Members of the Falun Gong group are protesting organ harvesting from thousands of people that is occurring in China.
The group held a Car Tour travelling around Alberta raising awareness of the organ harvesting. Part of the Falun Gong practitioners, the group is protesting what it calls targeted organ harvesting from its members, explained Minnan Liu, one of the members.
She says a report called Bloody Harvest/The Slaughter: An Update, written by former MP David Kilgour, investigative journalist Ethan Gutmann and human rights lawyer David Matas, states that 60,000 to 100,000 organs are harvested each year in China.
Liu says many of the unwilling donors are members of the Falun Gong group. She said the communist regime began widespread persecution of the Falun Gong practitioners in 1999.
After the persecution started, organ transplant procedures increased exponentially, says Liu, despite a strong traditional Chinese culture that aims at keeping the body whole after death.
“China tried to establish a donor system in 2013…that produced almost no donations to organ transplant operations in China,” explained Liu.
Despite the lack of involvement, she says there are a large number organ donor procedures each year.
What is happening, added member Shar Chen, is that there are large numbers of people coming to China for organ transplants that may have been harvested from a persecuted people in the country. She added that the organs come from victims in concentration camps inside China.
“We actually don’t really know we’re helping them,” said Chen, of the patients eagerness to have an organ transplant done.
Some call it “organ transplant tourism,” says Chen, where patients travel to another country where organ transplants may be easily accessible.
“Falun Gong practitioners are the living banks for organs,” stated Chen.
There is some money to be made from organ transplants
According to a pamphlet handed out by the group, organs can cost quite a bit of money; $30,000 for a cornea, $98,000 to $130,000 for a liver, $62,000 for a kidney, $150,000 to $170,000 for a lung and $130,000 to $160,000 for a heart.
The pamphlet states the information came from the China International Transplant Network Assistance Center website, although the site has been taken down.
There has been some response from the international community protesting this process, explained Chen but she feels there is more that can be done, one reason the group hosted its Car Tour. The group has been to more than 60 communities in Alberta.
For its part, China denies the claims made by the Falun Gong group.