A film about torture, rape, organ harvesting and more

The search for inspiration for a human rights song becomes a dark quest for truth on China’s agenda for the world.

by Ruth Ingram

Three sisters’ accounts of their persecution at the hands of the CCP as Falun Gong practitioners set James White on a quest to uncover the truth about the CCP’s long arm around the world.

A fairly innocent quest for inspiration for a new song to protest the Beijing Olympics led singer-songwriter James H. White into a dark underworld of torture, abuse and what he started to achieve was one of the greatest cover-ups in modern history.

“Evil” was the only word he could find to describe what he had found.

Canaries in a cold war,“The fruit of its year-long odyssey through Beijing’s sordid catalog of human rights violations against its own people is a testament to the courage of the victims, but also a warning to the international community of what the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is capable of.

What started as material for a song became a heartbreaking documentary across two continents digging deep into the workings of the CCP. White discovered how his determination to stifle any trace of opposition to his ideology created a monster, willing to do anything to serve his ends, including murder, torture and, convincingly, organ harvesting.

More sinister, White’s investigation into the machinations of the CCP has made him realize that his ambitions are not limited to his own borders. Beijing’s eyes are on the world.

James H White, whose gripping documentary Canaries in a Cold War presents the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners as a wake-up call to the world.
James H White, whose gripping documentary “Canaries in a Cold War” presents the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners as a wake-up call to the world.

White’s journey began with the story of three sister Falun Gong practitioners in Washington DC, introduced to her by a friend. They all made it out of China alive, but not without suffering untold torture and years of campaigning from the first sister to escape, to retrieve her sisters who had only managed to reach Thailand before departing. to be imprisoned.

We heard how until 1999, the Falun Gong movement, which offered a practice of exercise and self-cultivation based on qigong, was celebrated by the CCP for its health benefits. His growth to 100 million followers, however, set off alarm bells in the halls of power, and President Jiang Zemin ordered a merciless crackdown. The CCP and its leader are above the law, former Chinese political prisoner and journalist Peter Humphrey commented in an interview with White, explaining that Jiang’s congratulations would have gradually increased as his strike campaign was successful.

The three sisters, now in safe exile with no access to lawyers or a trial, had been hung up by their arms with their feet barely touching the ground and laid on a ‘death bed’, after which walking is unbearable . Other inmates were shocked with electric batons, force-fed with tubes, and forced to sit on a low, hard stool continuously for days. Other women were placed in a men’s prison to be gang-raped.

A reconstruction of a torture inflicted on the three sisters, interviewed by James White for his documentary.
A reconstruction of a torture inflicted on the three sisters, interviewed by James White for his documentary.

A London tribunal set up in 2018-2019 to hear evidence of forced organ harvesting in China, has heard testimonies from survivors, also corroborated by two of the three sisters, of systematic medical checks, too rigorous for anything other than assess the suitability of prisoner organs for transplant.

Hamid Sabi, lawyer for the Tribunal, interviewed for “Canaries”, expressed his “sadness” that “very educated and competent doctors” were accomplices. “And they had to know what they were doing,” he said.

“At one time, there were more than 2 million Falun Gong practitioners in the camps, and next to each camp was a hospital,” he said, explaining that every witness without exception was made draw substantial amounts of blood every three months. “When a tourist came to pick up an organ, they matched their request with the database, took the prisoner, and transplanted the organ into the recipient,” he said.

Denying any complicity in silencing the mountain of evidence against China, the British Foreign Office has dismissed accusations that it ordered the withdrawal of a Newsnight account of the scandal on the day of the judgment of the Tribunal, according to Sir Geoffrey Nice, head of training. “It was shocking that the Foreign Office took this step,” he said.

But the UK Foreign Office is small fry compared to the extent of China’s reach beyond its borders, found White, whose interviews have exposed billions of dollars of collusion with US media, vested interests with high-stakes corporations in cahoots with the CCP, and international collaboration. .

Benedict Rogers, co-director of Hong Kong Watch, speaking to James White about the erosion of democracy on the island.
Benedict Rogers, co-director of Hong Kong Watch, speaking to James White about the erosion of democracy on the island.

Benedict Rogers of Hong Kong Watch observed the CCP’s willingness to tear up treaties and ruthlessly trample on the human rights it had signed, as it dismantled democracy in Hong Kong. “It’s very concerning for the free world,” Rogers said. “If we allow them to do this in Hong Kong, I don’t think they will stop there,” he said, a sentiment echoed by the three sisters. “People don’t understand that today the CCP is carrying out our organ harvesting from Falun Gong. Maybe in the future they will do it all over the world,” Chunling said.

Ethan Gutmann, who presented his research on organ harvesting in court in London, interviewed hundreds of victims for his research. He sees the elaborate tactics on Falun Gong as a prelude to what is being inflicted on other groups of people. After that they went to Tibet and now they are unleashing on Uyghurs,” he said. “It’s not just a group of people.”

Ethan Gutmann, researcher on organ harvesting in China, in conversation with James White for his documentary.
Ethan Gutmann, researcher on organ harvesting in China, in conversation with James White for his documentary.

David Matas, whose pioneering work on the organ harvesting scandal was also presented to the Tribunal, agreed that the abuse has spread to Uyghurs. “And the CCP would be more than happy to see it spread elsewhere,” he said, citing the COVID-19 debacle which he sees as a metaphor for the Party’s future plans for humanity, largely based on cover-ups and lies.

Marco Respinti, director in charge of bitter winter, feared that under the CCP’s one-party system, not only minority groups, but any religious group would be seen as an ideological competitor. “All religions have been persecuted in China since 1949,” he said. “They quickly become the enemy and must be eradicated as soon as possible.”

Marco Respinti is also featured in the film.
Marco Respinti is also featured in the film.

During his investigations, White was shocked to realize that the CCP, instead of marching toward democracy, is now deeply entrenched and passing its own dogma through our societies. “Embolded by Western capital and innovation, it is slowly turning our own system against us,” he said, realizing that any attempt to reform the CCP backfires. “It just ends up with the CCP reforming us.”

With impunity, the CCP’s long arm reaches far beyond its borders, determined to contain dissent and criticism. From sanctions to Tribunal members, politicians and even nations who dare to flex their muscles, to hapless exiles trying to rebuild their lives who are assaulted, kidnapped, hunted down and even murdered, Freedom House has detailed 600 cases, estimated at the forefront of the iceberg, members of the diaspora who, with their loved ones back home, are never left in peace. “They constantly feel the presence,” reported Sarah Cook, Freedom House research director.

Under the weight of these revelations, John White’s Olympic song had disappeared. Knowing that the dream of a centralized utopia is alive and well under the CCP, he hopes that, to some extent, his film could alert the world to what is happening right under their noses.

“We haven’t listened until now despite 20 years of warnings,” he concludes. “Now the threat is here, at our doorstep, knocking.”

“Freedom is not free. It never was,” he said, adding his hope that “no matter how much the CCP looms over our country, with faith and resilience, there is a way forward.”

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