August 16, 2006
A high-level European official says there's clear evidence China is harvesting the organs of dissidents and has urged Australia to boycott the Beijing Olympics unless China ends what amounts to genocide.
EU parliament vice president Edward McMillan-Scott and former Canadian minister David Kilgour, who are in Australia, claim China is killing thousands of members of the Falun Gong spiritual movement.
Falun Gong was banned by the Chinese government in 1999 and members claim they have been persecuted by Beijing.
A report by the men says there is clear evidence that organs have been taken from thousands of Falun Gong members detained in Chinese jails.
It details how organs and tissue are harvested and sold, in a form of state-sanctioned murder.
"I regret to say I am convinced this is a widespread practice in China," Mr McMillan-Scott said on Wednesday.
"This amounts in my view to genocide."
Chinese woman Hong Chen told how she had been persecuted for her involvement with Falun Gong.
Through a translator, Ms Chen said she had been held in a detention camp in northwest China.
"We were forced to work 15 to 20 hours a day, very harsh, physical work," she said.
Ms Chen spoke of a woman who was transferred to her camp and showed signs of torture.
"The middle of both of her hands were marked with black - burn marks ... the reason was electric shock treatment to her hands and feet," she said.
The report estimates there were 41,500 involuntary organ transplants in China in the six year period between 2000 and 2005.
The men are in Australia as part of a world "awareness" tour, saying they want countries to use the 2008 Beijing Olympics as leverage to force China to stop the killing.
"If it doesn't stop very, very quickly I would hope a lot of countries, including Australia, would call for a boycott of the Olympic Games in Beijing," Mr Kilgour said.
"We conclude this is going on on a large scale - it's got to stop.
"The window of opportunity is the Olympic Games."
The government appeared reluctant to acknowledge the senior politicians on their visit to Canberra on Wednesday.
Falun Gong claims Foreign Minister Alexander Downer refused to meet the two men.
Mr Downer was unavailable for comment.
In parliament, Speaker David Hawker also refused to recognise the dignitaries despite their presence being called to his attention.
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