On December 8th, the Malaysian major Chinese newspaper Oriental Daily published a full-page article to highlight the main findings of the Matas-Kilgour investigation report on organ harvesting allegations against the Chinese Communist regime.
The article detailed David Matas' speech at a forum on October 10th hosted by the Malaysian Bar Association. The article emphasized that the number of organ transplantation surgeries increased dramatically after 2001 and the sources of the organs used are questionable.
The article said that Mr. Matas introduced their "Report into Allegations of Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners in China" and stressed that some agencies in China are involved in this crude crime of harvesting organs from Falun Gong practitioners.
"These executed Falun Gong practitioners' vital organs, including hearts, kidneys, livers and corneas, were virtually simultaneously seized involuntarily for sale at high prices, sometimes to foreigners, who normally face long waits for voluntary donations of such organs in their home countries," said Matas.
This report, which was coauthored by David Matas and David Kilgour, stated: "Our conclusion comes not from any one single item of evidence, but rather the piecing together of all the evidence we have considered."
Regarding the initiative of the investigation, Matas said that they received an invitation from the Coalition to Investigation the Persecution of Falun Gong (CIPFG) to investigate allegations that Falun Gong practitioners have had their organs harvested involuntarily. He emphasized that the investigation was completely independent, had no connection with the Falun Gong spiritual group and that he and David Kilgour didn't accept any payment.
Mr. Matas said that they tried to enter China to investigate but were not successful. Though they had requested to meet with diplomats of the Chinese Embassy to discuss terms of entry, at the meeting, the Embassy simply denied those allegations and didn't allow them to enter China.
David Matas acknowledged that "the allegations of organ harvesting are difficult either to prove or disprove. The best evidence for proving any allegation is eye witness accounts. Yet for this alleged crime, there is unlikely to be any eye witness because the people present at the scene of organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners, if it does occur, are either perpetrators or victims. There are no surviving victims to tell what happened to them. Perpetrators are unlikely to confess to what would be, if they occurred, crimes against humanity. Nonetheless, though we did not get full scale confessions, we garnered a surprising number of admissions through investigator phone calls."
Consequently, Matas recommended in the report: "Governmental, non-governmental and inter-governmental human rights organisations with far better investigative capacity than ours should take these allegations seriously and make their own determinations whether or not they are true.
"Article 3 of the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, bans, among other practices,... the removal of organs. Governments should request the relevant agency of the UN (we would suggest the UN Committee Against Torture and the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture), to investigate if the government of China has engaged in, or is engaging in now, in violations of any of the terms of Article 3."
Matas questioned: According to Amnesty International's records, the average number of executed prisoners between 1995 and 1999 was 1680 per year. The average between 2000 and 2005 was 1616 per year. According to public reports, there were approximately 18,500 transplants in the six years between 1994 and 1999, while there were about 60,000 in the six years between 2000 and 2005 since the persecution of Falun Gong began. Where do the organs come from for the 41,500 transplants?
"Again this sort of gap in the figures does not establish that the allegation of harvesting of organs from Falun Gong practitioners is true. But the converse, a full explanation of the source of all organ transplants, would disprove the allegation. If the source of all organ transplants could be traced either to willing donors or executed prisoners, then the allegation about the Falun Gong would be disproved. But the Chinese government has not provided such data."
Based on consideration of eighteen pieces of proof and disproof, the report concluded that Falun Gong practitioners' organs have been harvested. Such evidences include the high organ demand in China, the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners, mandated blood tests for detained Falun Gong practitioners, corpses of Falun Gong practitioners with missing organs, short waiting time for transplant in China and the huge profits of the Chinese organ transplant market.
The report pointed out that the websites for some hospitals in China claimed that organ waiting time was very short. For example, "The China International Transplantation Assistant Centre website says, 'It may take only one week to find a suitable (kidney) donor, the maximum time being one month... If something wrong with the donor's organ occurs, the patient will have the option of being offered another organ donor and will have another operation within one week.' The astonishingly short waiting times advertised for perfectly-matched organs would suggest the existence of both a computer matching system for transplants and a large bank of live prospective 'donors'."
Matas said: "The median waiting time for a kidney in Canada was 32.5 months in 2003."
He said, at least 98% of the organs for transplants come from someone other than family donors. In the case of kidneys, for example, only 227 of 40,393 transplants - about 0.6% - done between 1971 and 2001 in China came from family donors. Chinese nationals, for cultural reasons, are reluctant to donate their organs after death. Therefore, there are many more organs from unknown sources apart from some organs that come from executed prisoners. Very few come from willing donors.
The report stated that the government of China admitted to using the organs of executed prisoners only last year, although it had been going on for many years.
Malaysians Should Not Go to China for Organ Transplant
Matas appealed to the Malaysian government and citizens to take actions to ensure that Malaysians will not go to China for organ transplants before China implements international organ transplant laws.
He said: "At the very least, Malaysians can choose not to go to China for transplants if Chinese organ transplant laws do not meet the international standards or cannot be strictly implemented; and the Malaysian government can refuse to issue or suspend passports to people who go to China for transplants."
Meanwhile, the Matas-Kilgour report also recommended: "Until the Chinese law on organ transplants is effectively implemented, foreign governments should not issue visas to doctors from China seeking to travel abroad for the purpose of training in organ or bodily issue transplantation. Any doctor in China known to be involved in trafficking in the organs of prisoners should be barred entry by all foreign countries permanently."
Mandated Blood Testing for Detained Falun Gong Practitioners
Matas also questioned: "Falun Gong practitioners are blood tested when they are sent to labour camps. However, other detainees were not subject to such testing. Why?"
He pointed out that that blood testing is a pre-requisite for organ transplants and donors need to be matched with recipients so that the antibodies of the recipients do not reject the organs of the donors.
Falun Gong practitioner Chen Jin testified that he was taken to have a physical exam while other detainees were not required to do so.
Mr. Matas said: "The mere fact of blood testing does not establish that organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners is taking place. But the opposite is true. If there were no blood testing, the allegation would be disproved. "
In addition, family members of many Falun Gong practitioners who died in labour camps found that their loved ones' corpses were cut open and organs had been removed. The Chinese Communist regime has not given any explanation.
In the investigation report, the wife of a Chinese surgeon said that her husband told her that he personally removed the corneas from approximately 2,000 anesthetized Falun Gong prisoners in northeast China during the two-year period before October, 2003 and the organs of those practitioners were removed by other doctors.
Matas emphasized that, besides this testimony, they also collected some recorded phone interviews. In those interviews, many detention centres and hospitals in China admitted that they supply Falun Gong practitioners' organs.
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