More than 100 legislators, lawyers, doctors, human rights activists and non-governmental organization heads from Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and Macau yesterday established an Asian branch of the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong in China.
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator William Lai (賴清德), who is also the president of the branch, faxed a letter during the press conference in Taipei to the offices of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (溫家寶) and Luo Gan (羅幹), the member of the Politburo Standing Committee who oversees police and judicial matters for the Chinese Communist Party.
The letter demanded that the Chinese government allow the group to conduct field investigations into allegations of government persecution against Falun Gong members in China.
"There is a very urgent need to investigate the situation in China as persecution is happening every day," Lai said.
The group said that the Chinese government executed 1,616 prisoners annually between 2000 and last year, but that it also completed 1,000 organ transplants annually during the same period.
"Establishing this branch means we are going to take action to defend justice and human rights on an international scope," Lai said.
A report by independent Canadian investigators David Kilgour, formerly director of the Asia-Pacific Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, and human rights attorney David Matas says that the Chinese government has profited from selling organs taken from living Falun Gong practitioners.
The group did not say what it would do in the event that the Chinese government did not allow it to proceed with a probe.
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