The Canadian government is planning to investigate allegations that Falun Gong members in Chinese prisons are being murdered and their organs sold to transplant patients. Former cabinet minister David Kilgour and a respected human rights lawyer, David Matas, spent two months investigating the startling claims and have documented them in a 60-page report. "The allegations, if true, would represent a grotesque form of evil which, despite all the depravations humanity has seen, would be new to this planet," they say. The Chinese government banned Falun Gong as a subversive sect in 1999 and has imprisoned large numbers of its supporters.
The two men acknowledge that they have no eyewitness evidence, but from interviews and careful analysis of publicly available information, they conclude that thousands of people have been murdered. China has very few voluntary organ donors and relies on harvesting organs from about 1600 prisoners executed each year. But since 1999 — the year of the crack-down on the group — organ transplants have soared. Kilgour and Matas calculate that about 41,500 organ donors in that period are unaccounted for ? which they believe to be Falun Gong supporters.
One informant was the divorced wife of a transplant surgeon who, she claimed, had removed the corneas of 2,000 Falun Gong supporters in two years. The victims were first given an injection to cause heart failure and their bodies were then cremated. Kilgour and Matas also produced translated transcripts of conversations with jails whose officials claimed that they could produce good quality organs quickly. Chinese hospitals often advertise on their websites that they can supply suitable organs in as little as one or two weeks. Kilgour and Matas point out that the median waiting time in Canada was 32.5 months in 2003. "The astonishingly short waiting times advertised for perfectly-matched organs would suggest the existence of both a computer matching system for transplants and a large bank of live prospective ‘donors’."
The Chinese government is on an ethical slippery slope which began with capital punishment, the two Canadians claim. "When the state kills defenceless human beings already in detention for their crimes, it becomes all too easy to take the next step, harvesting their organs without their consent. This is a step China undoubtedly took. When the state harvests the organs of executed prisoners without their consent, it is another step that becomes all too easy and tempting to take to harvest the organs of other vilified, depersonalised, defenceless prisoners without their consent, especially when there is big money to be made from it."
They recommend that Chinese transplant surgeons be banned from entering Canada and other countries and that all governments should discourage their nationals from travelling to China for transplant operations. The Chinese embassy in Canada has vigorously denied all allegations made by the report and accused Kilgour and Matas of smearing China. It insists that China has banned the sale of organs and has always obtained informed consent for any organ transplants.
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