Protestors call for stop to Chinese live organ harvesting
About 40 protestors held a candlelight vigil and gathered signatures in King George Square last week to draw attention to reported live organ harvesting of political prisoners in China.
The Falun Gong group, a banned organisation in China, says 45,000 of its members have had organs harvested against their will.
Falun Gong Queensland spokesman John Andress said live organ harvesting was frequent throughout China, as the large Buddhist population meant few citizens donated organs because of religious beliefs.
He said live organ harvesting began after Falun Gong’s ban in 1999 and the arrest of millions of followers.
“They are injected, they are sedated and their organs are taken while they are alive,” Mr Andress said.
“This has happened to at least 41,500 Falun Gong prisoners.”
The figure of 41,500 is the minimum estimate that former Canadian Secretary of State David Kilgour and human rights lawyer David Matas conclude in their book Bloody Harvest, published in 2009.
The book is an independent investigative account into the allegations of live organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners in China.
Mr Andress said Falun Gong members had collected more than 250,000 signatures worldwide calling for the end of persecution.
He said while the association received support from Australian political figures privately, few politicians would speak publically for fears of damaging relations with China.
Mr Andress likened it to key political figures outside of Australia refusing to meet with the Dalai Lama during his recent visit.
“Trade will always override human rights,” Mr Andress stated.
Falun Gong, a non-violent spiritual organisation, had up to 100 million followers throughout China before it was outlawed by the Chinese communist government.
Followers combine practising meditation and slow-moving exercises emphasising health and increased energy.
Candlelight vigils and petition signings are held monthly in Brisbane, with the next to be held on 20 April at King George Square.
Photo: Stephanie Bennett