Taiwan Legislators Propose Criminal Law Against Forced Organ Harvesting
As part of a global campaign to create laws to combat and prevent organ harvesting, lawmakers in Taiwan proposed criminal law to “severely punish the cruelty of organ harvesting” around the world, and particularly in mainland China, where organ harvesting occurs live prisoners of conscience have existed for two decades.
On the eve of International Human Rights Day, Taiwanese lawmakers across party lines held a press conference to solicit and rally more support for the proposed law. Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker Hsu Chih-chieh, the main initiator of the law against organ harvesting, said at the press conference, “It is Taiwan’s national policy to establish a human rights state. … We must let the world know how brutal the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is in its efforts to harvest and sell human organs.”
“We believe that all of humanity should stand up and condemn and stop the practice of live organ harvesting.”
“I also invite the parliaments and human rights defenders of the world’s leading countries to work together to promote laws that build a global protective net against the cruelty of live harvesting. Together we defend freedom, democracy and human rights!”
In 2021, five NGOs from the United States, Europe, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan jointly issued a Universal Declaration to Combat and Prevent Forced Organ Harvesting (UDCPFOH), which has since garnered a growing list of co-signatories from around the world expressing a principled stance take to support the Universal Declaration.
Theresa Chu, a Taiwan-based human rights lawyer and Chair of the UDCPFOH Steering Committee, said that organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners in China is the greatest atrocity in the world; and that people from Taiwan have traveled to China either as organ recipients or as transplant surgeons. “Therefore, it is imperative that Taiwan implement the criminal law to protect our citizens from being complicit in this crime against humanity.”
“So far, 26 lawmakers have pledged their support,” Chu said.
The actions of Taiwanese lawmakers received overwhelming support from dignitaries and politicians around the world. An 18-minute video was played at the press conference, containing messages of support from 15 parliamentarians, congressmen and medical experts from Europe, the United States, Korea and Japan.
Lord David Alton, British House of Lords, said, “It was Jiang Zemin, the former leader of the CCP, who gave the order to eradicate Falun Gong, and in his words ‘by any means necessary’, and he established the ‘610 Office’. was instructed to carry out these orders.”
“These crimes against humanity may also have been committed against Uyghur Muslims, Tibetan Buddhists and Christians.”
“These are serious allegations which is why we have come together in the UK Parliament, both in the House of Commons and the House of Lords and across the political divide, to push for legislative changes that severely punish anyone who has engaged in these heinous crimes. ”
Korean TV producer and media personality Kim Hyun-chul is the producer of a 2017 TV documentary (watch) which confirms that organ harvesting is still taking place in China. Kim said, “I visited the largest organ transplant hospital in China to expose the inside story of illegal organ transplants, and our documentary has been widely shared in Korea. I later attended the China Tribunal in London, UK as a witness to tell the world what I had seen and heard [in China]. The whole truth has been revealed. It is a fact that live organ harvesting and illegal transplants are taking place in China.”
“Taiwan has long worked in the international community to end the live organ harvesting that is taking place in mainland China. Korea has also worked with Taiwan to tell the world the truth about live organ harvesting as many Koreans go to mainland China for organ transplants,” he said.
“It’s time to take concrete action.”
Kim praised Taiwan’s legislative efforts: “Your actions will go down in history, and I salute you! Let’s work together to the end!”
dr Seung-won Lee, president of the Korean Association for Ethical Organ Transplantation (KAEOT), one of the initiators of the NGO’s Universal Declaration, said, “The association highly appreciates the efforts of Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan and the Taiwanese government, led by Taiwan’s Legislative Councilor Hsu Chi-Chieh, on ending live organ harvesting.”
“Korea should follow Taiwan’s lead in proposing and urging the Korean government and National Assembly to pass relevant resolutions and legislation. Let’s put an end to the live organ harvesting carried out by the Chinese Communist Party from Falun Gong practitioners and other prisoners of conscience.”
Boriana Aberg, MP in Sweden and chair of the Swedish Taiwanese Parliamentary Association, said: “Taiwan – which shares the same language and culture as mainland China – is a role model for the people on the other side, a role model of democratization, respect for human rights and the rule of law! “
Peter Van Dalen, a Member of the European Parliament from the Netherlands, said: “It is now up to the international community to hold China accountable. States must consider how to sanction people who take part in organ harvesting. To do this, the European Union, for example, must use its European Magnitsky Act. There is also a need to examine how China can be held accountable before the International Court of Justice.”
Hajime Maruyama, City Council Member of Amako, Japan, and President of the Japan-Taiwan Friendship League, said, “I am pleased that so many members of the Legislative Yuan in my beloved Taiwan support the Universal Declaration’s legislation to combat and prevent the live organ harvesting and I wish them well.”
Thierry Valle, French CAP chairman, hopes that Taiwan will set an example for the international community when it comes to ending FOH through legal means.
Swedish MP Nima Gholam Ali Pour said, “It is very important to draw people’s attention to the CCP’s operations and the victims of this operation.”
Andrey Kovatchev, Bulgarian politician, Member of the European Parliament, said: “The Chinese authorities must respond promptly to allegations of organ harvesting and allow independent monitoring by international human rights mechanisms, including the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Around the world, I support the pursuit of laws to punish the atrocities of organ harvesting.”
Ihan Kyuchyuk, Member of the European Parliament, said: “Reports of systematic and institutionally sanctioned organ harvesting, particularly from imprisoned minorities such as Uyghurs, Tibetans and Falun Gong practitioners, are extremely worrying. … [it] is not only an unacceptable violation of medical ethics… but a serious violation of the fundamental right to life… which the international community must fight relentlessly.”
Ann-Sofie Alm, a Swedish politician and one of the initiating co-signers of the UDCPFOH, said, “Taiwan can play a very important role in this fight against organ harvesting because you are unique, strong, democratic and free under the rule of law.”
Herman Tertsch, Member of the European Parliament, said, “The CCP has committed many violent crimes, harvesting organs from living people is by far one of the worst. We must start prosecuting such criminals around the world. We in the European Parliament give you our strongest support.”
Jennifer Johnson, President of the Academy of Forensic Nurses, said: “AFN supports that all governments should combat and prevent organ harvesting by promoting the criminalization of certain acts and supporting the prosecution of organ harvesting at both the national and international levels .”