August 3, 2006

Live organ harvesting is as barbaric as it sounds, members of the Falun Gong said in Regina on Wednesday.

The organization is hoping to raise awareness across Canada about what is happening in China.

"I joined this car tour team to raise awareness about this atrocity," said Marvin Ye.

The group decided to act following release of a July 6 report by former Liberal MP David Kilgour, and human rights lawyer David Matas. The 68-page report confirms that allegations of live organ seizures from unwilling Falun Gong practitioners are true.

The report calls for China to stop harvesting and selling organs, obtain consent from organ donors, stop the imprisonment of Falun Gong practitioners and document all organ transplants.

Included in the report are detailed transcripts of conversations that Kilgour and Matas gathered during their investigation.

"Usually these Falun Gong practitioners were injected with a shot to cause heart failure. During the process these people will be pushed into operating rooms to have their organs removed. On the surface the heart stopped beating, but the brain was still functioning because of that shot," said one woman interviewed for the report.

Ye knows first-hand how Falun Gong members are treated in China. He emigrated to Canada in 2005, because he was living in a country that labelled him as a member of a [slanderous word deleted].

The computer software developer said because he chose to practice Falun Gong, he was not allowed to pursue further education or to find a professional job.

In 2001, Ye spent 18 months in a work camp for practicing Falun Gong. Ye went on a hunger strike and his body slowly shut down. He was finally released after his family and friends repeatedly went to the camp and requested he be freed. Afterwards, he said he faced continuous harassment by the police in China.

Falun Gong [...] is a meditation movement. It was founded in 1992 and involves the use of meditation techniques and physical exercise to achieve good health and peace of mind.

As a young student, Ye was looking for something that would bring balance and well-being to his life. Falun Gong operates under the idea of compassion, tolerance and non-violence. He likened the practice to that of Tai Chi because part of the process involves exercise and meditation. It is a holistic approach to living and Ye said it is not a religion but "it's a way of life".

"We are not an organization. We are very peaceful. We just exercise," explained Ye.