Australia: Catholic Weekly Reports on China’s Forced Live Organ Harvesting from Imprisoned Falun Gong Practitioners

Catholic Weekly of Australia carried an article online titled “China’s harvest of blood, built upon Falun Dafa prisoners of conscience” by Catherine Sheehan on July 19, 2017.

Sheehan interviewed two Falun Gong practitioners, Eric Jia and his aunt Lorrita Liu, whose family suffer the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) brutal persecution. Jia worries most that his father, a Falun Gong practitioner who has suffered torture in incarceration due to his belief, might be a victim of the CCP’s state-sanctioned live organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners for lucrative profit.

In the photo is Lorrita Liu, 38 years old, from Xi’an City in Shaanxi Province, and her two sisters, her two young nephews and her mother.

“There are no fathers, no husbands,” the article points out. “They are smiling in the photo, but underneath the smiles the members of this family carry a terrible suffering.

“Lorrita’s father, Jialu Liu, passed away from a sudden heart-attack, brought on by intense persecution from Chinese authorities. ‘He suffered under pressure,’ Lorrita says.

“In the center of the photo is the kindly face of Lorrita’s 72 year-old mother Yuhua Li, who had just been released from a brainwashing center in Xi’an City the day before our interview. That was the fifth time the elderly woman has been arrested. She has been tortured, repeatedly beaten, shocked with electric batons, deprived of sleep for three days in a row and sent to a forced labor camp for one year.”

Lorrita’s sister, Chunxia Liu, is currently detained in Xincheng District Detention Center in Xi’an City. She was arrested along with her mother on March 22 this year.

Lorrita’s 19-year-old nephew Eric Jia worries about whether his dad—Ye Jia—who is still in China, will escape the brutal persecution. He hasn’t known his father whereabouts since his release from detention last year. “Eric said, ‘He was tortured. He was locked-up on a bunk-bed and the police put chemicals in his mouth and he was vomiting blood. He was beaten by the prison guards.’”

The article continued, “What has this very normal-looking Chinese family done to cause the Chinese government to persecute them so ferociously?

“They are practitioners of a form of spiritual meditation based on ancient Chinese culture called Falun Gong, or Falun Dafa. The practice is based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance and promotes physical and mental health.”

Lorrita’s mother Yuhua Li was the first in the family to start practicing Falun Gong. Soon after, she recovered from a serious illness, and the rest of her family were inspired to join her.

The article stated, “Following its introduction to China in 1992 by founder Li Hongzhi, the Chinese government actually promoted the practice as they could see the health benefits to the population translating into savings for the country’s healthcare system. However, when the number of practitioners became more numerous than members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the government changed its tune drastically, instead seeing the meditation practice as a threat to the Party’s authority. Falun Gong was also considered a reversion to ancient Chinese culture, something the CCP had tried to wipe-out during the years of the Cultural Revolution.

“And so in 1999 the brutal persecution of Falun Gong began at the behest of Jiang Zemin, then President of the CCP. This persecution, which continues unabated today, involves labor camps, brainwashing classes, and all forms of torture including sleep deprivation and sexual abuse.

“After the persecution began, Eric’s father went to Beijing to petition for Falun Gong.

“Eric said, ‘He was the first one in my family to be arrested. If you’ve been to Beijing you get more punishment. He is the main target of the persecution in our family, plus he is a man. The third and fourth time he was arrested in 2002, when I was three or four, the police came to the house.’”

Eric’s grandmother and aunt were deprived of sleep, beaten with electric batons, and subjected to forced labor. His grandmother was tortured with the “Tiger Chair,” in which she had to sit upright for several days without food or water.

The report went on, “This persecution is being carried out despite the fact that there is no law in China making Falun Gong illegal. Eric explained that people are detained in houses referred to as ‘black jails,’ meaning illegal prisons. At the brainwashing classes detainees are forced to watch propaganda videos demonizing Falun Gong 24 hours a day.”

 

Falun Gong practitioner Eric Jia and his aunt Lorrita Liu holding her family photo.

 

Fearing the Worst: Live Organ Harvesting

The article continued, “But this awful story of persecution becomes even more horrifying with evidence emerging over the past 18 years that Falun Gong prisoners of conscience are being used as a living organ bank by the Chinese government and killed on demand for their organs.

“After the government began persecuting Falun Gong and detaining practitioners in camps, the number of organs transplants in China suddenly skyrocketed.”

Some of the latest research indicates that China conducts 60,000 to 100,000 transplants per year, yet it has not had a well-established organ donation system.

“Of course, for an organ transplant to take place there has to be blood type and tissue type compatibility and that is why in most countries it usually takes a long time to find a compatible organ for transplant. In China however, a transplant with a compatible organ can take place within 24 hours of a request being made.”

Citing the research findings of International human rights lawyer David Matas and former Canadian Cabinet Minister David Kilgour JD, the report stated that tens of thousands of Falun Gong are estimated to have been killed for their organs. It went on to say that, “Through their research they discovered that Falun Gong members released from detention routinely report that they were blood tested in captivity, while non-Falun Gong prisoners were not.”

Eric’s father was subjected to blood tests at least twice while he was in detention. The article said, “When asked what is his greatest fear for his father, he said without hesitation, ‘Organ harvesting.’”

Plea for International Help

Eric and his aunt hope that the Australian government can help them to rescue their family members in China. They also would like to see Australia pass a law to ban Australians from going China for organ transplants.

“’I hope more people will be aware of this issue and speak up about it,’” Eric said in the report, “’It’s been such a long time. People have been killed for 18 years, people who believe in truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. This should stop as soon as possible.’”

Despite her family’s struggle, Lorrita feels lucky to be living in a free country with the ability to speak out.

She said in the report, “’Many families in China, they have lost children, husbands, wives. They can’t do anything. Just suffer the persecution. I think Australian people are very kind so I think they can stand up and help Falun Gong.’”

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