Originally published in New York Times by Didi Kirsten Tatlow, 24 August 2016 —
HONG KONG, China — Eyes flashing, lips curled in operatic scorn, a middle-aged woman holding a placard reading “Evil Cult Falun Gong!” ordered me off the sidewalk outside Hong Kong’s convention center, where organ transplant specialists from around the world were gathered.
“Go away!” she shouted. “You’re no good!”
My crime? After interviewing her as she stood with a group called the Anti-Cult Association, she had spotted me interviewing a woman at a competing demonstration of practitioners of Falun Gong, a meditation and exercise-based spiritual practice that the Chinese government outlawed as a cult in 1999, jailing many practitioners. The Anti-Cult Association says it is a civil society organization, but its aims closely reflect the Chinese government’s.
Falun Gong adherents say that after the movement was banned, many were blood-typed in detention, and thousands became a secret source of organs for human transplants. The Chinese government and the Anti-Cult Association, which, according to its website, promotes “Confucian thinking and science,” deny this…read more here.