July 6, 2006

Team says China harvests Falun Gong organs

OTTAWA (Reuters) - A respected Canadian human rights lawyer
and a former Canadian cabinet member lent their weight on
Thursday to charges that China has been killing Falun Gong
dissidents so it can use their organs.

The two men -- lawyer David Matas, and David Kilgour,
former secretary of state for Asia and the Pacific -- spent two
months investigating the accusations, which China has regularly

"It is simply inescapable that this is going on," Kilgour
told reporters as he and Matas released their findings.

They provided transcripts of phone calls placed in Chinese
to detention centers and organ transplant clinics in which
officials said organs from Falun Gong practitioners could be
made available for speedy use.

Some of the calls were placed on behalf of the Falun Gong
by people inquiring about whether they could get organ
transplants. Matas and Kilgour said they had carefully examined
phone records and had sat with certified Mandarin translators
as they listened to the taped conversations.

They also conducted interviews of their own and
investigated government records and other evidence.

"Believe me, I used to be a prosecutor. I knew there would
be cynicism and I did my utmost to make sure that everything
was satisfactorily and properly and ethically done," Kilgour

One call, made on June 8, was to a Mr. Li in the Mishan
City Detention Center in Heilongjiang province, according to
the transcript.

"Do you have Falun Gong (organ) suppliers?" Li was asked.

"We used to have, yes," he replied.

"What about now?"

"Yes," Li replied.

"Can we come to select, or you provide directly to us?"

"We provide them to you," Li said, adding that price would
be discussed when the caller arrived. He said he had "quite a
few" Falun Gong males under age 40 from whom organs could be

Kilgour released the transcript of an interview he
conducted with a woman who said her former husband, a surgeon,
had taken corneas from 2,000 people over two years. She said
the victims would first be given an injection that would cause
heart failure.

China has banned Falun Gong, a spiritual group, since 1999.
It rejects the organ harvesting accusations.

Matas said the practice amounted to a crime against
humanity. "Our findings are shocking. To us, this is a form of
evil we have yet to see on this planet," he said.

He said that if China rejects the findings it should make
sure hospitals keep records of the source of each transplant
that would be available for inspection by human rights