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Student group to protest alleged organ harvesting

Reacting to claims of human organ harvesting in China, a USF student club wants to raise awareness. In a study released in July, Davis Matas, a former member of the Parliament of Canada, and David Kilgour, a human rights lawyer, claim the government of the People’s Republic of China is involved in the systematic harvesting of organs from practitioners of a nonreligious method of meditation called Falun Gong.

This practice will be the focus of an on-campus photo exhibition Wednesday.

The photo exhibition is sponsored by the USF Falun Gong Student Club. It will be held outside of the Phyllis P. Marshall Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will feature a question-and-answer session.

According to the study, “The government of China and its agencies in numerous parts of the country, in particular hospitals but also detention centres and ‘people’s courts,’ since 1999 have put to death a large but unknown number of Falun Gong prisoners of conscience. Their vital organs, including hearts, kidneys, livers and corneas, were virtually simultaneously seized involuntarily for sale at high prices.”

Falun Gong was founded in 1992 by Li Hongzhi in northeastern China. In the 1980s, Hongzhi began practicing qigong, a centuries-old system of breathing exercises – occasionally referred to as “Chinese yoga” – that was thought to improve health and spiritual sensitivity, according to the study.

The ill treatment of Falun Gong practitioners in China is not limited to organ harvesting. According to an Amnesty International Urgent Action Release, “Tens of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have been arbitrarily detained in China since the spiritual movement was banned as a ‘threat to social and political stability’ in July 1999. Some have been charged with crimes and sentenced after unfair trials, while others have been sent to labor camps without trial. Many of them are reported to have been tortured or ill-treated in detention, and over 350 Falun Gong practitioners have reportedly died in custody since the organization was banned.”

To find the complete study go to