Thousands of Falun Gong practitioners are said to die each year in China. Evidence reportedly indicates these prisoners are also victims of having their organs harvested by force. Calls for action are being voiced from various corners of the world. Continue reading
By ETHAN GUTMANN-
I have taken my first steps into “Body Worlds,” an exhibition at Vienna’s Museum of Natural History, and it has sparked a memory. The room where I am standing—dark, somber, strangely hushed—exhibits fetuses at various stages of development, placed on blocks that evoke a pagan circle of standing stones. The show’s mastermind, German doctor Gunther von Hagens, has suctioned all the liquid and fat from the small bodies and filled the soft tissues with hard plastic through his ingenious process of “plastination.” Usually, if you see a fetus in a museum, it is floating in a jar of liquid and is red or yellow and translucent. These bodies seem to be flat gray, and that is what ignites the flashback, a surreal freeze-frame of my son, born a month prematurely by C-section: As the medical staff pulled him out of my wife’s womb, just for a second, his flesh looked gray. Continue reading
By Martina Keller, Die ZEIT -
In China, body organs are taken from executed prisoners, and for a fee, are then implanted in patients from the West. Continue reading
[Leonidas Donskis, EP Human Rights Subcommittee Member]:
“People who are behind this are criminals. This is a crime against humanity.”
At this hearing (Religious Persecution by China: A Horror Story)—held at the European Parliament in Brussels on January 29—doctors, politicians and human rights defenders discussed how prisoners of conscience in China are persecuted, tortured, and in some cases, killed for their organs. Continue reading
Former police chief and deputy mayor of Chongqing Wang Lijun made a surprising and hasty visit to the U.S. consulate in Chengdu in February, making international headlines. What Wang said to U.S. consulate officials, however, remained mostly confidential.
Sources told Bill Gertz, a national security reporter, that Wang handed U.S. officials key information about Bo Xilai and Zhou Yongkang’s planned coup against Xi Jinping, the heir apparent of the Chinese Communist Party. It was also rumored that Wang attempted to defect and sought protection from U.S. officials.
A well-placed source has now told The Epoch Times that Wang gave U.S. officials confidential documents containing critical information about top communist officials’ involvement in the persecution of Falun Gong. The source said Wang provided details about organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners in China’s network of military hospitals, prisons, mental hospitals, and labor camps. Continue reading
(Taipei Times)- Despite economic growth, the condition of human rights in China is still very bad — especially when it comes to the persecution of religious and minority groups by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) — participants at a conference on human rights in China said yesterday, calling on Taiwanese to pay more attention to human rights issues in China.
“Taiwanese are not paying enough attention to issues related to human rights and democracy in China, and I think the first thing we can do to help China democratize is show more concern,” said Maysing Yang (楊黃美幸), deputy executive director of Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, a sponsor of the conference organized by the Association for Free Communication. Continue reading
The two authors of the book Bloody Harvest, who were also 2010 Nobel Peace Prize nominees, attended the launch for the Chinese translation of Bloody Harvest, held at the Legislative Yuan (the national legislature) in Taiwan on June 28.
Each of the two authors, David Kilgour, who was the former Canadian Secretary of State (Asia-Pacific), and David Matas, the award-winning international human rights lawyer, spoke.
David Kilgour said that since 2006 he and David Matas had traveled to four continents and more than 40 countries, breaking through various obstacles to collect evidence, and arrived at the conclusion that large-scale live organ harvesting from Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa) practitioners did happen and continues even today. Continue reading
By Hon. David Kilgour, J.D.-
Remarks presented during the Conference of the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) on Sept. 30, 2010 at the Palais des Nations, United Nations Complex in Geneva.
Falun Gong (or Falun Dafa) is a spiritual discipline which seeks to improve body, character and ethics. It contains features of traditional systems, like Buddhism and Daoism (Taoism), combined with a set of gentle exercises. Its core principles are “truth, compassion and forbearance”, which echo those of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and other faiths. It today has practitioners in numerous countries.
In China, where it first became public in 1992, Falun Gong grew within seven years to 70-100 million practitioners by the government’s own estimate. Some Communist party leaders in early 1999 reacted negatively at seeing citizens from all walks of life, including party members, engaging publicly in a form of exercise, which had a belief system behind it different from Marxism-Leninism. The exercises, moreover, could be done anywhere at any time, singly or in groups, indoors or outdoors. The amorphous nature meant it was impossible for the party-state to control it.
The first vilification of Falun Gong by Party elements seeking to ban it in 1999 led to protests by practitioners, mobilized through cell phones and Internet coordination. A large protest at party headquarters in Beijing enraged then party-state leader Jiang Zemin. For him and others, banning and persecuting Falun Gong became official violence easier to get away with than doing the same to other spiritual communities because Falun Gong in China often lack Western connections. The incitement to hatred against them across China in Party media since mid-1999 has had many tragic consequences, most notably the widespread commercial trafficking in their vital organs. Continue reading
MONTREAL – March 8, 2010 – David Matas, a member of Rights & Democracy‘s Board of Directors, is on the longlist for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize for his work investigating the alleged killings of Falun Gong followers for their organs in China.
Mr. Matas was nominated along with former Member of Parliament David Kilgour by federal MP Boris Wrzesneskyi and Balfour Hakak, Chair of the Hebrew Writers Association. Mr. Matas and Mr. Kilgour have issued three reports together on the alleged harvesting of organs from imprisoned Falun Gong practitioners. Their latest report, « Bloody Harvest : The Killing of Falun Gong for their organs,» is available online at http://organharvestinvestigation.net/ .
“David Matas’ work reminds us that the road to peace and human rights for all is one that is pitted with incredible cruelty and injustice,” said Aurel Braun, Chair of Rights & Democracy’s Board of Directors. “We are indeed fortunate to have his talents and experience at the service of the Board. “
Each year, around 200 candidates are submitted to the Norwegian Nobel Committee by individuals qualified to nominate, including members of government, past Laureates and university professors in related fields. The names are normally kept secret for 50 years. A shortlist will be determined over the course of March and the winner will be announced in October. The official presentation of the prize takes place on December 10, International Human Rights Day, in Oslo, Norway.
Rights & Democracy also welcomes the nomination of Chinese human rights defender, Liu Xiaobo, author of the call for democratic reforms in China known as Charter 08. Mr. Xiaobo, who was condemned last December to 11 years in prison on charges of subversion, was nominated by 90 Parliamentarians from the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The nomination is further supported by two former Peace Prize laureates, the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu, as well as former Czech President, Vaclav Havel, and Nobel Prize for Literature laureate, Herta Muller.
- from Rights & Democracy, Canada
Editorial, The Winnipeg Free Press, Canada, Feb. 20, 2010-
Many Winnipeggers could not pick David Matas out of a crowd. His relative public obscurity at home, however, belies the man’s international profile for work that has garnered him a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize.
The breadth of Mr. Matas’s human rights work has taken him far afield — into the world of international courts, United Nations missions and the prosecution of Nazi war criminals — and into the homes of children plugged into virtual relationships where Internet predators lurk. A founding member of Beyond Borders, he helped fight for the tougher child exploitation laws in Canada.
Much of his work has been championing the rights of immigrants and refugees, battling the abuses and legal chasms that catch up the innocent and controversial alike. One client, Vancouverite Lai Changxing, has been called China’s most wanted man. The reputed billionaire is accused by the Communist government of building his fortune on smuggling and on bribing officials. Lai is a lightning rod for those who see Canada’s lax immigration law providing safe haven for criminals. Undaunted, Mr. Matas argues Lai could not possibly get a fair trial in a country where officials have publicly stated he deserves the penalty of multiple deaths.
It is Mr. Matas’s work with former MP David Kilgour on the persecution of the Falun Gong adherents in China that brings him now to the notice of Norway’s Nobel Committee. They have been co-nominated for their 2006 independent investigation of allegations the Chinese state’s abuses, imprisonment and torturing of adherents had extended to organ harvesting — resulting in the prisoners’ deaths — to serve transplantation tourists.
The Nobel Peace Prize is a bit battered of late. Never granted to Mahatma Ghandi, the world’s most famous peace activist, it was the source of wide-spread derision in December when it was bestowed on Barack Obama. The U.S. president, barely minted, was honoured for strengthening international diplomacy and for his vision of a world without nuclear weapons. Even Mr. Obama was surprised.
Mr. Matas faces long odds in getting to the podium at the end of the year. His nomination, however, returns a small measure of gratitude to a humble and deserving man. It may help raise the esteem of the Norwegian prize a notch.
Hon. David Kilgour, J.D., German-American Institute, Heidelberg, Germany, 11 January 2010 – (cont’d)
Sourcing of organs from prisoners is done without their consent. Deputy Health Minister Huang Jiefu in Guangzhou in November 2006 said in a speech, “too often organs come from non consenting parties”. At the time of the announcement of an organ donor pilot project, Huang indicated that executed prisoners “are definitely not a proper source for organ transplants”. This principle, that prisoners are not an acceptable source for organs, is followed by the Transplantation Society and the World Medical Association. So what is the rule of law world going to do about the party-state’s abuse of global transplant ethics? Our report and book have a long list of recommendations, but, given the shortness of time, I’ll mention here only two.
One is extraterritorial legislation. The 2007 policy giving priority to Chinese patients has cut down on transplant tourism to China, but such legislation would be a useful statement of universal principle. The sorts of transplants in which the Chinese medical system engages are illegal everywhere else in the world. But it is not illegal for a foreigner from any country to go to China, obtain a transplant which would be illegal at home, and then return home. Foreign transplant legislation everywhere is territorial; it has no extraterritorial reach. Many other laws are global in their sweep. For instance, child sex tourists can be prosecuted not just in the country where they abuse children, but often at home as well. This sort of legislative sanction does not exist for transplant tourists who pay for organ transplants without bothering to determine whether the organ donor has consented.
A second recommendation is that any person known to be involved in trafficking in the organs of prisoners in China should be barred entry by all foreign countries. (to be cont’d)
-From David Kilgour website: http://www.david-kilgour.com/
By Erich Bachmann, Epoch Times Staff, Updated Jan. 20, 2010 -
BERN, Switzerland—“There is an all too prevalent sense that human rights violations [in China] are so massive and so far away that nothing can be done about them,” said David Matas, accepting the 2009 Human Rights Prize from the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) in Switzerland over the weekend.
David Matas and David Kilgour were co-recipients of the prize for their “unceasing work” on investigating and raising awareness of state-sponsored organ trafficking in China, particularly from imprisoned practitioners of the Falun Gong meditation practice.
Since 2006, the two Canadian lawyers have been traveling the world meeting with government officials, medical professionals, and human rights groups about the “dismaying” results of their investigative research. Research following 52 lines of evidence led them to the conclusion that since 2000, the Chinese regime has been using healthy Falun Gong prisoners of conscience as living organ banks—many recipients being foreigners buying organs in China.
Kilgour said only Falun Gong practitioners in labor camps and prisons are systematically blood-tested and physically examined.
“This testing cannot be motivated by concerns over the health of practitioners because they are also systematically tortured,” he said……. (more details from The Epochtimes)
Epoch Times Staff, Dec 14, 2009 -
An eyewitness has recounted in vivid detail the story of a woman in China—a high school teacher in her 30s—who was detained, tortured, raped, and finally operated on to extract her organs while she was still alive.
“I have witnessed all these with my own eyes, but I regret that I didn’t take any photos,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
It is the first time investigators have spoken to an eyewitness in a case of harvesting organs from a living Falun Gong practitioner.
A 30-minute interview, in two separate conversations, was carried out by an investigator from the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG), and a recording is available on its Web site.
The events took place in 2002, and investigators located the policeman only this month.
According to the English transcript, the witness worked for the public security system of Liaoning Province in 2002 and said he himself had participated in torturing and interrogating Falun Gong practitioners “many times.”
On April 9, 2002, two military surgeons came to the makeshift “black jail,” a small hotel rented as a “training center,” according to the witness. One of the military surgeons was from the General Hospital of Shenyang Military Region of People’s Liberation Army (PLA), and the other one was a graduate of the Second Military Medical University, he said. They took the woman to a hospital.
“At that time, we had been interrogating and severely torturing her for about a week,” he said. “She already had countless wounds on her body. Also, [we] used electrical batons to beat her. She had already become delirious.”
“Prior to this, she suffered even greater humiliation,” he said. “Many of our policemen were perverted. They were using pincers and other equipments that I don’t know from where they got them, to molest her. I have witnessed all these with my own eyes. … She had some good looks, relatively beautiful, (so the policemen) were raping her. … This was far too common.”
The policeman said he was on armed guard duty in the room while he watched the surgeons cut the woman’s chest open while she was still alive. No anesthetics were used, he said.
“They cut her chest with a knife,” he said. “She shouted ‘Ah’ loudly, saying ‘Falun Dafa is great.’”
“She said, ‘You killed me, one individual.’ [I think] it roughly meant, ‘You killed one individual like me. Can you kill several hundred million of us, people who are being persecuted by you for our true beliefs?’
“At that moment, that doctor, that military surgeon, hesitated. Then he looked at me, then at our [policemen’s] superior. Then our superior nodded, and he continued to do the veins. … [Her] heart was carved out first, next were the kidneys. When her cardiac veins were cut by the scissors, she started twitching. It was extremely horrible. I can imitate her voice for you, although I couldn’t imitate it well. It sounded like something was being ripped apart, and then she continued ‘Ah.’ After that, she always had her mouth wide open, with both her eyes open wide. Ah … I don’t want to continue.”
The organ harvesting took place in an operating room on the 15th floor of the General Hospital of Shenyang Military Region, the witness said. It began at 5 p.m. and lasted 3 hours…….(more details from The Epochtimes)
By Hon. David Kilgour, J.D., Subcommittee on Human Rights, European Parliament- Brussels, Via MWC News, Dec. 2, 2009 - (cont’d)
Our conclusion is that many of the disappeared were killed for their organs, which were sold to transplant tourists. It would take too much time to set out how we came to that conclusion. We invite you to read our report, which is on the internet (accessible at http://www.david-kilgour.com), or our book. Briefly, three of the dozens of evidentiary trails we followed which led to our conclusion are these:
1) Only Falun Gong practitioners in work camps and prisons are systematically blood tested and physically examined. This testing cannot be motivated by concerns over the health of practitioners, because they are also systematically tortured. Testing is necessary for organ transplants because of the need for blood type compatibility between the organ source and the recipient. Crystal Chen, for example, during three years in a camp was medically tested several times, including two blood tests.
2) Traditional sources of transplants-prisoners sentenced to death and then executed, voluntary donors, the brain dead/cardiac alive-come nowhere near to explaining the total number of transplants in China. There is no organized system of organ donations. There is a cultural aversion to organ donation. There is no national organ matching or distribution system in China.
The only significant source in China of organs for transplants before the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners began was prisoners sentenced to death and then executed. The volume of organ transplants in China went up dramatically shortly after the banning of the practice of Falun Gong. Yet, the numbers of those sentenced to death and then executed did not increase.
We estimate that 41,500 organs transplanted over the period of persecution up to 2005 came from Falun Gong practitioners. How we reached this conclusion is explained on page 96 of our book.
3) We had callers phoning hospitals throughout China posing as family members of persons who needed organ transplants. In a wide variety of locations, those who were called asserted that Falun Gong practitioners (known to be healthy because of their exercise regime) were the source of the organs.
Since our report came out, laws and practices in China have changed. A law on transplants in May 2007 required that transplants be performed only in registered hospitals. The Ministry of Health announced that from June 26, 2007 Chinese patients would be given priority access to organ transplants over foreigners. The announcement also banned all medical institutions from transplanting organs into foreign transplant tourists. The government announced in August 2009 that it was launching an organ donation system as a pilot project.
With these changes, however, the crime against humanity continues. The recipients have changed from foreign to local, but the sources remain substantially the same. The government denies that organs for transplants are being sourced from prisoners who are Falun Gong practitioners. Yet, it accepts that organs for transplants are being sourced from prisoners. The only debate we have with the Government is which group of prisoners is the source of organs.
“Non consenting parties”
Sourcing of organs from prisoners is done without consent. Deputy Health Minister Huang Joyful at a conference of surgeons in Guangzhou in November 2006 said in a speech, “too often organs come from non consenting parties”. The government of China accepts that sourcing of organs from prisoners is wrong. Huang at the time of the announcement of an organ donor pilot project stated that executed prisoners “are definitely not a proper source for organ transplants”. This principle, that prisoners are not an acceptable source for organs, is followed by the Transplantation Society and the World Medical Association.
So what is the rule of law world going to do about the Chinese party-state’s abuse of global transplant ethics? Our report and book have a long list of recommendations. Given the shortness of time, I mention here only two.
One possibility is extraterritorial legislation. The 2007 policy giving priority to Chinese patients has cut down on transplant tourism to China, but such legislation would be a useful statement of universal principle. The sorts of transplants in which the Chinese medical system engages are illegal everywhere else in the world. But it is not illegal for a foreigner from any country to go to China, obtain a transplant which would be illegal at home, and then return home. Foreign transplant legislation everywhere is territorial; it has no extraterritorial reach. Many other laws are global in their sweep. For instance, child sex tourists can be prosecuted not just in the country where they abuse children, but often at home as well. This sort of legislation does not exist for transplant tourists who pay for organ transplants without bothering to determine whether the organ donor has consented.
A second recommendation is that any person known to be involved in trafficking in the organs of prisoners in China should be barred entry by all foreign countries.
The attempted crushing of Falun Gong, Buddhist, Christian, Muslim and other independent faith groups, human rights lawyers and other civil society and democracy communities in recent years indicates that China’s party-state must still be engaged with great caution despite the severe ongoing world economic problems. If it stops the systematic and gross abuses of human rights and takes major steps to indicate that it wishes to treat its trade partners in a mutually-beneficial way, the new century will bring harmony for China, its trading partners and neighbours. Its people have the numbers, perseverance, self-discipline, intelligence and other qualities to help make this new century better and more peaceful for the entire human family. (END)
By Hon. David Kilgour, J.D., Subcommittee on Human Rights, European Parliament- Brussels, Via MWC News, Dec. 2, 2009 -
Thank you for the opportunity to speak about organ pillaging from Falun Gong practitioners in China as a new crime against humanity.
The earlier witness, Gao Wenqian from Human Rights In China (HRIC) in New York, told us in part that the overall human rights situation in China today is worsening. The experiences of another Gao (no relative), Gao Zhisheng, illustrates this phenomenon well.
In 2004, Gao Zhisheng, then one of China’s top lawyers and since nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, defended a Falun Gong practitioner who had been sent to a labour camp without any form of hearing. Gao learned that the court refused to hear the case because of “orders from above”, so he courageously wrote to the National People’s Congress and later sent three letters to the top leadership in Beijing. One of them referred to the “indescribable violence done to kind (Falun Gong) practitioners”.
Gao’s permit to practise law was subsequently removed and his office was closed by the government. His wife and daughter were harassed by police. He was imprisoned and tortured during a horrific five-week period and is now being “held incommunicado at an unknown location”, according to Amnesty International.
Forced Labour Camps
In doing our final report on organ pillaging from Falun Gong, David Matas and I visited about a dozen countries to interview practitioners sent to forced labour camps since 1999, who managed later to leave the camps and the country itself. They told us of working in appalling conditions for up to sixteen hours daily with no pay, little food, being cramped together on the floor for sleeping, and being tortured. They made export products, ranging from garments to chopsticks to Christmas decorations at times as subcontractors to multinational companies.
The camps, which were created in the Mao era and modeled closely on those in Stalin’s Russia and Hitler’s Third Reich, allow the party to send anyone to them for up to four years with neither any form of hearing nor appeal. One estimate of the number of the camps across China as of 2005 was 340, having a capacity of about 300,000 inmates. In 2007, a US government report estimated that at least half of the inmates in the camps were Falun Gong. It is the combination of totalitarian governance and ‘anything is permitted’ economics that allows such inhuman practices to persist.
Take Falun Gong practitioner Crystal Chen, a former assistant to the president of a leading import export corporation in Guangzhou and an amateur actor, for example, who spent three years in a camp. She experienced beatings, being shackled and stretched, and prolonged sleep deprivation. In a detention centre, she was thrown on the floor of her cell and four large men held her down. A water bottle was cut in half to be used as a funnel. A one-pound bag of salt was poured inside the bottle, a small amount of water added. Guards shoved the opening of the bottle against Chen’s teeth and tried to pry her mouth open with a dirty toothbrush.
She resisted, knowing the salt could kill her. Chen: “The salt went everywhere into my mouth and up my nose… I vomited salt and blood for days and could not eat. My gums were full of blood, I could hardly talk. They still handcuffed me.” A male practitioner, university teacher Gao Xian in, died after being subjected to the same salt torture in the same detention centre.
Chen, now a refugee living outside China, stresses that Falun Gong practitioners, while understandably unsympathetic towards the Party, seek no role in Chinese politics: “only to stop the persecution which has continued for more than ten years… I love China. I’m proud of thousands of years of Chinese civilization and proud of being Chinese… I look forward to the renaissance of genuine Chinese values and dignity, including truthfulness, compassion and tolerance.”
Killing of Falun Gong practitioners for their organs
David Matas and I came to the dismaying conclusion that Falun Gong practitioners in China have been and are being killed for their organs on a large scale. We wrote a report that came to this conclusion, which came out in July 2006. There was a second version in 2007. A third in book form was published last month as Bloody Harvest.
Falun Gong is essentially a traditional Chinese spiritual discipline, consisting of principles for living, meditation and exercises which began in China in 1992. Initially the government encouraged the practice as beneficial for health. By 1999, it had grown so popular that the Party became afraid that its own ideological and numerical supremacy were being threatened. The numbers of persons practising Falun Gong across China had grown from virtually none in 1992, according to a government estimate, to 70-100 million. The practice was accordingly banned.
Practitioners were asked to recant. Those who refused and continued the practice and those who protested the banning were arrested. If they recanted after arrest, they were released. If they did not, they were tortured. If they recanted after torture, they were then released. If they did not recant after torture, they disappeared into the Chinese detention and forced labor system. (To be cont’d……)
By Charlotte Cuthbertson, Epoch Times Staff, Aug 5, 2009 -
No straight answers have been produced by the Chinese regime over the allegations of state-sanctioned organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners, says Manfred Nowak, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture.
“The Chinese government has yet to come clean and be transparent,” said Nowak in an interview with The Epoch Times. “It remains to be seen how it could be possible that organ transplant surgeries in Chinese hospitals have risen massively since 1999, while there are never that many voluntary donors available.”
The Chinese Communist Party has denied the allegations for three years despite several compelling investigative reports and several probes by the United Nations. Falun Gong is a spiritual practice based on truth, compassion, tolerance, and includes five sets of meditative exercises. In July 1999, the communist regime in China began persecuting people who practice it.
International human rights lawyer David Matas, and former crown prosecutor and member of parliament, David Kilgour, published their first report in July 2006, following up with a second in January 2007.
Their report, “Bloody Harvest: Revised Report Into Allegations of Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners in China,” concludes: “We believe that there has been and continues today to be large-scale organ seizures from unwilling Falun Gong practitioners … The very horror made us reel back in disbelief.”
Major findings include 41,500 organs in transplants unaccounted for between 2001 and 2005. Transplants increased in parallel with the persecution of Falun Gong. In 2001 the amount of liver transplants in China numbered seven. By 2005 it had reached 2,168 for one hospital. The Chinese military is heavily involved in the transplant system in China, and the regime has admitted that the vast majority of organs for transplant come from executed prisoners.
“The explanation that most of these organs come from death row inmates is inconclusive,” said Nowak. “If so, the number of executed felons must then be much higher as so far assumed. I have asked the Chinese government to provide clarity and asked for precise data.”
The accusations remain, said Nowak. “They were denied, but the Chinese government has not invalidated them, but on the other hand they haven´t been proven either. This makes for a difficult dilemma—one that only be resolved if China is willing to cooperate. And that is what is lacking.”
United Nations Requests Ignored
Nowak has submitted two reports to the U.N. Human Rights Council formally requesting the Chinese regime respond to the allegations. The report states, in part, that, “The [Falun Gong] practitioners were given injections to induce heart failure, and therefore were killed in the course of the organ harvesting operations or immediately thereafter.”
“Nothing seems to have changed for the better,” said Nowak. “We lack exact statistics. I cannot say if the situation has changed since I left China. But I have no reason to assume anything has turned for the better, because I have not had any such hints. The majority of the inmates in these [forced labor] camps were Falun Gong members. And that is so frightening, because none of these people were ever given the benefit of a trial. They were never charged.”
“Bloody Harvest” outlines extraordinarily short wait times for organs in China—one to two weeks for a liver compared with 32.5 months in Canada (median wait for 2003) as a further incriminating factor. Kilgour and Matas also present self-accusatory material from Chinese transplant centre Web sites that advertise the immediate availability of large numbers of organs from living donors. Organ price lists were available on Chinese hospital Web sites.
The Kilgour-Matas report includes evidence from a hospital Web site (now removed), that claims, from “January 2005 to now, we have done 647 liver transplants—12 of them done this week. The average waiting time is two weeks.”
A chart also removed about the same time indicates that in 1998 the hospital completed only nine liver transplants—by 2005 it had completed fully 2248.
No Trials, Forced Labor Camps
In a 2005 trip to China that took Nowak 10 years of requests to the regime, he discovered that two-thirds of the torture cases reported in labor camps were Falun Gong practitioners.
Falun Gong practitioners are put into forced labor camps, said Nowak. “In the same way the officials deal with prostitutes or with those that exhibit ‘other socially damaging behavior.’ One can say that a relatively big part of the inmates in these camps are Falun Gong persons. It definitely is one of the largest groups.”
Nowak said the number of practitioners in China is huge. “In spite of the persecution [it] has not diminished, but increased,” he said.
“Genocide has a specific background—ethnic, racist, or religious discrimination; in this case it could be religious discrimination. “[What the regime is doing] amounts to a systematic repression of a specific group of people for religious/political reasons, although the Chinese leadership has always denied this to be a religious movement.”…… (more details from The Epochtimes)
NTDTV, via Youtube, July 15, 2009-
Numbers are symbols; they represent anything and everything. But they also hide what they represent, like a mask. In ten years, the names of over 3,000 Falun Gong practitioners have been collected; they are the names of people who have been killed through torture by Chinese authorities. But, how many more people simply disappeared after the persecution began? And what is the connection to China’s booming organ transplant industry. Though the truth is still unknown, the evidence points to a disturbing conclusion about the new China, and of what the rest of the world is willing to ignore. In this original investigation, NTD attempts to discover: ‘what happened to the people who disappeared?’
Paper prepared by Hon. David Kilgour, J.D. for An International Forum on the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Garden Villa Hotel, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan, 11 December, 2008 – (cont’d)
UN Committee Against Torture
The Chinese government should listen to the appeals of the world community and take effective action both to stop human rights violations and to punish those, including party members, who perpetrate them. One such appeal was issued last month by the United Nations Committee against Torture (CAT), which demanded that China’s party-state “immediately conduct or commission an independent investigation of the claims that some Falun Gong practitioners have been subjected to torture and used for organ transplants and take measures, as appropriate, to ensure that those responsible for such abuses are prosecuted and punished.” The statement was made in the committee’s concluding observations on the Convention against Torture and the experience in China. It can be found at <www.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cat/docs/CAT.C.CHN.CO.4.pdf>.
“The Government of China should do what the Committee recommends. Failure to conduct or commission an independent investigation on organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners would put China in violation of its international obligations under the Convention against Torture, which the Government of China freely signed and ratified”, said David Matas, my co-author of a report of organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners. It is rare for the UN system to call the Government of China to account for its human rights violations. The Committee against Torture must be commended for its willingness to confront directly the very real human rights problems the Government of China has posed to the world.
The Committee considered the China compliance report in Geneva for three days only last month. It had a briefing session on November 6th with non-governmental representatives, which David Matas attended. The first report of Matas and myself on organ pillaging from Falun Gong practitioners was released in July 2006 and a second version in January 2007. It is available on the Internet at www.organharvestinvestigation.net
The Beijing party-state, of course, rejected both the CAT report and our independent report without making a single substantive point on its side of the controversy. As the Chinese Medical Association (CMA), which has certainly not been independent from the Party since 1948, agreed with the World Medical Association earlier this year before the Beijing Olympics not to allow any further ‘organ tourism’ within China, the conclusions in both reports would strongly appear to have been admitted by the CMA as in reality a branch of China’s regime. There are now about 52 pieces of evidence on our report website indicating that this grotesque commerce is occurring on a large scale across China.
The killing without any form of prior trial of thousands of Falun Gong citizens of China in order to sell their vital organs often to ‘organ tourists’ from wealthy countries is unimaginable to most people around the world today. One of Canada’s national dailies, the Globe and Mail, weighed in editorially on the UN Torture report recently: “… the full police-state playbook is in evidence… People trying to come to Beijing to petition the authorities for redress of their grievances may disappear into secret centres – ‘black jails’ – without review by a judge. Even on death row, prisoners are subject to abusive conditions, such as being shackled 24 hours a day. And there are continued reports that organs are harvested from the executed without their prior consent, or their family’s.” (to be cont’d)
- Original from http://david-kilgour.com/
AFP, Nov. 21, 2008-
GENEVA (AFP) — A UN body has expressed deep concern over allegations of widespread torture in China and called on the country to fully probe rights abuses.
The United Nations Committee Against Torture, meeting in Geneva, also revisited the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, urging the government to grant reparations and investigate the crackdown.
“The committee remains deeply concerned about the continued allegations, corroborated by numerous Chinese legal sources, of routine and widespread use of torture and ill treatment of suspects in police custody, especially to extract confessions or information to be used in criminal proceedings,” it said in a report released Friday.
It hit out at “continued reliance on confessions as a common form of evidence for prosecution, thus creating conditions that may facilitate the use of torture and ill-treatment of suspects,” quoting the case of dissident and human rights militant Yang Chunlin.
The committee also criticised China’s handling of its relations with the Tibetan Autonomous Region, noting there had been “longstanding reports of torture, beatings, shackling and other abusive treatment, in particular of Tibetan monks and nuns.”
No inquiry had been carried out into the arrests, firing on crowds of peaceful demonstrators, torture or cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment during the recent repression in Tibet, the experts noted.
Regarding the Tiananmen Square protests and crackdown, the committee said China “should conduct a full and impartial investigation” of the events.
It added that Chinese authorities should “provide information on the persons who are still detained from that period” as well as “offer apologies and reparation as appropriate and prosecute those found responsible for excessive use of force, torture and other ill treatment.”
More generally, the committee pointed to “reports of abuses in custody, including high numbers of deaths… Reeducation through labour for individuals who have never had their case tried in court, nor the possibility of challenging their administrative detention,” and secret detention facilities.
The UN experts expressed concern about the fate of Hu Jia, like other human rights backers the victim of harassment and violence committed by thugs who were unofficially recruited by the authorities.
The Committee Against Torture mentioned allegations of removal of organs from members of the Falun Gong sect for transplant. The special UN rapporteur on torture Manfred Nowak was quoted as saying that “an increase in organ transplant operations coincides with the beginning of the persecution of (Falun Gong practitioners).”
The committee was also concerned about the fate of North Korean refugees who were turned back at the border despite the risk that they would be subjected to torture in their own country.
Finally, the committee said it was worried about the conditions of people on death row who were chained day and night and whose organs could be removed for transplant after their death without their prior consent, according to information received by the experts.
Earlier this month, the committee’s chief rapporteur Felice Gaer had accused the Chinese of not providing sufficient information.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang denied this and said earlier this month that “it is China’s consistent stance that we oppose torture.”
Gaer had said China had been unwilling to release data on individual cases by invoking its State Secrets Act to withhold information.
Michael Learmonth , Silicon Alley Media, August 25, 2008-
One of China’s biggest fears going into the Olympics was that the event would give a bigger megaphone to banned groups, such as the Free Tibet movement and the Falun Gong religious sect.
China appears to have done a thorough job of suppressing overt protests — and even restricted access to Web sites for visiting journalists — but it appears Falun Gong has managed to use the newfound focus on China to their advantage.
The group had 13 videos among the top 100 most-viewed during the first week of the Beijing Olympics, netting 3.5 million views. And it had four videos among the top 100 the following week, netting 1 million views. That’s according to TubeMogul, which tracks video views across 20 sites, including YouTube, Revver, Dailymotion and Metacafe.
It’s the first time Falun Gong has any video in the top 100 since TubeMogul started keeping track in 2006, and until opening day of the Olympics Falun Gong videos had netted a mere 95,000 views. What changed? Hard to say; a PR push could have helped, as could paid promotion on some sites. It also helps that the videos make sensational claims, including this “news” report on organ stealing in Chinese labor camps.
- Original: Silicon Alley Media
By Ben Bendig, Epoch Times Staff Aug 24, 2008 -
New evidence of the Chinese regime’s practice of harvesting organs from Falun Gong practitioners has come to light through the admission of a Chinese doctor.
An audio recording of the doctor admitting to having taken part in harvesting organs from Falun Gong practitioners, together with a state-endorsed documentary in which the same doctor acknowledges taking part in the conversation, is “an undeniable, inculpatory admission of the harvesting of Falun Gong practitioner prisoners for profit,” say David Matas, a human rights lawyer, and David Kilgour, former Canadian secretary of state (Asia Pacific), in a letter released yesterday.
Matas and Kilgour had their investigators call Chinese hospitals inquiring about organ transplants, specifically if they could get organs from Falun Gong practitioners, the rationale being that Falun Gong practitioners are healthy, owing to their practice.
In one case, Dr. Lu Guoping at Minzu Hospital of Guangxi Autonomous Region said that his hospital used to have organs from Falun Gong practitioners, but didn’t any longer. Here is a portion of the transcript:
“Caller: …what you used before, were they from detention centers or prisons?
“Lu Guoping: From prisons.
“C: Oh, prisons. And it was from healthy Falun Gong practitioners, the healthy Falun Gong right?
“LG: Right, right, right. We would choose the good ones, because we will assure the quality of our operations.
“C: That means you choose the organs yourselves?
“LG: Right, right, right.”
He later referred the caller to a hospital in Guangzhou, saying that this hospital would have Falun Gong organs.
Where the new evidence comes to bear is that in a documentary released by Phoenix TV, Lu Guoping admits to having received the call, and also to referring the caller to a Guangzhou hospital.
However, he denies what he said, stating in the interview, “I told her [the caller] I was not involved in the surgical operations and had no idea where the organs come from. I told her I could not answer her questions. She then asked me whether these organs come from prisons. I replied no to her in clear-cut terms.”
When shown a transcript of the interview on the video, Dr. Lu claims that it is a distorted version of the conversation. However, the documentary makes no mention of an audio recording, and no explanation for how the recording could have his voice saying some things that he admits, and other things he denies saying. Matas and Kilgour, in their report of the new evidence, make the point that the documentary suggests an altered transcript, but because there is no mention in the documentary of the recording, the recording itself is not being disputed.
Matas and Kilgour sum up the evidence: “So here we have on our recording an admission from a doctor that he and his colleagues used to go to a prison to select Falun Gong practitioners for their organs. He does not just say that someone else did this. He says that he and his colleagues used to do this themselves. Moreover, we have a further admission that the voice we have on our recording is the voice of the very person our recording says he is.”
One particularly damning aspect of the documentary is that it is available through Chinese consulates and embassies.
“[C]onsequently,” Kilgour and Matas state in their letter, concerning the documentary, “it has the sanction of the Government of China. The admission is, accordingly, one which is sanctioned and approved by the Government of China and can not credibly be denied by the Government.”
Kilgour and Matas have been investigating claims of Falun Gong organ harvesting since 2006. Some of evidence includes 40,000 transplants that have taken place in China with donors unaccounted for, since the persecution of Falun Gong began in 1999. Additionally, waiting times for organs in China are on the order of weeks, while in Western countries, the wait can be months or years.
Matas and Kilgour’s letter, along with links to the Phoenix TV video (with English subtitles), Chinese and English-language copies of the transcript of the conversation with Dr. Lu, and the audio recording of Dr. Lu, are available at: http://organharvestinvestigation.net/Dr.Lu-Voice-Recording/
- Original: Admission of Organ Harvesting is ‘Undeniable,’ Say Investigators , The Epochtimes
Jennifer Macey, The World Today program, The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), Austrlia, Tuesday, 12 August , 2008-
ELEANOR HALL: China’s human rights record is again under scrutiny, this time at an International Transplantation Congress in Sydney. A Canadian human rights lawyer says he has new evidence of forced organ removals from prisoners and Falun Gong practitioners in China.
David Matas says Chinese hospitals perform 10,000 organ transplant operations each year and that many of the recipients are foreigners. As Jennifer Macey reports, he’s now calling on the Australian Government to do more to stop the practice.
JENNIFER MACEY: China performs an estimated 10,000 organ transplant operations each year more than any other country in the world except for the United States. But China has no formalised system of organ donations and human rights groups say the short waiting times and availability of organs in China raises serious questions about their source.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch first reported 10 years ago that the majority of these organs come from prisoners. Now Canadian Human Rights Lawyer David Matas says among the prison population, it’s now members of Falun Gong who are being increasingly targeted.
DAVID MATAS: China’s source of organs for transplants is almost entirely from prisoners according to the Deputy Minister of Health it’s 95 per cent, according to other statistics it’s 96 per cent. So it’s almost entirely forced organ harvesting. And there’s two sources – it’s prisoners sentenced to death and Falun Gong practitioners.
JENNIFER MACEY: Mr Matas says hospitals and prisons have arrangements to split the profits made through organ transplant operations, often to foreign patients. He says the prisoners are killed after their organs are removed.
DAVID MATAS: Basically they wait until there’s an order from the hospital, they will blood test the person, and then they inject the person with potassium, and then they put them into a van and the actual organ extraction is in the van, where the prisoner is killed through the organ extraction and then the body is cremated.
JENNIFER MACEY: Last year David Mr Matas and Canadian former secretary of state David Kilgour released a report investigating allegations of organ harvesting of Falun Gong members in China. Mr Matas concedes it’s difficult to find proof of this practise as China won’t release official statistics on executions or organ transplants
But he says he has new audio tapes of Chinese doctors admitting they have Falun Gong organs for sale.
DAVID MATAS: We had callers calling in to China pretending to be relatives of patients who needed organs and asking the hospital that they were calling for organs of Falun Gong practitioners on the basis that Falun Gong’s an exercise regime that practitioners are healthy and their organs are healthy. And we got admissions on tape throughout China and we’ve got the transcripts in our report and we’ve got phone records and we got the tapes from pick up to hang down.
JENNIFER MACEY: Dr Yuan Hong worked as a heart surgeon for ten years at a medical university hospital in north eastern China. He says it was an open secret at his hospital that prisoners organs were used in transplant operations for patients who had travelled from Japan.
YUAN HONG (translated): I start to notice these issues because one of the nurse wearing the army dress and then I also find an anaesthetist also wear the same clothes. So I ask him “why do you have to wear these clothes?” and then he told me, “we have to go to the place where people do executions, so we needed to transplant a kidney there.”
JENNIFER MACEY: So you knew of Japanese people who were coming to your hospital for organ transplants?
YUAN HONG (translated): Because foreigner came to our hospital to be treated. It’s a hot topic, so everybody knows.
JENNIFER MACEY: Jennifer Zeng is a member of Falun Gong who was offered asylum in Australia several years ago. In China she spent a year in a labour camp near Beijing. She says at the camp her blood was taken for tests and she underwent several health checks.
JENNIFER MACEY: Only Falun Gong practitioners were tested and get this physical check up. A lot of Falun Gong practitioners thought that Falun Gong got some special treatment, because they saw a physical check up after you were there for long years, it’s good for your health.
So they ask the police, ‘how about we pay for the physical check’ and the police clearly said no, it’s only for Falun Gong. So other prisoners even protested against it, they say, they are not treated fairly because they obviously didn’t know the purpose.
JENNIFER MACEY: Human rights lawyer David Matas says there’s a lot more the Australian Government could do to help stamp out the practice.
DAVID MATAS: The Government’s could introduce extra-territorial legislation so that transplant tourism can become a crime, the way now child sex tourism is a crime,.
ELEANOR HALL: Canadian human rights lawyer David Matas ending that report by Jennifer Macey.
- Original: Falun Gong prisoners targeted for organs: report