Press Release: Thursday May 8, 6:00 am ET
SAN DIEGO, CA--(MARKET WIRE)--May 8, 2008 -- Two United Nations Special Rapporteurs have reiterated their previous findings on China's organ harvesting. Once again, they requested the Chinese government to fully explain the allegation of taking vital organs from Falun Gong practitioners and the source of organs for the sudden increase in organ transplants that has been going on in China since the year 2000.
Citing recently published 2008 annual reports of the UN Special Rapporteurs, the Falun Gong Human Rights Working Group (FalunHR) applauds the joint request that Ms. Asma Jahangir and Mr. Manfred Nowak, the UN Special Rapporteurs on Freedom of Religion or Belief and on the Question of Torture, sent to the Chinese government.
The request is a follow-up of their previous communications to the Chinese government on August 11, 2006, made jointly with Ms. Sigma Huda, the UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons. Drawing on information submitted by individuals and volunteer groups, including FalunHR, the three Special Rapporteurs highlighted and raised questions about the identifiable sources of organs, the short waiting times for finding perfectly-matched organs, and the correlation between the sudden increase in organ transplants in China and the beginning of the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners.
Although the Chinese government responded in November 28, 2006, with categorical denials, it failed to address the critical issues raised by the Special Rapporteurs. The follow-up communication by Ms. Jahangir and Mr. Nowak, sent on January 25, 2007, holds the Chinese government to address those critical issues.
FalunHR has posted the Special Rapporteurs' original and follow-up communications here.
The Special Rapporteurs' original communication is documented in their respective 2007 annual reports, and their follow-up communications in their 2008 annual reports. The annual reports of UN Special Rapporteurs typically document their previous year's activities.
It is important to note that, in their 2008 annual reports, Ms. Asma Jahangir and Mr. Manfred Nowak also reported their joint urgent action, together with the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, on behalf of Mr. Cao Dong, a witness to China's organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners. On May 21, 2006, in Beijing, Mr. Cao gave his testimony on China's organ harvesting to Edward McMillan-Scott, the Vice-President of the European Parliament. Following the meeting, the Chinese authorities arrested Mr. Cao. Reports indicate that Mr. Cao was sentenced to five years in prison for "accepting illegal interviews."