DAFOH Statement: “China’s announcement of phasing out the harvesting of organs from prisoners is deceptive and insufficient”

en.minghui.org

“This is no time … to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.”

Rev. Martin L. King Jr.
(“I Have a Dream” Speech, 1963)

September 16, 2013

Recently, China has announced its intention of phasing out the harvesting of organs from executed prisoners by 2015 and the introduction of the China Organ Transplant Response System (COTRS), a computerized organ-allocation system.

Unfortunately, COTRS lacks transparency: the matching process and information about the organ donors are not open to the public or to an independent third party. With regard to the announced 2015 time frame, Chinese officials speak vaguely of ending the reliance on executed prisoners, not of the complete cessation.

Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH) holds that the announcement and the introduced systems are misleading and insufficient.

DAFOH states:

1. The international community considers the harvesting of organs from executed prisoners and from prisoners of conscience unethical. If killing for organs—under the guise of executing prisoners—is unethical, it remains so every day it continues. Seeking an end of this unethical practice conforms to ethical standards defined by medical organizations, such as WMA, TTS, WHO, and others.

Once it is recognized as unethical and as a crime against humanity, the harvesting of organs from prisoners needs to end immediately. It is ethically indefensible to gradually end a crime against humanity. The Chinese government announcement of “phasing out” this crime against humanity is a deceptive statement in itself. When people’s lives are at stake, then “This is no time … to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.”

2. In 1984, the Chinese regime issued a law to legalize organ extraction from executed prisoners. Chinese officials still called it a lie when Dr. Wang Guoqi testified about this practice before Congress in 2001. China denied the practice until 2005, when international pressure forced Chinese officials to admit the practice. Then they stated that up to 90 percent of organs originated from this source, which contributed to more than 10,000 transplants per year. Since the Chinese regime has a history of lacking in candor, it is mandatory to implement steps for scrutiny and monitoring.

In 2007, one year before the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, the Chinese Medical Association (CMA) pledged to the World Medical Association (WMA) to end the harvesting of organs from executed prisoners, except for relatives. Despite the pledge, China continued to perform more than 10,000 transplantations every year without an effective public organ-donation system.

Now, six years after CMA’s pledge, China does not even speak of ENDING the practice as it did in 2007, but only announces—with an indefinite time frame—to PHASE OUT the practice. We hold that the recent 2013 announcement from China is actually a step back from the pledge in 2007. Based on the above, it is incomprehensible why the international community applauds the recent announcements.

3. The official Chinese terminology is vague and ambiguous as it only announces the beginning of the phaseout without establishing a deadline when the harvesting of organs from executed prisoners will eventually come to a complete end. According to statements from Chinese officials, the time frame could be 2015, but also “indefinite.” When asked when the practice of harvesting organs from executed prisoners will end, Chinese officials describe the time frame as “indefinite.” In other announcements, Chinese officials speak of “phasing out the dependency on organs from executed prisoners,” which does not address the end of this unethical practice but only a shift in the percentage, keeping the option open to continue the practice if needed.

The official statements from China are insufficient and vague. Without international scrutiny and monitoring, the phaseout can last “indefinitely” and euphoric commendation is premature and misplaced. Instead of applauding China for its phase-out announcement, one should rather consider the innocent victims who will lose their lives every day this abusive practice continues.

4. The recent announcements state that China will introduce a computerized organ-allocation system. Yet, the computerized organ-allocation system does not guarantee that the organs entered into the computer system are ethically procured. Instead, without openness to verification, the computerized organ allocation system poses the risk of enabling a more efficient allocation of unethically procured organs. It has to be ensured beyond any doubt that the new computerized organ allocation is not a sophisticated form of “organ laundering,” using prisoners’ organs and erasing all traces of their unethical procurement.

Resolving the unethical organ harvesting from prisoners in China does not require a computerized organ-allocation system. Instead, what is required is an immediate cessation of the unethical organ harvesting and a system that provides traceable documentation of subsequent procurements.

As long as China does not officially acknowledge organ harvesting from prisoners as unethical, it remains uncertain whether this organ source will ever be abolished even after establishing a computerized organ-allocation system and a voluntary organ-donation program.

The mixing of the two pools of organs, one from executions and another from organ donations, through the announced computerized organ-allocation system will only serve to whitewash the unethical practices. It gives them a coat of legitimacy and acceptance. It is simply a way to pretend the initial crime did not occur. The mere establishing of a computerized organ-allocation system without immediate cessation of the organ harvesting from prisoners is ethically meaningless.

5. In a May 20, 2013 ABC TV interview with Huang Jiefu, former vice minister of health in China, when asked about the harvesting of organs from prisoners, he replied, “Why do you object?” This suggests that Chinese officials still do not acknowledge that organ harvesting from executed prisoners is unethical. Ethical organ donation requires free, voluntary, and informed consent, yet China evades this requirement by trivializing it as “written” consent from prisoners.

The announcements from China speak of a phaseout of organ harvesting from executed prisoners, but it is not mentioned whether military hospitals, known to be heavily involved in the unethical organ-harvesting practices, will be included. The announced developments also do not address the from China never-acknowledged organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience, in particular from detained Falun Gong practitioners as the largest target group.

In 2012, David Matas said at the annual conference of the International Association of Genocide Scholars in San Francisco:

“On Nov. 30, 1999, the ‘610 Office’ [in China] called more than 3,000 officials to the Great Hall of the People in the capital to discuss the campaign against Falun Gong, which was then not going well. Demonstrations were continuing to occur at Tiananmen Square. The head of the ‘610 Office,’ Li Lanqing, announced the government’s new policy on the movement: ‘Defame their reputations, bankrupt them financially, and destroy them physically.’

A call to destroy Falun Gong physically is a call to genocide. It is not admittedly a call to genocide through sourcing their organs. Nonetheless, when that sourcing occurs, in the context of a call for physical destruction, the two should be linked. Organ sourcing is the means. Physical destruction is the intent.”

There is virtually no dividing line between destroying physically and harvesting organs from Falun Gong practitioners—the latter is even profitable. Thus, without publicly admitting the use of prisoners of conscience as an organ source, there is no guarantee that this path of organ sourcing will end. A gradual phaseout of this abusive practice with an indefinite end is ethically indefensible. It might be desirable from the side of the perpetrator but it is gruesome and unacceptable from the side of the victim. It is a tragedy for both the victims and the medical profession. The following quote by Rev. Martin L. King Jr. appears as timely as it was in the 1960s:

“ … the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off, or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism … Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.”

6. The announced phaseout of the organ harvesting from executed prisoners was accompanied by an official announcement of a public organ-donation system. Yet, there is a traditional reluctance in the Chinese populace to donate organs, which is also acknowledged by Chinese officials. Furthermore, there is no brain-death legislation in place, which would regulate the organ procurement from the brain-dead. Thus the public organ donation system would be based on cardiac-death donations, which would reduce the effectiveness of some of the donated organs.

In September 2013, the Chinese Guang Ming Daily published an article stating that from 100 potential organ donors in China, only 5 percent of the donors’ organs can eventually be used for transplantation. Overall, the conditions in China are likely to result in a continuation of the use of organs from prisoners beyond the pledged time frame of two years.

It has to be assured beyond any doubt that prisoners of conscience, primarily detained Falun Gong practitioners, are not forcibly enrolled into such public organ-donation program under a fake identity. It has been observed that fake identity documents with a Chinese nationality were issued to foreign transplant tourists in order to bypass the transplant-tourism-prohibition law. Transparency and monitoring is required to prevent an entering of fake identities into the computerized organ-allocation system.

7. In October 2011, The Lancet published the letter “Time for a boycott of Chinese science and medicine pertaining to organ transplantation.” The letter called for a “boycott on accepting papers at meetings, publishing papers in journals, and cooperating on research related to transplantation unless it can be verified that the organ source is not an executed prisoner.”

While we appreciate the strict call for ethical standards in publications from China, we are missing the same strict call when it comes to defending our own ethical standards. As much as the co-authors were courageous to publish the aforementioned letter in The Lancet due to ethical concerns, we should be even more motivated to call openly for an immediate end of the unethical organ harvesting itself.

Refusing to publish papers, which include data from executed prisoners, is a necessary but insufficient response to the abuses in China. We have an absolute imperative to also object vociferously to the harvesting itself. Living in a society that allows freedom of expression, we are not prohibited from openly calling for an immediate end of the unethical organ harvesting in China. In fact, as medical doctors and medical organizations, it is our ethical responsibility and obligation to call for an immediate end of this unethical practice.

In 2006, China Daily reported the number of transplants in China as high as 20,000, with 90 percent of the organs coming from executed prisoners. Attention and pressure by the international community in the past few years have contributed to the recent developments and indicate that we need to continue our efforts to call for an immediate end of the organ-harvesting abuse.

Once the practice is recognized as unethical, there is no excuse to continue it. The unethical organ harvesting from prisoners could be resolved at once if the international community combines its efforts and opposes the practice with one voice. There is no law that prohibits us from calling upon China to refrain from unethical organ harvesting immediately—it only requires the willingness to do so.

Otherwise, we might need to ask ourselves if China were successful in using a computerized organ-allocation system and the announcement of a phaseout like a Trojan horse to undermine and dilute our ethical standards.

We call upon the international community to join us in calling upon China to immediately and unconditionally end the unethical harvesting of organs from executed prisoners and all prisoners of conscience.

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Israel: “There is a Holocaust in China,” Says Journalist, as Rally Marks 14 Years of Falun Gong’s Persecution in China (Photos)

August 10, 2013 | By a Falun Dafa practitioner in Israel

en.minghui.org

(Minghui.org) “There is a Holocaust in China,” stated Israeli journalist and broadcaster Billy Beserglick in her speech in front of the Chinese Embassy in Tel Aviv on July 22, 2013.

“I’m the second generation after World War II Holocaust. My parents were in Auschwitz and miraculously survived. [Otherwise,] I might very well not be here now,” she said.

Israeli journalist and broadcaster Billy Beserglick speaks at the rally marking 14 years of the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China.

Ms. Beserglick imagined a woman her age being held in a basement of a forced labor camp after torture, “It’s shocking that in 2013 a Holocaust occurs, and the world goes ‘business as usual.’”

“Those are terrible things,” she said of the crimes committed by the Chinese communist regime. “Organs are harvested from people in concentration camps!”

“We should not turn a blind eye!” she concluded.

On this summer day, two hundred people didn’t. They came to protest the regime’s crimes against humanity and its 14-year-long brutal persecution of millions of law-abiding citizens in China–practitioners of the ancient spiritual cultivation practice called Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong), who believe in the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance.

Over these years, the Chinese regime has directed officials and agencies at all levels of government, and state-owned enterprises, to carry out the persecution, spending billions of dollars and sparing no expense.

The peak of the horror is the use of Falun Gong practitioners as a source of organs for transplantation. In military hospitals and under heavy military supervision, organs have been harvested from people while they are still alive, so that the regime and its cadres can get a higher price. Tens of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have been killed this way, and thousands more were killed through other types of horrific torture in forced labor camps and prisons across China.

Candles lit in memory of Falun Gong practitioners killed in the persecution in China.

A peaceful rally marks 14 years of the persecution of Falun Gong in China.

This child’s aunt was tortured for two years in a forced labor camp in Beijing.

Supporters join the rally.

People sign a petition calling for an end to the persecution in China.

Falun Dafa Association Spokesperson: Dispelling the Communist Regime’s Lies, We See Hope

“It was jealousy that stirred up the persecution,” explained Roy Bar-Ilan, a spokesperson for the Israeli Falun Dafa Association, “because it is an amazing cultivation practice. It became very popular very quickly in China, and then all of a sudden, tens of millions of good people became the largest group of prisoners of conscience in the world. The severity of the persecution – rape, shocks by electric batons, 45,000 to 60,000 organ harvesting cases, according to modest estimates – millions of people, of families, have suffered intensely and on an unparalleled scale.

“At first, everyone repeated the propaganda, and thus, in fact, promoted the persecution. Yesterday I found an article published in a major Israeli media in July 2001. It was written there that 14 practitioners had committed suicide in prison, and the prison authorities had ‘saved’ 11 others. It was also written that the Chinese government had decided to place Falun Gong practitioners in labor camps and monitor them around the clock as if they were worried about their safety. This story made me cry. In actuality, it should have been a report on the murder of the 14 practitioners, [who were just] like me, my wife and my children.”

Bar-Ilan continued, “We were able to overturn the lies that the Chinese regime created as part of its repression. Now people in the world do not believe the lies of the Chinese Communist Party. Yet many still can’t truly understand what Falun Gong is all about.

“To be a Falun Gong practitioner is to continuously try to improve oneself, to not blame others when encountering conflicts, but instead look inward, to not hit back when being attacked or sworn at, and to take loss and gain lightly.

“To be a Falun Gong practitioner is to get rid of selfishness and deviated thoughts. It is to strive to be considerate of others, to be an uncompromising moral example that does not bend in the face of profit or threat of any kind.

“In the face of the propaganda machine of the Chinese government, their media, embassies, and business and industrial relations all over the world, we are armed only with our hearts full of compassion and our determination to not let the evil, though influence, win the battle of humanity’s morality and future.

“We go out [to raise awareness about the persecution] day after day not for any gain, but because we believe that mankind still has hope, that the hearts of human beings still harbor morality and kindness… And the fact that you are here today proves that we are right, proves that there is hope.”

Epoch Times Director: “Silence Is What Allows These Crimes to Carry On”

“One cannot be neutral,” said Gilad Slonim, director of the Israeli edition of theEpoch Times at the rally. “We [Jews] have been through a genocide, where a dictator decided to destroy us because what we believed in did not suit him, and now we are directly or indirectly helping the same kind of a regime to carry out this persecution.

“Thus, one can’t be neutral in this battle. Everybody would like to be neutral, [thinking] ‘Why get involved? Why put this pain into my head? It’s happening so far away – it has nothing to do with us…’ This is not true! It is related to each and every one of us. Everyone today has to take a side.

“Not taking a proactive step against this persecution is equal to siding with it, since then you agree to be silent. Silence is what allows these crimes to carry on.”

“July 20th–a Great Shame in Mankind’s History”

Two Chinese Falun Gong practitioners living in Israel spoke in front of the Chinese Embassy, addressing not only the crowd, but also people at the embassy.

“In my opinion, the day of July 20th will remain as a great shame in history of mankind,” one of them said. “Why do I say so? Because 14 years ago on July 20th in China – such a big country with 1.3 billion people – the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] launched a brutal persecution of Falun Dafa.”

“Falun Dafa practitioners are people of good reputation in China,” she said. “There are many people who have a sense of justice and ask the 610 Office wicked policemen, ‘You do not catch the bad guys but specifically target good people. What kind of people are you?'”

“Some people have done a test with a mobile phone, sending out a text message. Messages with the words ‘truthfulness, compassion, forbearance’ [the main principles of Falun Gong] were blocked [by the regime]. But messages with the words ‘false, evil, fighting” were received. This shows to what extent the CCP has put China under its brutal control, so that the basic morality has been completely wiped out.

“However, the remaining goodness of Chinese people has begun to emerge as they learn the truth about the Communist regime. Now more than 140 million Chinese people have quit the CCP and its related organizations.”

Voices of Support for Falun Gong

Dr. Amir Shani from the New Liberal Movement called for the end to the persecution. In a taped interview he said, “We are here to express empathy and solidarity with innocent Falun Gong practitioners persecuted for no reason by the communist regime in China.” Many members of the New Liberal Movement group from various sides of the political map and social spectrum came to support the rally.

Rabbi Chaim Cohen from the Rabbis for Human Rights organization has attend numerous rallies calling for the end to the persecution of Falun Gong in China. In a powerful voice he declared, “We must stop the terrible persecution against Falun Gong!” He added that trading between Beijing and Jerusalem must take into account human rights.

Herzl Hakak, chairman of the Hebrew Writers Association, and Balfour Hakak, the organization’s former chairman, sent a statement to be read at the rally, “The phenomenon of psychiatric torture and organ harvesting is utterly shocking, both for their severity and scope, and for the betrayal of the ‘doctor’s oath,’ which every doctor takes to protect the sanctity of human life. Here in front of us, are physicians within the establishment [in China] … using their medical knowledge to violate human rights and endanger human life.”

Rabbi Shlomo Aviner also sent a letter of support, “Be strong and brave for the sake of justice and righteousness, for the protection of every person on Earth who is unjustly persecuted. This is our duty to protest and raise our voices. And when all voices are joined, it will eventually lead to salvation.”

“A Bleeding Lotus Flower”

The rally was accompanied by the sounds of an Erhu (an ancient Chinese stringed instrument) solo piece, “A Bleeding Lotus Flower.” The music was composed as a protest against the Chinese regime’s crimes of organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners.

The solo tells of a true story revealed in 2009 by a security guard who had witnessed in 2002 how two military surgeons harvested the heart and kidneys of a Falun Gong practitioner while she was still alive.

This practitioner had been illegally arrested because of her belief in Falun Gong. She was a teacher, and the devoted mother of a 12-year-old son. While she was held in custody, she was brutally and repeatedly raped by the police. They also tortured her and shocked her with electric batons for seven days.

She was then taken to the fifth floor of the General Military Hospital of Shen-Yang City. The surgeon cut open her chest without any anesthesia, while she was fully conscious and wide awake. When the surgeon cut her heart arteries, she died.

Her last words were, “Falun Dafa is Good!”

CATEGORY: July 20 Events

Standing Up for Justice in Dalian: Lawyers Refuse to Comply with Illegal Court Order

August 12, 2013 | By a Minghui correspondent from Liaoning Province, China

en.minghui.org

(Minghui.org) The Zhongshan District Court in Dalian planned to resume a hearing of 13 illegally arrested Falun Gong practitioners on July 5, 2013. However, in violation of the “Code of Criminal Procedure” and in total disregard for the defendants’ rights, the court gave the practitioners’ lawyers very short notice of the court date, and failed to notify the practitioners at all.

The lawyers representing the 13 practitioners refused to comply with such improper procedure and did not go to court that day. Instead, they sued the Zhongshan Court for violation of their defendants’ civil rights. Under protest from the lawyers, the Zhongshan District Court presiding judge had to reschedule the hearing.

Supporters and Family Members Beaten and Harassed

The thirteen practitioners were arrested over a year ago during a series of mass arrests in Dalian City.

Prior hearings had been marred by police brutality and harassment of the defendants’ supporters. During the hearing on April 20, 2013, the police arrested practitioners who had gathered outside the courthouse and beat one of the lawyers present. During another hearing on June 21, 2013, local practitioners were also arrested, and family members of the defendants were harassed and followed by police.

Making sure that the defendants and their families understood their decision to protest the upcoming trial, the lawyers arrived at Dalian on July 4 to notify the defendants not to comply with the court order and insist on their legal rights.

The Central Politics and Legal Affairs Committee (PLAC) and the Beijing Ministry of Public Security sent personnel to the July 5 hearing. At 7:00 a.m., the practitioners were brought to the court.

A large number of police and plainclothes officers were stationed at the courthouse, at nearby areas, and at the hotel where the defendants’ lawyers were staying. Some family members arrived at the courthouse but were harassed and not allowed inside. Very few family members were in the courtroom, and the gallery was filled with strangers whom the defendants and their families had never seen before.

A Successful Protest

However, it was not business as usual and the sham trial did not proceed. At 10:00 a.m., the presiding judge of the Zhongshan Court made an announcement: “In order to safeguard the rights of the people, the hearing will be changed to another date.”

Earlier, the practitioners’ lawyers visited a number of agencies associated with the Department of Public Security to file complaints against the Zhongshan Court. They submitted a proposal titled “Changing court personnel and increasing the civilian jury” and statements of the defendants and their lawyers refusing to be present in court under the unjust circumstances. Every family received a copy.

The lawyers then submitted a letter concerning “Submission of major cases” to the Dalian City Procuratorate, suing the Zhongshan Court. Ten lawyers signed the lawsuit. The lawyers also went to the Dalian City Intermediate Court Commission for Discipline and Inspection and filed the lawsuit against the Zhongshan Court for acting against legal procedures, and also presented evidence. They also submitted written materials regarding the lawsuit to the Dalian Municipal People’s Congress.

The lawyers encountered enormous resistance during this process, and they had to go though a heated argument at almost every office. However, the lawyers based their arguments on the law, and the government agencies had to comply.

Background

The 13 practitioners on trial were: Mr. Che Zhongshan, Mr. Zhu Chengqian, Mr. Wang Shouchen, Mr. Wang Tao, Mr. She Yue, Mr. Shi Zhanshun, Mr. Pei Zhenbo, Ms. Pan Xiuqing, Ms. Lin Lihong, Ms. Bai Ruyu, Ms. Li Shengjie, Mr. Guo Song, and Mr. Yu Bo. Many of them have been severely mistreated in detention.

Officers from the Dalian City 610 Office, Domestic Security Division, and the police department, along with many local police stations and neighborhood committees, carried out a mass arrest of Falun Gong practitioners in the Dalian area on July 6, 2012. The practitioners arrested were alleged to have been involved with the installation of satellite dishes to receive NTDTV programs broadcasting uncensored news from overseas. Nearly 100 Falun Gong practitioners were arrested, detained and some were tortured in detention.

Related articlesAfter Attorney Beaten for Defending Falun Gong Practitioners, Others Step Forward13 Falun Gong Practitioners Face Illegal Trials, 12 Lawyers Stand Up for JusticeDalian Court Tries to Earn a Good Reputation Even As It Ignores the LawTravesty of Justice: Mass Arrests of Falun Gong Practitioners in Dalian City, Lawyer Beaten

Lambs to Slaughter

Check out this song regarding the forced organ harvesting of innocent people in China. This is happening in hundreds of hospitals in China, offering less than 2wks waiting time for an organ transplant from the time of inquiry. Lambs to slaughter. Made to order.

Published on Jul 24, 2013

The first single off Belle’s upcoming album, “Speck of Dust”, “Lambs to Slaughter” takes on the confronting human rights issue of forced organ removals from living prisoners of conscience in China with hard-hitting lyrics and a stunning synthesized soundscape over an R&B groove.

“Lambs to Slaughter” is co-written with Sterling Campbell (David Bowie and B-52’s) and features guest emcee, Rise Ascend (f/k/a Ankh Amen Ra). Belle’s uplifting music is rich with folk melodies blended with eclectic sounds over driving beats. Within her deep, sweeping vocals you can hear resonances of Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez and Alanis Morissette. “Belle’s soothing voice brings awareness to one of the biggest atrocities of this century” – The Epoch Times

More info: http://www.EverythingBelle.com
Record Label: http://www.IngeniousRecords.com

 

For more information head to stoporganharvesting.org

stop organ harvesting in China

A Solemn Parade Through US Capital Reminds of Persecution in China

Practitioners of Falun Gong march through the city, marking 14 years of persecution

By Shar Adams and Shannon Liao

WASHINGTON—Around one thousand Falun Gong practitioners and supporters proceeded solemnly through the streets here on July 18, marking the 14th year since the Chinese regime began a violent persecution of their faith in China, in a grand march from Capitol Hill to the Washington Monument 1.5 miles away.

The practitioners were mostly silent in their march—except for the marching band and the drumming corps—and all expressed unrelenting tenacity in the face of the ongoing campaign in China. In interviews, many of them said they wanted only one thing: for the persecution to stop.

Led by the Divine Land Marching Band, supporters from around the world and as close as New Jersey and Maryland carried banners that read “Falun Dafa is Good” and “Stop the Persecution of Falun Gong” as they made their way down Pennsylvania Avenue.

“We have to speak the truth for the public,” said Kate La, who had traveled from New Jersey. “They don’t know what is happening to Falun Gong.”

According to the Falun Dafa Information Center, Falun Gong, also know as Falun Dafa is “a spiritual discipline in the Buddhist tradition.” Founded by Mr. Li Hongzhi in China in 1992, the practice consists of moral teachings and five exercises, including a meditation.

Recognized for its health benefits, Falun Gong quickly became popular in China; by 1998, according to official statistics, over 70 million Chinese people were practicing it. In July of 1999 the Chinese Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin perceived that Falun Gong was too popular, and was competing with the Party for hearts and minds, so he began a brutal persecution to “eradicate” it.

Since then hundreds of thousands of practitioners have been detained and tortured. Although the deaths of over 3,000 Falun Gong practitioners have been formally recorded, with accompanying evidence, the death toll is suspected to be much higher. In 2006 reports surfaced that Falun Gong practitioners, arrested and detained in labor camps without trial, were being killed by the thousands so that their organs could be used for on-demand transplants.

Those allegations are the subject of House Resolution 281, which condemns the practice of organ harvesting from Falun Gong detainees and other prisoners of conscience.

Alan Adler, executive director of Friends of Falun Gong, an advocacy group, said the resolution was a positive move, and believes there should be more bipartisan and louder action from both Congress and the Administration on the issue.

“The United States has a responsibility to speak out and the people expect their leaders to do that,” he said. “It is part of the history of our country.”

Adler said he would have preferred it if it was not necessary to be in Washington D.C. for the 14th year in a row, the march and rally having already become part of the fabric of D.C.’s protest calendar, to Adler’s regret.

“I hope we don’t have to show up here for the 15th year,” he said, “This has been going on for too long.”

Cameo Sherman and her children, Theta, Kai and Ethan, live in Maryland and watched the parade from the sidelines. They had just come out from an exhibition on the First Amendment.

“It was good for the kids to see the First Amendment in practice,” she said.

The family was shocked to hear about the persecution. “I only knew about mad stupid debts,” said Ethan, 8, using the word ‘mad’ as slang for ‘very,’ referring to China’s holding of American treasury bonds.

Theta, 11, who said she would like to be president of the United States one day, said she would certainly support Resolution 281 if she were the one voting. “It is gruesome selling body parts,” she said. “I hope it doesn’t happen here.”

A 50-year-old woman, Terry Green, shaded herself with a black umbrella as she stopped to watch the procession of colorful banners. After learning about Falun Gong and the persecution, Green declared “I’m going to go look this up now.” She was surprised at what she heard about torture in labor camps, and said practitioners “should be allowed to express their religious freedom.”

“I’m glad I’m here to see this,” she said, smiling. “That’s a beautiful thing to stand for and to believe in. That’s what America’s all about.”

Leslie Schoop, who traveled to New Jersey from Germany in 2011 to attend graduate school at Princeton University, majoring in chemistry, learned of the persecution through her classmate, Huiwen Ji, a Falun Gong practitioner originally from Zhejiang Province in China, and decided to join the parade on Thursday.

Schoop was impressed by “how many people are here; many Westerners and people from different places. But it’s so quiet and peaceful.”

Hearing about the persecution of Falun Gong in China was “enlightening,” said Chaitram Misir, a New York Life Insurance agent. “I couldn’t believe something like this was happening, so that’s the reason I’m here—to be supportive of it.”

Misir, 44, said he was missing work to attend the parade; what had made an impact on him about the parade was “the support” practitioners were giving the issue, and their commitment to “show that it’s something that’s not right, and take a stand about it,” he said.

A man from yet another walk of life, the 42-year-old George Li, held a blue banner while recounting his life in Beijing, from 1996 to 2004. He said that he wanted to be in the marching band but in the end wasn’t selected, though was proud to be playing a role. “A lot of persecution goes on in China. Many fellow practitioners that I knew were imprisoned,” he said.

Li was locked in a detention center for around fourteen days in March 2000 for his practice of Falun Gong—a comparatively short period, given the jail sentences of over a decade that are sometimes meted out by Chinese authorities to Falun Gong practitioners.

Now a mechanical engineer living in New York, Li said that he wishes for “the U.S. government to stand up for these people’s freedom of belief and human rights.”

Li added: “They should have done the job a long time ago.”

Mental Hospital No Longer Persecutes Falun Gong Practitioners

July 02, 2013 | By Song Zhen

en.minghui.org

(Minghui.org) After the persecution of Falun Gong began on July 20, 1999, my aunt was very frightened when she saw me actually being persecuted for practicing it. The persecution brought her back to the old days of terror that she had gone through during other bloody political movements launched by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) over the years.

Out of fear, she tried everything to prevent me from taking part in the practice; she even resorted to violence. She slapped me in the face and kicked me with her boots, which left scars in my right leg that are visible even today. She once tied me to the bed and fastened the rope to a window. She then told a nurse to inject me an unknown drug–as if I were a patient with a mental disorder! Yet all her contriving against me failed to turn me away from Falun Gong.

Mental Hospital Staff Moved by My Selflessness

In the winter of 1999 my aunt managed to get me sent to a mental hospital, where she thought I would be made to abandon Falun Gong.

At that time the CCP’s slanderous propaganda against Falun Gong permeated China, and people were very hostile toward practitioners. What should I do? From my heart I refused to acknowledge the persecution and their injecting of me with drugs. Meanwhile, I persevered in practicing Falun Gong and used myself as a vivid example of its magnificence.

Not long after I was sent to the hospital, the chief therapist made his first attempt to get me to give up Falun Gong. I was doing the first exercise, when he pulled my arms to stop me. I thought, “No matter what happens, I shall not stop until I finish doing all the exercises.” He pulled my arms again, but I did not move. He then left. When I got to the fourth exercise, he pulled at me again—so forcefully this time that I almost fell down. Still, I did not move. Seeing my perseverance, he left me alone. From then on he never again disturbed me while I was doing the exercises.

Because I did the exercises every day, I was in excellent health. Although not warmly dressed in winter, I did not feel cold and my face glowed with a health. A lady who worked in the dining section of the hospital was so impressed by my health that she would commend me in front of every one she met.

Most importantly, I let Dafa’s principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance guide my everyday life, and I tried to be a good person no matter what.

Every morning, I would tidy up the bed covers that other patients had messed up. When I saw the floor dirty, I would help clean it up. When it was cold, I helped the doctors start the fire in the hall so that the patients could go there to warm themselves up. Sometimes, other patients would be in a rush to use the restroom when I was using it, so I would immediately and without complaint get out and let them use it.

At mealtimes I would wait at the back until all the others had chosen their food. When I saw gravely ill patients unable to feed themselves and the nurses too busy to lend them a hand, I would put aside my food and go help them. In some cases a patient wanted more after eating their own portion, so I would give them my food. Although I often did not get enough to eat, I did not feel hungry. After seeing what I did, the head lady in the dining section would give me more food. They saw me giving my food away so often that they commended me for having such a good heart.

After having been in the hospital for some time, I began to perceive how much the patients were suffering. I felt so sorry for them that I was moved to tears.

I came to understand that, according to Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, I should always considers others first. From this understanding, Dafa revealed a truth to me: All beings have Buddha nature, and it is their original nature to be good to others, just like the sun nourishes all living beings on the earth with its light. Even animals and plants are given the ability to reproduce to feed human beings.

If everyone could be good to each other, then virtue would mark the path of mankind, and earth would become a kingdom of peace and harmony. In contrast, a person who does not hesitate to harm others to serve his own interests will reap what he sows. If a government resorts to treachery and violence to dupe its own people, there will be consequences.

What goes around comes around. The CCP, which spares no effort in suppressing democracy and violating human rights, is now on the brink of collapse.

My firm faith in Falun Gong, as manifested in my altruism and optimism when dealing with others, influenced the staff of the hospital in ways that I never expected. Later, one of my colleagues came to the hospital for work. When he saw me, he said in awe, “All the employees hold you in high regard. You are known as ‘the Falun Gong practitioner who has changed the environment here for good.’”

When the chief doctor sent me home, he said to my aunt, “Just let her practice Falun Gong. It is her faith.” She nodded. “Yes, certainly,” she said. From then on she never did anything to prevent me from practicing Falun Gong. Later, she even agreed to do the three withdrawals.

Medical Chief Makes the Right Choice after Learning the Facts

In March 2010 the chief of the 610 Office of my county and several officers from the Security Section at work sent me to the mental hospital again in hopes of forcing me to give up Falun Gong. Several doctors, who supposed I had a mental disorder, held me down and injected me with drugs. As a result, my breathing was affected, I had a hard time walking, and couldn’t calm down. After that they force fed me large doses of drugs that worsened my mental state by the day.

It was such a difficult time, but I did not make any concessions. I managed to buy a notebook. I wrote an article about Falun Gong in it and gave it to the chief of the medical section. The article was titled “Good People, Please Give Yourself a Chance to Learn the True Story of Falun Gong.”

In the article I briefly stated what Falun Gong was and how it had been introduced to the public. I set the record straight concerning several well-known CCP propaganda ploys. I pointed out the inconsistencies so that people could see how they had been deceived. I detailed some of the reports made by China’s state-owned media before 1999 that praised Falun Gong. Those reports confirmed that the practice never broke any laws, that the public embraced it, and that it had spread around the world.

I gave examples of Falun Gong practitioners who had recovered from their sicknesses after beginning the practice, showing readers its physical and mental benefits. By giving some examples of practitioners who were well-educated professionals, I presented Falun Gong’s power to help people become wiser, and that it is a true science instead of some superstition. Finally, I concluded that the spread of Falun Gong around the world is the true blessing of mankind, right here in the 21st century. The whole article was marked with my goodwill and sincerity.

After reading the article the chief said to me, “It is well written. I read it twice. It is so remarkable that you can stand here and explain this when you are being so severely persecuted. I can tell you that all the drugs you have taken are harmful to you. I will have them replaced.”

My truth clarification awoke a life who still had a conscience, and the first thing he did was to protect a Dafa practitioner. It was truly remarkable! He was very courageous to face the truth and treat Dafa practitioners with justice.

From then on I clarified the truth to everyone in the hospital, including the patients’ relatives who came to visit. The truth of Dafa spread, and I was released.

“Mother China” – Drew Parker

Song about the persecution of Falun Gong on acoustic guitar.

Mother China by Drew Parker.

The original version:

Another song by Drew Parker