Australia: MP Calls for International Support for Australia's Position on Organ Harvesting in China

The following is a press release from the office of Rev Hon Dr GORDON MOYES,
Christian Democratic Party Member of the Legislative Council in Australian Parliament House.

Friday, 18th August 2006

As cross-party support in Australia was confirmed for an international inquiry into reports of organ harvesting for profit in China, a leading churchman said the world's conscience should be awakened.

"We need to act now on human rights violations occurring in China or lose the opportunity forever," Rev Hon Dr Gordon Moyes, a member of the New South Wales Parliament and China specialist, said today.

"The 2008 Beijing Olympics offers an unprecedented opportunity for democratic nations to pressure the Chinese Government to act against these crimes against humanity."

"The volume of evidence is now so strong that it warrants an independent, international investigation," Dr Moyes said.

Dr Moyes' call came as European Parliament Vice President Mr Edward McMillan-Scott and former Canadian cabinet minister Hon David Kilgour visited Australia and New Zealand to encourage parliamentary support for an international inquiry into organ harvesting - the sale of body parts from Falun Gong prisoners of conscience.

A preliminary report released on July 6th by Kilgour and human rights lawyer David Matas presented 18 categories of evidence on organ harvesting across China.

McMillan-Scott and Kilgour said that they were profoundly relieved that Australia had now reached a cross-party consensus on the issue.

On Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Lateline on August 17th, the Australian government was confirmed as committing itself to an independent investigation into the reports by Opposition Foreign Affairs spokesman Kevin Rudd, who also supported the call.

"We welcome the bi-partisan consensus on an international inquiry into organ harvesting. The 20 million population of Australia is bound together by democracy and the rule of law, but also cherishes its well-established trade ties with China.

So the position of the Australian government and opposition on this matter is highly significant and welcome," said McMillan-Scott, who visited China to investigate organ harvesting in May.

"As a leading Asian Pacific democracy, Australia is showing leadership on this issue, which other parliamentarians in the region and beyond, including Canada, the United States and Europe, should now follow," said Kilgour.

Further support for an end to organ harvesting came in a statement this week referring to the Matas-Kilgour report, when the U.S. National Kidney Foundation said it "is deeply concerned about recent allegations regarding the procurement of organs and tissues through coercive or exploitative practices abroad, or practices which violate worldwide human rights standards."

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