World mustn’t remain silent about evil abuse

As China rebuts reports this week that some factories are using child labor to produce merchandise for the 2008 Olympic Games, a stunningly horrific report on organ harvesting awaits the government’s official denial.

In the past few years, allegations have surfaced about the persecution, abuse and torture of Falun Gong members. The Chinese government considers practitioners members of a cult, suitable for imprisoning. Followers say Falun Gong is a nonviolent spiritual belief and physical practice. When Falun Gong members first reported the harvesting of organs of fellow imprisoned practitioners, it was met mostly with disbelief. Maybe those Falon Gong folks are crazy cult members, imagining horrible persecution for their beliefs. Which is almost easier to believe than what appears to be the evil truth.

This week, Manfred Nowak, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, issued a report that corroborates previous findings about organ harvesting, which has been “inflicted on a large number of unwilling Falun Gong practitioners at a wide variety of locations … “

The report further states, “It is reported that employees of several transplant centers have indicated that they have used organs from live Falun Gong practitioners for transplants.”

Which is to say Falun Gong members are killed to harvest their organs. The imprisoned practitioners are given injections to induce heart failure. After the organs are removed, the bodies are cremated, according to the report.

China denies the allegations. But human rights investigators believe China admitted to the practice last July when it issued a law prohibiting the sale of organs and requiring the donor to give written permission. The report notes that up until April 2006, price lists for organ transplants in China were listed on the Internet. Desperately ill Americans are increasingly among those traveling to China for transplants.

Dr. Shizhong Chen, the founder of the Falun Gong Human Rights Working Group, was grateful for the report’s evidence, but remains frustrated by the lack of worldwide concern. “Sadly, we have also seen a new kind of silence to this evil, silence from world governments and the media,” Chen said.

“This report … removes any excuse of silence, of not knowing, not trusting and not believing the appeals of Falun Gong practitioners whose lives are supplying China’s burgeoning transplant market,” Chen said. “It also belies the U.S. State Department report that they found ‘no evidence’ of organ harvesting after Chinese officials organized two guided tours for their benefit.”

As a nation, we have been challenged to condemn China’s grotesque practice of torturing and killing human beings – who are imprisoned for their religious beliefs – to harvest their organs. How can we remain silent?

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