Or­gan trans­plant ex­perts dis­miss Falun Gong mem­bers’ anti-China claims

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - TOP NEWS - By WANG XIAODONG in Kun­ming wangx­i­aodong@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

In­ter­na­tional ex­perts have re­futed a claim the Falun Gong cult has long made that China har­vests or­gans from its prac­ti­tion­ers, say­ing that the ac­cu­sa­tion is made for po­lit­i­cal rea­sons.

“The Falun Gong fab­ri­cated the sto­ries purely for po­lit­i­cal ob­jec­tives,” said Camp­bell Fra- ser, an ex­pert on hu­man or­gan trade from Grif­fith Univer­sity, Australia. “It re­ally makes peo­ple an­gry. Or­gan trans­plant is for giv­ing life, and it is a beau­ti­ful thing, not for po­lit­i­cal ob­jec­tives,” Fraser said on Satur­day at the China Or­gan Do­na­tion and Trans­plan­ta­tion Con­fer­ence in Kun­ming, Yun­nan prov­ince

Health of­fi­cials and ex­perts from China and abroad at­tended the meeting.

“They have ac­tu­ally fal­si­fied data, I have no doubt about that at all,” Fraser said. “I haven’t found any ev­i­dence what­so­ever that there has ever been a Falun Gong prac­ti­tioner who had been ex­e­cuted and had or­gans re­moved.”

“We can­not let cults stand in our way. In­tim­i­da­tion and ha­rass­ment can never win,” he said.

Fraser said he has met Falun Gong prac­ti­tion­ers in places such as Australia, Taipei and New York, and when he would try to talk to a prac­ti­tioner, the Epoch Times, the cult’s news­pa­per, al­ways would in­sist that one of its peo­ple must be present.

The news­pa­per’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives gave prac­ti­tion­ers a printed let­ter to read out say­ing things like they had been de­tained and tested for forced or­gan do­na­tion in China, he said, and they didn’t even un­der­stand what they were read­ing.

The cult is us­ing th­ese peo- ple for anti-China po­lit­i­cal ob­jec­tives. Falun Gong prac­ti­tion­ers don’t un­der­stand about or­gan har­vest­ing, and they are be­ing told what to say by a group of pri­mar­ily US-based po­lit­i­cal ac­tivists who try to desta­bi­lize the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment, Fraser said.

China banned the Falun Gong as a cult in 1999, ac­cus­ing it of dis­guis­ing it­self as a re­li­gious group to brain­wash prac­ti­tion­ers, tak­ing money from them, and even en­cour­ag­ing them to en­gage in self­im­mo­la­tion.

Philip O’Con­nell, for­mer pres­i­dent of The Trans­plan­ta­tion So­ci­ety, said the Falun Gong ac­cu­sa­tions are ground­less and many or­gan do­na­tion and trans­plant ex­perts do not be­lieve such ac­cu­sa­tions.

Last year, 4,080 peo­ple in China do­nated or­gans af­ter death, and 13,000 trans­plant surg­eries were per­formed in China, in both cases the sec- ond high­est num­ber in the world, Guo Yan­hong, of the Na­tional Health and Fam­ily Plan­ning Com­mis­sion’ Bureau of Med­i­cal Ad­min­is­tra­tion, said at the con­fer­ence.

Marti Manyalich pres­i­dent of the In­ter­na­tional So­ci­ety for Or­gan Do­na­tion and Pro­cure­ment, pre­dicted that by 2020, China will be the top coun­try in the world in the num­ber of donors and that it will be self­suf­fi­cient in or­gan trans­plants by 2030.

ZOU HONG / CHINA DAILY

Sol­diers from China, Rus­sia, Be­larus, Iran, and Egypt take a photo on Sun­day to mark the Safe En­vi­ron­ment event of the In­ter­na­tional Army Games 2017 at a military train­ing base in Korla, Xin­jiang Uygur au­ton­o­mous re­gion. The teams com­peted to see which was the fastest in turn­ing an ex­tremely dan­ger­ous en­vi­ron­ment into a safe one.

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