August 21, 2006
A report giving credence to allegations Falun Gong practitioners in China are being killed for their organs was made public today in Ottawa by its authors, former Liberal and Independent MP David Kilgour and human rights lawyer David Matas.
In the report, Kilgour supports the accuracy of allegations that detained followers of Falun Gong [...] are having their kidneys, heart, liver and corneas harvested without consent. The bodies are then cremated and their organs sold to foreigners. "We've both been very shaken up by these stories. It's hard to believe this can go on anywhere in the world in this new century where human beings are supposed to matter," Kilgour said.
The report was conducted at the request of the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong in China and the Ottawa-based Falun Dafa Association, with the support of seven sitting MPs.
Among the recommendations included in the report is that the Canadian government should revoke the passports of Canadians suspected of travelling to China for transplants and deny visas to Chinese doctors wanting to study transplants here.
Kilgour said his investigation consisted primarily of interviews after applications to travel to China to conduct research were denied. One key witness was the wife of a surgeon, neither of whom are Falun Gong practitioners, who confessed to performing organ-removal surgeries on 2,000 unwilling Falun Gong detainees during a two-year period, Kilgour said. "She said he started having nightmares and that is when he confessed. And she details how it was done -- how many a day, what anesthetic they used. And what happened to him when he tried to stop."
Sophia Bronwen, a spokeswoman for Falun Gong practitioners in Vancouver, said she's excited about the report, which she said gives the allegations credibility. "I'm glad someone is taking us seriously and conducting third-party investigations," she said. Bronwen said practitioners have been trying for months to focus public attention on the issue, but the horrific nature of the allegations, combined with a strong Canadian reliance on trade with China, has made it difficult to gain support.
"I definitely think the economic thing has a huge part to play in us not being taken seriously," she said. "So when someone like David Kilgour steps forward, and David Matas, it gives us more credibility."
She called the efforts of both men to look into the contentious issue "incredibly courageous."
"What [they're] doing is pretty wonderful," she said.
Bronwen said she isn't surprised by the reaction to the report by Chinese officials in Canada.
"[They] would say no one was killed in Tiananmen Square either," she said.
"They are fabulously famous for their lies. It's up to you to decide who you believe."
Bronwen said Vancouver practitioners have long been posting photos of people they say were killed in China for their vital organs. The photos, on a large blue protest structure set up outside the Chinese consulate on Granville Street, show bodies with gashes along their abdomens and chests.
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