Twenty years ago, on July 20, nearly 1 in 10 Chinese citizens became enemies of the state solely because they wished to live their lives according to the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance.
Today, Falun Gong is peacefully practised by over 100 million people in more than 80 countries. In addition, the spiritual practice has received many honours around the world for its positive contributions to society and public health, but the persecution in China is still not over.
Thousands of deaths by torture have been reported and there is mounting evidence that the most atrocious crimes against humanity, such as live organ harvesting, are still happening in China.
This involves murdering innocent people on demand for their organs – and this genocide is orchestrated by the state. This has been made possible by an entire state apparatus, military, and civilian medical establishments.
China’s official figure is 10,000 transplants per year. However, an 817-page June 2016 investigative report by three Nobel Peace Prize nominees estimated that as many as 60,000 to 100,000 transplants a year took place in China from 2000 to 2015.
The source is primarily non-consenting Falun Gong prisoners of conscience; to a lesser extent, Uyghurs, Tibetans and select House Christians have also been killed for their organs.
So what is Falun Gong, and why did then-leader of the CCP Jiang Zemin launch a massive campaign to eradicate the practice?
Falun Gong involves practising five sets of gentle meditative exercises and living according to the universal principles of truthfulness, compassion and forbearance. By 1998, a Chinese government survey determined that 70 million Chinese had adopted the practice, from farmers to scientists to high level officials.
Also in 1998, health and wellness surveys were conducted in Beijing, Wuhan, Dalian and Guangdong provinces to pinpoint Falun Gong’s popularity. They discovered 98% of the 31,000 Chinese Falun Gong practitioners surveyed experienced significant health improvements soon after they adopted the practice.
The studies also observed substantial savings in health care costs for those who practised Falun Gong, individually and nationally. It is no surprise that Falun Gong starting receiving awards in China shortly after it was introduced to the public in 1992, like the “Advancing Frontier Science” award at Beijing’s Asian Health Expo in Dec 1993.
Watching the practice attract 70-100 million adherents in China within seven years, mainly by word of mouth, and fearing that the Chinese preferred its traditional moral teachings to the communist ideology of materialism and atheism, Jiang launched a campaign on 20 July 1999 to eradicate Falun Gong.
Reports reveal Jiang’s personal jealousy of Falun Gong’s meteoric growth, which he feared would eclipse that of the CCP’s. He was also deeply paranoid about the fact that many dedicated Party members were practising Falun Gong. One party veteran said that by persecuting Falun Gong, “Jiang [was] forcing senior cadres to pledge allegiance to his line”.
Since 1999, the persecution and hate propaganda campaign to vilify Falun Gong have led to large numbers of practitioners ending up in China’s vast prison and forced labour camp system, where they are subject to torture and even live organ harvesting.
In the first quarter of 2018, the CCP has significantly weakened the power of the deadly ‘610 Office’ an extra-legal party organisation similar to the Nazis’ Gestapo set up by Jiang to persecute Falun Gong.
However, the CCP has not announced any official change to its persecution policy, and practitioners in China still remain susceptible to persecution.
Around the world, practitioners as well as righteous citizens and governments have been speaking up against the persecution of Falun Gong and taking action, particularly against forced organ harvesting.
Today, Israel, Spain, Italy and Taiwan ban transplant tourism by their nationals.
In 2016, the US House of Representatives unanimously passed House Resolution 343 (H.Res.343), which urged the Chinese government to stop harvesting the organs of prisoners of conscience and end the persecution against Falun Gong.
Likewise, the European Parliament passed a similar resolution five years ago.
In Singapore, to stop unthinking organ tourism, you can raise awareness by telling those around you about live organ harvesting in China as murder-on-demand, and direct them to http://www.stoporganharvesting.org/ to find out more.
You can also sign the Petition to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Calling for an Immediate End of Forced Organ Harvesting in China, and watch and share award-winning documentaries on the atrocity here: https://endtransplantabuse.org/support/.