Schol­ars re­fute Falun­gong’s or­gan ru­mor

China Daily (USA) - - TOP NEWS - By LIU KUN in Wuhan and ZHANG YAN in Bei­jing Con­tact the writ­ers at zhangyan1@ chi­

Ex­perts from China and abroad have re­futed claims made by the Falun­gong cult that the nation har­vests or­gans from its prac­ti­tion­ers.

Hong Fan, an as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor at the Peo­ple’s Pub­lic Se­cu­rity Univer­sity of China, said the ac­cu­sa­tion was based on er­ro­neous in­for­ma­tion from the Falun­gong’s Da­jiyuan Times and clear wis­dom. based in Hong Kong.

“Such ru­mors are ab­surd and are aimed at de­fam­ing the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment and in­cit­ing peo­ple who are un­clear about the truth to sup­port the Falun­gong,” he said.

Hong made the re­marks on Satur­day at the open­ing cer­e­mony of a two-day sym­po­sium on cult stud­ies in Wuhan, cap­i­tal in Hubei prov­ince.

The event, spon­sored by Wuhan Univer­sity’s re­search cen­ter on in­ter­na­tional cult stud­ies, saw dozens of ex­perts from China and over­seas dis­cuss their con­cerns and ex­change views on cult ac­tiv­i­ties.

Wi­mal Hewa man­age, a se­nior lec­turer on Pali and Bud­dhist stud­ies at Sri Lanka’s Univer­sity of Colombo, said, “I’ve spent many years in China and have seen no ev­i­dence to sug­gest the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment forces Falun­gong prac­ti­tion­ers to do­nate or­gans.”

Ac­cord­ing to the gov­ern­ment, since 2006, the Falun­gong has spread ru­mors that its prac­ti­tion­ers are tor­tured and that their or­gans are re­moved for ex­per­i­ments. Yet de­spite the claims be­ing dis­missed, over­seas or­ga­ni­za­tions and gov­ern­ments have fanned the flames of sus­pi­cion, of­fi­cials said.

“There is a cam­paign, which has been spread by Falun­gong with the help of peo­ple in agen­cies that help them over­seas,” said Alexan­der L. Dvorkin, a pro­fes­sor from St. Tikhon’s Ortho­dox Univer­sity in Moscow. “Ab­so­lutely, Falun­gong is one of the most de­struc­tive cults, which de­stroys hu­man minds and phys­i­cal health.”

In re­cent years, Chi­nese po­lice have stepped up ef­forts to in­ves­ti­gate cult ac­tiv­i­ties and have launched cam­paigns to tar­get such or­ga­ni­za­tions.

Data from the Min­istry of Pub­lic Se­cu­rity show po­lice na­tion­wide ar­rested more than 1,000 mem­bers of Quan­neng­shen (the Church of Almighty God) be­tween June and Au­gust last year dur­ing a crack­down against the cult.

Ac­cord­ing to Chi­nese law, a cult is an il­le­gal or­ga­ni­za­tion that tries to con­trol peo­ple by de­ify­ing a sect leader, at­tracts mem­bers un­der the guise of re­li­gion or other means, and en­gages in ac­tiv­i­ties that harm so­ci­ety.

China of­fi­cially lists 14 groups as il­le­gal cults, in­clud­ing Quan­neng­shen and Falun­gong.

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