Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Evidence to UN UPR Geneva on China’s Repression
by Edward McMillan-Scott
22 January 2024
I was a Member of the European Parliament from the UK 1984- 2014: for the last ten years I was a Vice-President, re-elected four times, and my portfolio was Human Rights and Democracy.
Over 20 years, I visited China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Tibet on several occasions, mostly to establish the truth about the systematic persecution and annihilation of multiple thousands of innocent Falun Gong, Tibetan and Uyghur prisoners.
This genocide, as established by the 2018 London Tribunal – to which I gave evidence – and US authorities, has not yet been acknowledged widely enough by the world community – but it will not go unpunished.
I am grateful to you all for your attention to this brief statement, which cannot adequately represent the atrocious suffering by multiple thousands of Chinese citizens:
I have campaigned to draw attention to the brutal and systematic persecution by the Chinese regime of practitioners of Falun Gong, a Buddha-school spiritual movement with 70 – 100 million adherents in 1999. They have been persecuted by the most paranoid, brutal and arbitrary regime in world history, which has killed 70 million of its own people, 38 million through deliberate starvation.
I welcome this inquiry into the systematic process of imprisonment without trial, escalating torture and the murder of thousands of innocent people under torture. There is the added horror that vital organs are removed from living Falun Gong prisoners for the lucrative organ transplant trade, conducted by the People’s Liberation Army, usually resulting in death. This goes beyond man’s inhumanity to man: it amounts to genocide under Article 2 of the Genocide Convention.
My campaign began in May 2006, when I visited China on a fact-finding mission. In Beijing, at great personal risk to them, I interviewed former Falun Gong prisoners. One, Cao Dong, told me that his best friend disappeared from his prison cell: Cao Dong later saw his naked body in the prison morgue, with holes where vital organs had been removed.
Niu Jinping appealed to me on behalf of his wife, Zhang Lianying, who had been in Beijing Forced Women’s Labour Camp since June 2005, and so severely tortured that she suffered a coma in April 2007.
The latter were subsequently re-imprisoned as part of Beijing’s pre-Olympic round-up in early 2008. I organised a boycott of the Olympic opening ceremony so that no senior EU political figures attended.
I later met hundreds of exiled Falun Gong in various free countries such as Bangkok, Hong Kong – then free – Taiwan – still free, and brought their stories to wider attention through the European Parliament.
One ex-prisoner wrote me a list of the 50 progressive tortures she suffered, which I submitted to the UN Rapporteurs on Torture and Religious Freedom.
My key Beijing contact was Christian human rights attorney Gao Zhisheng, sometimes known as the ‘conscience of China’. Gao represented a number of Falun Gong practitioners after his investigation into their persecution in 2005. Well-known in China for publicly denouncing the regime, especially for corruption, he wrote an open letter to the European Parliament in September 2007 and another to the US Congress. He was then sentenced to prison on a charge of “subversion”. He has subsequently disappeared.
Harry Wu, a former inmate and then director of New York’s Laogai Research Center, estimated that in 2007 there were some 900 internment camps with between 3 – 6 million Falun Gong incarcerated. Falun Gong outside China maintain contact with prisoners and record their torture and torturers where they can be identified.
More recently, there is evidence that organ harvesting is also being practised on Tibetan and Uyghur prisoners.
Thank you for your attention.