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Sunday, July 09, 2006

Report into allegations of organ harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners in China


The summary below was highlighted by a reader and is not an official summary of the report. The full report can be found here while a shorther version of the official summary is available here. And the good news is: The Conservative Government Investigates Allegations of Chinese Organ Harvesting From Political Prisoners. Look here for Between Heaven and Earth's reaction and recommendations, here for more media coverage on this topic and here for a response to Communist China's Statement. Meanwhile you may listen to a great coverage by Australia ABC Michael Edwards who comments on organ harvesting in Communist China: MP3 (Report alleges Chinese Govt harvesting body organs of political prisoners).


REPORT INTO ALLEGATIONS OF ORGAN HARVESTING OF FALUN GONG PRACTITIONERS IN CHINA

6 July 2006

SUMMARY DOCUMENT

Authors: David Kilgour former Canadian Secretary of State for Asia Pacific

David Matas, Canadian immigration, refugee and international human rights lawyer

CONCLUSIONS:

We believe that there has been and continues today to be large scale organ seizures from unwilling Falun Gong practitioners.

We have concluded that the government of China and its agencies in numerous parts of the country, in particular hospitals but also detention centres and 'people's courts', since 1999 have put to death a large but unknown number of Falun Gong prisoners of conscience. Their vital organs, including hearts, kidneys, livers and corneas, were virtually simultaneously seized involuntarily for sale at high prices, sometimes to foreigners, who normally face long waits for voluntary donations of such organs in their home countries.

It appears to us that many human beings belonging to a peaceful voluntary organization made illegal seven years ago by President Jiang because he thought it might threaten the dominance of the Communist Party of China have been in effect executed by medical practitioners for their organs.

Our conclusion comes not from any one single item of evidence, but rather the piecing together of all the evidence we have considered. Each portion of the evidence we have considered is, in itself, verifiable and, in most cases, incontestable. Put together, they paint a damning whole picture. It is their combination that has convinced us.

MAJOR POINTS OF EVIDENCE INCLUDE:

Conducive Climate for the Crimes

Pattern of human rights violations: Rule of Law to prevent human rights violations is glaringly absent in China. According to its constitution, China is ruled by the Communist Party. It is not ruled by law.

Corruption: Trafficking in Falun Gong organs would be consistent with widespread corruption in the country and notably with the other commercial activities of the Chinese army.

Lack of legislation: On July 1, a new law went into effect; it bans the sale of organs and requires donors to indicate their willingness in writing. Despite the law, it is known that there is a large gap between legislation and implementation in China.

Documentation of the Persecution of Falun Gong

Perceived threat: The Chinese Communist Party (CCP), in particular president Jiang Zemin, came to see Falun Gong as a threat to its monopoly of ideological power over China in the late 1990s; by 1999, the CCP estimated that there were 70 million Falun Gong practitioners. However, the movement is not political and it followers seek to promote truth, tolerance and compassion across racial, national and cultural boundaries; violence is considered abhorrent.

Policy of persecution: We know that persecution of Falun Gong exists as an official policy from policy statements issued directly by the CCP.

Incitement to hatred: The CCP adopted 3 strategies to crush Falun Gong: violence against anyone who refuse to renounce their beliefs; "brainwashing" to force all known practitioners to abandon Falun Gong and renounce it; a media campaign to turn public opinion against Falun Gong.

Massive arrests: Classified information reveals that by the end of April 2001, less than two years into the ban, there had been approximately 830,000 arrests of Falun Gong adherents.

Repression: The crackdown included Jiang's creation of a special force, the 6-10 office in every province, city, county, university, government department and government-owned business to spearhead the attack. Jiang's mandate to the office was to "eradicate" Falun Gong.

Factors that Point Specifically to Organ Harvesting

Confession: One witness said her surgeon husband told her that he personally removed the corneas from approximately 2,000 Falun Gong prisoners in 2 years and that none of the cornea "donors" survived because their other vital organs were also taken, and their bodies cremated.

Admissions of using Falun Gong organs: Investigators analysed numerous recorded telephone calls with detention centres, hospitals and courts across China. Several officials openly admitted to using organs from Falun Gong practitioners.

Short waiting times: Hospital websites in China advertise short waiting times for organ transplants – 1 to 2 weeks versus years elsewhere – or that they have living “donors” available almost on demand. A large bank of living "donors" is the only way such short wait times can be assured. Some websites have now removed this information.

Many more transplants than identifiable sources: The sources of 41,500 transplants for the period 2000-2005 are unexplained. Before 1999, China had 22 liver transplant centres, compared to 500 in mid-April, 2006, for example. The increase in organ transplants parallels the increase in persecution of Falun Gong.

Unidentified / disappeared practitioners: Falun Gong practitioners, coming from around the country to Beijing to appeal or protest, are arrested. To protect their families and people at home, many don’t identify themselves. This large Falun Gong prison population whose identities and whereabouts are unknown would seem a likely source of harvested organs.

Blood testing of practitioners in detention are systematic. It is unlikely that this is for health reasons, while blood testing is a pre-requisite for organ transplants.

Corpses with missing organs have been returned to families with no coherent explanation.

Interviews with victims of the repression now living in Canada revealed a pattern of activities by authorities – such as inexplicable organ examinations – consistent with the allegations.

Huge profitability of organ transplant industry in China. One hospital website, for example, lists the cost of a liver as being up to US$130,000 and a heart US$160,000.

SOME KEY RECOMMENDATIONS:

1. As organ harvesting from living, unwilling people, is a crime against humanity. It should stop immediately, and authorities in China should conduct a criminal investigation for possible prosecution.

2. Organizations-intergovernmental, governmental and voluntary-should take the allegations seriously and make their own determinations on whether or not they are true.

3. As the UN Protocol to prevent trafficking in persons bans the removal of organs, the UN should investigate whether China is in violation.

4. Foreign governments should ban the entry of Chinese doctors seeking training in organ transplantation and any doctor there known to be engaged in such work should be barred from visiting foreign countries permanently.

5. All countries should tighten their laws against organ trafficking and doctors should, for example, be required to report to their respective authorities any evidence that a patient has received an organ from a trafficked person abroad.

6. Governments should deny or revoke the passports of nationals who are travelling to China for organ transplants.

7. No governments should participate in any China-sponsored meeting or research on organ transplant. No private company should provide goods or services to any Chinese transplant program.

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