Proponents of the spiritual discipline known as Falun Gong made a a stop in Bonnyville this morning to raise awareness of their persecution in China.
In particular the group is encouraging Canadians not to travel to China for organ transplants. While wait times for transplants are vastly shorter in China then the rest of the world, they allege there is a dark side to that. The group says prisoners arrested for practising Falun Gong are being killed and having their organs harvested by the government at a profit.
Student Gary Bai is one of the activists and elaborates further. “According to the report made by (former Canadian Secretary of State and Crown Prosecutor) David Kilgur and his associates Ethan Gutmann and David Matas, they investigated that over the course of ten years, there is an estimated 60,000 to 100,000 people annually in China being killed for their organs. This is involuntary. This is forced live organ harvesting.”
Also known as Falun Dafa, Falun Gong is a traditional Chinese spiritual practice that China’s Communist Party cracked down on in 1999. Their core principles are truthfulness, compassion and tolerance.
At that time, it’s believed there were more than 70 million practitioners, and hundreds of thousands are still considered prisoners of conscience – people in jail for their political or religious views.
“Falun Gong is really just following the principles of truthfulness, compassion and tolerance,” says activist Minnan Liu. “This is not a political issue. We do not have political agendas, we do not worship, we do not have a donation system. But because of the culture of the Communist Party, they can not tolerate for this peaceful meditation practised in over 140 countries.”
Liu adds that Canadians that want to help the cause can write to their local representatives and encourage others not to travel to China for transplants.