“One of my family members was involved in the operation to harvest Falun Gong practitioners’ organs. This brought great pain to our family.”
Annie’s interview led to a controversy about whether or not she was telling the truth. The Government of China denied everything. Others, who had begun some initial investigations based on what Annie said, asserted that Falun Gong practitioners were victims of live organ-harvesting throughout China. Falun Gong is a set of exercises with a spiritual foundation which was banned in China in 1999. Those who did the exercises after 1999 were arrested and asked to denounce the practice. Those who did so were released. Those who did not were tortured. Those who still refused to recant after torture disappeared. What happened to the disappeared? It was claimed by Annie and others that they were organ-harvested, that organ-pillaging was being inflicted on unwilling Falun Gong practitioners at a wide variety of locations, pursuant to a systematic policy, in large numbers. Organ-harvesting is a step in organ transplants. The purpose is to provide organs for transplants. Transplants do not necessarily have to take place in the same place as the location of the organ-harvesting. The two locations are often different; organs harvested in one place are shipped to another place for transplanting. The claim was further that the organs are harvested from the practitioners while they are still alive. The practitioners are killed in the course of the organ-harvesting operations or immediately thereafter. These operations are a form of murder.