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Monday, October 08, 2007

Investigative Group Questions China’s Pledge to End Organ Harvesting

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 8, 2007

An organization established to investigate accusations related to the persecution of the Falun Gong spiritual group is questioning the Chinese Medical Association’s recently-announced agreement to stop harvesting organs from prisoners and others in police custody. The Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong in China (CIPFG) doubts the promise will have any real meaning.

“We believe this could just be a cover to ease international pressure on the Chinese regime to improve its human rights practices,” asserts Dr. Sherry Zhang, a spokesperson for CIPFG. “Despite numerous promises they made in order to host the 2008 Olympics, the Chinese government is suppressing the media, religious groups, ‘dissidents’ and ordinary citizens even more severely than before.”

The Coalition was formed in March of 2006 after a Chinese journalist working for a Japanese television station exposed the presence of a concentration camp in northeast China where 6,000 Falun Gong practitioners had been held for the purpose of harvesting their organs for profit. Subsequent witnesses, including the former wife of a neurosurgeon at the facility, supported the journalist’s shocking exposé. A witness who identified himself as a retired military doctor revealed there were at least 36 similar concentration camps operating across China.

On July 6, 2006, two Canadian attorneys – David Kilgour, the former Canadian secretary of state for Asian-Pacific affairs and David Matas, a respected human rights attorney – released the results of their own investigation. The report affirmed large-scale organ seizures from unwilling Falun Gong practitioners in China for profit. "Organ harvesting of unwilling donors where it is either systematic or widespread is a crime against humanity," stated the authors of the report.

“The Chinese regime has never been able to challenge any of the evidence raised in the Matas and Kilgour report,” according to Dr. Zhang. “CIPFG has tried many times to obtain visas so that we can conduct investigations in China, yet we are repeatedly denied. As long as the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China continues, we remain doubtful that the Chinese regime will end this heinous practice.”

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