Chinese embassy denies organ harvesting report
CTV.ca News Staff
The Chinese Embassy in Ottawa is dismissing a report by two prominent Canadian investigators that claims China has harvested the organs of Falun Gong prisoners.
Former Liberal MP David Kilgour and international human rights lawyer David Matas volunteered for a two-month investigation into the alleged organ harvesting of Chinese prisoners, and on Thursday presented their 45-page long report on the illegal practice.
"The allegations are true ... harvesting is indeed happening," Matas said during the press conference.
The report, which assessed 18 categories of evidence, found that organ harvesting of Falun Gong members began in 2000 and continues to this day in different parts of China.
"This is a form of evil we have yet to see on this planet," Matas said.
But the Chinese Embassy called the report "groundless and biased,'' and described the allegations as a Falun Gong smear effort based on "rumours."
Members of Falun Gong, a spiritual movement that is outlawed in China, claim thousands of their imprisoned practitioners have been victims of organ harvesting.
"We can't give you an estimate as to the numbers, but in our report, we will indicate that about 40,000 organ transplants are not explained," Kilgour told Canada AM Thursday.
Kilgour and Matas conclude the majority of the organs came from Falun Gong prisoners, who didn't volunteer their organs.
The report, which includes testimony from relatives of the surgeons, supports these charges.
"The wife of one of the surgeons...said that what happens is he took the cornea and then other surgeons would take the heart, the liver and the kidneys and I think the pancreases as well," Kilgour said.
According to the woman, her husband removed corneas out of approximately 2,000 Falun Gong practitioners all of whom would die as a result.
Websites have even appeared soliciting foreigners who need transplants, promising organs in a week or two.
"That can't happen unless you have a bank of live people who are waiting to die so that some other human being can have their kidney," he said.
In addition to witness testimony, Kilgour and Matas also recorded conversations between some of the hospitals and prisons regarding requests for specific organs from Falun Gong prisoners.
The pair arranged for Mandarin-speaking individuals to phone hospitals asking for Falun Gong organs.
During the press conference, Kilgour read some of the phone transcripts:
In 1999, China outlawed the practice of Falun Gong. At that time, the government estimated there were approximately 60 million followers.
The report includes several recommendations, including the plea for Ottawa to stop training Chinese doctors in transplant technologies in Canada until there is proof that the practice has stopped.
With a report from The Canadian Press