Practitioners of the Chinese spiritual discipline Falun Dafa were in Echuca-Moama on Monday seeking support to stop the harvesting of organs from prisoners in their homeland.
The group has been on a car tour of Victorian towns for about two months raising awareness of the issue and pushing for public support to force the Australian government to speak out on the matter.
Group spokesperson Trinity Cui said Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong) members were persecuted in China and often sent to prison.
Ms Cui said the prisoners’ organs, such as their kidneys or livers, were forcibly taken from them while they were still alive and used in transplant operations on unsuspecting Westerners.
‘‘People go to China because the waiting time for an organ transplant is short, maybe two weeks, but people don’t know the source of the organs,’’ she said.
Ms Cui said prisoners were forced to submit to blood tests to see if their organs would be a match for patients wanting a transplant.
She has called on people wanting an organ transplant to not go to China.
Ms Cui said the US and European parliaments have issued declarations expressing their opposition to organ harvesting and hoped the Australian government would follow suit.
‘‘I know Australia always stands up on human rights issues,’’ she said.
‘‘Maybe with the trade deal with China it is difficult for them to say something but we have our moral standards and we need to do something.’’
The car tour travelled from Echuca-Moama to Swan Hill and Mildura on the last leg of the campaign before returning to Melbourne.