(Minghui.org) On January 22, 2024, two non-governmental organizations (NGOs)—CAP Liberté de Conscience and Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH)—organized a briefing at the United Nations (UN) Office in Geneva, Switzerland, regarding the state-sanctioned persecution and forced organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners.
The briefing, which happened a day before China’s session during the 45th Universal Periodic Review (UPR) by the United Nations Human Rights Council, was meant to inform the council’s reviewers of a key subset of the current human rights violations taking place within the nation.
This UPR process was established in 2006 alongside the creation of the U.N. Human Rights Council. All 193 U.N. member states are subjected to such a review every 4 to 5 years, conducted by the 47 U.N. Human Rights Council members and any other interested U.N. member state.
A panel of experts presented evidence of the persecution and forced organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners, along with a call to action for the delegations that comprise the reviewing council to further investigate and condemn the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) forced organ harvesting operations.
Former European Parliament Vice President: “It is impossible to disbelieve such a consistent set of evidence.”
The January 22 briefing marked the first time that DAFOH was invited to co-organize an informational event at the United Nations. CAP Liberté de Conscience, a freedom of belief NGO with U.N. consultative status, had invited them for their expertise in how the CCP conducts its forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience.
The two NGOs gathered a panel of 10 human rights advocates from different nations to present their findings on China’s forced organ harvesting, including human rights lawyers, doctors, professors, journalists, and advocates.
Edward McMillan-Scott, from the United Kingdom, was one of these experts. He had served four terms as the vice president of democracy and human rights at the European Parliament from 2004 to 2014.
At the briefing, he recounted his shock at learning that forced organ harvesting was taking place in real life during his mission trip to China in 2006.
In May 2006, he met with formerly imprisoned Falun Gong practitioner Cao Dong, who told Mr. McMillan-Scott about his best friend who had disappeared from his prison cell. Mr. Cao later saw the man’s naked dead body in the prison morgue, with holes where his vital organs had been removed, said Mr. McMillan-Scott.
He also revealed that Mr. Cao was jailed for that secret Beijing meeting. To date, Mr. McMillan-Scott hasn’t been able to find out what has happened to Mr. Cao. He later met with more Falun Gong practitioners who escaped China after their imprisonment.
“There were just literally hundreds of people who all said the same thing,” he said in an interview. “It is not possible to disbelieve such a consistent set of evidence over such a long period.”
According to the China Tribunal, an independent panel of lawyers and experts convened in 2019, evidence confirms that forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience in China has been going on for at least 20 years.
Falun Gong Practitioner: “Every Millisecond of the Persecution Is Too Long.”
Another panel expert was Lebin Ding, a Falun Gong practitioner and human rights advocate currently residing in Germany. His father, Ding Yuande, a tea farmer, was arrested without a warrant in China last year for his belief in Falun Gong and was illegally sentenced to three years.
His father’s case was cited in a recent European Parliament resolution, 2024/2504 (RSP), calling for all member states to take immediate action to condemn the CCP’s transplant abuse and broader persecution of Falun Gong.
“Every millisecond [the persecution continues] is too long,” Mr. Ding said at the event, “because it is an incredible injustice.”
He further elaborated on how his father was arbitrarily fined 15,000 RMB (approximately 2,000 Euros) in December 2023. At time of writing, his father has been detained illegally in the Rizhao City Detention Center for nearly nine months, and no family members have been allowed to visit him.
Between November 28, 2023 and December 6, 2023, Ding Lebin's father and over 20 other Falun Gong practitioners in Rizhao City were illegally tried in court. On December 15, 2023, his father was illegally sentenced by the Wulian County Court. “All of these practitioners were the victims of a mass arrest in May 2023 of about 70 Falun Gong practitioners in my hometown,” he said.
He ended his testimony with several requests to the attending delegations: to urge that the Chinese delegation end the persecution of Falun Gong and prosecute those involved; to disqualify China from the UN Human Rights Council; to urge governmental sanctions against perpetrators of the persecution; and to ask for embassies in China to investigate forced organ harvesting and monitor the judicial proceedings of Falun Gong cases.
DAFOH: “China’s Actions Reflect a Disturbing Ideology.”
Two DAFOH representatives, Drs. Torsten Trey and Harold King, sat on the expert panel alongside Thierry Valle, the chairman of CAP Liberté de Conscience. The two doctors delivered a statement summarizing the situation in China and urged the audience to take action against forced organ harvesting.
The U.N. review “exists to challenge abuses and to strengthen human rights and the rule of law,” they said. “It does not exist to provide a safe haven for perpetrators of those basic rights.”
They then pointed out how the CCP has targeted tens of millions of Chinese citizens, Falun Gong practitioners who practice Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance, to turn a profit by selling their organs. As a result, Chinese hospitals have turned into prime destinations for transplant tourism due to their short waiting times, where patients often have to wait just a few weeks for a suitable organ.
They called for a strong stance against this atrocity. In closing, they urged the attendees to partake in three actions––to question China’s human rights record during the UPR, to push for the creation of a U.N. Special Rapporteur to investigate forced organ harvesting in China, and to establish an International Criminal Tribunal for Forced Organ Harvesting in China.
A coalition of 110 legislators, doctors, academics and civil society groups is calling on the United Nations to create an international criminal court to investigate crimes of forced organ harvesting in China.
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