On March 16, 2021, Warren County, Virginia became the seventh county in the state to pass a resolution condemning the Chinese Communist Party’s harvesting organs from living prisoners of conscience, especially Falun Gong practitioners.
Since the persecution of Falun Gong started in 1999, the number of transplantation surgeries in China skyrocketed, despite the fact that China didn’t have any organ donation system in place. The ample organ supply soon drew an influx of visitors from around the world, drawn by the prospect of a new organ within weeks or even days – in sharp contrast to the years-long wait times in their home countries.
Such phenomena raised red flags with many human rights lawyers and researchers. After thorough investigation, the killing of living Falun Gong practitioners and other prisoners of conscience for their organs has come to light.
The China Tribunal, chaired by Sir Geoffrey Nice, QC, a British leading expert on human rights law, released its final judgment on March 1, 2020, declaring that China’s campaign of forced organ harvesting from innocent victims is a “crime against humanity” that constitutes one of the world’s “worst atrocities committed” in the past century.
Just last year on July 29, 2020, 49 state legislators of Virginia, including 12 senators and 37 house representatives, wrote a letter to the then U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, urging the U.S. to step up its efforts to stop the organ harvesting crimes in China.
After passing the resolution, Walter Mabe, on the Warren County Board of Supervisors, commented that he believes the resolution will help drive awareness of what’s happening in China and how people can contribute to stop the crime. He said the CCP’s organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners is a crime against humanity and it’s related to everyone in the world and everyone should stand up to oppose it.
Below is the full text of the resolution passed by Warren County.
RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF WARREN COUNTY TO EDUCATE WARREN COUNTY RESIDENTS AND THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY ON THE RISKS OF TRAVELING TO CHINA FOR ORGAN TRANSPLANT IN LIGHT OF RECENT REPORTS OF STATE SPONSORED ORGAN HARVESTING FROM PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE
WHEREAS, extensive and credible reports have revealed mass killing of prisoners of conscience in the People’s Republic of China, primarily practitioners of the Chinese spiritual practice of Falun Gong, but also other religious and ethnic minority groups, in order to obtain organs for transplants; and
WHEREAS, The China Tribunal, an independent tribunal sitting in London chaired by Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, who was a prosecutor at the international criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, concluded on June 18, 2019, in a unanimous determination at the end of its yearlong hearings, that the killing of detainees in China for organ transplants is continuing and victims include imprisoned followers of the Falun Gong movement; and
WHEREAS, the 2017 Freedom House report, “The Battle for China’s Spirit”, states that “available evidence suggests that forced extraction of organs from Falun Gong detainees for sale in transplant operations has occurred on a large scale and may be continuing;” and
WHEREAS, an investigative report published in June 2016 by human rights attorney David Matas, former Canadian Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific, David Kilgour, and journalist Ethan Gutmann, estimated that China is performing transplants at a rate amounting to “an industrial-scale, state-directed organ transplantation system, controlled through national policies and funding, and implicating both the military and civilian healthcare systems”, as Kilgour described these practices in his speech to the European Parliament in 2016; and
WHEREAS, Falun Gong, a spiritual practice involving meditative “qigong” exercises and centered on the values of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance, became immensely popular in China in the late 1990s with multiple estimates placing the number of practitioners at upwards of seventy million (70,000,000); and
WHEREAS, in July 1999, the Chinese Communist Party launched an intensive, nationwide persecution designed to eradicate the spiritual practice of Falun Gong. Hundreds of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have been detained extralegally in Chinese reeducation-through-labor camps, detention centers, and prisons, where physical and mental torture is common.
WHEREAS, in June 2016, the United States House of Representatives unanimously passed House Resolution 343, condemning the systemic, state-sanctioned organ harvesting from practitioners of Falun Gong and other prisoners of conscience; and
WHEREAS, there has been little media coverage of this problem yet dozens of Warren citizens petitioned the Warren Board of Supervisors to take up this matter, and
WHEREAS, Warren residents should be fully informed of the organ source in China before they make the decision to engage in organ transplant tourism in China and Warren County Board should assist in raising awareness in this regard;
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY the Warren County Board of Supervisors, that the residents and the medical community servicing Warren and the immediate region be informed about the risks or travel to China for organ transplants to help prevent local citizens from becoming accomplices in state-sponsored forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience; and will provide copies of this resolution to the Governor of Virginia and Virginia Department of Health.
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