Rights lawyers urge Australian lawmakers to pressure China to end organ harvesting from prisoners

By Lobsang Tenchoe

DHARAMSALA, Nov 21: Rights lawyers have urged Australia to apply pressure on China to do away with organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience.

David Kilgour, a Canadian human rights advocate and a former prosecutor and Canadian Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific and David Matas, a human rights lawyer visited Australia’s Parliament House to persuade lawmakers to approve a motion urging China to immediately end the alleged practice, reports asaincorrespondent.com.

Canadian lawyer David Kilgour addresing Falun Gong practitioners demonstrating outside Australia's Parliament House in Canberra, Australia. Image AP

Canadian lawyer David Kilgour addresing Falun Gong practitioners demonstrating outside Australia’s Parliament House in Canberra, Australia. Image AP

The two activists have published evidence substantiating China’s illegal practice of organ harvesting estimated to 60,000 to 100,000 transplants a year from Falun Gong practitioners, Muslim Uighurs, Tibetan Buddhists and Christians.

“The greatest amount of skepticism seems to be in Australia, because of country’s close economic ties with China, its largest trading partner. The Australian government was reluctant to accept evidence of large-scale, forced organ harvesting in China,” Kilgour was quoted as saying in the report.

The activist duo first published a report on organ harvesting in China in 2006, which later became the basis of their 2009 book titled ‘Bloody Harvest: The Killing of Falun Gong for their Organs’.

As Matas and Kilgour addressed a meeting of lawmakers from several political parties earlier today, around 200 Falun Gong practitioners protested outside the Parliament House against the forced organ harvesting.

Though China maintains that alleged organ harvesting from political prisoners is a groundless accusation, rights groups have often criticized and condemned China for practicing illegal organ transplants from Falun Gong practitioners, Muslim Uighurs, Tibetan Buddhists and Christians.

In 2014, the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee endorsed a resolution calling on China to immediately end the state-sanctioned harvesting of human organs from prisoners.

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