Conservative MPs Michael Cooper and Garnett Genuis are urging the government to issue sanctions against communist China for its forced organ harvesting campaign. The call comes in response to bombshell testimony from a dying victim.
“It is estimated that 150 people a day in the PRC [People’s Republic of China] are killed as a result of forced organ harvesting. These are extraordinary human rights violations that are taking place and are being directed by the Beijing-based communist regime,” Mr. Cooper told The Epoch Times.
He was responding to a question regarding the deathbed testimonies of Zhang Xiuqin, a Falun Gong adherent from Laizhou, in China’s Shandong Province.
Ms. Zhang died after having her organs harvested while she was still alive. The operation was performed at the People’s Liberation Army Integrated Logistic Support and Security Forces No. 962 Hospital on April 28, 2019. Her testimonies were recorded and submitted to the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG) by a doctor from the hospital whose identity is protected. Following additional investigations, the WOIPFG released a portion of the evidence in a report on July 17.
Mr. Genuis commended Falun Gong practitioners around the world for their continued efforts to expose these crimes by the CCP, and noted that more work needs to be done as the anniversary of the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong adherents hits the 24-year mark on July 20.
“This is something that Canada needs to continue to speak out about, the legislators need to continue to speak out about,” he told The Epoch Times on July 20. “We need to end a global culture of impunity for violations of human rights and move towards a world in which serious violators of fundamental freedoms are held accountable through sanctions and through other mechanisms.”
Mr. Genuis had sponsored Sen. Salma Ataullahjan’s Bill S-223 in the House of Commons, which was passed into law on Dec. 14, 2022, making it illegal for a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident to go abroad to receive an organ taken from someone who did not give informed consent for its removal.
“Several dozen people, who were detained with me, have all been taken away one by one, and their whereabouts are unknown. The number of Falun Gong practitioners, who have had their organs harvested alive over the years, is uncountable,” Ms. Zhang said during her final moments after being subjected to the live organ-harvesting procedure.
She was a 46-year-old woman who started practising Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, in 1998. After the CCP began persecuting Falun Gong on July 20, 1999, her home was repeatedly raided, and she was kidnapped multiple times by the CCP for speaking out about the regime’s persecution of the practice.
In late 2018, she was kidnapped again and subjected to a long period of torture, which employed various methods including rape. Her testimonies were recorded after one of her kidneys was harvested while she was alive. She was then left to die. The doctor who acted as a whistleblower found her briefly awakened from a coma and helped record her deathbed story.
In her own testimony, the doctor said that the Infectious Disease Department in the military hospital was chosen to perform live organ harvesting because it was “very secretive and convenient to destroy the evidence here.”
“The dead bodies, after the surgeries, are required to be disposed of as contaminants. That is, they would be sealed, sterilized, and cremated directly, without opening the packages in the middle of the process,” she told the WIOPFG.
According to the doctor’s testimony, Ms. Zhang also had her chest and stomach opened to examine other internal organs. But these organs were not removed because they were severely damaged as a result of the torture she had endured previously. The surgeons who performed the organ extraction didn’t close the multiple incisions on her body, even with basic sutures, and the organ harvesting procedures were likely carried out without anesthetic, according to testimonies.
Ms. Zhang’s case is unique in that it was the only testimony from a victim of live organ harvesting. Her body, reportedly preserved by the doctor, is the only remaining evidence of a person who was subject to such atrocities.
Falun Gong is a spiritual discipline and meditation based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. After its introduction in China in the early 1990s, the practice quickly gained widespread popularity due to its health benefits. But Jiang Zemin, the CCP’s former party leader, perceived that popularity as a threat to the regime’s totalitarian rule and subsequently instigated a massive persecution campaign.
Since 1999, the CCP “crime syndicate,” led by the former party leader, has been orchestrating a nationwide genocide against Falun Gong practitioners, the WOIPFG reports. Methods of persecution include live organ harvesting and various forms of torture and sexual abuse.
Apart from Bill S-223, Canada’s Criminal Code also has provisions that can be used to combat gross human rights abuses by nations like China, according to Mr. Cooper.
For example, he urged the government to make use of the Magnitsky Act sanctions to hold CCP officials “who have engaged in egregious human rights violations against peaceful Falun Gong practitioners accountable.” Canada also needs to work with allies to put pressure on the regime, he said, pointing to the United States, which has recently charged some Chinese agents for human rights violations.
“It’s time for the government of Canada to follow through on words of condemnation and actually take action by imposing sanctions and start working with other countries to impose sanctions,” Mr. Cooper said.
In April, the FBI arrested two individuals on charges of operating secret Chinese police stations in New York City, including a man who had led a counter-protest in Washington against demonstrations held by Falun Gong adherents in 2015 during a visit by China’s leader, Xi Jinping. More recently, in May, the U.S. Department of Justice charged two men for bribing a public official in a scheme to strip an entity run and maintained by Falun Gong practitioners of its tax-exempt status.
Additionally, Mr. Cooper noted that the United States is capable of laying charges against the Chinese agents because, unlike Canada, it has a foreign agent registry that could hold individuals who are working in concert or as agents of the Beijing regime accountable to “the fullest extent of the law.”
The federal government concluded a public consultation in May into potentially creating a Foreign Influence Transparency Registry. The public consultation was launched after months of media reports about Beijing’s interference in Canadian federal elections, the operations of secret police stations on Canadian soil, and the launching of surveillance balloons across North America and spy buoys in Arctic waters.
“This type of interference is completely unacceptable; it’s an attack on our democracy and our sovereignty,” Mr. Cooper said. “Canadians deserve answers and they deserve answers as soon as possible about what Beijing did to interfere in our democracy.”
Andrew Thornebrooke, Eva Fu, Donna He, and Isaac Teo contributed to this report.