Sat, Jul 08, 2006 - Page 1 News List

Canadian report implicates China in organ harvesting

AFP , OTTAWA

A former Canadian Cabinet member and a human rights lawyer issued a report on Thursday alleging China harvests organs from unwilling live prison inmates, mostly Falun Gong practitioners, for transplants on a large scale.

The report's authors, Canada's former Secretary of State for the Asia-Pacific region David Kilgour and human rights lawyer David Matas, implicated dozens of hospitals and jails throughout China after a two-month investigation.

The pair also identified some 41,500 suspect transplants in China since 2000, saying they were unable to track the source of the organs used.

"We believe that there has been and continues today to be large scale organ seizures from unwilling Falun Gong practitioners," they wrote in their report.

"This is a form of evil that we have yet to see on this planet, a new form of evil," Matas told reporters on Thursday.

China, which has denied similar allegations, refused entry to both to investigate the claims further, he said.

The US-based lobby group The Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of the Falun Gong in China (CIPFG) asked the duo to investigate claims by several of their members.

China banned the spiritual group in 1999 and has vehemently denied the allegations of organ harvesting, accusing the group of spreading rumors in a bid to undermine the country's international relations and "social stability."

Kilgour and Matas said many of the claims were second-hand, but that there is enough evidence to warrant a broader investigation.

"There are investigative difficulties in establishing these allegations because ... the victim is dead, the perpetrator is not going to confess and the scene of the crime leaves no trace; it's an operating room," Matas said.

"I don't know if this is policy or corruption, but it's widespread," he added.

The two called on Chinese authorities, the UN and international human rights organizations to investigate the claims further.

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