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Australia should pressure China over 'routine' organ harvesting, author of report says.
August 12, 2008

To view the video - use the blue scroll bar on the right-hand side to find the report.

The co-author of a report alleging routine organ harvesting in China is tonight calling for action from the Australian Government. Canadian human rights lawyer David Matas says Chinese prisoners, in particular Falun Gong practitioners, are regularly used as a source of living organs.

Jennifer Zeng fled China after serving a year in a Beijing labour camp. She says most of the inmates like herself were imprisoned for their Falun Gong faith.

JENNIFER ZENG, FALUN GONG PRACTITIONER: In the camp, the police was threatened, "If you don't reform, which means if you don't give up your belief in Falun Gong, you will be sent to a place where it is in the far-west-north of China, and as soon as you were there, never dream of coming back again."

Human rights lawyer David Matas says China uses imprisoned Falun Gong followers as a source of living organs. He co-authored a report detailing the allegations.

DAVID MATAS, CANADIAN HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER: You look at the volume of organ transplants and they shoot up when the persecution at Falun Gong begins. And this is another way, along with everything else, we come to the conclusion that there's organs sourcing from Falun Gong practitioners.

Falun Gong is banned in China. Practitioners are regularly detained. Those who have been released report having extensive medical examinations, blood tests and X-rays during their detention. Human rights groups say it's a process to find suitable organs.

DAVID MATAS: You've got this huge, very vulnerable population, because once they're not self-identified, nobody knows who they are or where they are, not even their immediate family.

For ten years, this Falun Gong practitioner worked as a cardiac surgeon in China's Liaoning province. He says his former colleagues collected organs from living prisoners.

DR YUAN HONG, FORMER CHINESE SURGEON: In the morning when there was going to be a transplant I saw the doctors, nurses and anaesthetist dress in military uniforms. I was curious and asked why. They told me they were going to get organs.

A spokesman at China's embassy in Canberra today described the allegations as groundless and ficticious. SBS has been told this video is the Chinese Government's response to David Matas's report.

CHINESE SURGEON ON VIDEO: I'm an ordinary surgeon. Such stories about me aren't true. I am completely amazed.

David Matas will this week address an international transplant conference in Sydney. He's calling on Australia and other nations to stop training Chinese transplant surgeons, to stop transplant tourism and to ban the sale of transplant drugs to China.

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