At the end of November 2006, Petra Bayr, Elisabeth Hlavac and some other Austrian Parliamentarians wrote a formal letter to the Foreign Minister and the Health Minister asking for replies on the issue of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) practice of harvesting organs from living Falun Gong practitioners.
After the Austrian cabinet reshuffle at the beginning of 2007, Ursula Plassnik remained as Foreign Minister and Andrea Kdolsky became the new Minister of Health and Family Affairs. Recently both of them wrote signed letters as their reply to the formal letter from MPs and published the letters on the web page of the Austrian Parliament.
In her letter, the Foreign Minister said that officials from the Austrian Foreign Ministry held a discussion with Mr. David Kilgour and they had some knowledge about the investigation report by David Kilgour and David Matas. The Austrian government and some other EU countries governments had done some probes into the issue with some non-governmental human rights organisations and in May 2006, when Embassies of the EU countries in Beijing held an inquiry conference over this issue, Austria presided over the conference as the chair country of the EU. During the human rights dialogue between the EU and China held in Vienna in May 2006 and Beijing in October 2006, the CCP was requested to do strict inspections of the willingness of the organ donors and the sources of organs. In her reply, the Foreign Minister emphasised that Austria also supported the efforts of other organizations to investigate Chinese prisons, especially the UN Special Rapporteur on torture.
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