Conservative Government Investigates Allegations of Chinese Organ Harvesting From Political Prisoner

By Peter J. Smith

  OTTAWA, July 7, 2006 ( – Canada’s Conservative government announced yesterday it will investigate claims that China has been harvesting organs from live prisoners for organ transplants, as revealed in a report by former Liberal and Independent MP David Kilgour and international human rights lawyer David Matas.

“We take these allegations quite seriously, and we’ll look into that,” said Conservative MP Deepak Obhrai on Thursday. Obhrai, who is the parliamentary secretary to Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay affirmed that the government will look to confirm the allegations raised by Kilgour and Matas’ report released yesterday.

  The report concludes a two-month investigation implicating some 30 hospitals and jails throughout China involved in the practice of harvesting organs from unwilling prisoners. Most of those whose organs were harvested were members of the religious sect Falun Gong, which China banned in 1999 as an organization subversive to the regime. The report identified over 41,500 transplants since 2000, which have no identifiable source, and which may include organs harvested from prisoners. The report includes transcripts of conversations in Mandarin Chinese with hospital and detention-centre officials who admitted having transplant organs available from prisoners belonging to Falun Gong.
“We’ve both been very shaken up by these stories. It’s hard to believe this can go on anywhere in the world in this new century where human beings are supposed to matter,” Kilgour said. Kilgour described the live transplant surgery procedure where kidneys, heart, skin, and corneas are removed from living anesthetized prisoners. One of Kilgour’s sources is the wife of a surgeon, who confessed in detail to his wife to removing the corneas of over 2,000 Falun Gong prisoners.

  Although the Chinese Government admitted to harvesting organs from executed prisoners in December 2005, Chinese Embassy Spokeswoman Wenxing Zuo dismissed allegations of forced transplants from prisoners as “rumors spread by the Falun Gong”, and maintained that prisoners first give “written consent”.

  However, the Kilgour and Matas report only confirms other investigations into China’s harvesting organs from unwilling prisoners. In March 2006, reporter Dominic Waghorn theÂChina Correspondent for Sky News, a British based 24 hour TV news channel, verified in an investigation that prisoners are killed after they are found to match a patient who is awaiting a donor organ, and there is much cooperation between the hospitals and jails in this practice. (

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