Seminars at Oxford and Cambridge Universities Explore the Chinese Regime's Crime of Live Organ Harvesting

On April 25 and 26, 2013, Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH) sponsored two seminars entitled, "Unveiling Organ Transplant in China" at Oxford and Cambridge Universities. The seminars served as the first comprehensive exposure of the CCP's forced organ harvesting crimes to be held at these major universities. The presentations and discussion from the four speakers allowed over 100 audience members to deepen their understanding of what is happening in China – a crime against humanity, a massacre plotted and supported by the Chinese state to steal human organs.

Speakers at the seminars included David Matas, a renowned international human rights lawyer from Canada, co-author of Bloody Harvest, who received a Nobel Peace Prize nomination; David Kilgour, former Secretary of State (Asia-Pacific) in Canada and an Independent MP in the Canadian House of Commons; Ethan Gutmann, an independent reporter; a representative from DAFOH in Germany and Huige Li, a professor of Medicine. Oxford University is the Alma mater of David Matas, where he received his law degree 40 years ago.

The Cambridge seminar was co-organized by Amnesty International of Cambridge.

Mr. Ethan Gutmann speaks at the seminar on the CCP's crimes of organ harvesting

During both seminars, four experts and scholars from Canada, the United States and Germany presented their research findings about the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP's) forced organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners. They also discussed the responses and latest progress within the international community to address this major issue which questions the bottom line of human morality. They called for more governments to take action and for more people to help stop the CCP's crimes against humanity.

Deepening the Understanding of the CCP's Crime of Live Organ Harvesting

Seminar speakers reached a consensus that such systematic murder, organized by the Chinese state to steal human organs is a blatant challenge to the morality of all mankind, and to the international community's sense of justice. The CCP's persecution of Falun Gong occurs in every corner of China, from the top to the bottom of society, and such crimes are currently occurring everywhere in China. This persecution organized by the state is a crime against all of mankind.

From the speeches at the seminar, it could be identified clearly that further investigation into the number of organ harvesting cases was not the focus of the four speakers; rather, their investigations are concentrating more on an in-depth understanding of the CCP's true nature, what constitutes effective actions on the part of the international community in the face of the CCP's crimes, and how the CCP further exposes its own scandals.

Terminating Crimes Against Humanity in China

The first speaker at the seminar was David Kilgour, who conveyed a clear message: "Terminating the crimes against humanity in China." His view was both shocking and intriguing: "What we are here to talk about is that this single-party authoritarian state, since 1949, started a process to dominate and violently repress groups that were identified as its opponents. The latest issue of this process is that a large number of Falun Gong practitioners' organs have been harvested when they were still alive, for the purpose of commercial organ transplants."

Mr. Kilgour encouraged the international community and national governments to make real efforts to end such an unthinkable crime. He stated, "Responsible international groups should put pressure via feasible and constructive channels on the CCP regime, so as to end this crime against humanity in China." He suggested the UK look at the positive bill that was proposed in New South Wales, Australia, so as to strengthen legislation that would help end the crime of forced organ harvesting. Examples of concrete steps that might be taken to end the forced organ harvesting were given, such as passing legislation to prohibit the public from accepting organs harvested from living people in any country or via any channels, and to prohibit training organ transplant doctors from participating in illegal organ transplant and immoral trading.

Kilgour and Matas' joint investigative report has been published three times – in July 2006, in January 2007 and again recently. The evidence they have collected to support allegations of forced organ harvesting has increased from the initial 38 types of evidence to more than 50 at present. Nonetheless, Mr. Matas made it clear in answering questions at the press conference after the Cambridge seminar: “What can be illustrated more clearly in this complicated situation is not how much data you have, but about how the CCP carries on 'hiding the real data.' He believes that the data from China sheds more light on how such live organ harvesting exists, for instance, in the number of death row criminals. But the key issue is transparency, and about "the issue that the CCP is hiding the data."

In recent years, Ethan Gutmann, who has been carrying on his own independent investigation, has been tracking the changing attitudes of the international community towards the CCP's forced organ harvesting. He is not surprised to see that politicians in the U.S. Senate recently used a very clear term – "anti-human" –

to define the CCP's crime of live organ harvesting, and called for prosecuting all persons involved in such heinous crimes and bringing them to the International Court.

Mr. Gutmann also analyzed the notion that the CCP's top leaders had found it hard to prevent such an evil practice from happening. He believes that the recent series of events, such as high-ranking official Wang Lijun's US Consulate appearance and its aftermath, including that term “live organ harvesting” was uncensored for a short period of time on the Baidu search engine, proves that behind the live organ harvesting are people sitting at the top levels of the CCP regime, such as Wang Lijun, Bo Xilai, Zhou Yongkang and Jiang Zemin. Mr. Gutmann believes that it also shows the close ties between live organ harvesting and the CCP regime. Victims of such forced organ harvesting include Tibetans, Uighurs, and Falun Gong practitioners, which is the largest victimized group.

After the Oxford seminar, Mr. Gutmann said in an interview that the CCP cannot cover up its crime of organ harvesting from living people. He stated, "There is a saying, it is not the crime itself, but the attempt to hide the crime that exposes the crime itself. The well-known Watergate story is a typical example. It should be noted that the CCP's live organ harvesting is a heinous crime against humanity, and cannot be covered up.

Such a crime should not be ignored by the so-called 'reform' and 'change' in China as recently proposed. As long as the CCP doesn't acknowledge such crimes and doesn't allow others to carry on with independent investigations, their reforms will be just talk. As long as the CCP doesn't account for those who disappeared in the labor camp system in mainland China, the CCP's reform proves to be but mere lip service.”

In-depth Analysis of the CCP's Anti-human Criminal Regime

After the Oxford seminar, Mr. Matas said there are people who don't believe that the CCP is harvesting organs from living Falun Gong practitioners – this is because they don't understand the CCP's violent and autocratic nature. He emphasized, "If you don't understand the nature of the CCP, it is hard for you to understand why such brutal things could happen on such a large scale. In order to understand the real China, you must first keep in mind that the real China under the CCP regime is totally different from the reality of our Western society. Such a huge difference derives from the CCP's existence. The CCP's way of doing things and its ruling method is an abuse of power, but in our Western democratic societies, such extreme abuse and control cannot be allowed. I think that Western society must become aware of this.

"If anyone wants to end the persecution against Falun Gong, the CCP's nature and core will be touched. For the CCP, it is impossible for them to make such a change."

Medical Doctor Kuaige Li presented his report titled, "What is Behind the Fact that Live Organ Harvesting Exists in China." In his report, based on an analysis of Chinese society from the time the CCP seized power up to today, he pointed out, "The CCP destroys traditional Chinese culture, and uses atheism to brainwash the Chinese people. As a result, modern Chinese people are full of hatred toward the 'Party's enemies' as identified by the CCP. Such hatred can only be one devoid of humanity. This kind of deteriorated social environment serves as one of the important reasons to explain why such large scale harvesting of living Falun Gong practitioners' organs could happen in China."

In his address made at the Oxford seminar on April 26, Mr. Gutmann emphasized, “The CCP steals human organs, while live organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners is a large-scale collective crime built on the Party's evil regime.” According to his investigation, the CCP conducted live organ harvesting from detained prisoners in Xinjiang as early as 1994. Under the CCP's brainwashing, Chinese people have gotten used to the anti-human treatment of political prisoners.

Falun Gong Practitioners Commended for Persistently Raising Awareness

The seminars at the University of Oxford took place on April 25, the same date as the April 25 Appeal in 1999, when Falun Gong practitioners raised a peaceful petition in Beijing. "April 25" is the commemoration of Falun Gong practitioners' adhering to the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, and also highlights the significance of Falun Gong practitioners' courage and perseverance in clarifying the truth over the course of the 14-year persecution. Since 2003, when the crimes of forced organ harvesting were first exposed, practitioners have been urging the international community to seriously reflect upon their role in ending the CCP's live harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners' organs.

In an interview after the Oxford seminar, Mr. Matas stated that in reality, Falun Gong practitioners' consistent efforts to adhere to the truth have been the driving force to rebuild our medical ethics. Focusing on exposing the forced harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners organs, practitioners' efforts to adhere to the truth have contributed to the establishment of an international organ transplant system with sound legislation and a professional code of conduct. He believes that medical ethics is what transplant circles should reflect upon, and transplant operations must be conducted in accordance with the highest ethical standards.

The harvesting of living Falun Gong practitioners' organs is an unthinkable tragedy in human rights and medical ethics. Mr. Matas said, "Falun Gong practitioners cultivate Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance. In regards to this issue, 'Truthfulness' is the most crucial aspect, because in order to convey the real message, it is very important for people concerned to confront reality. I know many Falun Gong practitioners, and I am very concerned about the persecution they suffer. I hope the persecution can be ended as soon as possible. As a lawyer, of course, I always hope that my clients belong to a group that can provide real testimonies, [as] only this can bring about evidence that can be secured. I fully feel Falun Gong practitioners' persistent and sincere efforts in clarifying the truth have provided the initiative to set up a global organ transplant moral system."

Mr. Gutmann also believes that it has been a long process for Falun Gong practitioners as they have persisted in clarifying the truth for so many years, particularly with regard to raising awareness about the issue of live organ harvesting. But all those efforts have laid a solid foundation for the international community to change their attitude towards the CCP's live organ harvesting.

Seminar Audience Conveys a Sense of Concern for this Crime Against Humanity

Forced harvesting of living Falun Gong practitioners' organs has been exposed around the world, invoking increasingly heated responses from the international community. Many audience members, after learning the facts, immediately got involved to end such heinous crimes.

During the Oxford seminar on April 25, more than 40 experts and scholars from Oxford University in the subjects of law, religion and culture attended. After the seminar there was a very heated Question & Answer session between the speakers and the audience. Many of the attendees expressed that they were shocked by the CCP's persecution of Falun Gong, and agreed that systematic murder to steal human organs was absolutely a blatant challenge to the morality of all mankind.

Mr. Matas expressed that he and David Kilgour had travelled around the world to present their research findings. He is pleased to see that the response from the international community has become more and more intense, and the public is becoming more aware of the truth. Though previously there were always efforts against human rights abuses, now the number of related actions have increased significantly.

Sarah, a devout Christian who came to Cambridge for a short stay, was one of the audience members at the Cambridge seminar. She said, "I am shocked to learn about such a large-scale crime of murder, and I feel sadder and more regretful to see our society's cold attitude towards the issue. Think about it, it attracts a lot of public attention for a celebrity to put on a new dress. What I feel now most prominently is my own guilt. If we cannot seriously think about what we understand about live organ harvesting, we should be responsible in terms of morality and politics for what is happening now.

"My mother is German, from whom I heard about what happened to the Jews in the 1930s. As a half German, I pay much attention to such issues. I hope what the Jews suffered will not be repeated in history."

Reynaud De la Bat Smit is a retired professor who attended the Oxford seminar. His profession covers a wide range of areas such as religion and ancient Greek language. He was extremely shocked by the CCP's crime of organ harvesting, and said he regarded this as more evil than the Nazi Holocaust. After the seminar, he talked with the speakers. He said, "I am very shocked. For me, taking organs without consent is an extreme abuse of human rights, let alone such things happening alongside torture and other abuse. It is not about whether it should happen or not, it is absolutely wrong. I am very surprised that such things are happening in China. If it had happened some place else, the international community would have reacted big time. Chinese doctors' allowing such things to happen has really shocked me. I think such silence is totally contrary to the medical professional code. I cannot understand why there are no Chinese doctors taking to the streets to protest."

Mr. De la Bat Smit expressed that the seminar allowed him to learn more about today's China. He said, "I did not realize that (under the CCP regime) the Cultural Revolution educated a generation of Chinese without sympathy, educated people to treat so-called 'enemy' groups so heartlessly and ruthlessly.” He expressed appreciation for the efforts that Mr. Matas and Mr. Kilgour have made. He believes that everyone, including himself, should make efforts to stop the CCP's live organ harvesting. That is because everyone should protect human rights, and cannot keep silent in the face of such a serious human rights abuse.

Apart from successful seminars at Oxford and Cambridge, DAFOH also held a Members hearing in the Scottish Parliament on April 23, 2013. A seminar was scheduled for April 29 in the UK Parliament, titled, “The Inhuman Crime of Organ Harvesting that is Occurring in China.”

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