April 10, 2006

The Falun Dafa Student Association, which supports a spiritual discipline based on the principles of "truthfulness, compassion and tolerance," held a mock demonstration on Friday on the West Mall covering the alleged situation in China's internment camps, accusing the Chinese government of persecuting Falun Dafa practitioners and harvesting their organs for profit.

Hongyi Pan, a researcher at UT-San Antonio and Falun practitioner who spoke during Friday's demonstration, said he and his colleagues have communicated with the hospitals that supposedly harvest the organs by posing as interested customers.

According to Pan, they called the hospitals expressing concerns about the organ donors and whether the organs were good. He alleged that hospital workers responded that the organs were all very good and healthy.

"Then we asked them, 'Do you have Falun Gong practitioners' organs? Because everybody knows that Falun practitioners are very healthy,'" Pan said. "And they said, 'Yes.' Some said, 'They are all from Falun practitioners.'"

Wang Guoqi, a Chinese doctor, denied the allegations during testimony to U.S. lawmakers in July 2001 that organ transplants were conducted on prisoners before they were clinically dead.

The issue has only been addressed outside China, Pan said. The government is afraid of drawing the attention of the Chinese people by discussing the issue within the country, Pan said.

China is expected to implement a law on July 1 that would make the sale of organs illegal, according to an article on the BBC Web site.

Pan said he fears that organ harvesting will be accelerated. When they called the hospitals, Pan said, they were told to hurry up and get the transplant, because now was a good time to do it.


The U.N. Commission on Human Rights sent rapporteur Manfred Novak to China in December 2005 to investigate the progress of China's criminal justice system. Novak reported that the Falun Gong were regularly interned and tortured without trial, according to The New York Times.

"Since the Chinese government knows that people are starting to question what's going on, they're trying to terminate all the other practitioners that are still in the camp so they can get rid of the evidence," said James Hwang, vice president of the student association and an accounting junior.

Falun Dafa was introduced in China during the early '90s. The spiritual belief spread quickly, and in 1999 the Communist Chinese government outlawed [and persecuted it brutally]. Followers have since been persecuted for their beliefs and imprisoned in camps.

"Back in 1999, there were 100 million practitioners worldwide - Falun Dafa practitioners - [with] 60 million in China," Hwang said. "There just happened to be 60 million Chinese Communist members within China as well."

The Falun Dafa, or Falun Gong, have little to do with politics, Hwang said. Still, the Communist party is afraid of people, especially those with spiritual beliefs, gathering in large numbers, because it suggests that there is a greater power than the government, said Hwang.

"The Communist party [knows] Falun Gong is good," Pan said. "It's not that they have a misunderstanding. They know it's good - but it challenges their ruling nature."

Category: Organ Harvesting