Full Resolution: European Parliament Condemn Organ Harvesting in China

European parliament passed with absolute majority the resolution condemning state sanctioned organ harvesting on Falun Gong practitioners in China. The resolution was initiated by 56 MEPs from 4 parties, EPP, the liberals, the conservatives ECR and the Greens. The voting took place after a 40 minutes long debate. This is historical as European parliament take the lead internationally to condemn organ harvesting on Falun Gong practitioners.

The inside of the European Parliament in Brussels (image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

The text of the resolution is as follows:

B7-0562/2013

European Parliament resolution on organ harvesting in China.

The European Parliament,

- having regard to its resolutions of 7 September 2006 and 14 March 2013 on EU-China relations, its resolution of 13 December 2012 on the annual report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World 2011 and the European Union's policy on the matter, its resolution of 16 December 2010 on the Annual Report on Human Rights in the World 2009 and the European Union's policy on the matter, and its resolution of 19 May 2010 on the Commission Communication: Action plan on Organ Donation and Transplantation (2009-2015): Strengthened Cooperation between Member States,
- having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of European Union of 18 December 2012 and in particular its Article 3 on the Right to the integrity of the person,
- having regard to the hearings of 21 November 2009, 6 December 2012 and ‘2 December 2013’ held by the Subcommittee on Human Rights and the respective testimonies of former Canadian Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific David Kilgour and human rights lawyer David Matas on the large scale organ harvesting of unwilling Falun Gong practitioners in China since 2000,
- having regard to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, ratified by China on 4 October 1988,
- having regard to Rule 122 of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas, the People’s Republic of China performs more than 10,000 organ transplantations per year and 165 Chinese organ transplant centers advertise that matching organs can be found within 2-4 weeks, yet as of now it does not have an organized or effective public system of organ donation or distribution; whereas, the organ transplantation system in China does not comply with the World Health Organization’s requirement of transparency and traceability in organ procurement pathways, and the government of the People’s Republic of China has resisted independent scrutiny of the system; whereas, voluntary and informed consent is the precondition for ethical organ donation;

B. whereas, the People’s Republic of China has extremely low rates of voluntary organ donations due to traditional beliefs; whereas, the People’s Republic of China implemented regulations in 1984 that permitted the harvesting of organs from executed prisoners;

C. whereas the Government of the People’s Republic of China has failed to adequately account for the sources of the excess organs when information has been requested by the former United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment Manfred Nowak and by Canadian researchers David Matas, human rights attorney, and David Kilgour, former Canadian Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific;

D. whereas, Mr Huang Jiefu, Director of the China Organ Donation Committee and former Vice-Minister of Health has stated at the Madrid Conference on Organ Donation and Transplantation in 2010, that over 90% of transplant organs extracted from deceased donors stemmed from executed prisoners in China, and has said that by mid-2014, all hospitals licensed for organ transplants will be required to stop using organs from executed prisoners and only use those voluntarily donated and allocated through a fledging national system;

E. whereas the People’s Republic of 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 thereby contradicting its commitment that all hospitals licensed for organ transplants will be required to stop using organs from executed prisoners by mid-2014;

F. whereas, in July 1999, the Chinese Communist Party launched an intensive, nationwide persecution designed to eradicate the spiritual practice of Falun Gong leading to the arrest and detention of hundreds of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners; whereas there are reports that Uyghur and Tibetan prisoners have also been subject to forced organ transplantations;

G. whereas, the United Nations Committee Against Torture and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment have expressed concern over the allegations of organ harvesting from prisoners, and have called on the government of the People’s Republic of China to increase accountability and transparency in the organ transplant system and punish those responsible for abuses; whereas, the killing of religious or political prisoners for the purpose of selling their organs for transplant is an egregious and intolerable violation of the fundamental right to life;

H. whereas on 12 November 2013 the United Nations General Assembly elected China to serve on the United Nations Human Rights Council for a period of three years beginning on 1 January 2014;


1. Expresses its deep concern over persistent and credible reports of systematic, state-sanctioned organ harvesting from non-consenting prisoners of conscience, in the People’s Republic of China, including from large numbers of Falun Gong practitioners imprisoned for their religious beliefs, and members of other religious and ethnic minority groups;

2. Stresses that phasing out the harvesting of organs from executed prisoners only by 2015 is not acceptable; calls on the government of the People’s Republic of China to immediately end the practice of organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience and members of religious and ethnic minority groups;

3. Calls on the European Union and its Member States to raise the issue of organ harvesting in China; recommends that the European Union and its Member States publicly condemn organ transplantation abuses in China and raises awareness among its citizens travelling to the People’s Republic of China on this issue; calls for a full and transparent investigation by the European Union into organ transplant practices in the People’s Republic of China, and for the prosecution of those found to have engaged in such unethical practices;

4. Calls on the Chinese authorities to respond thoroughly to the requests of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture, and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief asking the Beijing government to explain the source of extra-organs following the increase in organ transplant operations and allow them to conduct an investigation into organ transplant practices in China;

5. Calls for the immediate release of all prisoners of conscience in China, including the Falun Gong practitioners;

6. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the EU Special Representative for Human Rights, the United Nations Secretary-General, the United Nations Human Rights Council and the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Chinese National People's Congress.

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