Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Falun Gong Persecution: Substantiation in Recent Report

I received a report today via e-mail regarding concerns about using Falun Gong prisoners to supply of organ transplants in China. This issue has been previously discussed on this blog, with some hesitation given the uncertainties about origins of information. See here for one post:
http://economictrends.blogspot.com/2006/04/falun-gong-protest-focuses-attention.html

However, this report, by David Kilgour and David Matas, both of Canada, adds considerable support to those allegations. The report can be found here, along with other related stories:
http://www.david-kilgour.com/index.html


Kilgour has a long public record as a member of the Canadian Parliament and former secretary of state for the Asia-Pacific region. He has a long history of work in human rights matters. I see no basis for anti-Chinese bias in this man’s background, and to the contrary I see independence and character. You can find his website here:
http://www.david-kilgour.com/bio.htm

The coauthor, Matas, has an impressive background as a human rights lawyer. Here’s one independent website by a Jewish law students organization that gives some indication of his accomplishments:
http://www.cjlsa.ca/cdavid.html

The report is chock full of information, which I will not go into in detail. The specific link to the report is found here:
http://www.david-kilgour.com/2006/Kilgour-Matas-organ-harvesting-rpt-July6-eng.pdf
However, one point in particular struck me as a very solid indicator that something is wrong here, and it comes from a Chinese website run by “China International Organ Transplant.”
The site is located here: http://en.zoukiishoku.com/list/volunteer.htm

It is essentially a marketing site for foreign patients (and I suppose Chinese, too) to get organ transplants. Significantly, the wait time advertised for a liver transplant is one month – or no more than two months. By comparison, wait times in the US or Canada can stretch into years. What is the explanation? They apparently don’t need to wait for suitable donors to die. (Living donors work for kidneys, but not for livers.) You will also note from moving around that site that they seem to have no complications and 100 percent success rates. Yeah, right. (Apparently they don't have much of a med/mal bar in China.)

The report also notes that all Falun Gong prisoners are blood tested. (I doubt this is for their own healthcare needs.) Their religious practices, which also involve health consciousness, also makes them quite suitable as donors.

This report shows us what happens when utilitarian calculus trumps the value of human life. However, I have seen little coverage in the traditional media of the report and concerns in this area. Sunlight is a good disinfectant. Greater openness in China has been channeled toward economic growth and trade, but there remains a problem when there is not support for treating human beings as special creations, which are worthy of dignity and respect.

EAM

8 comments:

bobby fletcher said...

Ed, I'm not sure if you have considered the fact this accusation is being promoted by the religious sect Falun Gong, or the credibility of the accusation has anything to do with the lack of coverage?

Regarding your assertion on wait time, here's some clinical data from USTransplant.org on wait time:

http://www.ustransplant.org/annual_reports/current/105_dh.htm

- USA with 1/4 of China's population, performs over twice as many liver transplants yearly (10,000 in 2004.)
- 2004 data shows top 10% of wait list average 10 day wait
- 2004 data shows top 25% of wait list average 43 day wait

Also, transplant centers in US advertise very short wait, and the reason given is "no competition for organ":

http://www.lifepoint-sc.org/articles/theheartofthematter.html

"At MUSC, heart transplant patients on average wait about 2 1/2 months for a heart, Van Bakel said. Nationally, he said, the average wait time is about eight months."

I'm not sure if you know this, but organ transplantation in China often do not involve close tissue type match. Rather powerful immuno suppressant drugs are used to prevent rejection.

IMHO some of these assertion made by Falun Gong groups in order to substantiage their allegation is suspect.

As to the Kilgour report itself, I read it and I'm very dissatisfied with the report's claim of independence:

1) Mr. Kilgour's report failed to account for many contrarian facts that have brought question to Falun Gong's claims, that are freely available outside China. Not going to China does not absolve him of his duty to critically examine ALL evidence:

* Two US government investigations started as early as 2nd week of March, independently found the allegation not credible;

* Other media investigations, including Hong Kong newspaper Takunpao with circulation in Canada also found the allegation not credible. FYI Takunpao lost their government subsidies after they reported critically on Tiananmen Square Massacre.

* Other experts have doubted Falun Gong's claim, including Harry Wu of Laogai Research Foundation;

* Malaysian government's prior year visit to the alleged camp, which is a joint-venture and has been open to the public for years;

* Epoch Times' rehashing of old, unrelated stories and mis-representing autopsy photo that do not prove torture or vivisection. The fact the photo show autopsy being performed and murder
investigation held by the Chinese government proves the opposite.

ClearWisdom's original report on Wang Bin(2000) and Liu Yufeng(2005) had no mention of organ harvesting, yet years later these stories are rehashed in Epoch Times' 2006 organ harvesting accusation.

2) Mr. Kilgour can not divorce himself from the fact his investigation is sponsored by a Falun Gong group in Washington DC that is evidently POLITICAL, as the vilification they heaped on the Chinese government, unrelated to this allegation, demonstrates - such as "The Nine Commentaries" and "10 million peple quit the CCP" political propaganda ahead of the Chinese leader's stateside visit.

While China's human rights records should be examined, writing allegory of "Schindler's List" is not the way. If we in the west can not be precise with our accusation, why should anyone take what we say seriousely?

References:

- US State Department investigation:
http://usinfo.state.gov/xarchives/display.html?p=washfile-english&y=2006&m=April&x=20060416141157uhyggep0.5443231&t=livefeeds/wf-latest.html

- US Congressional investigation reported by The Australian:
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,18669046-7583,00.html

- Malaysian government documenting official visit to hospital accused by Falun Gong:
http://crc.gov.my/clinicalTrial/documents/Proposal/TCM_Stroke%20TrialProtocol%20synopsis.pdf

- Harry Wu of Laogai Research Foundation:
http://www.canadianchristianity.com/cgi-bin/bc.cgi?bc/bccn/0606/07chinese

- HK newspaper Takunpao's investigation:
http://www.takungpao.com/news/06/03/31/ZM-545907.htm

- A reporter's first hand experience with Falun Gong media outlet, Epoch Times:
http://holidarity.blogspot.com/2006/04/organ-harvesting-controversy.html

- 2000 ClearWisdom story on Wang Bin, without mentioning of organ harvesting:
http://clearwisdom.net/emh/articles/2000/11/16/6164.html
(Ref. Kilgour report Appendix 12, Case 1)

- The financial connection between Falun Gong and Epoch Times found in non-profit declarations (Form 990, Page 2, Part III c):

Southern USA Falun Dafa Association. $10,350 were given to Epoch Times in 2002, $22,700 in 2003, $14,750 in 2004:
http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2002/760/692/2002-760692185-1-9.pdf
http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2004/760/692/2003-760692185-1-9.pdf
http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2004/760/692/2004-760692185-1-9.pdf

Falun Dafa Association of New England. $57,609 were spent on computer and print media, $97,755 in 2003, $116,823 in 2004:
http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2002/043/576/2002-043576893-1-9.pdf
http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2003/043/576/2003-043576893-1-Z.pdf
http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2004/043/576/2004-043576893-02038ba1-9.pdf

(These are but two examples of the hundreds of FLG non-profits in USA.
IMHO who pays for Epoch Times is not a secret.)

Ed Morse said...

Mr. Fletcher: Thanks for your insights. I have been hesitant to come down on the side of criticism here due to the uncertainties of the accusations. However, Kilgour and Matsi deny funding by Falun Gong in this report. Their response to some of the criticism leveled by the Chinese government can be found here:
http://www.david-kilgour.com/2006/KilgourMatasReply.doc

As for the U.S. State Department investigations, I will have to look into that. I appreciate the additional citations and information regarding time periods for liver transplants. I relied on the information in the report, which seemed like strong circumstantial evidence.

As I have mentioned previously, this matter is a source of some consternation to me. On one hand, we don't want to ignore real human rights abuses. On the other hand, we don't want to be patsies of political movements using the Internet to create sensational claims. There is an old saying: you can eliminate the middleman, but not his function. The direct reach of the Internet in spreading news is not without some hazards.

I appreciate your comments and hope that others will read them and make up their own minds about these claims.

EAM

Anonymous said...

Something else to consider...

Take into consideration the culture and thought of the modern Chinese- they don't usually make up fabrications about the Chinese Communist Party because if they do (a.k.a. critize or disagree)they will be punished severely. Since the conception of the Chinese Communist party, they have ruled with fabrication and violence. They lie to deceive and kill or threaten to kill to create fear and obedience. This is the culture they have created.

Chinese people will avoid confrontation at all costs.

Any type of accusation or complaint the CHinese people publicly make- will be made knowing they could face life threatening punishments. Who would accuse the Chinese Communist Party so frivolously?

If China is innocent why will they not give Visa's to the to investigators? Why did the U.S. investigators have to wait two weeks to see the hospital, and why did they have a government official tour them through the hospital keeping careful track of what they could see?

To find out more about the Chinese Culture created by the Chinese Communist Party read the "Nine Commentaries on the Chinese Communist Party"

http://ninecommentaries.com/

bobby fletcher said...

Ed, here's a translation of an open letter, and more detail, by Chinese dissident Harry Wu. Wu's investigators inside China started 3 days after the news broke, and found the story not credible:

http://www.zonaeuropa.com/20060806_1.htm

Wu also covered political stuff, like when his conclusion didn't agree with Falun Gong, they turned on him.

Anonymous said...

Other info aout Wu's conclusion
http://www.theepochtimes.com/news/6-8-15/44989.html

bobby fletcher said...

EAM, please note Epoch Times is Falun Gong's paid for propganda department.

Meanwhile, Mr. Wu of Laogai Research Foundation, a long time Chinese dissident who have absolutely no reason to cooperate with Beijing, released his report contradicting the Kilgour report (which is also sponsored by Falun Gong):

http://www.cicus.org/news/newsdetail.php?id=6492

Anonymous said...

More info on Wu's Comments

http://www.theepochtimes.com/news/6-8-15/44989.html

Makina said...

Hi Ed,

Only a handful of people do not agree with the conclusions of Kilgour-Matas preliminary investigative report. http://investigation.go.saveinter.net Of course the regime has criticized the report. http://www.theepochtimes.com/news/6-8-10/44796.html but they've not provided any answers for the unexplained 41,500 transplants.

Since the persecution started, it is said that hundreds of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have disappeared in China and it's not hard to imagine that they would have become unwilling organ donors. The CCP has a special hatred for them and vilify them every chance they get. http://www.theepochtimes.com/news/4-12-18/24972.html

But it sounds like Harry Wu's ego has been bruised by the simple fact that other investigators came up with evidence and he didn't. Before that he was the King on 'Organ Harvesting' issues in China.

I read the Kilgour-Matas report where they examined 18 pieces of evidence and their conclusions that organ harvesting targeting the Falun Gong are very credible.
Apparently the witnesses refused to meet with Harry but have met with Ethan Gutmann, Jay Nordlinger and Bill Gertz and maybe others. That is telling.

Why does Beijing want this report discredited? Beijing admitted to harvesting a few organs from a few death row prisoners last December and this is the image they want to maintain. They are not about to confess to targeting Falun Gong and by so doing admitting their genocidal campaign...there lies the gap. Form your own opinion by reading the report: http://investigation.go.saveinter.net

I find it unfortunate that Mr. Wu's http://www.faluninfo.net/displayAnArticle.asp?ID=9452 fruitless investigation after Marth 9th -- which was already too late by then because the evidence was gone -- to be used as the foundation to discredit a very credible report exposing a genocidal campaign that should be taken seriously by people who respect humanity and the laws of heaven and earth.
Matas calls this practice a new form of evil on the planet. http://www.theepochtimes.com/news/6-8-17/45032.html

BTW Matas has a pile of phone bills in case a serious investigator wants to verify this evidence. http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/issuesideas/story.html?id=6a97d044-615a-496b-b7d6-e79e36636592