DENVER, Colorado--Amnesty International in conjunction with seven university student groups in Colorado sponsored a forum on the Chinese Communist Party's systematic organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience.
The forum, entitled "China's New Genocide: "Organ Harvesting from Prisoners of Conscience," was held at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs on Wednesday, January 31st, and the University of Denver and the University of Colorado at Boulder on Thursday, February 1st.
Over 300 people total attended the three forums hosted by Amnesty International and seven other student groups.
Speakers at the events included David Matas, an international human rights lawyer, and co-author of Report into Allegations of Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners in China; Erping Zhang, Falun Gong spokesperson, and Executive Director of Association for Asian Research; Dr. Charles Lee, a Falun Gong practitioner who was illegally sentenced to three years in prison by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for his attempt expose brutality towards Falun Gong practitioners; and Dr. Wenyi Wang, who called out for justice at a ceremony for Chinese leader Hu Jintao at the White House, demanding that Presidents Hu and Bush stop the persecution of Falun Gong in China.
The panelists discussed accusations and proof that the CCP is harvesting organs from live Falun Gong practitioners, who have been detained in prison camps throughout China.
Mr. Zhang covered the background and his experience practising Falun Gong for the audience.
"Falun Gong is basically a self improvement practice," said Zhang.
The practice grew quickly after its introduction to the public in 1992 and was even supported by the CCP in the early years. In 1999, Falun Gong was banned by the CCP.
Since then practitioners of Falun Gong have been arrested, tortured, and murdered by the CCP. Denigrating and vicious tactics used by the CCP now include removing organs from live Falun Gong practitioners and selling them for profit.
David Matas, and his colleague David Kilgor investigated the allegations of organ harvesting by the CCP after a request in May 2006. A report of their investigation findings was first published in July of 2006.
We believe that there has been and continues today to be large-scale organ seizures from unwilling Falun Gong practitioners," concludes their revised report, released January 31st.
There is a correlation between the rapid increase of organ transplants and the beginning of the Chinese Government's persecution of banned Falun Gong, explained Matas at University of Colorado at Boulder.
Dr. Charles Lee, who is a U. S. citizen, explained in detail the methods of torture he was subject to during his three years in Chinese prison. Lee attested that the CCP is cruel, and even an unthinkable crime such as organ harvesting from live unwilling donors is easily conceived.
Dr. Wenyi Wang, added that medical professionals, under their oath are required to help patients and not do harm.
Audience questions followed the speakers at the forum. All questions from the audience were addressed. Some expressed their gratitude for the speakers' attendance and efforts to expose these crimes against humanity.
CU Boulder Anthropology student Alexa Sample shared her impression of the forum, "I thought it was a very balanced panel... and did very well illuminating this issue."
Many were shocked to hear that such treatment was currently happening and wanted to know how to take action.
Sierra Shafer, International Affairs and Fine Arts Major at CU Boulder discussed her plan for action, "Especially, I think, with the upcoming Olympics games in Beijing, I think this is a perfect time to raise awareness about this issue."
Amnesty International Student Area Coordinator, and CU Boulder History and Education Major, Matthew Steninger was glad to help organise the forum and discussed the local chapter's next steps.
"One of the next things that is a typical next step... is taking the awareness that we've raised here with this event and get people to sign letters. Whether it is to pressure the United States Government to take action and protect human rights in china or whether it is directed to the government of china itself to show the government of China: We in the U.S. are paying attention to them, we know what is going on, and were not going to let them just go about their daily business."
Although the event at CU Boulder was hampered by a snowstorm and freezing temperatures, over 200 students and community members attended.
Dr. Wenyi Wang shared her thoughts after thoughts of the forums, "The organiser did wonderful job to promote this event. Look outside, it is such heavy snow... and so many students showed up. Millions of people inside China; "their voice cannot be heard, and through such activities their voice can be heard."
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