Interview with outgoing UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Novak on Falun Gong in China
Translation from the German Text
From misik.at, March 12, 2007 German
Manfred Nowak, Human Rights lawyer and UN Special Rapporteur
Manfred Nowak, Human Rights lawyer and UN Special Rapporteur, about his inquiries against the Chinese Government. Profil, March 12, 2007.
Journalist: Based on the Canadian Report you have decided to inquire into the accusations. How leakproof is the documented material?
Nowak: The two Canadians are drawing clear conclusions. The chain of evidence they are documenting shows a coherent picture that causes concern.
Journalist: What evidence exactly?
Nowak: It´s a fact that Falun Gong is being suppressed since 1999. It is incontestable that since the beginning of the repressions against Falun Gong the number of Organ transplantations has increased massively. Even the official Chinese Organizations of Medics shows in its Statistics that there have been 60.000 Organ transplantations between the year 2000 and 2005.
Journalist: Couldn´t they have been donated voluntarily?
Nowak: That at least is very much worthy to be investigated, because in chinese society, out of religious-cultural aspects, there is no big disposition to voluntarily donate organs, may this be alive or after death.
Journalist: Then the matter should be intrinsically clear?
Nowak: Well, the chinese side insists, that the Organ donations have been voluntary. We don´t know how many human beings have been persecuted, because the Chinese government is the only one in the world not publishing any statistics in this respect. Relevant data of NGOs like Amnesty International and others are between 1500 and 4000 executed persons per year. Speaking about the Canadian Report one can see that there is a downright market and a big willingness, e.g. from hospitals, to accommodate potential customers. They promise to fulfil the requirements in very short time. Within a few weeks one receives an organ. That implies a high level of organization
Journalist: That means that people are being executed when a customer comes?
Nowak: The accusations are in the direction that even people are being executed even if they are not yet convicted, but who are just being killed for taking their organs.
Journalist: In short: There are people being executed who wouldn´t be executed if there were no demand?
Nowak: That´s the main point of the accusations. Furthermore, Falun Gong-followers are ideal organ donators because of their lifestyle and the sociological typology of the members are ideal organ donators. They don´t smoke, they don´t drink, and most of them are aged between 25 and 35 years.
Journalist: The case seems to be clear?
Nowak: I myself don´t yet want to make any judgment, because my examinations are still going on and I am still expecting important information by the Chinese government. The Canadian report does not contain any true proof, but a lot of conclusive evidence. The accusations raised by Falun Gong – eg. that in a hospital in Sujiatun (Shenyang province) alone 6000 of their followers have been killed for means of organ trade, seems in any case to be overdone and is being disavowed categorically even by prominent government critics like Harry Wu, with whom I had detailed talks in Washington D.C. The accusations are so massive that I will only then speak out if there is real proof. In any case now it´s the Chinese government´s turn to invalidate the chain of evidence point by point with the according facts (e.g . the exact number of executed persons, the exact origin of the transplanted organs). To reject the massive accusations raised by various sides categorically is surely not sufficient.