Nobel Peace Prize nominee and human rights lawyer David Matas has called on Australian politicians to help stop the organ harvesting of political prisoners in China.
Mr Matas was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010 for his joint investigation into the live organ harvesting that has been taking place in China. He will be making his address at the 15th International Symposium of the World Society of Victimology in Perth.
The Issue of organ harvesting has been denied by China’s government, while they have also claimed that the practice has stopped, Mr Matas said.
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The practice of Falun Gong, a spiritual exercise and meditation regimen, gained tens of millions of Chinese followers in the late 1990s, but was viewed by the Communist Party as a threat because of its size and independence. Practitioners were subjected to human rights violations and some were imprisoned, wrote The Australian.
In 2006, a woman claimed that as many as 4000 Falun Gong practitioners had been killed for their organs in a hospital where she had worked. She had also reported that her husband had removed the corneas from 2000 living practitioners at the same hospital. A Chinese doctor had also backed the woman’s account a week later. It was after being told this that Mr Matas and former Canadian MP David Kilgour started an investigation into the allegations.
A report by Matas and Kilgour of their investigation found “the regrettable conclusion that the allegations are true.” Matas said: “Prisoners whose organs were removed were not given anesthetic, but were provided with a muscle relaxant and blood thinner. Their bodies were then cremated.”
Matas, who after addressing the symposium will be speaking at the Western Australia Parliament, said the treatment of Falun Gong in China was “the worst” in victimization and human rights abuse, wrote Perth Now. “It may be tempting to go after violations which are easier to remedy because the Chinese Government is less intransigent and more open about them, but we have to think of the victims first rather than the malleability of the Communist Party,” Matas said.
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Matas said: “Every contact with China is an opportunity to raise this issue and express concerns.
“I assume Western Australia thinks of its economic relations with China in terms of its economic own benefit, but of course it would be equally economically beneficial to China or China would not be engaged. One should take advantage of the fact that Chinese government and Chinese business place value in this relationship in order to pursue the advantage that relationship gives.”
There are still accounts of systemic blood testing and organ examinations of Falun Gong and non-Falun Gong prisoners going on in China’s prisons.
The main reason why they use Falun Gong particoners is because of their belief in a healthy lifestyle.
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“China doesn’t publish statistics; what they say is that it’s never happened and it has stopped, in terms of sourcing organs from prisoners,” Matas said. “As far as we can tell, people who are coming out of prison in China today, they still talk about blood testing and in some ways it seems to be getting worse because in some provinces in China now they’re not just blood testing and examining Falun Gong practitioners in detention, they’re examining them in their homes and off the street.”
This article has been edited due to one of the newspapers misquoting a source.