By Eva Fu
A British lawmaker has nominated Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting for the Nobel Peace Prize, citing the medical ethics group’s role in spotlighting the “horrors of forced organ harvesting” in communist China.
The D.C.-based nonprofit, known as DAFOH for short, comprises medical doctors worldwide and has spent around 17 years raising awareness over the industrial-scale abuse.
Besides issuing publications examining evidence, the group has regularly hosted webinars and run a petition drive calling for the United Nations to act, which has garnered millions of signatures globally over a roughly six-year period.
In January, DAFOH called for the United Nations to establish an international criminal tribunal for the Chinese regime’s forced organ harvesting, with support from over 100 lawmakers, academics, and civil groups.
The nominator, Lord Philip Hunt of King’s Heath, commended the group for its “tremendous job” in making the case for “why we need to take action.”
“These acts are horrifying, I think they are against fundamental human rights,” he told The Epoch Times.
The state-sanctioned forced organ harvesting crimes in China puts a vast population at risk. Detained practitioners of Falun Gong, which has an estimated following of up to 100 million, could die of having their organs taken forcibly from them, as well as Uyghurs, Tibetans, and House Christians. Attracted by the extremely short waiting times in Chinese hospitals, international tourists may opt to go to China for organ transplant surgery, thus becoming unwitting accomplices in the crime.
The issue has been generating growing concerns internationally since the London-based “China Tribunal” confirmed after a year-long investigation that the egregious act has indeed been happening in China and on “a significant scale.”
House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), at the International Religious Freedom Summit, called out the issue and placed the Chinese Communist Party as among “some of the most repressive in the world” for its human rights abuses. The previous year, a bill aiming to bring criminal consequences passed Congress with overwhelming support, and Texas enacted a state law that bans insurers from supporting organ transplant tourism to China. In 2022, the European Parliament adopted a resolution condemning the “criminal, inhumane, and unethical practice.”
But Mr. Hunt, whose advocacy efforts pushed through a UK law to bar his countrymen from partaking in the scheme, has been disappointed by the lack of tangible responses so far from international bodies such as the United Nations.
During the recent U.N. review of China’s human rights record, China’s critics had to squeeze their remarks into a mere 45-second sprint. The issue of forced organ harvesting didn’t come up.
Mr. Hunt first learned of the issue around five years ago from human rights advocates while campaigning for a bill to encourage organ donations in his country. Horrified to learn what’s been happening in China, he pledged to do all he can to help end the abuse.
“Forced organ harvesting is a terrible, terrible crime,” he said, noting the killings behind the scenes to enable the industry’s growth.
Prisoners of conscience, Falun Gong practitioners, and Uyghurs in northwestern Xinjiang region—these people “deserve much, much better in their life than the awful situation that they found themselves in,” he said.
“We must do better, we must protest, we must campaign, and eventually we will be successful in eradicating this terrible practice,” he said. And in it, he added, organizations such as DAFOH play “an incredibly important part.”
“I pay tribute to them for everything they’ve done and all the support that they’ve given me,” Mr. Hunt said.
“There’s a long way to go,” but with collective efforts from DAFOH and like-minded groups, he said, “we can begin to make a difference.”