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Human Rights Lawyer Slams Chinese Regime’s Attempt to Suppress Reports of Forced Organ Harvesting

An international human rights lawyer has denounced the Chinese regime’s efforts to defame reports of forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience in Beijing.

After Italy’s Panorama magazine published an August 24 article titled “China: When the State Wants Your Organs,” the Chinese Embassy in the country publicly accused the publication of plagiarism and called on other Italian media to ” eliminate” the articles.

Panorama hit back at the embassy’s claims, publishing another article citing more evidence of the Chinese regime’s gruesome practices.

Applauding Panorama for not backing down, international criminal lawyer Eleanor Stephenson called the embassy’s response “abusive, inadequate and misleading”.

Stephenson is a barrister in England and Wales and currently works for an international criminal tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands. She is a legal scholar at the International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China (ETAC), an advocacy group that in 2018 launched the China Court, an independent group of lawyers, medical professionals, advocates human rights and other experts to investigate forced cases. organ harvesting in China.

Chinese court

The London-based China Tribunal was chaired by renowned human rights lawyer Sir Geoffrey Nice KC, who served as lead prosecutor in the war crimes trial of Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milošević.

In its final judgment, dated June 2019, the court found that “Forced organ harvesting has been committed for years across China on a significant scale, and Falun Gong practitioners have been one – and likely the main – source of organ supply”.

The China Tribunal logo (Chinatribunal.com/Screenshot via The Epoch Times)

The Chinese Embassy in the UK at the time responded to the court’s findings, calling it a show trial while saying Nice was a “notorious expert in the abuse of prosecutions in the international human rights circle.” the man”. He provided no evidence for either charge in his statement.

Stephenson, in an email to The Epoch Times on Sept. 22, said the embassy’s response should be dismissed because it provided no evidence to support its claims.

“The China court was an independent people’s tribunal that reviewed a wide range of evidence related to forced organ harvesting over the course of 12 months,” Stephenson wrote. “They interviewed more than 50 fact witnesses, experts, investigators and analysts during 5 days of public hearing between December 2018 and April 2019. The Chinese court reviewed written submissions, investigative reports and academic articles and received expert legal advice on relevant international law, including with respect to core international crimes (crimes against humanity and genocide)”.

The judgment of the Chinese Tribunal declares that the commission of crimes against humanity by China “has been proven beyond reasonable doubt”. He warns that “governments and anyone who interacts substantially” with China should recognize that they are “interacting with a criminal state.”

Beijing ignored invitation to participate in Chinese court

For more than a decade, the Chinese regime has vehemently denied engaging in forced organ harvesting, while denying independent investigators access to its transplant system and data.

Stephenson noted that “the Chinese government has been invited to participate in the Chinese court 5 times, but no response has ever been received to the invitations”.

“Despite compelling evidence of forced organ harvesting from Falun Gong and other persecuted groups, China appears to be unwilling and/or unable to provide evidence to refute the obvious findings of widespread forced organ harvesting and systematic in China… Presumably, if the Chinese government had any evidence relating to forced organ harvesting that could allay widespread concerns it would have provided her on one of the many occasions she had to do so .

She added: “Protestations of innocence without evidence can themselves be incriminating.”

The Chinese embassy insisted that “the human rights of people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang are fully protected and that there is no ‘genocide’ or ‘crimes’ against humanity”. .

Uyghur court

The International Criminal Court is the world’s first permanent international court, an international tribunal charged with prosecuting individuals for crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and aggression. However, China has not signed the United Nations treaty governing the International Criminal Court, so ICC prosecutors have no jurisdiction in China.

For this reason, independent tribunals such as the China Tribunal play an important role in investigating rights abuses by the Chinese regime.

Another such tribunal is the Uighur Tribunal, which Stephenson cited as “an independent people’s tribunal established in September 2020 to investigate ‘ongoing atrocities and possible genocide’ against Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other Muslim populations. Turkish”. The findings of the Uyghur court echoed those of the Chinese court. He heard from 70 witnesses in two sets of hearings in London in June and September 2021 and delivered judgment on December 9, 2021.

In its judgment (pdf), the Uighur court found the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) guilty of torture, crimes against humanity and genocide against the Uighurs in Xinjiang.

Stephenson said, “There is clear and compelling evidence of ongoing forced organ harvesting across China, including the Xinjiang region. The Chinese government’s response is nothing more than evasion.

“Rather than engage in the remaining hyperbole and rhetoric of the response, the international community renews its repeated and very reasonable demand that the CCP constructively engage in providing uncensored and transparent access to data about organ transplantation and donation activities in China.They should allow independent international inspections as is the case with other countries.

European Parliament condemns forced organ harvesting

On May 5, 2022, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the reports (pdf) on the continued organ harvesting in China condemning the forced organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners and expressing concerns about Uyghurs.

Several members of the European Parliament, including Hilde Vautmans (Belgium), Seán Kelly (Ireland), Miriam Lexmann (Slovakia) and Fabio Massimo Castaldo (Italy) took the floor, condemning the CCP’s practice of forced organ harvesting and calling for the regime to provide transparency on its organ donation and transplantation system.

Finland’s Jutta Urpilainen has been European Commissioner for International Partnerships since 2019. In her speech, Urpilainen said: “We will take every opportunity, including at the highest political level, to raise serious concerns about the human rights situation in China. This becomes even more important as multiple reports continue to provide very credible evidence of organ harvesting in China.

“The EU condemns in the strongest terms the criminal, inhuman and unethical practice of forced organ harvesting.

Song Kelly

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Kelly Song covers China-related issues and health issues for The Epoch Times. She is based in the United States. Do you have any advice? [email protected]