On Nov. 2, 2020, David Alton, Lord Alton of Liverpool, addressed the Grand Committee of the House of Lords regarding an 87-page report produced by the Institute to Research the Crimes of Communism
(https://theircc.org/) which includes companies with links to forced organ harvesting in China.
In his remarks, Lord Alton expressed his concern for upholding “the highest possible standards in relation to the use of organs, tissues, blood and cells.” He stated: “I think that the Government have honoured that commitment.”
In recent years, human rights researchers and investigators have produced a litany of evidence demonstrating that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has allowed and organized the mass murder of prisoners of conscience for their organs — the likely majority of whom are adherents of the Falun Gong spiritual practice.
In 2018 and 2019 the China Tribunal (https://chinatribunal.com/), an international, independent people’s tribunal established to determine what international law crimes, if any, have been committed by state or state-approved bodies, organisations or individuals in China that may have engaged in forced organ harvesting of prisoners of conscience, have over the course of 12 months conducted robust analysis of all available evidence.
Their final conclusion was that “forced organ harvesting has been committed for years throughout China on a significant scale and that Falun Gong practitioners have been one – and probably the main – source of organ supply. The concerted persecution and medical testing of the Uyghurs is more recent and it may be that evidence of forced organ harvesting of this group may emerge in due course.”
Falun Gong has been severely persecuted by the CCP since 1999, when Jiang Zemin the General Secretary of the Communist Party at that time, ordered a campaign to eradicate the popular meditative discipline. Tens of millions of Chinese were practicing Falun Gong at the time.
Lord Alton has long been concerned about this brutal persecution.
In his speech, Lord Alton referred to an 87 page report called The Economics of Organ Harvesting in China, published by the Institute to Research the Crimes of Communism. It describes forced organ harvesting as “one of the most inhumane crimes in the entire history of humanity.”
Lord Alton expressed worry for the trade and exhibition of body parts and the fact that the Human Tissue Act does not require traceability, as he has had an ongoing long-standing moral concern about the human bodies exhibition ‘Body Worlds’.
This business was founded in the North-Eastern Chinese city of Dalian, known to be the epicentre of forced organ harvesting and documents were never provided to show the origins of the vast number of bodies that were being used.
“The report describes in harrowing detail… what it calls ‘the business offer’ and details an international spider’s web of companies—including some from the United Kingdom—which have aided and abetted what it describes as primitive barbaric practices,” Lord Alton noted.
“I am grateful to the Minister, whom I had a chance to speak to just before we came into this Committee, for already having had a glance at the report. I hope that he will commit to looking at the report further and say how he intends to take forward an investigation into the companies referred to in it.”
“Will he agree to refer it to the World Health Organization for its consideration?”
“In that context, and further to the remarks of the noble Lord, Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, I might add that only today the information rights unit at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office has written to me in response to the freedom of information request to which I referred during our debate last week, asking for the correspondence between it and the WHO to be made public.”
In its response, the unit says:
“Some of the information has been withheld using section 27(1)(Relations. Section 27 is a qualified exemption and is subject to a public interest test. The application of section 27(1)(b) requires us to consider the public interest test arguments in favour of releasing and withholding information.”
The letter continues:
“The disclosure of information could potentially damage the bilateral relationship between the UK and the World Health Organization. This would reduce the UK Government’s ability to protect and promote UK interests through its relations with the WHO, which would not be in the public interest.”
“I would obviously contest that strongly, not least because of the vast amounts of public money that pour from the United Kingdom into the WHO. This sits very uncomfortably with our belief in transparency and open government,” Lord Alton said.
Elsewhere, the letter says:
“The disclosure of information detailing our relationship with China could potentially damage the bilateral relationship between the UK and China.”
“Why should information pertaining to the forced harvesting of organs and their use in organ tourism be damaging to our relations with China?”
“Let me conclude. I would be grateful if the Minister could say how in further legislation, whether brought through SIs (Statutory Instruments) or within the current Bill, we can demonstrate our determination to stamp out organ tourism that relies on the killing of non-consenting victims, and which then trades in their remains in ways which the United Kingdom should demonstrate to the rest of the world that it will not tolerate.”
The report notes that in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) alone, the annual demand for organs reaches approximately 300,000 citizens. In addition, a significant number of non-PRC citizens travel to China to receive organ transplants, many of which are suspected of being sourced from unwilling donors.