US Congress Holds Hearing on CCP’s Organ Harvesting from Living Falun Gong Practitioners (Photos)

noon on September 29, 2006, the United States Congress held its first hearing
on allegations of the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) organ harvesting from
living Falun Gong practitioners. Four witnesses testified at the hearing. More
than 100 people, including House representatives, legislative assistants, officials
and advisers from the US government, and reporters attended the hearing. Senior
congressman Dana Rohrabacher of the House Committee on International Relations
urged the US government to take further action to stop these crimes.


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Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher

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Democratic Congressman William Delahunt of Massachusetts

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Four witnesses testify at the hearing

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Dr. Allison testifies at the hearing

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Kilgour and David Matas testify at the hearing

Congressman Rohrabacher,
Chair of the Subcommittee of Oversight and Investigations of the House Committee
on International Relations said during an interview after the hearing, “What we
have learned today is that there is a monstrous crime going on in this world.
Just repression of people's religious freedom is bad enough. But for the
government of China, they take those religious practitioners, who are no threat
to anyone else in their own country, but then to take them to prison, and execute
them in order to get their body parts to sell for profit. This is a new level
of evil. And today we heard the evidence of this evil exists, and now it's
up to us to put pressure on the Chinese government to end this evil.”

Rohrabacher said that facing such evil in the world, we cannot keep silent. We
should not ignore such evil just because of commercial interests from such a totalitarian

David Kilgour, former Canadian Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific,
David Matas, International Human Rights Lawyer, Erping Zhang, Falun Gong spokesperson
and Executive Director of the Association for Asian Research, and Kirk C. Allison,
Ph.D., Director of the Program in Human Rights and Health, School of Public Health
and Associate Director of the Program in Human Rights and Medicine at the Medical
School of the University of Minnesota testified at the hearing.

feeble response to the allegation of live organ harvesting

Mr. Kilgour
and Mr. Matas introduced their “Report into Allegations of Organ Harvesting
of Falun Gong Practitioners in China
“, which aroused attention in many European
countries. They called on the international community to stop these crimes against

Mr. Matas said in the hearing, “We examined every avenue of
proof and disproof available to us, eighteen in all.”

Mr. Kilgour said
that all the evidence brought them to their conclusion. “One month after the report
was published, the Chinese government's only dispute was that we spelled
the name of two provinces wrong.”

Mr. Matas said, “We are reinforced in
our conclusions by the feeble response of the government of China. Despite all
their resources and inside knowledge, they have not provided any information to
counter our report. Instead, they have attacked us personally and, more worrisome,
attacked the Falun Gong with the very sort of verbal abuse which we have identified
as one of the reasons we believe these atrocities are occurring.

“The repressive
and secretive nature of Chinese governance made it difficult for us to assess
the claims. We were not allowed entry to China, though we tried. Organ harvesting
is not done in public. If the claims are true, the participants are either victims
who are killed and their bodies cremated or perpetrators who are guilty of crimes
against humanity and unlikely to confess.”

Mr. Kilgour mentioned the situation
of human rights attorney Gao Zhisheng, who has been detained by CCP since August
15, “I must also give credit to Amnesty International for putting out an emergency
bulletin recently about the arrest of China's most courageous lawyer, Gao
Zhisheng. Indeed, it was Gao who invited David Matas and me to come to China to
investigate the matter of organ seizures from Falun Gong prisoners, although we
were not granted visas by the government of China.”

Mr. Matas said that under
CCP rule, people cannot defend themselves. The victims have no other choice but
to rely on the international community. The international community cannot be
controlled. The United States cannot be controlled. US and other countries must
stand out to speak for the victims.

Congressman Rohrabacher said that the
report by Mr. Kilgour and Mr. Matas caught the attention of media across the world.
He hopes through this hearing, the US and Congress will pay more attention to
this report.

Mr. Erping Zhang: Speaking up about the persecution with no
other choice

Mr. Erping Zhang said, “The regime has robbed Falun Gong
of any voice by burning its books in mass rallies, banning all Falun Gong related
literature, and blocking all Falun Gong websites and even Western news reports.
Under this circumstance we have been left with no choice but to speak out. Our
goal has been simple and singular: to let people hear our side of the story, to
expose those violating our rights, and to, by doing so, end the genocide we face.
We are not interested in political power. We would love nothing more than to meditate
quietly in parks. But when people beat down our doors and arrest and torture our
parents, friends, and children, when they try to wipe out our very existence,
we feel duty-bound to speak out.

“Secondly, I would point out that Falun Gong
is not deviant, weird, or dangerous, as China's regime has tried to portray
it. Consider the bigger picture. For one thing, all of the accusations the regime
has made came overnight, with the banning of Falun Gong in 1999. During the seven
years before then, from 1992-1999, Falun Gong was practiced by millions and was
totally mainstream, and even praised by various official bodies of the Chinese
state. That is to say, the accusations were a sudden political invention. And
these accusations, it is worth noting, are something Chinese officials do not
allow outsiders to investigate; those who try are arrested. Or from another perspective,
we might note how none of the accusations made by the regime are made in Taiwan,
another Chinese society. There, hundreds of thousands on the small island practice
Falun Gong freely.

“Our efforts are done fully for the welfare of China's
people, and even, insofar as we seek to uphold the law and constitution, for the
sake of the country. There is nothing 'anti-China' about supporting
constitutionally-guaranteed rights when they are abused, or pointing out the perpetrator.
Surely 'China', after all, is the people of that vast country — and
not its unelected rulers, who so regularly abuse and exploit her people for their
narrow, private interests.”

Congressman of Massachusetts praises
Falun Gong practitioners in his hometown

Congressman Delahunt said in
the hearing, “I share your concerns about the Chinese government, especially in
the area of human rights. Its record in terms of human rights, it's truly
been abysmal. And what has happened to the practitioners of Falun Gong, is particularly
appalling. My home city, which is Quincy, Massachusetts, has a very large Asian
population. There is a large group of Falun Gong practitioners among that specific
community. They are extraordinary people. They are warm, they are compassionate.
They make extraordinary contributions to my city and to the region.

“I review
the CCP's contempt to the rule of law that leads to corruption and waste.
Corruption undercut all the economic gains China has made in the last several
years. Unless China couples its transition to capitalism, with moves towards democracy
and free expression, and human rights, a genuine commitment to human rights, it
will never ever able to reach its full potential. And the tragedy is that Chinese
people will pay the price.”

CCP's double strategy in the persecution
of Falun Gong

Dr. Kirk C. Allison, Director of the Program in Human Rights
and Health, School of Public Health; Associate Director of the Program in Human
Rights and Medicine, Medical School, University of Minnesota, said, “My concern
is general as I am not a Falun Gong practitioner. Since July 1999 the systematic
persecution of nonviolent Falun Gong practitioners constitutes the single greatest
concentration of human rights violations in China against a specific group since
the Cultural Revolution. A program of ideological eradication has been systematically
pursued under a double strategy: Publicly with high visibility in terms of state
propaganda, but hermetically in actions of detainment and sanction outside conventional
judicial processes. The systematic program of ideological eradication of Falun
Gong coincided with an inexplicable increase in whole organ transplantation, and
international organ transplant tourism to China. This raises the question of the
organ source.

“Concerning Falun Gong practitioners as nonvoluntary victims,
the most compelling evidence has been compiled by David Kilgour and David Matas
in the Report into Allegations of Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners
in China
of July 6, 2006.”

Four witnesses put forward concrete recommendations

The four witnesses called on the US Congress and administrative branch to
take all opportunities to raise the organ harvesting issue to Chinese government
leaders and take concrete steps to stop the atrocities and the persecution.

Mr. Kilgour mentioned 17 recommendations in the report, “Our report has 17 different
recommendations. Virtually nothing to prevent the harvesting of organs from Falun
Gong practitioners has currently been applied. If the government is serious, all
of our measures should be enacted with deliberate speed. Our first recommendation,
of course, is that the harvesting practice from Falun Gong prisoners must stop

“Some of the others:

“#3-Independent human rights organizations
should conduct their own investigations as to whether the allegations are true.

“#11-All detention facilities, including forced labor camps, should be open
for international inspection by the International Committee of the Red Cross or
other humanitarian organization.”

Mr. Zhang called on Congress to pass a resolution
to deny entry of all Chinese officials and doctors who participate in the persecution
of Falun Gong and organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners. If they
enter the US, they would be brought to justice.

Mr. Matas suggested that US
Congress Representatives urge the United States and other countries to request
China to answer questions from UN special Rapporteur on torture and solve the

Hoping to hold hearings again

Congressman Rohrabacher
said that if he would be Chair for next term, he would hold hearings on the organ
harvesting issue. Besides inviting US government officials, medical doctors would
also be invited to answer questions.

Congressman Rohrabacher expressed his
regret several times that officials from the US State Department did not testify
in the hearing. When something like this occurs, the US State Department should
respond formally.

Posting date: 2/Oct/2006
article date: 2/Oct/2006

Category: World


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