The main conclusion of the book "is that there has been and continues
today to be large-scale organ seizures from unwilling Falun Gong
practitioners. We have concluded that the government of China and its
agencies in numerous parts of the country, in particular hospitals but
also detention centres and 'people's courts', since 1999 have put to
death a large but unknown number of Falun Gong prisoners of
conscience. Their vital organs, including kidneys, livers, corneas and
hearts, were 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."
From the 52 kinds of evidence we examined, our finding did not come
from any single piece, but from their cumulative effect. Each is
verifiable in itself and most are incontestable. In combination, they
constitute a damning overall picture of guilt.
Have the efforts of many in China and around the world, including our
independent report, to stop this new crime against humanity made a
difference? The book points at various developments within and beyond
China, including these:
- Chinese patients are since June. 26, 2007 given priority access to
organ transplants, taking precedence over foreigners.
- Web sites in China which used to advertise prices of organ
transplants and short waiting times for transplants have disappeared.
We have archived the sites, but the sites are no longer visible from
- The government of China now accepts that this sourcing of organs
from prisoners is improper. Deputy Health Minister Huang Jeifu, at the
time of the announcement of an organ donor pilot project in August
2009, stated that executed prisoners "are definitely not a proper
source for organ transplants".
Since we began our work, there have been significant initiatives outside China.
- Taiwan banned the visit of Chinese doctors brokering organ transplants.
- The major transplant hospitals in Queensland, Australia have banned
training Chinese surgeons.
- Israel passed a law banning the sale and brokerage of organs. It
also ended its funding through the health insurance system of
transplants for their nationals in China.
- A Belgian senator Patrik Vankrunkelsven and a Canadian Member of
Parliament Borys Wrzesnewskyj have each introduced into the Parliament
of his country extraterritorial legislation banning transplant
tourism. The proposed legislation would, when enacted, penalise any
transplant patient who receives an organ without consent of the donor
where the patient knew or ought to have known of the absence of
- The World Medical Association entered into an agreement with the
Chinese Medical Association that organs of prisoners and other
individuals in custody must not be used for transplantation except for
members of their immediate family.
- The Transplantation Society opposed the transplantation of organs
from prisoners and the presentations of studies involving patient data
or samples from recipients of organs or tissues from prisoners.
These changes are not sufficient to resolve the abuse on which we have
reported. On the contrary, for Falun Gong practitioners, matters have
got worse, not better. Since we began our work, the number of
prisoners sentenced to death and then executed has decreased quite
dramatically, but the number of transplants, at first fell only a
little, and then went back to earlier levels. Since the only other
substantial source of organs for transplants in China besides Falun
Gong practitioners is prisoners sentenced to death, a decrease of
sourcing from prisoners sentenced to death means an increase of
sourcing from Falun Gong practitioners. Though the violations against
Falun Gong practitioners have become more acute since our work began,
the substantial movement in policy and practice both inside and
outside China encourages us. The willingness to change is there. We
all need to continue to press for changes until the abuse ends.
Forced Labour Exports
The last issue I'll deal with for time reasons is forced labour by
Falun Gong and others across China and the implications for
manufacturing jobs in Quebec, the rest of Canada and elsewhere. The
network of labour camps today in China has existed since the 1950s,
when Mao modeled them closely on the ones created in Stalin's Russia
and Hitler's Third Reich. In China even today, it requires only a
police signature to commit someone to a labour camp for up to four
years. No hearings and no appeals in the best totalitarian tradition.
In researching our report on allegations that Falun Gong practitioners
were being killed for their organs in China, David Matas and I visited
about a dozen countries to interview practitioners who had been sent
to forced labour camps, but who had later managed to leave the camps
and the country itself.
They told us of working in appalling conditions for up to sixteen
hours daily with no pay, little food, cramped sleeping conditions
together on the floor, and torture. Their labour involved making
export products, ranging from clothing to chopsticks to Christmas
decorations, no doubt as unnamed subcontractors to exporters.
One estimate of the number of these so-called 're-education through
labour' camps across China as of 2005 was 340, with a capacity of
about 300,000 workers. Other estimates of the numbers of inmates are
much higher. In 2007, a US government report estimated that at least
half of the inmates in the camps were Falun Gong.
It is of course the combination of totalitarian governance and
'anything is permitted' economics which allows such inhuman export
production to continue.
I might mention that a Montreal friend told me some time ago that he
estimates that there are up to fifty manufacturers in this province
alone, who have been assisted by federal government agencies to move
production from Quebec to China. My phone call in Ottawa to the Export
Corporation did not produce confirmation; nor did it evoke a denial.
One well-known example of this pattern is Goodyear Tire, which
terminated more than 800 Quebec jobs a few years ago in order to avail
itself of the advantages of a plant in China. Not long after its
Montreal area plant closed and soon thereafter the US government
declared that tires made in China were a safety hazard. No taxpayer
money should be used to send Canadian jobs to China or anywhere
outside our country.
I now turn the floor over to my friend and colleague, David Matas, who
was yesterday admitted to the Order of Canada by the Governor General
at Rideau Hall in Ottawa...