ITALY: China slams Italian media – OPEN LETTER

China slams Italian media over
article denouncing organ harvesting

On August 24, the Italian weekly magazine Panorama published an article denouncing the barbaric practice of organ harvesting that China performs at an industrial pace. On August 28, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in Italy published a reply on its own web site.

The Embassy accused Panorama of defamation and plagiarism, expressing its “severe condemnation.” It stated that China is based on the rule of law, and that Chinese laws prohibit selling human organs and performing illegal transplants, adding that all surgical operations of that kind are based on voluntary donations of organs. So, the Embassy continued, forcible human harvesting is only a “rumor” that has been “fabricated ad hoc by the heretic cult ‘Falun Gong’ and others anti-Chinese forces” to “create Sinophobia and deceive the international community.” The Embassy added that, “As everyone knows, ‘Falun Gong’ is anti-human anti-social cult, which destroyed countless families and a long time ago was banned by the Chinese government, according to its laws.”

FOREF Europe has just protested the Chinese Embassy’s article with the following


Minister-Counsellor Ms. Yu Rong

Ambasciata della Repubblica Popolare Cinese in Italia

Via Bruxelles, 56 – 00198 Roma, Italia

 Vienna, 10th September 2022

Dear Madam Minister-Counsellor,

I am writing to draw your attention to a document published on the website of the Chinese Embassy in Rome containing language that is at variance with norms of diplomacy and your president’s professed ideal of a “community of common destiny.”

The document, published on 28 August 2022, responds to an article published in the Italian magazine Panorama on 24 August.  That article raised concerns about organ harvesting in China.  The concerns raised were consistent with those voiced in numerous independent, scientific reports and reports by governments and international bodies over past decades.

Rather than any effort to rationally refute information in the Panorama article, the Embassy’s response was threatening, defamatory and insulting, and accused the author of plagiarism.  Evidence of organ harvesting accumulated from multiple research efforts, and presented in peer-reviewed scientific publications, was simply dismissed as a program to “create Sinophobia and deceive the international community.” The document asserted, without evidence, that a highly regarded British barrister, Sir Geoffrey Nice, who has contributed to objective documentary evidence and international advocacy vis a vis Chinese authorities, was a “notorious expert in abuses of legal cases.”

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Madam Minister-Counsellor, the defensive and aggressive tone and content of your Embassy’s response do nothing to assuage concerns about organ harvesting in China, and indeed intensify those concerns.  Your government often calls for “dialogue” in the international community.  I respectfully remind you that rational dialogue requires civility and respect for the dignity of interlocutors if it is to contribute to mutual respect, and agreement on facts.

Thank you for your attention to these matters.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Aaron Rhodes
President of the Forum for Religious Freedom-Europe
Senior Fellow, Common Sense Society


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