A Single Thread to Unravel the Quilt of Chinese Human Rights Abuses

12 April, 2011 at 10:23 | Posted in China, Falun Dafa/Falun Gong, human rights, persecution | Leave a comment
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By Matthew Robertson
Epoch Times Staff

Usually the litany of human rights abuses in China might be thought of as a tangled and barbed skein. But David Matas, a distinguished human rights lawyer based in Winnipeg, Canada, sees them more as a quilt: ready to be unraveled by the pull of a single thread.

The thread on which he would pull would be the persecution of Falun Gong—or, specifically, the killing of Falun Gong practitioners for their organs—he told a forum at the New York University School of Law on April 6.

The killing has been inflicted since 2001, and the organs are sold to patients who need transplants, he said. Titled Bloody Harvest, his report on the topic, co-written with fellow Canadian and former parliamentarian David Kilgour, came out in 2006. It was updated in 2007 and published in book form in 2009.

“The topic needed investigating, so we investigated it,” he said.

Falun Gong is a set of spiritual teachings and five exercises. It has been persecuted in China since 1999. The organ harvesting began soon after, according to the report, which casts a vast evidentiary net. Included are examinations of statistical discrepancies, telephone admissions, online advertisements for organs with ultra-short waiting times, and the clumsy boastings of Chinese doctors on several occasions.

After the report came out, Matas and Kilgour went from researchers to advocates, traveling to 40 countries and meeting with NGOs, government officials, journalists, academics, and surgeons, speaking “whenever we could, with whomever we could, to stop the abuse,” he said.

The advocacy seems to have paid off, given his invitation to speak at the prestigious NYU Law School, and alongside a kingmaker in the field of Chinese legal practices, professor Jerome Cohen. Professor Cohen has had a formative influence on the study of Chinese law in the West. The 80-year-old professor continues to teach after 50 years on the job.

Read more: A Single Thread to Unravel the Quilt of Chinese Human Rights Abuses – Epoch Times


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