by Morinville News Staff
with files from videographer Hunter Deveau
A car tour to raise awareness about human rights issues in China arrived in Morinville Nov. 9. The tour is part of a Canada-wide campaign to raise awareness about what Falun Gong practitioners say is the crime of state-sanctioned forced organ removal from living Falun Gong prisoners of conscience in China, citizens the protestors say are murdered during the organ removal process.
Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa) is described by practitioners as “a peaceful meditation exercise practiced around the world that is based on the universal principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance.”
Protestors Gary Bai and Minnan Liu told Morinville News that in 1999 then-Chinese Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin ordered the eradication of the traditional Chinese practice of Falun Gong.
“The arbitrary arrest, torture, killing, incarceration, brainwashing, organ harvesting and demonization of Falun Gong continue to this day,” Liu said.
The protestor’s tour and claims are based on two reports: an initial 2006 report by former Edmonton MP and Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific David Kilgour and international human rights lawyer David Matas, and a June 2016 report by investigative journalist and China expert Ethan Gutmann. The latter claims between 60,000 to 100,000 people have been used in the government-run transplant business each year in China since 2000. The majority of those, the report claims, are non-consenting Falun Gong prisoners of conscience.
Falun Gong spokesperson Gary Bai said the number of organ transplant centres in China quadrupled to 600 in only a few years, facilities both Bai and Liu believe the facilities support a large organ transplant tourism industry for foreigners as well as wealthy Chinese citizens.
“These organs are not voluntary donations,” Bai says. “They are being forcibly harvested from these innocent people, and the vast majority are Falun Gong prisoners who are following the values of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance.”
Bai and Liu say Canadians have a reputation for standing against human rights violations and hope their car tour to raise awareness will encourage people to talk to federal and provincial politicians to stand up against the human rights abuses.
“People need to be informed about where they are getting the organs,” Bai says, adding Spain, Taiwan, and Australia have passed legislation banning organ transplant tourism for its citizens.
Liu adds the current practice is not a few bad buys wanting to make big money in a back alley, but a state-sanctioned crime.
The Chinese government denies that Falun Gong practitioners have been killed for their organs.
Visit MorinvilleNews.com/morinville-news-videos for our full interview.