- uploaded: Jan 31, 2013
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[Leonidas Donskis, EP Human Rights Subcommittee Member]:
"People who are behind this are criminals. This is a crime against humanity."
At this forum—held at the European Parliament in Brussels on January 29—doctors, politicians and human rights defenders discussed how prisoners of conscience in China are persecuted, tortured, and in some cases, killed for their organs.
[Tunne Kelam, EP Foreign Affairs Committee]:
"...if we don't take knowledge seriously about this practice, we have become morally and politically co-responsible for what's going on."
Enver Tohti was a surgeon in China in the 90s. He was ordered to remove organs from living people for transplants. At the time, he didn't realize the patients were prisoners of conscience—persecuted for their religion. Later he stepped forward and testified to help stop the practice.
[Enver Tohti, Former Surgeon in Xinjiang, China]:
"I think as a doctor, you should save the patient. But on certain point of view, I killed that person. He died after I took away his liver and two kidneys. For me it is a kind of blasphemy for my duties, as a doctor. So, for many years, in my heart, [I felt] very heavy."
Allegations of forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience were first reported in the mainstream in 2006. Independent investigators David Kilgour and David Matas concluded that more than 40,000 innocent people have been killed for their organs. Most of the victims practiced Falun Gong.
Investigative journalist Ethan Gutmann says that, in addition to Falun Gong, Uyghurs and house Christians have also been victims of forced organ harvesting.
And he says there are ways to stop it internationally.
[Ethan Gutmann, Adjunct Fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies]:
"The obvious point, and I think this is going to happen in Australia first, is to criminalize it. If you are going to get an organ in China, you are a criminal. It's that simple."
Although organ harvesting in China has been happening for more than a decade, it's only recently started to get worldwide attention.
[Erping Zhang, Spokesperson, Falun Dafa Information Center]:
"What is the different situation now? Many doctors stand up to talk about this issue... The international community could not ignore it, because not only law experts, lawyers, also human rights organizations all raise up this issue, now."
[Prof. Dr. Huige Li, EU Delegate of Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting]:
"We can feel apparently the international community is very concerned about this matter. Why? We have collected 166-thousand signatures in only 45 days."
This forum in Brussels follows a US congressional hearing on the issue last September.
NTD News, Brussels, Belgium.