What’s Behind China’s Denial of Forced Organ Harvesting?

August 27, 2016

(Minghui.org) The Chinese state-sanctioned forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience, including Falun Gong practitioners, became a focus of media attention during the 26th International Congress of The Transplantation Society in Hong Kong from August 19 to 23, something the Chinese government did not expect.

The New York Times published three reports on the issue. On August 19 the president of the Transplantation Society, Dr. Philip J. O’Connell, is quoted as saying, “The Chinese claim that the world accepts its organ transplant system is rebutted.”

Dr. O’Connell said to the Chinese speakers at the convention,“It is important that you understand that the global community is appalled by the practices that the Chinese have adhered to in the past,” according to The New York Times article.

On August 18, the evening before the convention began, two Chinese state-run associations held a special session on organ transplantation in China. The speakers at the special session included the former Chinese health minister, Huang Jiefu, and the director of the hospital affiliated with Zhejiang University, Zheng Shusen, two top figures in the Chinese organ transplant community.

Surprisingly, or maybe not, the only reporters allowed in the special Chinese session were from the Chinese state-run newspapers and TV stations and a few Hong Kong pro-communist media.

The next day, more than 20 Chinese media told the world the same story: This special Chinese organ transplant meeting showed that the Chinese organ transplant world had been truly accepted by The Transplantation Society, and former health minister Huang Jiefu vehemently denied the accusation leveled by the international community against Chinese forced organ harvesting.

In The New York Times article on August 19 Dr. O’Connell said, “So they may say that, but that’s not what the truth is.”

A New York Times article on August 17 covered the heated argument over Chinese forced organ harvesting before the convention. Several human right organizations and physicians wanted to boycott the convention, because some speakers were suspected of being involved in the forced organ harvesting, including Huang Jiefu and Zheng Shushen.

A group of physicians and ethicists published an article in the American Journal of Transplantation, criticizing “the decision to hold the conference in China as premature” according to The New York Times article “Debate Flares on China’s Use of Prisoners’ Organs as Experts Meet in Hong Kong” on the 17th.

More than 10 papers submitted to the convention were rejected because of the unclear sources of organs. The director of the hospital affiliated with Zhejiang University, Zheng Shusen, was invited to speak, but his speech was cancelled, and his paper is under investigation. Zheng missed the opening ceremony and returned home before the meeting started.

At the press conference on August 19, Dr. Jeremy Chapman, the former president of the Transplantation Society, said that Zheng’s paper may have violated the society’s rule that no organs from executed prisoners be used in research, although Zheng’s name was not mentioned.

If it turns out that the authors did violate the rule, Dr. Chapman said, “Then they will be named and shamed, and they will be excluded from our meetings forever — and from publication in transplantation journals.”


Falun Gong practitioners hold a protest outside the conference venue.

In June 2016, three independent investigators from Canada and the U.S.—David Kilgour, David Matas, and Ethan Gutmann—published a 680-page joint report on the state-sanctioned organ harvesting in China. The report estimated that 60,000 to 100,000 organ transplant surgeries have been conducted in China every year, the majority of which used organs from Falun Gong practitioners.

Zheng Shusen’s own experiences offer indirect evidence to support this accusation.

Zheng Shusen, 66, is one of the most experienced liver transplant surgeons in China. According to the state-run publication Guangmingwang and the China Association for Science and Technology, Zheng has carried out 1,850 liver transplants as of March 2016.

According to an article on the website of his institute, the Center for Liver Transplants, on January 28, 2005, Zheng once performed 5 liver transplants in one day and 11 total in that week alone.

Zheng told the media in 2006 that, from 1992 to 1998, there were only 78 liver transplants in the whole country, but this number has increased dramatically since 1999, which coincides with the beginning of the persecution of Falun Gong in 1999.

What stands out in Zheng’s experience is “liver transplants for acute hepatic failure” (LTAHF), which refers to patients who must get a liver transplant within 72 hours or die. Based on the data from Zheng’s research papers published in 2005, his institute carried out 46 LTAHF procedures from January 2000 to December 2004.

Since this kind of transplant cannot be pre-arranged, it is extremely rare in Western countries. However, among 4331 cases listed in the official Chinese Report on Liver Transplant Registration in 2016, 1150 were LTAHF procedures, 40% of the total!

The large number of LTAHF cases is considered strong evidence of the existence of organ harvesting from living people in China.

It is noteworthy that Zheng is the chair of the Provincial Anti-Cult Association in Zhejiang Province. One of the major functions of this state-run association in the last two decades has been to aid and abet the persecution of Falun Gong.

Zheng himself has been actively involved in slandering and vilifying Falun Gong. He was the chief editor of a book published in 2009 that defames Falun Gong.

Although Zheng never revealed the source of his organs in his papers, his role in the anti-Falun Gong campaign certainly suggests a convenient source of organs to supply the immense organ transplant industry in China.

Chinese version available

Category: Organ Harvesting

Complete Recovery from Bone Disease After Practicing Falun Dafa

August 26, 2016 | By a Falun Dafa practitioner in China

(Minghui.org) My husband was suffering from persistent back and knee pain. He went to the hospital in the fall of 2007 and was diagnosed with a protruding lumbar disc. His condition was treated with medication and physiotherapy until March 2009, but his condition worsened, and he lost the ability to walk.

We went to another hospital for a second opinion, where my husband was diagnosed with end-stage femoral head osteonecrosis. This means that there was little or no blood supply to the upper femur and the hip socket, causing the bone to die. Eventually, the bone would disintegrate.

Stunned, we consulted yet another hospital and received confirmation that that diagnosis was correct.

We were informed that he would need surgery to replace the damaged joints. Replacing both hip joints would have cost us forty-thousand yuan, and that did not include the cost of surgery and medications. We did not have the money.

We were shaken and could not think of a way to pay for the operation. Our two sons were saving up for their upcoming marriages, and none of our friends or relatives could offer us enough financial assistance. Moreover, this operation would not completely cure his condition!

I told my husband: “I have been practicing Falun Dafa for many years now and have not had any illnesses. You have supported my practice, even after the persecution began. Master Li will surely help you. There is no point in us crying about this: you just need to practice Falun Dafa too.”

Practitioners encouraged him, and my husband began to cultivate in Falun Dafa. Our compassionate Master immediately began purifying his body; his legs sweated throughout the first night.

My husband could not perform the fourth exercise in the beginning because he could not squat. However, within a month he was able to do all the exercises. He was walking with a cane three months later, he could walk without any help in eight months. In just over a year he was recovered completely and was able to return to work.

Our entire family is indebted to Master Li for curing my husband. No words can fully express our gratitude!

Chinese version available

Category: Health Benefits

Washington, DC: Trying Falun Gong at Yoga Expo a “Marvelous Experience”

August 24, 2016 | By a Falun Gong practitioner

(Minghui.org) Washington, DC’s annual Yoga Expo was held in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on August 20, 2016. Local Falun Gong practitioners offered a free introduction and teaching of the exercises. More than 20 people attended the workshop.

“This practice is very interesting,” said Isabelle, who works in a bank, “As I followed the hand gestures of the practitioner on stage, I felt very comfortable. There was energy moving in my body. It was warm and refreshing. I felt so calm.” She said she was glad she had a chance to experience Falun Gong.

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People learn the Falun Gong exercises in the Yoga Expo.

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A practitioner teaches a young person the hand gestures of the Falun Gong exercises.

Aaron, a lawyer in Virginia, bought tickets to the expo for himself and his wife after seeing it advertised in a local yoga center a few days ago. They had seen Falun Gong practitioners doing the exercises together last year in Philadelphia and were pleased to run into the practice again.

“I like this,” said Aaron. “As I was learning the exercises, I felt a special energy throughout my whole body. It was a marvelous feeling. My body was light and relaxed beyond words. I want to continue learning Falun Gong.”

Brant teaches in a public school in Montgomery County, Maryland. It was the first time he had ever run into Falun Gong. “Splendid!” he said. “We learned many hand gestures and movements. Doing the exercise with both hands over the head, we had to hold that position for five minutes. I felt very focused.”

He said he felt relaxed, refreshed, and confident. He said he would continue to learn Falun Gong and recommend it to his friends and family.

Chinese version available

Category: Other Community Events

Introducing Falun Gong in Croatian Town of Opatija

August 25, 2016

(Minghui.org) Practitioners from Croatia and Slovenia held an event on July 23, 2016 in the Croatian town of Opatija to inform the public about Falun Gong and the persecution. Located on the Adriatic coast, Opatija attracts many tourists during the summer months.

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Practitioners demonstrate the Falun Gong exercises in Opatija.

Passersby, including many tourists from around the world, expressed great interest in learning more about Falun Gong and the persecution in China. They were happy to take flyers and signed the petition calling for an end to the Chinese regime’s killing of practitioners in China for their organs.

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Passersby and tourists learn about Falun Gong and the persecution in China.

Amid the crowded streets of Opatija, people approached the booth, took flyers, observed practitioners while they demonstrated the exercises, and asked questions about the persecution. Many from Croatia and neighboring countries wanted to know how and where they could learn Falun Gong.

Category: Other Community Events

Passersby and tourists learn about Falun Gong and the persecution in China.

Amid the crowded streets of Opatija, people approached the booth, took flyers, observed practitioners while they demonstrated the exercises, and asked questions about the persecution. Many from Croatia and neighboring countries wanted to know how and where they could learn Falun Gong.

Category: Other Community Events

Four Senior Women in Fuzhou City Sentenced to Illegal Prison Terms

August 24, 2016 | By a Minghui correspondent in Fujian Province, China

(Minghui.org) Four senior citizens who practice Falun Dafa were recently illegally sentenced to prison terms by the Gulou District Court in Fuzhou City, Fujian Province.

Ms. Zhao Fengran (70), arrested September 17, 2014. Sentenced to five years.Ms. Lin Meifang, arrested April 13, 2015. Sentenced to four years.Ms. Zhang Shuilian, arrested April 13, 2015. Sentenced to three years.Ms. Guo Bizhen (65), arrested August 20, 2015. Sentenced to three years.

They were all arrested for practicing Falun Dafa.

Ms. Zhao Fengran

70-year-old Ms. Zhao’s home was ransacked by the officers from the Huada Police Station on September 17, 2014. Practitioner Ms. Zhang Guilan was visiting her at the time and was also arrested. The police then ransacked Ms. Zhang Guilan’s home.

The two practitioners were detained at the Fuzhou No. 2 Detention Center. Ms. Zhang Guilan died on December 9, 2014, as a result of torture in the detention center.

Ms. Zhao has been detained for nearly two years. She was taken to the Fujian Women’s Prison after being sentenced and was tortured.

She has become very thin and has the symptom of high blood pressure and diabetes.

Ms. Lin Meifang and Zhang Shuilian

Ms. Lin, Ms. Zhang and Ms. Wang Zhumei were arrested by officers from the Fuzhou City Domestic Security Division after being released on bail for a year.

Ms. Lin and Ms. Zhang’s arrests were approved by the Gulou District Procuratorate. Ms. Wang was released, but is still under surveillance.

Gulou District Police Department submitted Ms. Lin and Ms. Zhang’s cases to the Gulou District Procuratorate on April 29, 2015. The cases were returned to the police department twice on May 28 and June 20. They were then re-submitted to the Procuratorate on August 19, without any new evidence being added.

Ms. Lin and Ms. Zhang were secretly tried at Gulou District Court on October 29, 2015. Their family members weren’t notified of the trial or the verdict. The judge was Zhuo Jianwei.

The two were sentenced on July 15, 2016.

Ms. Lin finally received the verdict on July 17, and was sentenced to four years imprisonment, while Ms. Zhang was sentenced to three years.

They have been held at the detention center for 15 months.

Ms. Guo Bizhen

65-year-old Ms. Guo was arrested and detained by police while handing out Falun Gong related materials on August 25, 2015. Her case was accepted by the Gulou District Procuratorate on January 12, 2016, and she was tried at Gulou District Court on February 24.

Ms. Guo’s attorney was informed that she had been sentenced to three years’ imprisonment on July 22, 2016.

She has been detained at the Fuzhou City Second Detention Center for almost a year.

Chinese version available

Category: Accounts of Persecution

Authorities Press Falun Gong Practitioners to Sign Documents “Repenting” for Suing Former Dictator

August 22, 2016 | By a Minghui correspondent in Sichuan Province, China

(Minghui.org) Many Falun Gong practitioners have filed lawsuits against Jiang Zemin, the former Chinese dictator who launched the persecution of Falun Gong 17 years ago. As they used their real names and addresses in their criminal complaints, they have been retaliated against for exercising their constitutional right to hold Jiang responsible for infringing upon their freedom of belief.

In Qiancao Town, Sichuan Province, the authorities have deceived and threatened the local practitioners into signing documents that claimed they “repented” filing their lawsuit, that the lawsuit was false, or that they denounced Falun Gong.

Deceptions

The authorities in Guangming Community called a practitioner to the community office. They convinced her that they needed to see her about compensation for her land. She unknowingly signed a statement saying that she “repented” practicing Falun Gong.

The director of Jinsha Community told a practitioner to sign unknown documents and that, if she did, the harassments would stop. The practitioner and her family were not told what the documents said before or after signing them.

Another practitioner from the same community was told to sign a statement. The document said, among other things, that she had been deceived into suing Jiang and that she had decided to sever ties with Falun Gong. The practitioner refused to cooperate.

Threats

Besides deceiving practitioners, the Jinsha Community authorities tried to coerce the practitioners into signing the false statements in other ways.

A practitioner was the sole caretaker for her husband who had cancer and her paralyzed daughter. The authorities threatened to put her away in a brainwashing center.

The authorities threatened to fire a practitioner’s son who worked for the town government. The son had to force his mother into signing the documents.

After the authorities frequently broke into a practitioner’s home and harassed her and her family, her son and daughter-in-law were terrified. They not only signed the documents against the practitioner’s will, but also prohibited her from meditating or leaving the house.

Authorities in Ebaoshan Community threatened to revoke the local practitioners’ pensions if they refused to sign. They also ordered a practitioner and the family to turn in their personal identifications until the practitioner signed.

Some authorities were unwilling participants in persecuting practitioners. Many times they told the practitioners that they were under pressure from their superiors to get their signatures. They had to ask the practitioners to stop practicing Falun Gong because it was causing them “a lot of trouble.”

Chinese version available

Category: Accounts of Persecution

Public Screening of Documentary ‘Hard to Believe’ in New Zealand Gets Warm Response

August 21, 2016 | By a Falun Gong practitioner

Public Screening of Documentary Hard to Believe in New Zealand Gets Warm Response

(Minghui.org) The documentary Hard to Believe by director Ken Stone reveals China’s state-sanctioned organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners for profit. The film, which has won many awards, was shown to the public at the Paramount Theatre in Wellington, New Zealand on the evening of August 16, 2016, with a full-house audience.

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Theater venue

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Audience member asks questions after the film screening.

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Invited guests answer questions from the viewers.

A question and answer session was held after the screening. Marama Davidson, Member of Parliament (MP) of the Green Party, moderated the session. Journalist Ethan Gutmann, who participated in investigating the live organ harvesting, Jaya Gibson, and Angela Ballantyne, president of the International Association of Bioethics and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Primary Health Care & General Practice in University of Otago Wellington, answered questions from the viewers on the spot. Jacob Lavee, professor of surgery at the Faculty of Medicine of the Tel Aviv University and president of the Israel Society of Transplantation, answered questions via a videoconference.

After watching the documentary, many viewers wished to know what they could do to help stop the atrocities. Gutmann said that each one could tell his doctor about the topic and raise awareness in their community.

MP Davidson said she felt that live organ harvesting should not be happening. She said she would study more and initiate a resolution like those passed by the U.S. Congress and European Parliament to help stop the horrible crimes in China.

Well-known human rights lawyer Kerry Gore watched the documentary in the theater. He said, “We noticed that resolution H.Res 343 passed in the U.S. Congress. It is an important step to recognize the Communist Party’s crime of live organ harvesting. The live organ harvesting must stop. I believe that New Zealand parliament shall pass a similar resolution.”

Dame Margaret Sparrow, a well-known doctor, also watched the documentary in the theater. She said it was her first time hearing about the systematic live organ harvesting, and she was shocked. She indicated it was “intolerable, completely wrong, and a grave trampling of human rights.” She believed that any medical person would object the crime.

Ben Gray, a doctor, said he had received information about the live organ harvesting atrocities before, but felt it was hard to believe. He believed the existence of the crime after watching the film, and listened to the answers. He said, “As a doctor, I will convince politicians with my profession. I hope that a code like that in Israel can be passed in New Zealand to make organ transplantation touring to China illegal.”

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Christina Thinrauch, who works for the railway, watched the documentary.

Christina Thinrauch, who works for the railway bureau, watched the documentary, and said that the live organ harvesting was horrible. She said that each patient going to China for organs needs to know the source. In this way, each one can help stop the evil crime.

Chinese version available

Category: Organ Harvesting