Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH) campaign against the alleged practice of forced organ harvesting in China. According to DAFOH, more than 65,000 Falun Gong prisoners of conscience were killed for their organs between 2000 and 2008. DAFOH explicitly point to Falun Gong practitioners, imprisoned for their religious beliefs, as victims of forced organ harvesting.
The Chinese Government has previously stated that "10,000 organ transplants take place in the country each year". However, it has been estimated that "between 60,000 and 100,000 organs are transplanted annually" with "the majority" of organs "obtained by executing prisoners of conscience". In 2006 the British Transplantation Society's then chair of its ethics committee alleging that "the speed of matching donors and patients, sometimes as little as a week, implied prisoners were being selected before execution".
I recognise the concerns surrounding the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. I agree that the freedom to practise one's religion is one of the most fundamental of human rights, and for many people around the world, including in China, religious belief can often define an individual.
I am aware of the disturbing allegations that have been reported over a number of years of forced organ harvesting in China. In late 2014 Chinese authorities announced that the country would stop the practice of harvesting organs from executed prisoners. The implementation of this policy would be an important step, particularly since Chinese law requires prisoners to give prior consent that their organs be used for transplantation purposes. However, I know that recent reports have alleged that the practice still continues and significant concerns still remain.
I believe the UK Government must ask further questions of Chinese authorities on this matter and also consider what role it could play, working closely with the UN, in an independent investigation into these allegations. I also believe the UK Government should look at whether there are practical ways of establishing a ban on people travelling from the UK to China for organ transplants until there is certainty that what is alleged in recent reports is not happening.
The UK Government must continue raising these matters with the Chinese authorities, and encourage respect for the freedoms and rights that every human being is entitled to.
EDM 502 "notes with grave concern allegations of forced organ harvesting in China;.urges the Government to condemn forced organ harvesting and to seek a UN Commission of Inquiry to investigate this practice.; further urges the Government to release statistics on the numbers of UK citizens travelling to China for organ transplants and to prohibit British citizens from travelling to China for the purpose of receiving organ transplants;.and calls on the Government to give urgent consideration to other measures it could take to hold China to account for this practice and demand an end to it."
However, as a frontbench spokesperson I am unable to sign Early Day Motions.