David Kilgour’s and David Matas’ ‘Extremist’ Writings Banned in Russia Because of Criticisms of China26 December, 2011 at 22:49 | Posted in China, Falun Dafa/Falun Gong, human rights, persecution | Leave a comment
Tags: China, Falun Gong, human rights, Kilgour and Matas, organ harvesting, persecution of dissidents
An appeals court in Russia has held that writings by former Canadian MP David Kilgour and prominent human rights lawyer David Matas constitute banned extremist literature that “can create for the readers a negative image of China.”
As a result, both men could be subject to criminal prosecution if they were ever to go to Russia to discuss their investigations of organ harvesting against executed Falun Gong practitioners by Chinese authorities, which are detailed in two reports and a book, Bloody Harvest.
Their writings are also subject to seizure by police, under the October decision by a court in Krasnodar in southern Russia, upheld on appeal this week.
Mr. Matas, legal counsel to B’nai Brith Canada and a leading advocate for laws against extremist hate literature in Canada and abroad, said it is “ironic” that he should be found by a court to have written extremist literature himself.
“In spite of the fact that I myself have become a victim, my position remains the same. The laws should remain, but they should not be abused,” he said in an interview Friday.
Mr. Kilgour, who was first elected as a Progressive Conservative MP for Edmonton, and later sat as a Liberal and as an independent, is among the longest-serving parliamentarians.
The law in question, Article 13 of Russia’s federal law 114, “On Counteraction of Extremist Activities,” bans the distribution of any material that is aimed at a list of banned goals, including terrorism, subversion of Russian security, “the excitation of racial, national or religious strife” and “the abasement of national dignity.”
Violating the law can result in seizure of unsold materials, and any organization that does so twice in a year “shall be deprived of the right to carry on publishing activity.”
This case dates to 2008, when Russian followers of Falun Gong learned some of their writings, which had been on display in a Krasnodar park, were added to a list of extremist materials kept by the Russian justice ministry.
These materials included Mr. Kilgour and Mr. Matas’ “Report into allegations of organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners in China.” Their investigation, first released in 2006 and updated the next year, was the basis for Bloody Harvest, published in 2009.
Falun Gong, a style of meditation with a spiritual component, like yoga, has been banned for more than a decade in China, which regards it as a dangerous cult. In their reports, Mr. Kilgour and Mr. Matas allege that hundreds of thousands of practitioners have been arrested, and tens of thousands executed, after which their organs were harvested for sale to Chinese patients and even so-called “transplant tourists.”