Campaigners urges Mayor to address human rights violation and de-twin from Chinese city.
Human rights advocates are asking Mayor Marvin Rees to sever Bristol’s twin city ties with Chinese city of Guangzhou over its alleged connection with forced organ harvesting.
Straddling the River Avon in the southwest of England, U.K., Bristol and the capital of Guangzhou Province, Guangzhou, share a sister city status since 2001. This liaison was established to focus on economic collaboration, cultural, and educational exchanges.
Bristol Against Forced Organ Harvesting (BAFOH) is calling for cutting ties with Guangzhou in the light of overwhelming evidence that the Chinese regime is using living prisoners of conscience for organ transplants.
BAFOH urges the City Council to seriously address this human rights violation and that Bristol should de-twin with Guangzhou.
Mayor Marvin Rees is aware of BAFOH’s campaign to end the sister-city status. However, Rees stated this is “not something we intend to do now.” He was quoted saying: “We believe the best approach to take is to work with the [U.K.] national government on this and our Foreign Office.”
BAFOH, jointly formed in 2016 by Robert Healey, Becky James, and Alex Joseph, aims to raise awareness of the illegal removal of human organs in China. According to a statement issued by BAFOH, the Chinese regime “is systematically murdering prisoners of conscience for their organs–this includes mainly Falun Gong practitioners, but also Uyghurs, Tibetans, and house Christians.”
“We need to consider ethics and morals within our relationship with Guangzhou, the promise of economical gain cannot overshadow these values,” stated co-founder Joseph.
“The main concern is people are being harvested for organs for their beliefs,” said James from BAFOH. She expressed concern that prisoners and members of the Falun Gong spiritual meditation group are being harvested for their organs in state-run military hospitals.
James believes than over 700 hospitals across mainland China is involved in illegal organ transplants and Guangzhou has one of the largest hospitals to carry out the forced organ harvesting.
Guangzhou’s role in the Chinese Communist Party’s multi-million dollar live organ harvesting industry is well documented in the 2016 Report by David Matas, David Kilgour, and Ethan Gutmann, as well as in Matas and Kilgour’s book, Bloody Harvest and The Slaughter by Gutmann.
However, Chinese authorities insist that all organs used for transplants come from natural deaths. National Organ Donation and Transplantation committee chair and director, Huang Jiefu said that the organs come from some of the six million deaths each year in intensive care.
“Last year we had 15,000 organ transplantations performed,” said Huang. “If you have one donor from a 1,000 people willing to donate, then it is enough.”
Huang’s rationale is unrealistic in a country where its traditional culture believes that the human body is sacred. Upon death, the body should be buried intact, which explains why China has one of the lowest organ donor rates in the world.
Falun Gong is an ancient Chinese spiritual meditation practice based on truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. It has been unlawfully banned since 1999 due to its overwhelming popularity.
- BAFOH’s written statement
- Email contacts with BAFOH’s founding members