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Sydney, Australia: Book Launching Ceremony for the Chinese-language Version of Bloody Harvest (Photos)

June 26, 2011 |   By Qing Hua, Clearwisdom correspondent

(Clearwisdom.net) On the evening of June 20, 2011, Mr. David Matas, well-known Canadian human rights lawyer, arrived in Sydney to participate in the book launching ceremony for the Chinese version of his book, Bloody Harvest, co-authored by Mr. Matas and Mr. David Kilgour. The ceremony was held at Tianti Bookstore in Sydney, Australia.

Well-known human rights lawyer David Matas

Dr. Sev Oz Ozdowski, University of Western Sydney professor

Bloody Harvest in Chinese and English

Since July 20, 1999, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has conducted a brutal persecution of Falun Gong. Over the past eleven years of persecution, many Falun Gong practitioners in China have been unlawfully detained, imprisoned, and sent to brainwashing centers or forced labor camps, where they suffered inhumane torture. The CCP even harvests vital organs from living Falun Gong practitioners for profit in organ transplantation surgeries.

Mr. Matas was alerted to the CCP’s organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners in 2006, when the ex-wife of a Chinese surgeon disclosed that her former husband harvested corneas from living Falun Gong practitioners.

After conducting a detailed investigation, in July 2006, Mr. Matas and Mr. Kilgour released their Report into Allegations of Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners in China. Later they published the book, Bloody Harvest, an updated report into the allegations.

Mr. Matas said, “In spite of the massive amount of documentation and effort that I continue to work on, there is a value in doing so. When you are dealing with a human rights violation, your primary audience is the victims. It’s not the perpetrators, not the department of foreign affairs and not the politicians. It’s the victims. Standing up for human rights means standing up for the victims‚ and I think showing solidarity with the victims and showing concern with the victims is a help to the victims whether that help materializes with prosecutions and convictions or whatever because it helps them withstand the victimization. Often the most devastating component of victimization is the feeling that the victim is being left alone that nobody knows and nobody cares. I also think that the primary thing is the audience‚ standing up for the victim and standing up for human rights is getting the message out to the public.”

Mr. Matas pointed out that organ transplantation is an important financial resource for the CCP's medical system. The waiting time for organ transplantation is only a few days in China, but several months to several years in other countries. As Chinese people are generally unwilling to be voluntary organ donors, death row inmates have been widely used as a source of organs. However, there is a big difference between the number of Chinese death row inmates and the number of organ transplants taking place in China. This means that there is a large bank of donors supplying organs and people are being killed for the needs of patients. Through extensive research, documented in their reports, Matas and Kilgour came to the conclusion that the organs are not from willing donors, but from incarcerated Falun Gong practitioners (the largest group of prisoners of conscience in China).

The evidence in their investigation report caught the attention of the United Nations Human Rights Commission, which requested that the CCP explain the big discrepancy between the numbers of death row inmates and organ transplants.

He said, “I think of all the human rights campaigns that have resulted in success. I was very involved in the anti-apartheid movement and now there’s no apartheid. I was very involved in trying to combat the communism in the Soviet Union and Europe, and now all those regimes are gone. I was very involved in trying to combat the dictators in Latin America and now all those dictatorships are gone.”

“When they do disappear, it’s often very sudden and unpredictable. What we see with these repressions is the regimes that are very brittle, you keep on pressing them and then they disintegrate all of a sudden. So my view is that what’s going to happen with China and that’s what’s going to happen with the persecution of the Falun Gong. My belief is to keep on pressing, get enough information out and get enough people involved, eventually it will disappear.”

Dr. Sev Oz Ozdowski, professor at the University of Western Sydney and former chairman of the Australia Human Rights Committee, participated in the book launching ceremony. He said that the CCP regime is carrying out the persecution of Falun Gong using the resources of the nation's entire political system. He said that it is the worst persecution in history. The release of the Chinese version of the book Bloody Harvest will help Chinese people learn more about the persecution of Falun Gong and the CCP’s infringement of human rights.

Mr. Matas was awarded the annual Human Rights Award in 2007 by the Canadian Bar Association, the distinguished service award in January 2008 by the Manitoba Bar Association, and the Order of Canada on December 30, 2008 by the Governor General of Canada.