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Chinese Officials Still Killing Falun Gong for Organs, Report Says

Epoch Times | February 1, 2007
Cindy Chan

"We believe that there has been and continues today to be large-scale organ seizures from unwilling Falun Gong practitioners," conclude the Canadian authors of a controversial report on organ harvesting in China, in its revised version introduced in Ottawa on Jan. 31.

After releasing their original report on July 6, 2006, authors David Matas, an international human rights lawyer, and David Kilgour, the former Canadian Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific, have travelled to almost 30 countries to conduct further research and publicize their findings.

They've received many comments, some criticism, and a great deal of additional evidence since publishing the report, Matas said at a press conference on Parliament Hill. They've also been in contact with many witnesses, he added. The new report, entitled Bloody Harvest, presents an "even more compelling case for our conclusions."

Matas said the new report aims to answer criticism levelled against the original report and present new information. It will also produce a more analytical framework to the discussion, he said.

More important, Matas added, is work to stop organ harvesting from happening by putting precautionary and preventive measures in place.

"These are not in place in China, nor regrettably around the world," he said, where the "basic main source of demand for this ghoulish product" exists.

The 65-page report, over 20 pages longer than the original, is composed of 33 topics that were considered, 16 of which are new.

The new report sheds light on the state of health and military financing in China. Both rely on money made from illegal organ transplants to make up for budget shortfalls, says the report.

The report also addresses how foreign states fund citizens who go to China for transplants. The report contains interviews with organ recipients from various countries and discusses the treatment of Chinese death-row prisoners.

Details of new undercover phone calls to hospitals in China where hospital staff incriminate themselves are also included. There is also more evidence to indicate there are large numbers of detained Falun Gong practitioners who refuse to name themselves and then just disappear.

The report cites 41,500 unexplained organ transplants from 2000 to 2005—the 6-year period since the persecution of Falun Gong began in 1999—that do not come from convicted executed prisoners, the brain-dead, or family donors.

Organ Tourism

"Falun Gong practitioners that simply get killed and [their organs] sold to the highest bidder—these are the people we are trying to protect," said Kilgour. The report authors suggest a series of ways to discourage foreigners, who account for a significant number of the organ transplant recipients in China, from seeking organs there.

Foreign states should enact extra-territorial legislation to penalize citizens who receive an organ that was not freely given, said Matas. Moreover, until China stops the practice of organ harvesting from prisoners there should be "no contact with Chinese transplant professionals through training, conferences, and research."

The report authors had other recommendations: doctors should discourage patients from obtaining transplant surgery in China; drug companies should stop sending transplant surgery-related anti-rejection and other drugs to China; and foreign states should ban the export of such drugs to China.

Matas said citizens who get commercial organ transplants abroad should not get reimbursed or get aftercare funding. "Taxpayers should not be paying for that care," he remarked.

The report went a step further and recommended that foreign countries bar the entry of doctors or anyone known to be involved in the practice of organ harvesting.

Canadian Connection

During the press conference, Kilgour and Matas focused on their home country of Canada as an example for some of their recommendations.

"There is no doubt that Canadians are among those going to China from many parts of the world for transplants," the press release stated. Kilgour called it "organ tourism." He said he and Matas have recently obtained confirmation from hospitals in Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary that Canadians are going to China for transplants.

Matas emphasized that Canada should issue travel advisories telling Canadians going to China for organ transplants that they may think they are getting an organ from an executed murderer but "in all likelihood" they are getting the organ "from someone who has done nothing wrong." Travel advisories should warn that organ sources in China consist "almost entirely from un-consenting prisoners, whether sentenced to death or Falun Gong practitioners."

According to anecdotal information over 100 Canadian patients are going to China, Matas said. What's worrying, he added, is that it appears the trend is accelerating in Canada, whereas in Australia and other countries the trend is declining, partly due to publicity surrounding the original organ harvesting report. They urged the Canadian government to gather proper national statistics on this phenomenon.

Matas and Kilgour have also asked the Canadian Council for Donation and Transplantation to inform them of the extent of Canadian travel to China for transplants. Last week they learned that some provinces require such patients needing aftercare to indicate where their operation occurred. They urge the Canadian government and doctors to make more effort to tell people of the situation of organ seizures in China.

A Witness Speaks

Wang Xiaohua, a former engineer from Yunnan province, spoke at the press conference as a witness of the systematic blood testing of Falun Gong practitioners in Chinese detention.

He was imprisoned for two years in a labour camp in China. He said that in January 2002 every Falun Gong practitioner there received a physical examination, including liver and kidney tests and blood testing.

"Obviously not for health reasons, because we were tortured and treated badly," he said. Tests were not done on other prisoners. No one understood the reason, he added, and it was not until news about organ harvesting came out that "we started to have an idea."

Olympics as Leverage

The Olympics should be used "as a lever to get [Chinese authorities] to stop this terrible practice," Kilgour told The Epoch Times.

"The reason it is happening is that we have a totalitarian government combined with what I call 'carnivore capitalism' where anything goes, and it shouldn't surprise people to know that this unimaginable practice is happening," he said.

Kilgour believes the International Olympic Committee should "start to make some very stiff demands on China," starting with stopping organ harvesting immediately. He added that if the organ harvesting does not stop, thousands and thousands of people will arrive in Beijing in 2008 with badges saying "stop persecuting Falun Gong" or "stop organ snatching."

"Their reputation will be in complete disgrace."

 

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