A small group of advocates stopped at Campbell River City Hall last Friday as part of their tour of Vancouver Island to protest and raise awareness of forced organ harvesting in China.
Carrie Gilkison, spokesperson for the tour, says we are all complicit in the Chinese Communist Party’s oppression and murder of Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa) practitioners. The group is calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to stand up against what they are calling “genocidal scale” persecution and murder when he heads to China in September.
The Chinese government, Gilkison says, has been persecuting Falun Gong practitioners since 1999, when then leader Jiang Zemin decided to crush the practice.
“It’s not something that’s rational,” Gilkison says. “Most rational people don’t turn on a group of peaceful people, who have regular jobs and are contributing members of society and are striving towards the principles of Falun Dafa – truthfulness, compassion and tolerance.”
The Vancouver Island tour is part of a broader awareness-building campaign happening across Canada right now.
“It’s so important for people to know about this,” Gilkison says. “It’s our responsibility, knowing what we know, to tell people about this so that they don’t go to China for a transplant and then find out years down the road that someone was killed for the organ that they are now using. For most people in the world, it would be pretty devastating to find that out.”
The timing of the campaign is in part a response to a report released last month by renowned Canadian human right lawyer David Matas, former Canadian secretary of state David Kilgour and investigative journalist Ethan Gutmann confirming the suspicions brought forward years ago about the practice of forced organ harvesting.
“Their initial 2006 report was about establishing whether or not the Communist Party was taking organs from prisoners of conscience – especially Falun Gong practitioners – because at that time there were allegations from different sources, but there were no sizeable credible academic reports, so they did their own and determined that it was happening.”
Their recent update to that study revealed, they say, the scale at which it is happening.
“Through the analysis of about 400 Chinese hospitals’ routine operational data – because you can’t trust the numbers that come out of China – they estimate that the number is between 800,000 to 1.5 million Falun Dafa practitioners who have been killed through organ harvest. That’s a genocidal scale, and it’s much higher than anybody anticipated.”
And despite some countries responding to this practice by barring citizens from getting transplants in China, prohibiting hospitals from participating in organ transplant research with Chinese doctors or issuing proclamations condemning the practice, those responses, Gilkison says, haven’t been enough to halt the practice.
“The world has been horrified to hear of this practice, but it’s time to move beyond shock and into action,” Gilkison says. “That is why we are calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to make ending forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience a priority of his upcoming trip to China in September.
“The weight of evidence now makes silence equivalent to complicity and Canada cannot tarnish its proud history by turning a blind eye to these crimes.”
They are also calling for the Prime Minister to urge the Chinese government to end their campaign of persecution against Falun Gong practitioners in China.
For more on the protest movement and the research it is based on, go online to stoporganharvesting.org, endorganpillaging.org or organharvestinvestigation.net