(Minghui.org) A seminar about the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s forced organ harvesting crimes was held at the Tianmen Gallery in Paris, France on October 21, 2023.

David Matas, a renowned human rights lawyer from Canada, shared his decades of investigation into this ongoing horrific crime that has Falun Gong practitioners as the major victims. He said that fighting for human rights is the responsibility that everyone should try their best to take on.

David Matas giving the talk during the seminar

The Investigation

Back in March 2006, a Chinese woman, Annie (alias), published a statement in Washington D.C. She said that her ex-husband, a surgeon at the Sujiatun Hospital in Shenyang City, Liaoning Province, had disclosed to her that he had removed cornea from 2,000 living Falun Gong practitioners between 2002 and 2005. Other doctors in the hospital also removed other organs from more practitioners. These victims were killed in the process and their bodies were cremated to destroy the evidence. The organs were sold to wealthy Chinese or foreigners who were in China for transplant tourism.

A non-government organization in Canada contacted David Matas and the late David Kilgour, former Secretary of State for Asia Pacific, inviting them to conduct an independent investigation into this matter. 

After months of investigation, they published a 140-page report in July 2006, which drew “the regrettable conclusion that the allegations are true.” They also found that the atrocity didn’t only take place in the hospital Annie’s ex-husband worked for, but in many other hospitals across China.

The Evidence

Matas said, when they did the investigation, they looked for evidence that either supported the existence of the crime, or evidence that indicated the crime wasn’t happening. Every piece of evidence they found all pointed to the same conclusion – organ harvesting is happening. 

In their investigation, they interviewed Falun Gong practitioners and other prisoners who were held in various detention centers or prisons in China. They found that these Falun Gong practitioners went through extensive physical examinations, especially blood tests and tissue typing. This wasn’t for their health, as most of them were also subjected to savage beating and other torture. From their description, the examination was mostly likely used to build a database for organ matching. At the same time, the authorities only performed such examinations on Falun Gong practitioners, not any of the non-practitioners held in the same detention facilities.

One Falun Gong practitioner who was tortured in a Chinese prison and underwent involuntary blood test recounted the experience during the seminar.

While the real number of organ transplants is a state secret in China, just based on the limited numbers published by the CCP, it can be seen that organ transplant numbers significantly increased soon after the persecution of Falun Gong began. The CCP claimed that the organs came from donation, but China didn’t have an organ donation system and it’s also against the Chinese tradition to donate one’s organs after death. 

As another piece of evidence, some investigators pretended to be patients and they called various hospitals, asking whether they had fresh Falun Gong organs available, as Falun Gong practitioners had very a healthy lifestyle, unlike other inmates who may be addicted to smoking or drugs. The answer they got from the doctors was, “Yes, we have these organs, just make an appointment and come.”

Some Chinese hospitals listed prices for various organs and one can make an appointment for the transplants of vital organs, including heart and liver. 

In China, there was a law that gives hospitals permission to extract organs from death row prisoners without their or their family’s consent. This furthers greenlights the organ harvesting crimes, which has evolved into a massive, lucrative industry.

The CCP never admitted that they harvested organs from living Falun Gong practitioners. They claimed that the organs came from donation of death row prisoners, who wanted to make up for their wrongdoings. But the number of death row prisoners was far less than the transplants.

In 2014, the investigation team conducted another round of research. They went to the websites and publications by 169 individual Chinese hospitals approved by the government to conduct transplants and collected data regarding transplant types performed, qualifications, revenue, potential patient demographics, bed counts, surgical and support personnel, transplant capacity and volume, research projects, relationships with other hospitals and related entities, funding, patents, and awards.

They estimated that the total transplants performed by these hospitals were between 60,000 and 100,000 every year, far more than the 10,000 transplants per year claimed by the CCP. And the numbers seemed to keep increasing over the years. If this is true, the numbers of Falun Gong practitioners being “executed” on operation tables could add up to millions.

Matas said, “What I can tell you is that everyone who has read these books (of our investigation) and done their own research has, without exception, come to the same conclusion that we have. As the China Tribunal has said, this is undoubtedly sensible and this is real.”

He added: “Because I am Jewish and I am very familiar with the Holocaust, I am not shocked by the extraordinary symptoms of violence. I see it. I know it is possible. I am disappointed and I see it happening.”

Stop the Crime

Matas said that in order for such a massive killing network to exist, there must be a large number of criminals that make it happen, including the doctors, nurses, transplant agents or any other individual assisting in the crime. All of them should be brought to justice.

“It’s hard for us to change what’s happening in China. But we are human beings. So this is still about us. It’s important that everyone wakes up and spreads the word in their own capacity.” 

“Each of you has your profession, your skills, your connections and your neighbors. Each of you can do something that I cannot. Human rights is something we all need to try our best to fight for,” Matas said.

A law professor who attended the seminar said to Matas, “I must express my admiration for your work. It’s just great! I hope more people can know about this.”