Mon, Jun 27, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Academics pan state of human rights in China

ORGAN HARVESTING:A human rights lawyer said it is difficult to prove Falun Gong practitioners are being killed for their organs because the bodies are cremated

By Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff Reporter

David Kilgour, left, a former member of the Canadian parliament, speaks at a conference on human rights in China organized by the Association for Free Communication in Taipei -yesterday.

Photo: Lo Pei-der, Taipei Times

Despite economic growth, the condition of human rights in China is still very bad — especially when it comes to the persecution of religious and minority groups by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) — participants at a conference on human rights in China said yesterday, calling on Taiwanese to pay more attention to human rights issues in China.

“Taiwanese are not paying enough attention to issues related to human rights and democracy in China, and I think the first thing we can do to help China democratize is show more concern,” said Maysing Yang (楊黃美幸), deputy executive director of Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, a sponsor of the conference organized by the Association for Free Communication.

A large number of people might not care much about human rights in China because of China’s hostility to Taiwan, she said, “but we should be opposed to the authoritarian regime, not the people.”

China’s democratization would be beneficial to Taiwan’s national interests, Yang said.

“Pressure from the outside would actually work,” Yang said. “For instance, the conditional release of [Chinese dissident] Ai Weiwei (艾未未) was the result of international pressure.”

Among the different forms of human rights violations, David Matas, Canada-based human rights attorney and co-author of Report into Allegations of Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners in China, said that live organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners in China was probably the most horrible and the hardest to investigate.

“There are no bodies of victims [in live organ harvesting], because when they are dead, their bodies are cremated; there are no witnesses, because there are only the perpetrators and the victims; there are no crime scenes, because it usually takes place in operation rooms or mobile vehicles that are cleaned right away,” Matas said, adding that organs harvested from Falun Gong practitioners are usually sold at high prices to people awaiting organ transplants in China or abroad.

Falun Gong practitioners are chosen as victims of live organ harvesting because Falun Gong is a banned movement in China, Matas said.

Another co-author of the book, David Kilgour, who is also a former member of the Canadian parliament, said that more than two-thirds of torture victims in China are Falun Gong practitioners, while the group also made up about 50 percent of the detainees at labor camps.

Persecution of religions groups does not stop with Falun Gong, Kilgour said, “Tibetan Buddhists, Muslims and Christians are often victims as well.”

Yang Hsien-hung (楊憲宏), a political commentator and chairman of the Taiwan Association for China’s Human Rights, agreed with Kilgour.

He said he was stunned when he attended a sermon by a Chinese Christian group that visited Taiwan.

In stead of urging his followers to follow God’s lead, Yang said, the preacher “urged Chinese Christians to follow the guidance of the CCP.”

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