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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Albertans participate in illicit organ harvesting: Kilgour

Edmonton Sun by Cary Castagna - An unknown number of wealthy Albertans have traveled to China to buy vital organs harvested from executed devotees of the outlawed Falun Gong movement, says former Edmonton MP David Kilgour.

And he wants the crimes against humanity to stop.

“There’s no doubt people are going from Edmonton and Calgary to China to get new kidneys or new livers,” Kilgour told the Sun Thursday.

He said many of the organs sell for up to $70,000.

“Only foreigners in places like Alberta can afford to pay for them.”

Kilgour, former secretary of state for the Asia-Pacific region, says he has traveled to more than 30 countries while investigating allegations that an underground network of Chinese surgeons, nurses and hospital administration staff are harvesting organs for sale.

“We call it a form of inhumanity,” he said.

Kilgour co-wrote a report on the alleged atrocities last summer with Winnipeg human rights lawyer David Matas.

The two, who spoke at a U of A forum Thursday night on China’s illicit organ harvesting and transplant tourism industry, are set to release a revised report next week in Ottawa.

The new report reveals ’ lot more proof’‘ that this practice, which began about mid-2001, is still going on, Kilgour said.

The former Liberal cabinet minister said Albertans need to know that if they’re going to China for an organ transplant, the chances are the organ was taken from a Falun Gong practitioner who was jailed for his or her beliefs.

“These are not executed criminals,” Kilgour said.

Meanwhile, local devotees of Falun Gong are awaiting the results of a judicial review.

Thursday, Matas and colleague Shirish Chotalia contested a Crown prosecutor’s decision to not proceed with charges against a group of Chinese diplomats.

The lawyers contend anti-Falun Gong booklets distributed in June 2004 by the Chinese consulate in Calgary constituted hate propaganda.

A written decision is expected within the next few months.

ccastagna@edmsun.com

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Australian Surgeons Condemn "Horrific" Organ Trade


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