BY RYAN WELLICOME
A group of Falun Gong practitioners from Edmonton made a stop in Lacombe this past Monday to raise awareness of organ harvesting of prisoners of conscience in China.
The demonstrators are travelling across Alberta to raise awareness and they arrived in the afternoon for a demonstration outside of City Hall.
“Raising awareness to Canadians is so important; to let them know what’s going on,” said Minnan Liu, one of the demonstrators. “We want to let people know so they don’t go to China to get transplants.
“We want to help them avoid becoming an unknowing accomplice to this crime.”
A prisoner of conscience is someone who has been imprisoned for holding a certain set of political or religious beliefs deemed criminal by their own government.
Falun Gong is a spiritual practice that combines meditation and slow-moving exercise with a moral philosophy that is centered on the concepts of truthfulness, compassion and forbearance.
In China, the practice has been outlawed by the ruling Chinese Communist Party and persecution of its practitioners has been commonplace since an eradication campaign began in 1999, campaign organizers say.
In 2006, former Canadian Secretary of State David Kilgour and human rights lawyer David Matas presented the Kilgour-Matas Report that detailed evidence gathered over a two-month investigation. The report suggested the government of China had, since 1999, executed large but unknown numbers of Falun Gong practitioners and involuntarily took their vital organs to sell for profit.
The report was update in 2009 and published as a book, titled, Bloody Harvest: The Killing of Falun Gong for their Organs.
According to the report, in China, average wait times for kidney transplants are around 15 days as opposed to 1,000-2,500 days in western countries like the U.S.A., the U.K. and Canada. These short wait times have led citizens of Canada, Japan and the U.S.A. to travel to China to receive transplant operations.
The demonstrators are part of the Falun Dafa Association of Edmonton and the larger Canadian 2016 SOS Falun Gong Car Tour – a Canada-wide effort to bring awareness to the cities and towns across the country.
The effort has visited hundreds of communities across Canada. More information about the car tour can be found on their facebook page and more information regarding the international movement can also be found at www.endorganpillaging.org.