‘Genocide in Slow Motion’: Human rights lawyer sheds light on China’s forced harvest

America has come a long way in taking action against Communist China’s forced organ harvesting of prisoners of conscience, first reported by the Epoch Times more than 15 years ago.

On March 27, the US Senate passed a bill punishing the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for introducing forced organs from prisoners of conscience, marking the country’s first illegal act. measures to prevent these crimes.

Titled the ‘Stop Forced Organ Harvesting Act’ of 2023, the law seeks to punish anyone involved in forced organ harvesting. It requires an annual report from the government on these activities in each foreign country. Those involved face criminal penalties of up to $1 million and up to 20 years in prison, or civil penalties of up to $250,000. If the Senate approves its amendment, the bill will be ready for the signature of the President of the United States.

Internationally renowned human rights lawyer David Matas and the late David Kilgour, a human rights lawyer and former Canadian MP, led the inquiry into the matter. Their findings were first published in July 2006. In a recent interview with EpochTV’s “America’s Thought Leaders,” Matas shared the story of his research when the world didn’t know or believe that organ transplants existed.

He and Kilgour began their careers a few months after the news broke. In March 2006, the wife of a Chinese doctor who goes by the pseudonym Annie said publicly in Washington that her ex-husband was harvesting corneas from Falun Gong practitioners in a hospital in the north. eastern China

. Falun Gong, with its principles of truth, compassion and tolerance, is a spiritual practice that has been subjected to brutal persecution in China since July 1999. Seeking an independent investigation, a non-profit organization,

the Alliance to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong, approached Matas, who had been approached by people about various human rights violations. But, since he could not fulfill any request, he tried to help by finding another solution. However, for this problem, he understood that there is no easy way or other clear way to solve it.

“What I was told exactly was, ‘If that happens, no body and no one is on fire. There is no investigation and no witnesses except the perpetrators and victims. Everything is happening in a closed area,” said Matas. “‘There are no documents except the records of Chinese hospitals and government prisons, which cannot be accessed. There are no criminal circumstances. The operating room is cleaned immediately afterwards.

He took on the case, knowing that a lot of work had to be done. He said he didn’t start out trying to prove Annie right. Instead, he kept an open mind, thinking that he could come to a conclusion instead of leaving the matter at the level of “he said, she said,” referring to the version of Annie and CCP.

“Constructing all the evidence”
“The conclusion Kilgour and I reached was not any empirical evidence; it’s the totality of all the evidence put together,” Matas said. Many things became clear to them during the investigation.

First, a large group of Falun Gong practitioners remain anonymous to avoid implicating their families and workplaces. “It’s a vulnerable population,” Matas said.

Communist China praised Falun Gong for its health benefits after the practice was made public in 1992. However, in 1999, Falun Gong had 10 to 40 more followers than the CCP. “The party was worried about its own popularity in the public eye of Falun Gong, which at the time was not anti-communist, but not communist,” he added. The CCP’s insecurity led to the crackdown that began in July 1999 across the country.

In Matas’ view, the peaceful resistance of Falun Gong begins with the belief that somehow there has been a mistake. “There has been a misunderstanding because most people do not know what is inside the communist government. You have these complaints that Falun Gong is good, as if the Party made a mistake and thought it was bad. “When really, the problem of the Party and Falun Gong is that it is good.”

At first, many Falun Gong protesters were released from detention because they outnumbered the CCP’s prisons. However, these followers later found out that their environment was damaged because of their protest. Their families and workplaces were oppressed and they were punished for money. So when they protested again, they made their identity known. As a result, their families do not know where they are.

Second, Matas and Kilgour observed that blood tests and body part examinations were performed almost exclusively on Falun Gong practitioners. Matas said that when he started his research, many