At a meeting in Parliament contributors discussed the Falun Gong story and commemorated the beginning of the brutal persecution of Falun Gong practitioners which began on July 20th 1999 and asked “whether there is another Genocide in China.” Speakers included Sir Iain Duncan Smith MP , Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, Marie Rimmer MP, David Matas, Grace Song, Han Fei and Lord Alton of Liverpool.
Sir Iain referred to the work of the International Parliamentary Alliance on China and said it had collected “a huge amount of evidence” insisting that “the message of what has happened to the Falun Gong is beginning to get through.” He cautioned the Government about building a policy based on business deals and Net Zero saying “the CCP always breaks its word. It has no intention of keeping its word”.
Lord Hunt said that “ambiguity” in Government policy towards China had been an error and that Parliament’s strong stand against organ harvesting and the treatment of Falun Gong “must send a signal internationally. We owe it to the victims never to give up on this.”
Marie Rimmer said that she first became aware of the shocking nature of the CCP’s depredations when “the cadavers of anonymous political prisoners were used in a disgusting public exhibition in Birmingham.” She criticised the BBC which she said had “stopped journalists from broadcasting the story of atrocities against Falun Going practitioners” and said that as a Roman Catholic she felt very angry about the “horrendous Concordat between the Vatican and the CCP” adding that “Big business and big money is implicated in and often behind the organ harvesting”
David Matas, a Canadian international human rights lawyer – gave a well informed and thoughtful speech about the criteria in the Genocide Convention and insisted that “motive in determining Genocide is the key consideration – but mixed motives, such as “wilful blindness” and the role of leaders can become contributory factors and should not be discounted.” He said he intended to publish a paper exploring the issue further.
Powerful and deeply moving personal testimonies of imprisonment, torture – including the use of tiger chairs and constant beatings over many days by the CCP- were given by Grace Song and Han Fei.
Speech Delivered by David Alton (Lord Alton of Liverpool) at Parliamentary Event in Committee Room G on July 17th 2023: Forced Organ Harvesting and Falun Gong.
I have long known and on many occasions have spoken in Parliament about the plight of the Falun Gong and the atrocities involved, particularly forced organ harvesting.
There is a tendency to view accusations of organ harvesting through the lens of conspiracy and that the hardest thing about advocacy on this front is that it’s a hidden crime.
Evidence is usually hard to come by, no victims survive.
Perhaps for this reason there hasn’t been a single conviction under the Palermo Protocol which sought to criminalise organ trafficking and human trafficking in the early 2000s.
Against this background, the body evidence that we do have should give government pause. This really is a major problem – the next big human rights scandal in China after Xinjiang.
In this 75th anniversary year of both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Genocide Convention and in my role as Vice Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Freedom of Religion or Belief, I want to emphasise Article 18 of the UDHR that it is a fundamental human right to believe, to not believe or to change one’s belief.
The people of China are given no such right – and I draw particular attention to the secret concordat mad between the Vatican and the CCP and which does such a grave disservice to the cause of freedom of religion or belief. It is reminiscent of the Concordat which the Vatican shamefully made with the Reich.
Whether genocide or not, the China Tribunal stated forced organ harvesting would “be compared to the worst atrocities committed in conflicts of the 20th century.”
The Genocide Convention adopted by the UN in Paris in 1948 defines genocide as
“any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
- Killing members of the group;
- Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
- Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;”
According to many legal and academic experts, the on-going, nationwide campaign in China to eradicate Falun Gong, a spiritual practice of what was once an estimated 70-100 million people, constitutes a modern-day genocide.
Nina Shea, Senior Fellow at Hudson Institute and former Commissioner on the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, has stated “Secretary of State Blinken should promptly act to include Falun Gong in the departments genocide determination citing China.”
The intent from the now deceased, former CCP leader, Jiang Zemin, was made clear when he launched his campaign against Falun Gong on 20th July 1999. Jiang’s mandate to the 6-10 Office was to “eradicate” Falun Gong. The head of the 6-10 Office, Li Lanqing, announced the government’s new policy on the movement, which was to “Defame their reputations, bankrupt them financially and destroy them physically.”
Why did Jiang Zemin attempt to eradicate Falun Gong? Many believe he felt threatened by the popularity of the practice, though entirely peaceful and non-political, the number of Falun Gong practitioners in China at the time, was more than the number of CCP members.
The CCP is officially atheist and suppresses all religion, to varying degrees. Christians are only permitted censored versions of the Bible, religious leaders are often imprisoned and any permitted religious group is tightly monitored and controlled. But Jiang recognised that Falun Gong could not be controlled – even party officials had begun to practice. Jiang feared, in his own words, that CCP Marxism would become “a thumping joke”.
Last week, the UK Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament published a damning report on China. The report says that China has penetrated “every sector” of the UK’s economy, and in the report it recognises that Falun Gong is perceived by the CCP, as one of the greatest domestic threats to its rule, stating:
“The UK is unlikely to be the top priority for China when it comes to espionage and interference: the US, and perceived domestic threats to the CCP’s rule (known as ‘the Five Poisons’ – Taiwanese independence, Tibetan independence, Xinjiang separatists, the Chinese democracy movement and the Falun Gong), are likely to receive the most attention from the Chinese Intelligence Services.”
Speaking on CCP interference in UK academia, the report goes on to state:
“Pressure is primarily exerted on institutions, academics and students to prevent engagement with topics that harm the positive narrative presented by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). This is particularly acute when it involves the so-called ‘Five Poisons’ ”
Let me end by referring to a recent declaration by The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. It condemns imprisonment for religious practices, dissent, and ethnic background and condemns any and all forms of forced organ harvesting.
It insists and so should we in the context of our own Government, that:
“The United States government and American physicians should refuse to condone, enable, facilitate, or participate in forced organ harvesting, as by: Educating or Training personnel from a totalitarian country like communist China, or any other country, in skills that might be used for forced organ harvesting or referring patients to programs that use forced organ harvesting or participating in their care.”
And why did they feel the ned to say this. Listen to this quotation published on 4th July:
“There is overwhelming evidence that by the authority of the Chinese Communist Party, which holds absolute power in China, members of the Chinese Communist Party have arrested Falun Gong practitioners, Uyghurs, Christians and others in China, incarcerated them, done medical testing without consent for the purpose of matching their organs with transplant recipients, and removed their organs for transplantation, killing them in the process of doing so, engaging in “transplant tourism” for money.”
If we are to recognise the threat and interference from the CCP on our own democracy, it is imperative that we recognise the threat and atrocities happening to Falun Gong.
This really is the next big human rights crisis in China after Xinjiang. We must say so – loud and clear – because it is.
This is not a time for silence.