Irish Times: China to be Questioned on 'Organ Harvesting'

China's ambassador to Ireland is to be asked to appear before an Oireachtas committee to discuss claims that the Chinese authorities have been harvesting bodily organs from prisoners.

A report investigating alleged organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners in China was presented to the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs today.

Former Canadian secretary of state for the Asia Pacific region, David Kilgour, who co-wrote the report with international human rights lawyer David Matas, addressed the committee today.

Mr Kilgour told the committee that the perpetrators of these deeds, including the doctors involved, should face the International Criminal Court as quickly as possible.

"We have a new form of evil in the world," he said. "These practices make crimes against humanity as defined by the Treaty of Rome and the International Criminal Court look more like misdemeanours."

Chairman of the committee Dr Michael Woods said Mr Kilgour's report "made for compelling reading".
He said that although the report didn't prove any of the allegations made, it did "raise serious questions which must be addressed".

Dr Woods called on the Chinese authorities to "allow an independent investigation to establish once and for all the veracity of these allegations".

The committee also heard from Dongxue Dai, a Falun Gong practitioner living in Ireland since 1996 and now an Irish citizen.

Ms Dai spoke of her own family's persecution in China and claimed many Falun Gong practioners are still illegally detained in labour camps in China and subjected to "severe torture". She said many Falun Gong practitioners are "in danger of being killed for their organs".

Ms Dai expressed her gratitude to the Irish Government for their assistance in helping two Falun Gong practitioners, one of whom, Mr. Liu Feng was present at the meeting, to return to Ireland after they were detained in labour camps in China.

The committee will now write to the Minister for Foreign Affairs to request that he raise the issue with his Chinese counterpart and also to ask that he raise the matter at the ongoing EU-China dialogue on human rights.

In a statement this evening, the Committee said it would invite the Chinese ambassador to Ireland for a discussion on this issue "in the near future".

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