-giver: A 30-year-old male death row convict. Coincidentally, all the other transplant patients received organs from healthy, 30-year-old executed prisoners. Only their names differed.

A correspondent who identified him or herself as having worked at the Tianjin First Central Hospital in the mid-2000s recently recounted the above episode and other oddities in a personal statement provided to New Tang Dynasty Television.

Below is a translation of the statement, edited for brevity and clarity.

***

I’m currently living in mainland China. Once, I worked at the organ transplant center in Tianjin First Central Hospital. What I’ve learned could perhaps serve as a rare warning to those who persist in persecuting Falun Gong. It’s also a cautionary tale for my fellow countrymen with a conscience.

The Communist Party Sells Human Organs

When China was welcoming large numbers of foreign organ transplant patients, I stepped into Tianjin First Central Hospital’s organ transplant center on the seventh floor. I managed to get a job at the transplant center through a recommendation.

Then, Tianjin First Central Hospital was also known as the Orient Organ Transplant Center because it handled large volumes of organ transplant patients, and was located in China. Today, this hospital is still the largest center in Asia.

The world of organ brokers is a black box — but from my contact with that world, I’ve figured out that there are a number of channels for people to learn about or get organs.

One channel is through middlemen. A well-known South Korean doctor with one of the biggest hospitals in South Korea would introduce his patients to a middleman. This middleman would then refer these patients to the Tianjin hospital.

There is no diplomatic arrangement for organ transplantation between China and South Korea. Rather, intermediaries belonging to Mafia-like syndicates cut transplant deals.

Many of the foreign transplant patients came to China looking for a liver or kidney. The bulk of these foreigners were South Koreans, while the rest came from Japan or Taiwan.

Foreign doctors are another channel for organ transplants. Because there was a shortage of transplant doctors in China, an unnamed hospital hired a South Korean doctor on high wages. This South Korean doctor told me that his peers in China held two household registration (hukou) credentials—one South Korean, and one Chinese—and that he is a legal Chinese citizen. I don’t know how much Chinese blood these dual-national South Korean doctors have on their hands.

A third channel is Chinese commercials. These ads feature famous Chinese celebrities, and serve to deceive and entice potential patients. A South Korean patient I keep in touch said that his countrymen flocked to China after watching an organ transplant advertisement starring Chinese actor Fu Biao.

On Aug. 26, 2004, Fu Biao checked into Beijing’s 309 Hospital for a check-up. The following day, he was diagnosed with liver cancer. On Sept. 2, Fu received a liver transplant at the General Hospital of the People’s Armed Police in Beijing.

The chief surgeon operating on Fu was Dr. Shen Zhongyang, a man hailed by the Chinese media as China’s “top scalpel.” Dr. Shen had headed the organ transplant research institute at the People’s Armed Police Hospital and the Orient Organ Transplant Center in Tianjin First Central Hospital.

In April 2005, Fu suffered a cancer relapse. He had a second liver transplant surgery on April 28, and was once again operated on by Dr. Shen, though this time at the Orient Organ Transplant Center.

On Aug. 30, however, Fu Biao passed away.

The following March, the organ harvesting of still-living Falun Gong practitioners in the district of Sujiatun in Shenyang City was exposed. The years between 2002 to 2005 were said to be the peak period of former Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin’s organ harvesting operation. Later, an article revealed that Dr. Shen Zhongyang conducted liver transplant experiments using live subjects, many of whom “died under experimentation.”

Afterwards, a person provided a tip on the sourcing of actor Fu Biao’s donated livers—two Falun Gong practitioners from Shandong. Dr. Shen had killed the practitioners for their organs.

Fu might have only lived a year more after his two liver transplants, his organ transplant advertisements continue to be broadcast in South Korea. Thus, South Koreans still visited China for surgery in 2006 because they didn’t know that Fu Biao was already dead.

Fu only lived a year more after his two liver transplants. But while he passed away on Aug. 30, 2005, Koreans were still going to China for surgery in 2006 because Fu’s organ transplant advertisements continue to be broadcast; unlike the Chinese, the Koreans didn’t know that Fu had died.

Those in need of a liver transplant around the world had fallen victim to the Chinese Communist Party’s enormous deception.

China Has the World’s Largest Human Organ Bank

A South Korean patient once told me that Chinese doctors learned the organ transplantation techniques from the technically superior Japanese doctors.  

When I was at the Tianjin organ transplant center, the hospital staff were familiar with a professor Zheng, a specialist in liver transplants, and a professor Song, a kidney transplant specialist. They were considered the best transplant surgeons in their respective fields, and both had learned their craft in Japan. The two professors didn’t appear to be working for just one hospital—one day they’d be performing surgery in China, and the next day they’d head off to Japan or some place else.

At the Tianjin First Central Hospital, doctors perform transplant surgery in groups of three. I’m not sure how many surgery groups there are. These doctors work night after night, while hospital translators wait with the relatives of patients in the hallways. A liver transplant can take up to 10 hours.

Why did foreigners, particularly South Koreans and Japanese, journey to China for organ transplants, I asked professor Zheng and professor Song. They told me that while they had superior transplantation skills, they weren’t able to find organ donors within a very short time frame in the aforementioned Asian countries. For instance, the waiting time for an organ in Japan or South Korea could be as long as 10 years, or five to six years at the earliest. Some patients pass away while waiting for an organ because acquiring one isn’t easy.

The professors added that everyone in their medical teams and their patients know about the organ waiting time. So many foreign patients end up traveling to China because there appears to be many Chinese organ donors.

Shocked and Distressed Patients

Most of the patients I met at Tianjin First Central Hospital were in need of either a liver or a kidney. Unless the patient suffered an organ rejection, they would be discharged after a short residency period. Under normal circumstances, patients would receive an organ in two days, while some waited anywhere from 10 days to half a month—patients said that this was too fast.

A South Korean patient had the longest waiting time of those I’d met—a whole month—and happened to be at the Tianjin transplant center when the Chinese Communist Party’s live organ harvesting scandal was being exposed.

After a spending a month in Tianjin, the hospital told the patient to travel to the city of Wuhan in central China for a transplant, and we immediately flew over. I didn’t know that an organ transplant network actually existed.

The surgery in Wuhan was very successful, and the patient and his family were very satisfied with the result. Before they returned to South Korea, the patient and his wife—a person of faith—asked who the donor was. The liver transplant had cost him a sum (around three hundred thousand to five hundred thousand yuan), the patient said, but it was the donor who allowed him to regain his health and extend his life.

“I want to know who donated the liver so I can thank the person’s family and give them money or whatever they need; I’m truly very grateful,” the patient said.  

At the time, there was no way for the hospital staff to know where the organs came from. Also, we were warned before being hired that we shouldn’t go sniffing around or indulge in loose talk with patients.

But I wanted to fulfil the South Korean patient’s last request before he left for home.

Of course, the patient didn’t know that we were prohibited from snooping around, and I shouldn’t have been asking questions, but I spoke to the patient’s transplant doctor anyway.

The doctor said: “You’re asking about the donor? Even we don’t even know who the donor is, and there’s no way to find out. Nobody can tell you anything, and no records exist.”

I relayed the doctor’s reply to the patient and his family, and they were very taken aback.

The patient said that international laws regulate the transfer of organs. By these laws, the organ donor and his family are required to sign organ transplantation documents. Without proper documentation, transplant doctors are liable for punishment. In South Korea, everyone knew who their organ donor was because the information has to be made public by law.

Back then, we hospital staff didn’t know anything about the international laws governing organ transplantation. The South Korean patient explained that without these transplantation laws, people could be killed en masse by criminals seeking to profit from their organs. (Then, an organ could be sold for about 300,000 yuan to 700,000 yuan.)

Before leaving the hospital, the South Korean patient said that the hospital needed to give them an official document that indicated that he just had surgery and the organ that he had received, as well as the donor’s personal information and signature. Without this document, the patient wouldn’t be able to board a plane.

I escorted the patient and his family to an airport. They and other organ transplant patients were made to board a special double-decker aircraft instead of a commercial plane. Finally, the organ transplant patients were issued transplantation documents which stated that they had received their organ from a 30-year-old male death row inmate. Only the names of the executed prisoner differed.

Everything was made up.

Post-transplantation Oddities

Organ transplantation is not for everyone. Some patients meet with organ rejection. Others die in surgery. And a few react very adversely after receiving the organ.

A male patient was perfectly normal before checking into Tianjin First Central Hospital. After the organ transplant surgery, however, this patient went insane—he started running around the ward naked, jumping and screaming as he went along.

There was a female patient who suddenly grew a beard after surgery. Her voice became deep and hoarse, and she started to behave like a man.

The examples I listed above are definitely not one-off incidents. During my stint at Tianjin First Central Hospital, patients behaved abnormally from time to time. Doctors told concerned family members that their loved one had developed an adverse reaction to the transplant medication.

At the time, I wasn’t aware that the organs these foreigners had spent large sums of money to purchase came from Falun Gong practitioners. Many of us were too naive, and didn’t imagine that those blinded by money had in fact been brainwashed by the Chinese Communist Party…

One after the other, angels clad in white transformed into murderous devils. Knowing that such things cannot be allowed to continue, I quit my job at Tianjin First Central Hospital.

Afterwards, I obtained information about the live organ harvesting Falun Gong practitioners through various channels. I did what I had to do, and exposed the truth to the world so that those with a conscience can free themselves from the devil’s grip.

Recently, the United States House of Representatives unanimously passed H.Res.343, a piece of legislation calling on the Chinese regime to immediately cease the harvesting and trafficking of organs obtained from Falun Gong practitioners and other prisoners of conscience.

For the past 17 years, Falun Gong practitioners—followers of truthfulness, compassion and tolerance—have been subjected to hundreds of inhumane torture methods, including the atrocity of organ harvesting. This must be stopped immediately, and shouldn’t be allowed to implicate the rest of humanity.

It is the responsibility of every Chinese person in the mainland and abroad to see that live organ harvesting is ended.

Translation by Frank Fang; editing by Larry Ong.

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