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FDI: U.N. Recommendation Must Be Matched by Prompt Action to End Murder of Falun Gong for Their Organs

December 03, 2008 |  
02 Dec 2008

New York-In a legally binding decision issued on Nov. 21, the United Nations Committee against Torture called for an investigation into illicit organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners. The statement was the latest in a long line of actions taken by writers, lawyers, doctors, and government representatives to research and condemn such abuses. The Falun Dafa Information Center urges the international community to take immediate action to further investigate, prevent, and end such crimes against humanity.

"The decision of the U.N. Committee against Torture to raise this issue is incredibly important and commendable, lending additional weight to the proposition that Falun Gong prisoners of conscience have been killed so their organs could be sold for profit," says Falun Gong spokesman Erping Zhang.

"It is clear that there is a very real danger that this practice continues and may even escalate with the Olympics having ended. It is vital for the international community to take concrete and immediate steps to make sure this does not happen."

The FDIC urges the international community-particularly state parties to the U.N. Convention against Torture-to establish an independent, international commission to investigate, monitor and recommend punishment for those involved in organ harvesting in China, including both Communist Party/state institutions as well as individual perpetrators. Such a commission might also track the various measures that have already been put in place by some national governments to ensure their citizens are not complicit.

United Nations Conclusions

In concluding observations on China's degree of adherence to the United Nations Convention against Torture, on Nov. 21 a U.N. committee of independent experts expressed concern over "information received that Falun Gong practitioners have been extensively subjected to torture and ill-treatment in prisons and that some of them have been used for organ transplants."

The committee then made the following recommendation, the most legally binding demand to date for the Chinese authorities to investigate and punish those responsible for forced organ harvesting from Falun Gong:

"The State party should immediately conduct or commission an independent investigation of the claims that some Falun Gong practitioners have been subjected to torture and used for organ transplants and take measures, as appropriate, to ensure that those responsible for such abuses are prosecuted and punished."

The committee's conclusions follow on consistent inquiries transmitted to the Chinese government since August 2006 by Manfred Nowak, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on torture, and Ms. Asma Jahangir, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on religious freedom, which have received unsatisfactory replies.

While commending the U.N. Committee's strong stance on the issue, it is important to recognize the near impossibility of a Chinese government-appointed body making a fair assessment. This is due to the lack of an independent judiciary and the entwined complicity of state entities in these abuses-particularly prisons, labor camps, and military hospitals. Indeed, the current body of evidence indicates it is precisely Communist Party/state entities coordinating organ harvesting atrocities in China.

The FDIC therefore urges the international community to establish its own commission to conduct both an investigation into past abuses and ongoing monitoring of organ transplants in China.

International Steps Taken Thus Far

The allegations of systematic organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners in Chinese custody first emerged in 2006, soon followed by an independent investigation by Canadians David Kilour and David Matas, which concluded the allegations were true (report) . Since then, a number of governments, international bodies, and members of the medical community have also found the allegations credible and in some instances, taken action to ensure their own citizens are not complicit in such abuses.

The following are a sample of the steps taken, initiatives which should further be expanded:

Conducting additional independent investigations and analysis

Taking measures to stem the flow of foreign recipients traveling to China for organs:

Ceasing academic training and cooperation with Chinese doctors on organ transplantation:

Conducting government hearings and raising the issue with the Chinese government