Hospital officials in Northeast China have lashed out at rumours made by the banned Falun Gong that it had detained followers of the cult, harvested their organs and incinerated their bodies, saying "the accusations are sheer lies."
Officials of the Liaoning Thrombosis Treatment Centre of Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine in Shenyang, in Liaoning Province, said yesterday their hospital lacks the required facilities to conduct organ transplants and has no basement to house the Falun Gong practitioners.
"These accusations are fabricated," said Zhang Yuqin, the hospital's deputy director, in a meeting with reporters organized by the State Council Information Office in Beijing.
Falun Gong followers overseas have spread the rumour through its media the Epoch Times and Minghui website since March 8, saying that more than 6,000 Falun Gong practitioners were imprisoned at the so-called concentration camp in Sujiatun District of the city, and many of them were cremated and their organs harvested.
Later, they changed their wording by saying the "concentration camp" was established in a small hospital, that is, the hospital Zhang works at.
Zhang said the hospital, with only 300 beds, does not have enough space for 6,000 people, nor does it have a "basement" or " incinerator."
"Their lies about a concentration camp are sheer fabrication, and the organ harvesting rumour is utter nonsense," she added.
Zhang has been working for the hospital since 1990. She said the hospital specialized in thrombus diseases, with treatments that combined Western medicine with the use of traditional Chinese herbs.
The hospital annually treats nearly 300,000 patients from China and abroad. A hospital in Seoul has established friendly ties and exchanged experts with the Sujiatun hospital since 1997, according to Zhang.
The Chinese Government banned the Falun Gong as a cult in July 1999 because of illegal acts undertaken by the cult.
The cult has spread false accusations in the public arena and used international IP calls and mobile phone messages to spread their doctrines.
A US consular official in Shenyang visited the hospital on March 22, claiming to be interested in traditional Chinese treatments for thrombosis, and was given a full tour of the facility, said Zhang Xu, another hospital official.
Media such as Japan's NHK, Hong Kong's Phoenix TV and Takung Pao newspaper have visited the hospital to look at the facilities, said the official.
"Seeing is believing. We welcome national and international media to our hospital," he said.
Zheng Bin, deputy head of Sujiatun District where the hospital is located, denounced the rumour as "groundless" at the news conference.
Zheng said the hospital had some Falun Gong followers as patients, but none were in detention.
(China Daily 04/13/2006 page2)