Report from De Morgen (Belgium): ‘Falun Gong followers are being killed for their organs’

The Chinese authorities are killing imprisoned followers of the persecuted Falun Gong movement to serve themselves of their organs for expensive transplantations. Canadians David Matas and David Kilgour have stated this in a new report.

The Vice President of the European Parliament thinks that there should be a UN investigation into the organ harvesting. If the facts are proved, then the Olympic Games in 2008 should no longer be held in Beijing.

That the Falun Gong movement, under persecution in China since July 1999, is subject to virulent repression is nothing new. Hundreds of thousands of people have disappeared within the past few years for a long time, thrown into labour camps, in many cases without any form of trial, but via the convenience of ‘administrative detention’, which approves this kind of deprivation of freedom. Also, stories about the executed practitioners, whose organs are being removed and sold for a huge amount of money, are well known.

The allegations the two Canadians have formulated in their new report even goes a step further. According to them, Falun Gong followers are being killed only for their organs, and are then being cremated.

"Between the end of 2001 and October 2003, my husband removed corneas of two thousand Falun Gong followers," a witness tells about the Suojiacun [Sujiatun] hospital in Shenyang in the Canadian report. Former Canadian Secretary of State David Kilgour interviewed her on 20th May in the United States.

"After that other doctors removed their kidneys and livers. The victims were given a strong substance that caused heart failure, while the vital organs were still working. After the removals they were cremated. According to estimations that he and some colleagues made, about 3000 to 4000 people were killed in that hospital. My husband earned hundreds of thousands of dollars, and then finally, when he couldn’t handle it anymore he resigned, and was then physically attacked."

The ex-wife of the surgeon is the more or less only direct witness in the report, for the rest Kilgour and Matas relied on a team of Chinese, who called detention centres and hospitals in China, assuming to be patients. They asked if there were organs of Falun Gong practitioners available.

Those organs are usually of very good quality because these people [Falun Gong practitioners] don’ t smoke or drink and they do a lot of healthy exercises. Most of the institutes responded positively and also the waiting term for transplantation is remarkebly short. The person who has the money can usually come over straightaway.

"That makes us suspect," says the Vice President of the European Parliament, McMillan-Scott, "That there is a reservoir of people, who are being kept alive until their organs can be sold for a lot of money."

Other indications in that direction come from witnesses of ex-detained Falun Gong practitioners, who tell us that during their imprisonment they were constantly subjected to blood tests and tests of vital organs.

The only witness who saw a murdered Falun Gong follower is Gao Dong, a man who spoke with McMillan-Scott during his three-day visit to Beijing. "It concerned his friend who was also imprisoned. One evening he was being taken away and the next time he saw him he was a dead body which obviously showed traces of operations."

The day after his meeting with the EU Vice President, Gao Dong was arrested. He is still being held, despite the formal protests of McMillan-Scott.

Kilgour and Matas stated in their report that it was extremely difficult to find proof for such condemnable facts. There are no survivors and very few witnesses. The visas they need to investigate the matter were refused. Except for the telephone calls and the one witness, they base [their findings] on the few numbers which are available on executions and transplantations in China.

Because of cultural reasons there are very few Chinese who want to be organ donors. 98 per cent of all organ transplantations happen with organs of non-relatives, and for kidneys for example, the per cent is even higher. Between 1971 and 2001 only 227 people donated a kidney to a relative, of a total number of 40,393 transplantations. Executed people unwillingly provide a part of the organ transplantations, but even if both categories are being counted, [from 2000 to June 2005] it can’t be explained where the other 41,500 organs have come from.

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