Chinese Embassy calls organ harvesting claims 'grotesque lies'

By MATTHEW WAGNER
June 3, 2007 22:09

Statement responses to allegations that political prisoners from Falun Gong are killed in camps and their organs sold.

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A study showing that China ruthlessly killed political prisoners to make an economic profit from their hearts, lungs, kidneys and livers is filled with "grotesque lies," a spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Israel said Sunday. "There is no live organ bank in China and there is no intention to open one," the spokesman said. He was responding to an extensive study presented by David Matas, an internationally-respected Jewish human rights attorney and Nazi hunter, at a conference on organ transplants at Beilinson Hospital Sunday. Matas, together with former liberal Canadian Cabinet Member David Kilgour, conducted an extensive investigation of Chinese organ trafficking. The two men discovered that the Chinese authorities harvested organs among the Falan Gong, a spiritual movement that was outlawed and whose members are persecuted. The investigation includes telephone conversations with Chinese medical officials who confirmed that members of the Falan Gong, thousands of whom are detained in concentration camps, were executed when their lungs, heart, kidneys could be sold. However, the Chinese spokesman rejected the study's findings, claiming they were based on "Internet sources and interviews with the Falan Gong." Dr. Jacob Lavee, Director of the Heart Transplant Unit at Sheba Medical Center, one of the organizers of the conference, said that as a result of Matas's and Kilgour's report and other conclusive information, Israel had halted all organ transplants performed in China over a month ago. Lavee said that the Chinese Embassy representative was allowed to speak after the Chinese Embassy, via the Israeli Foreign Ministry, put pressure on Lavee and other organizers. The Chinese also requested that Ro'i Bar-Ilan, a representative of Falan Gong in Israel, be prevented from speaking. "We decided to acquiesce to the Chinese demands," said Lavee. "It is only fair to allow the Chinese the opportunity to answer the claims made against them by Matas."


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