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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Organ-harvesting claims spark call for boycott of Beijing Olympics

China's own genocide should be in the front page before the Games.

Times Colonist: Tim Naumetz - Published: Thursday, May 31, 2007 - OTTAWA - A coalition of Falun Gong supporters is calling for a boycott of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing if the Chinese government does not allow an independent investigation of organ-harvesting allegations.

The Canadian chapter of a coalition that claims China supports the illegal harvesting of a range of organs of imprisoned Falun Gong practitioners said the boycott should begin in August unless China complies with the request.

At a Parliament Hill news conference Wednesday, former Liberal MPs David Kilgour and Simma Holt, along with a group called Doctors Against Organs Harvesting, lent their support to the demand from the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong.

Former MP, David Kilgour, speaks during a Falun Gong demonstration, on Parliament Hill, on Tuesday Sept. 26, 2006.View Larger Image View Larger Image

Former MP, David Kilgour, speaks during a Falun Gong demonstration, on Parliament Hill, on Tuesday Sept. 26, 2006.

"It's simply impossible, in my view, to have torture and killing going on in one part of Beijing,"said Kilgour, "and the Games going on in another."

Kilgour and Winnipeg human rights lawyer David Matas last January released a report saying they had independently confirmed allegations of Chinese organ harvesting on a "large scale" from unwilling Falun Gong practitioners.

The Chinese government last month denied the claims, saying it has banned the sale of human organs and allows medical transplants only with written consent under standards that protect the safety and health of patients.

But Kilgour and Matas said they found evidence Falun Gong practitioners are killed for their organs, which are sold to foreigners for "huge amounts of money."

Holt, who once represented the Vancouver House of Commons seat now held by Trade Minister David Emerson, accused Emerson of being complicit in organ harvesting by ignoring the allegations while supporting closer trade ties with China.

Torsten Trey, a physician with Doctors Against Organ Harvesting, compared the 2008 Beijing Games to the 1936 Olympics held in Germany only three years before the beginning of the Holocaust.

"The Holocaust in China has already started," he said. "The organ harvesting of living people is just the tip of the iceberg in the persecution of Falun Gong."

China claims Falun Gong is not a religious or spiritual movement and poses a threat to society by exercising mental control over its followers while amassing illegal wealth. It has compared the movement to unnamed cults it claims are banned in western democracies.

Reuven Bulka, president of the Canadian chapter of the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of the Falun Gong, said China should not object to an inquiry if the allegations are untrue.

"They shouldn't be afraid of an investigation," he said. "That's all we're asking."

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