On March 10, 2006 the Falun Gong mouth piece Epoch Times reported a heinous crime six thousand practitioners were killed in a secret concentration camp in Sujiatun District, Shenyang City. “No detainees have managed to leave the concentration camp alive…[and their] internal organs are all removed from the bodies and sold,” said Mr. R, a anonymous person who broke the story to Epoch Times.1
The story developed further on March 17 when another anonymous person whose family members were allegedly involved in removing organs from Falun Gong practitioners gave further details that were published in the Epoch Times. According to this anonymous source, the concentration camp is located in the Liaoning Provincial Thrombosis Hospital of Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine hospital where she once worked. Since 2001, according to this source, the hospital has detained practitioners in a huge system of secret underground chambers. Then she made a horrifying accusation that topped all others ever made by the group “Many Falun Gong practitioners were still alive when their organs were taken. After their organs were cut out, some of these people were thrown directly into the crematorium to be burnt, thus leaving no evidence.”2 Claiming no connection with the Falun Gong, she said she had to speak up to save those still alive there. Similar claims were made by Mr. R.
A Falun Gong campaign pushing this allegation began in Hong kong on March 10, the day the Epoch Times article was published and quickly went worldwide. Media outlets controlled by the Falun Gong—the Epoch Times, the satellite television station New Tang Dynasty and the radio network Sound of Hope—pushed this new attack as hard as they could. The story has been covered mainly by some media in Canada. Interestingly, such a serious allegation was initially ignored by most American media; perhaps they realized that it could not be true, if these two witnesses really wanted to stop this crime they would have gone to them instead.
On April 13, 2006, an official from the hospital gave the following statement “the hospital is lacking the required facilities to conduct organ transplants and has no basement to house the Falun Gong practitioners.”3
What is more, this hospital—the Liaoning Thrombus Medical Treatment Center—is partly owned by a Malaysian company, Country Heights Health Sanctuary and therefore subject to over sight beyond local Chinese government officials.4 During an official visit to China in September, 2004 the Minister of Health of Malaysia visited the hospital and reported nothing unusual.
Some Chinese human rights activities have also refuted the allegation. Harry Wu, best known for his investigations of China’s reeducation-though-labor-camps was doing a research on the practice of extracting organs from executed prisoners in China when the Sujiatun story broke out, he immediately invested the issue. On March 22, Mr. Wu wrote to some US Congress Representatives who he had contact with and stated that “the Sujiatun concentration camp holding 6,000 people does not exist,…[and] a scale of 4,500 live organ extractions is impossible in theory and infeasible in practice.”5
Such an accusation is too serious to be ignored by the politicians. Manfred Nowak, the U.N. special rapporteur on torture was concerned “I am presently in the process of investigating as far as I can,”6 he said in a interview. Adam Ereli, the Deputy Spokesman of the State Department talked about it in between issues like the Iran nuclear problem and IsraelPalestinian conflict. “Obviously, any such reports are taken very seriously by us… The Chinese have publicly denied the allegations. We’ve made the point that a further investigation would be helpful. We urge that it be done.”7
The US government did investigate and the Chinese government cooperated. Officers and staff from the U.S. embassy in Beijing and the U.S. consulate in Shenyang city have visited the area and the specific site on two separate occasions. According to the State department report, “In these visits the officers were allowed to tour the entire facility and grounds and found no evidence that the site is being used for any function other than as a normal public hospital.”8 If the Falun Gong was truly concerned about the safety of its members this report would put their minds at easy. But no, the group has continued to push the allegation.
On April 20, 2006, in the welcoming ceremonies of the Chinese president Hu Jintao on the White House lawn, a practitioner working for the Epoch Times interrupted the proceeding by repeatedly shouting at President Hu. The event was broadcast live and made the Falun Gong the hot topic of the week. While all major TV networks talked about the group’s grievances with the Chinese government, C-span interviewed its spokesperson Erping Zhang who in this thirty minute interview really pushed the Sujiatun organ harvesting allegation.
Does the group really believe that six thousand of its members were murdered in Sujiatun The answer is no. The Falun Gong has kept a record of practitioners who allegedly died due to abuses; their personal information and the causes of their death have been disclosed in a section on the group’s official clearwisdom.net. As of June 3, 2006 the death toll was numbered at 2,898, and none of them were killed in the so-call Sujiatun concentration camp.9 In other words the victims of this crime do not exist! Despite the much so-call evidence and condemnations posted on Falun Gong websites,10, 11 there is no attempt to account for these six thousand victims—a natural response if the group really believed such a crime has taken place.
It is mind-boggling to see people with credentials lending this cult a hand in pushing such a lie. Two Canadians, David Matas and David Kilgour, have put together the “REPORT INTO ALLEGATIONS OF ORGAN HARVESTING OF FALUN GONG PRACTITIONERS IN CHINA.”12 It appears that their conclusions are based on unsubstantiated evidence, such as a transcript of a phone conversation with an operator of the Mijiang City Detention Centre who informed the inquirer that they have organs of Falun Gong practitioners for sale. What clearly reveals their bias is that while they cite the U.S. State Department reports to back their claims that there are abuses of Falun Gong practitioners in China they fail to mention the findings of the U.S. State Department on the issue.
Mr. Kilgour and Mr. Matas are aware of Mr. Wu’s findings. They met Mr. Wu in Washington D.C. prior to releasing their report; however, they chose not to mention Mr. Wu’s critique in the report. Because of the kind of evidence Mr. Kilgour and Mr. Matas provide and their suppression of creditable challenges to their position, I believe their conclusions are invalid and their work is motivated by ulterior motives.
2. Ji Da, “New Witness Confirms Existence of Chinese Concentration Camp, Says Organs Removed from Live Victims,” The Epoch Times, Mar 17, 2006.
3. Le Tian, “Falun Gong lies slammed by hospital,” China Daily, April 13, 2006.
4. Ministry of Health of Malaysia. httpcrc.gov.myclinicalTrialdocumentsProposalTCM_Stroke TrialProtocol synopsis.pdf
5. Harry Wu, My Knowledge and Experience with the Falun Gong media reporting on the Sujiatun Concentration Camp problem. July 18, 2006.
6. U.N. envoy looks at Falun Gong torture allegations, March 30, 2006, Reuters
7. Adam Erel, US State Department, daily briefingi, March 31, 2006. httpwww.state.govrpaprsdpb200663973.htm
8. US State Department, U.S. Finds No Evidence of Alleged Concentration Camp in China,. 16 April 2006
9. List and Case Description of the 2898 Falun Gong Practitioners Who Have Been Killed In the Persecution, Clearwisdom.net
10. Exposing Concentration Camps, Clearwisdom.net
11. World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong, Organ Harvesting,
12. David Matas and David Kilgour, EPORT INTO ALLEGATIONS OF ORGAN HARVESTING OF FALUN GONG PRACTITIONERS IN CHINA, July 6, 2006.