Persecution and Torture in ChinaCanada Free Press: By Falun Gong Human Rights Working Group, Monday, June 11, 2007
On March 20, 2007, Manfred Nowak, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture issued a report that corroborates previous findings in 2006 about persecution, abuse and torture of Chinese citizens.
His report states, "Organ harvesting has been inflicted on a large number of unwilling Falun Gong practitioners at a wide variety of locations for the purpose of making available organs for transplant operations." Mr. Nowak issued his report to the Human Rights Council's Fourth session, as part of their Agenda item 2, the Implementation of General Assembly Resolution 60/251.
On August 11, 2006, three UN Special Rapporteurs had sent an urgent appeal on organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners. This was a joint action by the Special Rapporteur on Torture, Mr. Manfred Nowak, the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Ms. Asma Jahangir and the Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, Ms. Sigma Huda.
Mr. Nowak further states in his report, "Vital organs including hearts, kidneys, livers and corneas were systematically harvested from Falun Gong practitioners at Sujiatan Hospital, Shenyang, Liaoning Province, beginning in 2001. The practitioners were given injections to induce heart failure, and therefore were killed in the course of the organ harvesting operations or immediately thereafter."
The report adds, "It is reported that employees of several transplant centres have indicated that they have used organs from live Falun Gong practitioners for transplants. After the organs were removed, the bodies were cremated, and no corpse is left to examine for identification as the source of an organ transplant. Once the organs were removed they were shipped to transplant centres to be used for transplants for both domestic and foreign patients."
Although the Chinese government denied the allegations, the Report states that China's passage of a law on July 1, 2006, prohibiting the sale of organs and requiring the donor to give written permission, indicates that China allowed organ harvesting before that time.
"Moreover, evidence exists, for example, that at least up until April 2006, price lists for organ transplants in China were published on the Internet," states the report.
The Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Ms. Asma Jahangir, also addressed the harvesting of organs from Falun Gong practitioners in her annual report on 250 countries. Regarding freedom of religion or belief, her report states, "The Special Rapporteur continues to be very concerned by the continued violations of freedom of religion or belief suffered by members of the Falun Gong. In her previous reports to the Commission on Human Rights, she explicitly mentioned members of the Falun Gong as targets of various human rights violations because of their beliefs and she strongly condemns the continued lack of freedom of belief of members of Falun Gong."
The Silence about Organ Harvesting
The Falun Gong Human Rights Working Group initially described the organ harvesting issue in its newsletter, Sujiatun Death Camp: Putting Conscience On Trial". The news was met with silence.
On July 7, 2006, former Canadian Secretary of State (Asia Pacific) and MP David Kilgour and human rights attorney David Matas released their "Report into Allegations of Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners in China." Presenting 17 points of evidence on the harvesting of organs from live Falun Gong practitioners, they stated, "The allegations, if true, would represent a grotesque form of evil which, despite all the depravations humanity has seen, would be new to this planet. The very horror makes us reel back in disbelief. But that disbelief does not mean that the allegations are untrue." Kilgour and Matas have traveled the world discussing their findings with organizations and nations, but, as yet, no country and no major media have condemned this heinous practice.
Dr. Shizhong Chen, founder of The Falun Gong Human Rights Working Group (www.falunhr.org), when asked about the importance of the UN Report, observed, "David Matas condemned the organ harvesting as a new kind of evil that humanity has yet to see. Sadly, we have also seen a new kind of silence to this evil, silence from world governments and from the media.
"This report by the Special Rapporteur 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. It also belies the US State Department report that they found 'no evidence' of organ harvesting after Chinese officials organized two guided tours for their benefit."
Many Cases of Persecution and Torture in China
The Falun Gong Human Rights Working Group has submitted many appeals to the United Nations Special Rapporteurs and has often spoken to the UN Human Rights Council. In his 2005 Report on his mission to China, Nowak observed, in Table 1, that 66% of all alleged victims of torture were Falun Gong practitioners. In 2006, Mr. Nowak sent many urgent appeals to the government of China concerning Falun Gong practitioners and other Chinese citizens who were abused and tortured.
Mr. Nowak cited the persecution of many Chinese citizens in his report, among others, human rights lawyer, Mr. Gao Zhisheng.
The Persecution of Chinese Lawyer Gao Zhisheng
Mr. Gao Zhisheng has represented dissidents, religious believers, entire villages with disputes against officials, and Falun Gong practitioners. When he did his own personal investigation and found evidence of ongoing torture of Falun Gong practitioners, he wrote an open letter asking CCP leaders Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao to stop the persecution of Falun Gong. As a result, the CCP started persecuting him. In November 2005, Mr. Gao met with Mr. Manfred Nowak, who at that time was in China investigating the use of "torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."
On December 2, 2005, 12 days after Mr. Nowak met with him, the Justice Bureau closed Mr. Gao's Shenghzhi Law Firm. Mr. Nowak "strongly protested to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs against the intimidation and surveillance by the security services that Mr. Gao was subjected to during their meeting in Beijing on November 20, 2005," and detailed the persecution suffered by Mr. Gao's wife, Ms. Geng He, their children of 13 and 2 years of age and his 70 year old mother-in-law. One time, two police officers beat Ms. Geng, ripped her clothing and tore off one of her fingernails. They followed Gao's daughter Gege at all times, including when she was in school and when she went to the bathroom. They even attempted to kidnap Gao's two-year-old son.
Other victims mentioned in the report include Ms. Mao Hengfeng whom Nowak interviewed on November 24, 2005, during his mission to China; Sun Xicheng, He Guoguang, Zhou Xiudi, Chen Zonglai, Wu Yuping, Jin Huijun, Mao Hengfeng, Chen Guancheng, Xu Zhiyong, lawyers Li Fangping and Li Subinhad, Ismail Semed, an ethnic Uighur from Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR),), Mr. Chen Xiaoming, Ms. Fu Yuxia, and Mr. Han Zhongming, Ms. Ma Yalian, Yusuf Kadir Tohti and Abdukadir Sidik, Mr. Xu Shuangfu (also known as Xu Wenku) and Mr. Li Maoxing, Bu Dongwei (also known as David Bu), He Depu, whom the Special Rapporteur on Torture interviewed on November 22 and 24, 2005, at the Beijing No. 2 Prison, and Zhang Hongwei, a Falun Gong practitioner residing in Tonghua District, Jilin Province, currently detained at Jilin Prison.
The list of victims goes on and on...
The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Suggests Mechanisms to Hold States Accountable
In an effort to help stop the use of torture, Mr. Nowak proposes that consideration be given to methods for holding accountable those States in which torture is systematic or widespread.
As an example, he suggests, "Such States might be required to contribute adequate funds to the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture. In addition, the respective costs for treatment should ideally be borne by the individual perpetrators, their superiors and the authorities directly responsible."
Mr. Manfred Nowak's report is at:
Click on the second report: A/HRC/4/33/Add.1
The information about China begins on page 45 and continues to page 70; the organ harvesting begins on page 60.
Mr. Nowak is the first UN Special Rapporteur on the Question of Torture to visit China for a UN investigation on torture. The findings from his 2005 visit triggered worldwide attention to the communist government's use of torture on its own citizens. His China mission report can be found here
Ms. Asma Jahangir's report is at:
Click on "E" in the first report. The information on China begins on page 28.