Lobbying by Falun Gong, a quasi-religious movement banned in China, has scored a public relations coup in Australia. Last week the Senate unanimously passed a motion urging the government to oppose the practice of organ harvesting in China. The motion, introduced by an independent senator, urged the government to ratify strict UN and European Council protocols on organ trafficking. The detailed European Council protocols aim to “[combat] organ trafficking through the establishment of competent authorities, the authorisation of transplantation centres, the establishment of conditions of procurement and systems of traceability”.
The senate motion also called on the government to follow the example of the United States in implementing a new visa requirement. In the United States, applicants for non-migrant visas classified as DS-160 must declare if they have been involved in the “coercive transplantation of human organs or body tissue”.
The motion came just a day after a Parliamentary briefing from former Canadian politician David Kilgour. The Falun Gong alleges that imprisoned members have been killed for their organs because Chinese are very reluctant donate their organs, even after death. In his book Bloody Harvest, Kilgour estimates -- relying largely on inference from sketchy details -- that thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have perished to supply a lucrative market in organ transplants. This is hotly denied by the Chinese government.
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