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Human Rights in Taiwan and China Today (6): Speech by Hon. David Kilgour

Posted by Author on December 28, 2008

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 <>.

“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

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)

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