Friday, April 25, 2008

The Olympics, Dehumanization, and Organ Harvesting

By Dr. Torsten Trey
Apr 24, 2008

People act out a simulation of organ harvesting in China on Falun Gong practitioners, during a rally in Ottawa. (Noé Chartier/The Epoch Times)
People act out a simulation of organ harvesting in China on Falun Gong practitioners, during a rally in Ottawa. (Noé Chartier/The Epoch Times)

In 2001, when bidding to host the 2008 Olympic Games, the People's Republic of China pledged to improve human rights—and won the bid. Many Chinese people were excited, but not all.

One of the most barbaric human rights violations of the 21st century had begun: Prisoners of conscience—Chinese people—were being used as living organ banks and their organs harvested for transplantation. They were being slaughtered like animals.

Only in 2006 did the world learn of these atrocities after witnesses fled China in order to tell of them. A doctor's wife risked her life in early 2006 when she publicly stated that her husband—then a surgeon in China—had removed corneas from 2,000 Falun Gong practitioners. A journalist likewise risked his life to report of Falun Gong practitioners detained near a hospital, where they were held until used for organ harvesting.

An investigative report by David Kilgour, the former Canadian secretary of state (Asia-Pacific) and David Matas, an international human rights lawyer, followed. That report estimated that over 40,000 adherents of the Falun Gong movement had been killed for their organs since 2001.

Kilgour and Matas recorded phone conversations with surgeons in multiple hospitals in China with shocking results.

Excerpts of one call in May 2006 read like a shopping trip to a mall: "Do you have organs from Falun Gong practitioners?"

Answer: "Yes."

Question: "Was it from healthy Falun Gong practitioners?"

Answer: "Correct. We would choose the good ones. ... It is very easy to get them."

Many Falun Gong practitioners who survived being held in the labor camps, where they were subjected to torture and brainwashing, reported being systematically blood tested. The good health of the victims is of no concern to the torturer.

Blood tests are expensive. Who pays for them? What is the payout? A transplantation will amortize the investment. A kidney transplant is offered for US$60,000 on the Web sites of some Chinese hospitals.

Jennifer Zeng, in her book "Witnessing History," tells of being given such a medical exam in a camp that is 19 miles from the main Olympic venue in Beijing.

Kilgour and Matas argue that the organ harvesting is only possible because of the Chinese regime's systematic dehumanization of Falun Gong adherents.

Once the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) outlaws a certain group of people, such as academics or former landowners during the Cultural Revolution or students protesting for democracy in 1989, they lose all the basic rights of a human being. They even lose the right to life and can be treated as bio-mass, as animals—if not less.

The life of such an individual counts for nothing. A military doctor, like any other military personnel in China who is trained to execute the order given by his superior, won't hesitate to extract the organs from such "class enemies" if asked to do so.

Organ harvesting is only the most brutal result of the marginalization and dehumanization visited on Falun Gong practitioners. The Olympics themselves provide another example.

In November 2007, the director of the Beijing Olympics media center, Li Zhanjun, stated in an AP interview that Falun Gong adherents are excluded from the 2008 Olympic Games.

The Olympic Charter prohibits discrimination at all Olympic sites, but the CCP's hatred against Falun Gong is so strong that the Chinese regime cannot comply with the Olympic Charter.

The CCP threatens to reduce the Olympic Charter to a guideline without life, while at the same time using the Olympics to reinforce its dehumanization of Falun Gong, with the entire world as a witness.

If this dehumanization continues, then the killing for organs may also continue—and may go on even during the Olympic Games.

Many voices reiterate that the Olympics and politics should be separated. Basic human rights are not a monopoly of politics; they are inherent in our humanity. Only communist China aims to make the Olympic Games, which used to be a peaceful gathering of all people in the world, an event that negates the humanity of us all.

Dr. Torsten Trey is the chief executive director of Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (

OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

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