Wednesday night in the UMC Glenn Miller Ballroom, Amnesty International hosted a forum that examined China’s New Genocide: Organ harvesting.
In 1998, a nervous Chinese government conducted a study that found 70 to 100 million of their citizens were practicing a new form of religion called Falun Gong. These findings prompted the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to ban Falun Gong by torturing and enslaving many of its practitioners. The CCP have unjustly killed more people than the regimes of Hitler and Stalin combined and this situation is reaching genocidal proportions.
Originally the Chinese government had promoted Falun Gong for its health benefits, “our practice saves a person 1,000 Yuan per year in medical fees,” said Dr. Wenyi Wang, editor-in-chief of Medicine and Life Magazine and practitioner of Falun Gong. “Now imagine that number multiplied by one hundred million.”
Falun Gong is a religion that was established in 1992 and finds its roots in health and meditation. Their belief is that self-enhancement and cultivation practice of both body and mind can lead to peace within oneself. Furthermore, practitioners believe in a moral code of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance.
Shortly after the CCP ban, the rate of organ transplants in China dramatically increased. Many believe this was due to the torture and execution of millions of Falun Gong members.
“There’s no donor system for organs in China like we have in the United States, said David Matas, author of the report into organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners. “In the history of China there are only 227 recorded instances of a family member giving up an organ.”
Millions of Falun Gong members were taken to prison and persecuted for performing and refusing to denounce their religion. Many were put into mental hospitals where they were given five to seven times the normal dose of anti-schizophrenia drugs, which killed them in less than twenty-four hours.
While in jail Falun Gong members had their organs examined and their blood types checked. This aroused suspicion that the Chinese government was taking their organs and selling them illegally on the black market. It was true.
“Thousands of people from North America were calling hospitals in China and asking for organs from Falun Gong practitioners,” said Matas. “Because of their lifestyle, they have extremely healthy and reusable organs, people were asking if they were for sale and they were.”
Suddenly China was the place to go if you needed an organ. Only five hundred hospitals in the country had the ability to perform organ transplants, yet sixty thousand of them were being performed, illegally, every year.
The black market became huge and uncontrollable. The usual wait for an organ in the United States and the majority of the rest of the world can be anywhere from 1 to 7 years. In China, websites sprung up promising organs in 1 to 4 weeks.
“They were promising kidneys for $60,000 and hearts for $160,000,” said Matas. “It’s very difficult to control these underground labs because military doctors are performing the operations. Essentially the military is funding its programs by performing underground organ transplants.”
As the organ transplant epidemic rages on in China it’s important, that in the states, we do everything we can to get this troubling situation recognized.
“I’m shocked and appalled,” said Evan Mccune, a freshman philosophy major. “I had no idea any of this was going on; it makes me rethink buying anything from China in the future.”
Amnesty International was expecting a crowd of around six hundred, but because of the snow the room seemed almost empty. Those who were there seemed to appreciate the information and most had a previously invested interest in the matter.
“I’m taking a class about China this semester and I’m planning on going there in the summer,” said Lilly Justman, a senior international affairs major. ” China is the most prominent country in the news today, and it was important for me to learn more about what’s going on there.”
In the end, the underground organ transplant industry is a matter of supply and demand. It has reached a tipping point and people around the world need to recognize the heinous nature of the CCP in order to put a stop to the killing.
“The more horrible truths that can be revealed today, the more innocent people can be saved in China in the future,” Wang said.