Sept. 25, 2021 | By a Minghui correspondent
On September 18, 2021, four legal experts spoke at the second webinar of the World Summit on Combating and Preventing Forced Organ Harvesting. They agreed that live organ harvesting by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is a form of genocide and that existing legislation is insufficient to curb or prevent the crime on a large scale. In order to stop the CCP’s transplant atrocities, they recommended that countries take concrete legal measures, raise awareness of the issue among the general public, and strengthen government regulation of the transplant industry.
These four legal professionals were Carlos Iglesias Jimenez, Esq. from Spain, David Matas, Esq. from Canada, Seoul Administrative Court judge Kim Song from South Korea, and Theresa Chu, Esq. from Taiwan.
Spanish Lawyer: Organ Harvesting Is a Form of Genocide
Carlos Iglesias Jiménez, a Spanish lawyer who represented Falun Gong practitioners in their lawsuit against former CCP leader Jiang Zemin, said in his remarks that the live organ harvesting atrocity is unprecedented. “We are dealing with a crime that is unprecedented, truly brutally designed and intended to kill, while generating huge amounts of profit,” he explained, “The Communist dictatorship has not only restricted and eliminated the individual and collective freedoms of the Chinese people over the decades, but has especially exacerbated faith-based persecution.”
He emphasised that there are three distinctive features of the CCP’s organ harvesting crime. First, the CCP aims to physically eliminate people with spiritual beliefs, especially millions of Falun Gong practitioners, and live organ harvesting has the nature of mass extermination. Secondly, the regime did so to rake in profits for its corrupt officials. Thirdly, the CCP directly promoted through propaganda that the Chinese transplant system is efficient, advanced, and successful, thus deceiving the international community and covering up the crime.
Jiménez stressed that these atrocities cannot be condoned or ignored, and they must be punished. Unfortunately, as of today, Western governments have yet to step forward to strongly condemn live organ harvesting and confront the CCP dictatorship.
The CCP has infiltrated international organisations such as the UN Human Rights Council, the World Health Organisation, and the United Nations, Jiménez explained. This allowed the regime to cover up its crimes and silence Western governments, international agencies and organisations.
The general public plays a critical role in this process. “What makes us different and at the same time unites us as human beings, is to have our own union and certain values: respect for life; respect for beliefs; respect for freedom,” he continued, “These terrible crimes cannot be tolerated, and appeal is made to people to ask for an end to this. Enough with the crime of forced organ removal! Justice must be done for the victims!”
“The CCP dictatorship moves very well, over by buying people’s will, or by bribing people’s will, or by threatening people’s will. And it can do that with a small group, but I cannot do that with millions of people, who are the brave ones who must speak out,” Jiménez added, “Justice, in the future, will not only judge those who are guilty of these crimes, but also all those people whose complicit silence has facilitated, made it possible for all these atrocities to take place, will have to answer to justice.”
Canadian Lawyer: Stronger legislation needed to stop live organ harvesting on a large scale
Canadian international human rights lawyer David Matas has traveled to more than 40 countries over the past decade to expose the CCP’s organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience, especially Falun Gong practitioners.
In July 2006, he and David Kilgour published a report based on their independent investigation. This work earned them the International Society for Human Rights (IGFM) award and a nomination for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize.
In his speech, Matas said that since the release of the 2006 report, there have been changes in the legal community in general. But large-scale live organ harvesting still continues in China, and other countries have not taken concrete actions to stop such killings either.
Matas said that the law in Communist China is used to punish those at odds with the Party. There is no rule of law, only Party rule. The mass killing of prisoners of conscience for organs is operated and institutionalised by the CCP regime, through the prison system and government-run hospitals. By committing such mass killings, the CCP has a dual purpose – to kill groups of people that the Party deems enemies and to make profits through the sale of organs. In fact, the sale of organs in China is a multi-billion dollar business.
“It is implausible to suggest that the Party would have shut down or would shut down this organ trade, no matter what the law said,” he added.
On the international stage, Matas said in the last decade or so, 11 EU countries have ratified and 15 countries have signed but not ratified the “Convention to combat trafficking in human organs” (2015). Some countries have also pushed out legislation to prevent live harvesting, including Israel (2008), Taiwan (2015), Belgium (2009), and Italy (2016). A number of other countries are also in the process of enacting laws. “But compared to the size of the international community (the UN has one hundred and ninety-three member states), the number of countries actively legislating is pitifully small and a lot more needs to be done,” he added.
South Korean Judge: Sanctions with Magnitsky Act
Judge Kim Song, a representative of the South Korean Organ Transplant Ethics Association, believes that the Global Magnitsky Sanctions are an available and convenient tool to target perpetrators involved in live organ harvesting.
She said that live organ harvesting is a systematic massacre. It is not easy to reach an unanimous decision among the 193 UN member states, which have different interests and principles.
In March, the United States, the European Union, Canada, and the United Kingdom formed a Magnitsky coalition to sanction CCP officials for human rights violations in Xinjiang Province. The U.S. Congress is moving to impose global Magnitsky sanctions against those involved in organ harvesting.
In her view, the global Magnitsky sanctions have three advantages: first, they can be enacted and enforced by a sovereign state, thereby imposing sanctions on foreign criminals in a swift and timely manner. Secondly, the bill targets only criminals and is relatively free of sovereign encroachment. The sanctions against individuals have avoided the CCP’s stubborn entanglement of “interference in internal affairs.” Third, bans on entry and asset freezes are less stringent than criminal court convictions in terms of the requirements for evidence verification, and each country has a wide margin of discretion in immigration control.
“This is a smart way to sanction and avoid adversely affecting vulnerable people who are not involved in the crime. Global Magnitsky sanctions could be a good first step. We already have the details of the senior Communist Party officials responsible for live organ harvesting, and the expansion of the Magnitsky Coalition will make this effort even more effective and powerful,” she said.
Kim Song emphasized that global Magnitsky sanctions are not an alternative to coordinating international criminal justice, but the minimum sanctions that can be adopted at present.
“Starting with the Global Magnitsky Sanctions, we can have the opportunity to correct the course of how we treat human dignity,” she explained, “It would be a shame for humanity in our time if we were blinded by profit and gain, and ignored or did not make a sincere effort to stop this crime.”
Taiwan Lawyer: Criminalisation of Forced Organ Harvesting
Theresa Chu, spokesperson for the Taiwan Falun Gong Human Rights Lawyers Group, said, “Fifteen years of investigative reports by human rights groups, investigative organisations, and governments have confirmed that Falun Gong practitioners in China are the largest victims of live organ harvesting and the largest supply of live organs under the CCP’s repressive policies.”
“The crimes involved in live organ harvesting include, at the very least, crimes of injury, murder, torture, crimes against humanity, and mass extermination. Strictly speaking, the Chinese Communist Party’s organ harvesting atrocities are a complex, interlocking system of crimes,” she explained.
She emphasised that live organ harvesting is not only used to cleanse and exterminate Falun Gong groups and ethnic minorities, but also implemented for human experiments and specimens. The criminal intentions and tactics are diverse, and it is a serious and structured criminal system. But so far, there is no complete international convention or legal provision to sanction such atrocities.
She called on countries to work closely together to actively investigate and prosecute those responsible for live organ harvesting; at the administrative level, to ban people involved in live harvesting from entering the country, to stop assisting in training Chinese medical personnel, and to cease publishing articles on the Chinese transplant industry. At the legislative level, more complete, detailed, and serious criminal laws against organ harvesting can also be enacted.
“We must completely stop and punish this unprecedented human rights atrocity in the twenty-first century, and write a page in history for human rights and justice as it should be,” she added.
In 2019, the independent China Tribunal in London came to the same conclusion. First, the killing of prisoners for organ transplants continues; Secondly, the main victims are Falun Gong practitioners. Thirdly, such crimes by the CCP towards Falun Gong practitioners and the Uyghurs are crimes against humanity.
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