Washington [US], March 23 (ANI): Beijing's state-sponsored forced organ procurement or organ harvesting has remained a concern for the United States, a State Department official was cited by NTD.com.
The communist regime's systematic act of forcibly taking organs from prisoners of conscience for sale first came to light around 2006 after several whistleblowers came forward to The Epoch Times, This has gained growing attention in recent years. The European Parliament as well as dozens of US states and cities have issued resolutions condemning the abuse, and federal lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have recently introduced bills aiming to hold perpetrators accountable, NTD.com reported.
Erin Barclay, acting assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, said that she is aware of the congressional legislative proposal, and pointed to a section in the State Department's newly-released human rights report highlighting the issue.
"We will continue to focus on that as an issue on a broad spectrum of human rights and trafficking issues going forward where it comes up," she said in response to a question from The Epoch Times at a Monday press briefing accompanying the report's launch, NTD.com reported.
Later in the briefing, Barclay said, "the human rights situation in China is something that we are regularly raising with partner states bilaterally and in multilateral settings where China is present."The state department report cited a peer-reviewed research paper published in the American Journal of Transplantation last April indicating "China was violating the 'dead donor rule' that an organ donor must be formally declared dead before any organs are removed.""The authors analyzed 2,838 papers from Chinese-language transplant publications and found in 71 cases that the cause of death was the organ transplant itself, carried out before doctors had made a legitimate determination of brain death," the report stated.
The research paper's co-author, Jacob Lavee, who is the president of the Israel Society of Transplantation, told that at the time he believes the findings constitute an accidental admission from the Chinese doctors that they are engaging in forced organ harvesting, NTD.com news reported quoting Epoch Times.
"They have procured organs from people who are not proclaimed dead, meaning they became the executioners," he said.
According to findings from an independent tribunal, the principal victim of forced organ harvesting is Falun Gong, a spiritual group that practices meditative exercises and follows the values of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.
Falun Gong has been the target of a brutal suppression campaign by the regime since 1999, with adherents experiencing forced disappearances, arbitrary detention, and slave labour, among other torture. Millions of detained Falun Gong adherents have thus become unconsenting victims of the regime's forced organ harvesting.
Human rights defenders attempting to lend legal assistance to persecution victims have also faced increased retribution.
Chinese human rights lawyer Liang Xiaojun lost his license for defending Falun Gong practitioners, the State Department report noted.
Their daughter was sentenced to three and a half years in prison after unfurling a banner reading "I want to see my father," Minghui reported. She was 23 at the time of arrest in March 2014. (ANI)