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Thursday, December 21, 2006

CIPFG to petition China to allow probe into organ harvesting

Like Australia, the Asian Branch of the CIPFG is giving Beijing a golden opportunity to welcome the free world to investigate the allegations of live organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners. If Beijing has nothing to hide, there shouldn’t be any problem for the Coalition to go ahead with their plan.

Full Report:

(Kyodo) A group looking into the alleged harvesting by Chinese authorities of organs of executed members of the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement will deliver a petition letter to a Chinese official in Hong Kong seeking permission to launch an investigation in China, a veteran democrat said Tuesday.

"We will submit a petition letter to Central Government's Liaison Office Director Gao Siren on Dec. 20, demanding China to allow our team to investigate, without authorities' surveillance, allegations of for-profit harvesting of organs from Falun Gong practitioners," former Democratic Party legislator Szeto Wah said.

The Asia branch of the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong in China was established earlier this month with Szeto as the vice chairman, following the setting up of an Australia branch.

The letter also demands a meeting with mainland human rights advocates including detained lawyer Gao Zicheng, who has been held by Chinese police since August, Szeto said.

Falun Gong, established in 1992 by its leader Li Hongzhi, who is reportedly residing in the United States instead of China to avoid persecution, teaches meditation exercises with mixed elements of Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism.

Along with a few other spiritual movements, it was branded an "evil cult" in 1999 after more than 10,000 practitioners staged a silent protest surrounding Zhongnanhai, the heart of the Chinese government in Beijing.

A study released in July by a Canadian lawyer and a former Canadian government, based mainly on testimony provided by Falun Gong practitioners in Canada, the United States, Europe and Australia, concluded that the Chinese government and affiliated hospitals, detention centers and courts have since 1999 put to death a large but unknown number of Falun Gong practitioners.

It claimed their vital organs, including hearts, kidneys, livers and corneas, were virtually simultaneously seized for sale at high prices, sometimes to foreigners, who normally face long waits for voluntary donations of such organs in their home countries.

The Chinese government has dismissed the allegations, saying they are based on "rumors and false allegations" spread by Falun Gong members "to smear China's image."

The concern group's Asia branch now has 116 members comprised of legislators, professionals and academics from six countries and regions -- Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, Macao and Hong Kong.

Szeto is also chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China, which has openly criticized China over the bloody crackdown on protesters in Tiananmen Square in 1989 and demanded vindication of the incident.

"We will give Beijing one month's time to respond. If by then it still refuses to allow our investigation team to start probing, we will consider other forms of peaceful activities," Szeto said.

One of the authors of the investigation report, David Kilgour, a former Canadian secretary of state for Asia-Pacific affairs, has suggested calling for a boycott to the 2008 Olympic Games that Beijing will host, if it fails to stop organ harvesting.

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