South Korea: Forum on China’s State-sanctioned Live Organ Harvesting Held in National Assembly

Canadian lawyer David Matas and American reporter Ethan Gutman were invited to participate in a forum in the South Korean National Assembly on October 13, 2016. The forum focused on China’s mass killing of prisoners of conscience, especially Falun Gong practitioners, for organs.

Members of the National Assembly, students from medical and law schools, and reporters for television and other media watched the documentary film Human Harvest.

The film is directed by Vancouver filmmaker Leon Lee, and follows the investigative work by lawyer David Matas and former member of Canadian Parliament David Kilgour on the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) killing of Falun Gong practitioners for organs.

Mr. Matas pointed out in the forum that the organ harvesting atrocity has been continuing for over ten years. He said that the purpose of his trip was to explore strategies to stop the CCP’s live organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners and other prisoners of conscience.

He also called on the South Korean government to investigate the issue of South Koreans going to China for organ transplants, and he urged the National Assembly to pass a resolution to help end the live organ harvesting.

David Matas and David Kilgour released their investigative report on the CCP’s mass killing for organs in 2006. They and Ethan Gutman released the newest investigative report, Bloody Harvest/The Slaughter – an Update, in June of this year.

Press conferences covering the new report were held in Washington DC, Ottawa, and Brussels. The report analyzes in detail several hundred organ transplant hospitals in China, as well as media reports, medical journal articles, and hospital websites, including archives of those websites whose data was deleted when the organ harvesting atrocity came to light. The conclusion was that there are 60,000 to 100,000 organ transplantation cases in China each year, instead of the 10,000 cases claimed by the Chinese government.

South Korean’s Involvement in China’s Illegal Organ Trafficking

The newest investigative report reveals that South Koreans are the most frequent overseas customers of China’s organ transplantation, and South Korean hospitals are involved. At least 3,000 South Koreans received surgery in Tianjin Number One Central Hospital from 2002 to 2005.

The Central Times, one of the three largest media, disclosed that South Korean doctors colluded with Chinese Koreans in introducing patients to the Tianjin hospital on July 22.

Ethan Gutman introduced that several countries, including Israel, Spain, Taiwan, and Italy, had passed legislation which bans citizens from going to China for organ transplantation. South Korea has had a slow response on the issue. He called on the assembly to take action.

Live Organ Harvesting Is An Open Issue

The audience asked questions about the live organ harvesting. One student stated, “I asked Chinese students about the live organ harvesting. As this relates to Falun Gong, they are evasive.”

Matas said this was an open issue. He gave an example about his interview of Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je, a former physician. Ko said he went to mainland China in 2004 and found that the death-row inmates were in poor health. Many of the inmates had hepatitis. The hospital he visited told him to rest assured, as the organs for transplantation were from Falun Gong practitioners, who are healthy. Ko was appalled, and decided to make this public so more people will know about it.

Matas pointed out that media is tightly controlled in China. Chinese people living in the mainland do not know many facts. In China, whoever speaks out for human rights will become a victim. He said that human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng was brutally persecuted for speaking for Falun Gong.

A social worker put forward that the victims in the documentary film were all Falun Gong practitioners, which may be interpreted that all victims of organ harvesting are practitioners.

Gutman said he did not work for Falun Gong but his investigation showed that too many practitioners are victims of the live organ harvesting. He also stressed that Falun Gong is a global focus though illegal organ trafficking occurs in other countries.

Director of Reporter Forum: Don’t Remain Silent

Kim Yoon-ho, director of the reporter forum in the South Korean National Assembly, said in the forum, “In China, the persecution of Falun Gong is a huge human rights issue, involving politics, society, culture, and morality. The documentary film makes me be appalled. Live organ harvesting is hard to imagine. It would not be done to animals, not to mention humans. Such inhumanity is a cruel crime.”

He said at the end, “Yeouido Island is the political center in South Korea. The National Assembly is here. Now everyone is here. I hope this is a good beginning to make use of the political power in this island to contribute to the improvement of human rights in China and other countries.

“The world is one body. I hope that everyone will not remain silent. We must work together to have more people concerned about this issue.”