UK Parliament Seminar Speech: “Bloody Harvest: Some Unpalatable Truths as the 2008 China Olympics Approach”

On March 26th 2007, former Canadian MP and Secretary of State (Asia Pacific) David Kilgour gave the following speech at a seminar in the House of Commons, London, UK. The seminar, held in the Chambers adjacent to the ancient Westminster Hall, was attended by members of Parliament from the House of Commons and the Lords from House of Lords, people from NGO's, journalists, and VIP's. David Kilgour, along with human rights lawyer David Matas, released a second version of their report about the harvesting of organs from Falun Gong practititoners earlier this year. The report is entitled “BLOODY HARVEST: Revised Report into Allegations of Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners in China” and can be read at http://organharvestinvestigation.net/.


David Kilgour (centre) speaks in the seminar. On his right is Lord Thurlow and on his left is Annie Yang, a Falun Gong practitioner who suffered persecution in China.
Today, we are not addressing issues of pariah regimes in Burma/Myanmar, Sudan, Zimbabwe and North Korea, all of which are supported at the UN Security Council by the government of China. Nor are we referring to a host of other persecuted communities, including Tibetans, Uighurs, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, democrats, human rights advocates such as Gao Zhishen and Internet users.

To be clear, my respect for the people of China and their long history, culture, scholarship and myriad other accomplishments is large. During two years as Canada's Secretary of State for the Asia-Pacific region (2002 and 2003), I visited a number of communities in China, which only increased this sense of awe. It was also my honour to represent in our House of Commons for almost 27 years some of the approximately one million Canadians of origin in China, who are incidentally evidently the best-educated ethno-cultural community in our country.

The Writing on the Wall

Here in London, permit me to pay tribute to your Will Hutton, who recently published an excellent book on China, The Writing on the Wall-China and the West in the 21st Century. It argues convincingly that the new century can belong to China, but only if new leaders embraces economic and political pluralism, including democratic governance, meaningful restored private ownership of land, independent courts and the rule of law, and the basic freedoms of any well-functioning civilization.

Hutton also concludes that, unless China modernizes its governance, its internal problems, including huge social inequality, unemployment, corruption, pollution of the natural environment and general societal discontent, could end its export successes of recent decades, thereby derailing much of the world economy. He calls on the advanced democracies to assist the next generation of leaders in Beijing ( Like many, Hutton does not have much confidence in the reform agenda of President Hu.) to avoid collapse. The key is modernized governance because, as the book points out, approximately two thirds of the world's countries are now democratic and China's one party state is increasingly out of sync with its trading partners.

Organ Seizures from Falun Gong Practitioners

The totalitarian governance model still operating in China ultimately explains what is happening to the vital organs of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners, which as a community the government of China itself estimated to comprise about 70 million persons in 1999. As Hutton, who does not deal with the organ issue in his book, points out, since 1949 terrible things have happened regularly to the population of China at the hands of its own government, During Mao's period alone, an estimated 70 million persons perished as a direct or indirect result of inhuman policies such as the "Great Leap Forward" and the "Cultural Revolution".

As the Matas-Kilgour report explains in detail, in 1999 the government of President Jiang Zemin declared a brutal war on Falun Gong practitioners, no doubt because he was afraid of its growing popularity as an exercise-spiritual movement which is deeply rooted in the qigong, Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism traditions of the Chinese people. Practitioners are peaceful and non-political, but their core values of "truth, compassion and forbearance" were clearly different from those of Jiang's European-based political philosophy of Marxism-Leninism. Appendix 9 of our revised report deals with the physical persecution of Falun Gong practitioners by the government of China since 1999.

'Carnivore Capitalism'

A second key factor leading ultimately to the crime of widespread organ snatching was the 'dog-eat-dog' model of a market economy introduced by Deng Xiaoping after he became paramount leader in the late 1970s, which I've termed "carnivore capitalism'. The national goal became "get rich by any means". When many hospital budgets across China were cut, the temptation for them and medical professionals to profit from the sale of the organs of Falun Gong "enemies of the state" to foreigners and wealthy Chinese nationals fit well with the brutal persecution of the Falun Gong community continuing since mid-summer of 1999.

Here I refer you to the statement of the ex-wife of a Chinese surgeon, which is appendix 18 in our revised report. She was told by him that he was paid the equivalent of hundreds of thousands of US dollars for removing the corneas of about 2000 Falun Gong practitioners between 2001 and October of 2003.

In the five years since the persecution began, Matas and I have found approximately 1,500 transplantations across China that are unexplained by executions of convicted criminals, voluntary donors and brain dead accident victims. In one case we cite (case 3 in appendix 5), a recipient was brought eight kidneys in a hospital in Shanghai.

Dr. Tom Treasure

This brings me to the article, "The Falun Gong, organ transplantation, the holocaust and ourselves", by Dr Tom Treasure and carried in the current issue of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. Treasure courageously reminds the profession that in the 1930s the first steps on the road to the holocaust were taken with the complicity of doctors. Among his other important points, I cite only three:

1) Organ transplantation has increased in China at a remarkable rate. One institution reported 647 liver transplant operations in about a year. The waiting times are between one and two weeks according to Chinese hospital web pages.

2) Apparently when arrested, (Falun Gong practitioners) are routinely blood tested .There is no reason to believe that this is for the benefit of the Falun Gong, but the blood group matching is critical to organ donation...the recipients are predominately those traveling internationally for health care; if Matas and Kilgour are correct the organs come from incarcerated members of an innocent (group); the perpetrators are of necessity medical practitioners.'

3) What makes (the allegation) credible are the numerical gap between the reported number of transplants compared with what is possible in other countries, the short waiting times and the confidence with which the operations are offered in the global health market and the routine blood testing of the Falun Gong.

Manfred Nowak of UN

Last November, China's deputy health minister Huang Jiefu claimed that "most of the organs for sale are from executed prisoners." Dr Manfred Nowak, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture is expected to speak at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva today on these issues. He has earlier indicated that approximately two-thirds of the tortured prisoners in China are Falun Gong prisoners. In the translated version of an article published in the Austrian magazine Profil, Nowak makes several interesting points:

1) He was expecting a substantive response from the government of China to the Matas-Kilgour report before March 18th. "(The government) is required to respond with facts on each point of the allegations by concrete data on executions, the source of the organs for transplants. It is not enough to categorically deny the large amount of deduced evidence from a variety of different angles."

2) Due to their lifestyle and social type, Falun Gong adherents are well suited as organ donors. They do not smoke or drink. Most of them are between the ages of twenty to thirty five.

Our revised report

Our revised report is available at "organharvestinvestigation.net"

Our initial one released last July presented 18 types of evidence, which increased to 33 in the revised one. Some of its contents are based on:

-- Admissions from representatives from hospitals in 14 provinces across China that the sources of their organs are Falun Gong practitioners in the form of admissions to our investigators who called hospitals across the country posing as relatives of customers. We have tapes, transcripts, translations and telephone records of these conversations.

-- The systematic blood testing of Falun Gong practitioners in prison, forced labour and detention centres. Medical examinations were not done out of any concern for their health since they were tortured and abused severely; many died under the policy of eradicating Falun Gong in China.

-- Numerous Falun Gong prisoners refused to reveal their identities in order to protect family, friends and fellow workers. This population appears to have disappeared and we learned about them from practitioners who did self-identify and were later released.

-- Family members and friends have observed the bodies of practitioners formerly held in custody with organs missing. Many were cremated without their families being permitted to see their bodies.

-- Waiting for transplants in China is a matter of days or weeks. There are now 10,000-20,000 organ transplants yearly across the country. There is no organ donation system. This suggests a large living organ bank from involuntary donors.

-- There is no other plausible explanation for the sourcing of so many organs. Public records on executions simply do not support the claim that organ transplants are coming from "convicted criminals".

Conclusion

The Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (CIPFG) in China now has hundreds of legislators, lawyers, doctors, academics, religious and spiritual leaders in more than twenty countries who are ready to go to China to investigate our report findings. They should be allowed to do so.

The Olympic Games and organ snatching cannot occur at the same time in China. The Olympic Charter and movement, including its respect for human dignity and national Olympic committees in seventy countries, require better.

I invite the participants in this seminar to examine ways you can help to end this terrible practice. Murdering innocent people for their organs is a new form of evil on this planet.

Thank you.

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