House debates

Thursday, 3 September 2020

Constituency Statements

Petition: Falun Gong

12:04 pm

Photo of Julian LeeserJulian Leeser (Berowra, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I present a petition drawing attention to the organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners in China.

The petition read as follows—

This petition of certain citizens of Australia draws to the attention of the House that Falun Gong is a peaceful meditation practice based on the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance. Millions of Falun Gong practitioners in China have been fired, jailed, tortured or killed by the Chinese Communist regime since July 1999. There have been persistent reports of systematic, state-sanctioned organ harvesting from non-consenting prisoners of conscience in China, primarily practitioners of Falun Gong.

The Independent China Tribunal, chaired by Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, concluded in its Final Judgement in 2019: "Forced organ harvesting has been committed for years throughout China on a significant scale and that Falun Gong practitioners have been one - and probably the main - source of organ supply" and that crimes against humanity against Falun Gong have been proved "beyond reasonable doubt".

We therefore ask the House to request the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and Australian Government to:

1. Pass a motion or make a statement to openly request an immediate end to the 20-year persecution of Falun Gong in China and the immediate release of all Falun Gong practitioners and other prisoners of conscience;

2. Urge China to immediately end the practice of organ harvesting from all prisoners of conscience and conduct a thorough public education campaign to ensure Australians do not unknowingly participate in forced organ harvesting in China;

3. Deny visas and bar entry to Chinese officials and policeman who are involved in the persecution of Falun Gong.

From 1,004 citizens

Petition received.

Falun Gong is a meditative and spiritual practice that originated in China in 1992. Falun Gong is based on moral principles and is a practice that guides the daily life of practitioners. Its popularity grew quickly. In 1999 the Chinese Communist Party shifted from a generally supportive stance towards Falun Gong to condemning it. Since 1999 Falun Gong has been banned in China, with the Communist Party claiming that it is a dangerous practice and the ban is necessary to maintain social stability.

Since that time Falun Gong practitioners have been forcibly taken to re-education camps, forced to renounce Falun Gong, or pushed out of the country. Persistent allegations of mistreatment have emerged, as have claims that Falun Gong have had their organs harvested to fill the demand for healthy organs for transplant patients. Getting clear information about exactly what is happening to Falun Gong practitioners is extremely difficult. China has admitted in the past to harvesting organs of executed criminals but denies harvesting organs from prisoners of conscience such as Falun Gong adherents. Yet reports of exactly this happening continue to emerge.

In June last year an independent tribunal, led by Britain's Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, judged that forced organ harvesting had been committed for many years throughout China and that there's no evidence of the practice having been stopped. It determined that Falun Gong practitioners have probably been the main source of organ supply.

In 2018 this parliament's Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade inquired into human organ trafficking and organ transplant tourism. Its report cites multiple submissions made by Falun Gong practitioners, who recounted their experience of 'extrajudicial detainment, torture, and unusual medical examinations, which, it is alleged, were undertaken to facilitate organ matching'. The report was unable to conclude exactly what is taking place, but what is certain is that the Chinese Communist Party is seeking the systematic removal and suppression of Falun Gong. This is reason enough for their actions to be condemned. People are being taken away and sent to detention centres, where they're being pushed to renounce their beliefs.

It's not only Falun Gong who are subjected to such treatment. Uyghurs, Christians and others who dare to hold a conviction not prescribed and generated by the Chinese Communist Party find their life and liberty at threat.

History shows us where the suppression of conscience and belief ultimately leads. As the belief and conscience of a person becomes subservient to the state, the value of each person diminishes. Life loses its sanctity. A country that decides what its citizens can believe, what faith they can and cannot practise, is a frightening place. As the Chinese Communist Party usurps family life, movement, the workplace, child-bearing and ultimately conscience, it demonstrates values fundamentally different to those of Australia. Perhaps the most wicked thing about this is that it's defended on the grounds of social harmony. Harmony built on the crushing of minorities is worthless. In tabling this petition I call on the Chinese Communist Party to release Falun Gong practitioners and people of faith who are taken as prisoners of conscience.