VOA: U.S. Congressional Hearing on Organ Harvesting

(Minghui.org) U.S. Congress held a hearing on September 12, 2012, to investigate organ harvesting of religious and political dissidents by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

VOA reported the hearing was organized and co-chaired by two members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs: Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, and Rep. Chris Smith, chairman of the Africa, Global Health and Human Rights Subcommittee. Four witnesses, including Dr. Damon Noto, spokesman for Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH), and Dr. Gabriel Danovitch, a professor of medicine at UCLA, gave their testimony.

The CCP’s military apparatus began with death row prisoners in the 1990s and after 1999 moved on to the newly persecuted Falun Gong population. There was an “exponential increase in transplantations” from 2000 onward, Noto said. Dr. Noto said there were simply not enough prisoners sentenced to death each year to supply that many organs. China’s transplant system must have access to a living supply of organs—one that’s outside of the regular legal system. “Several investigators have pointed to Prisoners of Conscience as the main source of organs being used with the practitioners of the spiritual movement Falun Gong being the most severely persecuted.”

Ethan Gutmann, Adjunct Fellow, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, said, “I can’t supply a death count for House Christians, Uyghers, and Tibetans. But I estimate that 65,000 Falun Gong were murdered for their organs between 2000 and 2008.”

Falun Gong practitioner Charles Li was sentenced to three years in prison when he visited China in 2003. He was forced to undergo blood tests during his imprisonment. He gave testimony at the hearing and said he would have become a victim of organ harvesting if wasn’t for the attention of the American government and international community.

Dr. Gabriel Danovitch, a Professor of Medicine from the UCLA Medical School, recommended the US government enact measures to restrict organ tourism to China, and to urge the medical community to stop research and collaboration with transplant professionals in China unless they have first clearly identified the source of organs.

The report pointed out that China doesn’t have any official organ donation program or any national organ distribution and administration system.

Chinese version available

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