Texas Governor Greg Abbott recently signed Senate Concurrent Resolution 3, which condemns the practice of forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience in China. I want to …
Texas Governor Greg Abbott recently signed Senate Concurrent Resolution 3, which condemns the practice of forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience in China. I want to thank Katy area State Senators Lois Kolkhorst and Joan Huffman for sponsoring the resolution and Representatives Cecil Bell, Gary Gates and Mike Schofield who voted in favor of SCR3.
As stated in the resolution, the primary victims of organ harvesting in China practice Falun Gong which is a spiritual discipline rooted in traditional Chinese culture that combines qigong exercise, meditation, and an emphasis on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance.
In 1996, I was a university student living in China. At the time I had a serious lung disease and had to visit the hospital weekly. A friend recommended that I take up the practice of Falun Gong. After practicing for only 1 month, the disease disappeared. Not only did I become healthier, but my relationships with others also became more harmonious.
There were countless stories like mine throughout China, and Falun Gong became very popular in the 1990s with government estimates concluding that as many as 100 million people were practicing.
Unfortunately, because of the immense popularity and spiritual nature of Falun Gong, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) considered it a target to be eliminated and in July of 1999, initiated a brutal persecution to eradicate the practice.
Overnight, Falun Gong was labeled as a public enemy. State-controlled media began demonizing Falun Gong 24/7. Even elementary school children were exposed to negative propaganda. There were mass arrests and I constantly heard news of torture and abuse occurring in prisons.
I did what I could to work against the persecution. I traveled to Tiananmen Square in 2000 and publicly sat in meditation as an appeal for Falun Gong. I also handed out CDs with information dispelling the negative propaganda and once I publicly appealed in front of a detention center to request the release of a friend who had been imprisoned.
As a result, I was unlawfully imprisoned in detention centers and brainwashing centers 4 times between October 1999 and June 2007. While detained I was under tremendous pressure to renounce my belief through torture and brainwashing. I was forced to do labor for over 10 hours a day without pay. My husband was also imprisoned when I was 3 months pregnant, and our son didn’t get to see his father until he was 1 year old.
Coinciding with this crackdown was an explosion of organ transplantation despite the fact that China did not have a voluntary organ donor program. Hospital websites were advertising the sale of human organs with wait times as short as 2 weeks and China became a destination for transplant tourism. Investigators have concluded that organs were being sourced from Falun Gong prisoners of conscience.
My family and I immigrated to the U.S. in 2008. We are fortunate that we survived the brutal persecution and were able to come to this free land. In China, however, there are unknown numbers of Falun Gong practitioners and other prisoners of conscience including Tibetan Buddhists, House Christians and Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang province who are still behind bars where they are at great risk.
The efforts of the Texas State Legislature to confront the issue of forced organ harvesting are meaningful and important to Texas residents. I personally know over 10 Falun Gong practitioners living in the greater Houston area, including Katy, who were persecuted in China. Some of them underwent forcible blood drawing and unusual physical examinations which were obviously not for the benefit of their health, as they were tortured severely. These tests were, however, consistent with organ matching.
SCR3 is part of a global effort to expose transplant abuse in China. As a survivor of persecution in China, I am happy to see this trend. It is important for our medical communities and residents to be aware of organ harvesting and the risks of transplant tourism. No one should become an unwitting accomplice in this crime against humanity.
Katy Times Reader