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‘Must raise voice against forced organ harvesting’

Rasika Bhale MUMBAI
NOVEMBER 04, 2019 01:35 IST
UPDATED: NOVEMBER 04, 2019 01:35 IST

Dr. Torsten Trey at the Mother Teresa Memorial Awards for Social Justice in Mumbai on Sunday.  

Winner of social justice award asks world to take a stand

An organisation that has been fearlessly highlighting the forced organ harvesting in China has been conferred with this year’s Mother Teresa Memorial Awards for Social Justice. The award was presented to Dr. Torsten Trey, founder, Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH), in Mumbai on Sunday.

Other winners of the award included Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi, founder of the Bachpan Bachao Andolan; Hasina Khabhih, founder of a non-profit organisation called Impulse; and Rob Williams, CEO of an NGO called War Child, U.K.

DAFOH has been working to create awareness on organ trafficking, primarily about mass killings for organ harvesting. Founded in 2006, DAFOH is a network of independent doctors across the globe. It has been raising its voice against the brutal practice of forced organ harvesting in China, which targets a religious minority called Falun Gong. The community follows the teachings of Master Li Hongzhi, who emphasised on meditation and self-cultivation for spiritual perfection.

‘Tortured minority’

“The Chinese government has been involved in mass persecution of the members of Falun Gong for over two decades. It has deemed them as a superstitious foreign-driven dangerous group of people and sent them to labour camps where they are starved, tortured, brainwashed and made targets of organ harvesting,” Dr. Trey told The Hindu.

Speaking about the origin of DAFOH, he said, “It was in 2006 that I came across the organ trafficking in the Falun Gong community. It was horrible. I was shaken and felt the need to do something. It was then that I came up with DAFOH. I received tremendous support from the medical community.”

DAFOH has a strong network of doctors in Taiwan from where it garners statistical information on forced organ harvesting in China. “The government says that around 10,000-15,000 organ transplants occur every year. However, according to a team of on-field researchers, the number is as high as 60,000. Meanwhile, the estimate for legal organ donations in the country is as less as 130 in six years,” he said.

‘Raise a voice’

Dr. Trey believes that people across the world should raise a voice against this. “It should concern you as a citizen of the world. If we just sit and watch it happen, saying it’s not my country, we are all being complicit in the crime. We need a shift in our thinking. We should discuss it and create awareness to bring about a change.”

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From diseased to transgenders there are several people with interest in organs. In the midst of a pandemic where many people’s loved one have died in the hospital alone, gives organ harvesting, theft and over all black market a close look. How can minority communities be protected? How does organ harvesting happen right here in the United States?

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