By Aryeh Savir
Tazpit News Agency
Since 2001, there have been multiple reports coming out of China about the forced harvesting of organs from Chinese citizens, primarily from Falun-Gong practitioners, by the Chinese authorities.
Starting in March 2006, three independent witnesses have publicly stated that some hospitals in China remove organs from imprisoned Falun-Gong
The Communist Regime openly admitted in 2005 that 95% of the organs transplanted in China come from condemned prisoners, but tell this day deny the findings of a report published by Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH), an international organization founded by medical doctors to fight this phenomenon, that delineates the phenomenon of forced organ harvesting. The Chinese have stated they will cease to harvest organs form condemned prisoners by mid 2014, but have refused to relate to the force harvesting of organs for Falun-Gong practitioners.
In Israel, 30,000 signatories, among them 20 members of Knesset from across the political spectrum, members of city councils and Natan Sharansky, have joined the petition to the UN Human Rights Council authored by the DAFOH calling for an immediate end of forced organ harvesting from prisoners. Some of the MK’s wished not to have their names published, as they are weary of possible pressure from the Chinese embassy in Israel.
In 2008 the Israeli Government passed a law which prohibits the funding of transplants in any country that engages in organ trade, thus shutting the door on any transplant medical tourism from Israel in China.
MK Moshe Feiglin, who also serves as the Knesset chairman, has been diligently perusing this subject for the past 6 years, bringing it up in various occasions in Knesset discussions. He recently stated that the forceful harvest of organs in China is an undoubted fact. “Israel must have its moral voice heard, and in the long run it will not lose financially or otherwise, but only stands to gain. I don’t think Israel should suspend its ties with China, but we must make a clear statement against this phenomenon. I pray this atrocity will end soon, and I believe the international community could bring it to its end. When such horrific occurrences happen it affects the entire globe. If we ignore this we will be harmed by it as well in the future.”
DAFOH activists have noted that several MK’s have expressed support for their cause, but have refused to sign the petition due to fear of pressures they may incur from Chinese sources. One activist told Tazpit News Agency that he knows of MK’s who have singed the petition and then withdrew it. He said that the Chinese representatives can be very aggressive, and use any leverage they have to influence the MK and other influential individuals.
Falun-Gong is an ancient Chinese spiritual discipline in the Buddhist tradition. It consists of moral teachings, meditation, and four exercises that are said to be highly effective in improving one’s health and energy levels. Today, in its homeland of China, it is subject to well-documented egregious human rights violations. Suppression officially began on July 22, 1999 following years of escalating state abuses. One possible explanation for the seemingly irrational campaign is the proclivities of China’s atheist Communist Party (CCP), which fears all groups outside its control, particularly ones that subscribe to a different ideology. Others have noted that the decision to launch the campaign is linked to former-Party head Jiang Zemin’s “fear” and “jealousy” of Falun-Gong. According to analyst Willy Lam, Jiang has been seen as “using the mass movement to promote allegiance to himself.” The scale and scope of abuses taking place make this possibly the largest religious persecution in the world today.