July 13, 2006-7-16

This is an article published by the Belgian news agency BELGA about the publication of the Kilgour-Matas. This text was used as a basis for several news articles that were published on July 13, 2006 on the website of the following Dutch-speaking newspapers in Belgium: De Morgen, De Standaard, De Gazet van Antwerpen, Het Belang Van Limburg, Het Laatste Nieuws.

Brussels 13/07 (BELGA) Since 1999, the Chinese government has executed an unknown number of practitioners of the spiritual movement Falun Gong in various places in the country, especially in hospitals, forced labor camps and prisons.

Without any written consent, their vital organs are also sold for high prices to foreigners.

This is claimed by David Kilgour, former Canadian MP, and David Matas, international human rights lawyer.

In Brussels today, Thursday, Kilgour presented an independent investigation report, in which they claim to reveal indisputable evidence about the illegal organ trade.

It is known for quite some time now that the Falun Gong, with its 70 million practitioners, is being severely persecuted in China. Practitioners from the forbidden spiritual movement, which is based on Buddhist principles of a pure body and pure mind, are said to be severely tortured in forced labor camps. Members of the European Parliament have already emphatically denounced this issue.

Kilgour and Matas based their independent report on numerous witnesses from Canada, Australia, France and the U.S., both practitioners and non-practitioners of Falun Gong. The investigators have also published conversations with doctors and surgeons in hospitals and prisons. The number of victims killed is yet unknown, but is said to be in the thousands.

In the bulky investigation report witnesses tell openly how they themselves, family members and friends were tortured in Chinese camps, how they had to undergo medical tests and sometimes even had to give up their organs. From convicted prisoners as well, numerous organs, like the liver, heart and kidneys were harvested and sold, Kilgour claims.

The organs are sold for high prices to foreigners, who usually have to wait a long time for the requested organ in their own country. "In China most of the time they get an organ within a week", says Kilgour. According to the investigators, especially patients from Scandinavia and Canada are said to be buyers of Chinese organs. […]

China already rejected Kilgour’s report [...]. Kilgour however emphasizes that their investigation wasn’t financed by third parties or supported by the Falun Gong. In Beijing Mr. Edward McMillan-Scott, Vice President of the European Parliament, likewise conducted an investigation into the illegal organ trade. He spoke with various victims of forced labor camps. "It is escalating more and more; millions of Chinese are frightened to still reveal themselves as practitioners of Falun Gong," says McMillan-Scott.

Kilgour and McMillan-Scott call on the Chinese authorities to urgently investigate the allegations. They further call on Western governments to increase the fight against the illegal organ trade.