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 Whistleblowers Need Protection



Remarks by Hon. David Kilgour. J.D.
at a public rally near the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, Manhattan
September 23, 2008

One of the best-selling books of all time was The Diary of Anne Frank. Anne never lived to see her 16th birthday, but her innermost thoughts scribbled on scraps of paper challenge us and shame us today a half century after her murder by the Nazis. Her life serves as eulogy to the millions of children who perished in World War II.

Sadly, millions of children around the world still face torture and death from Bosnia and Burma to Rwanda and Darfur, from Iran to the People's Republic of China.

The innocent victims of genocide and crimes against humanity continue to multiply sixty years after the Convention on Genocide was enacted in 1948. In addition to the estimated 1.5 million children who were murdered during the Holocaust, the genocide in Rwanda snuffed out 800,000 lives and created about 300,000 orphans. In Iran, girls can in the 21st century be executed by the mullahs as young as nine and boys at thirteen.

Before the persecution of Falun Dafa began, there were over 70-100 million Chinese practising it. On the premise that about one-tenth of the victims of this ongoing crime against humanity within China are children or children of parents being persecuted, at least seven million children are now suffering in China at the hands of the party-state.

We all know that the Holocaust did not begin with the sudden murder of six million Jewish people. It was a gradual process hidden behind much dirty party politics and hideous propaganda. Add to this all of the victims' families, including children, and one can see that the effect of the Falun Gong persecution in China today is enormous.

The propaganda phase, begun in mid-1999, demonized, vilified and dehumanized Falun Gong in Party-controlled media. Manfred Nowak, the former UN Rapporteur on Torture, concluded after a visit to China in 2005 that Falun Gong comprised two-thirds of the alleged victims of torture.

David Matas, an international human rights lawyer in Canada, and I last year concluded our independent investigation about allegations of alarming abuses. We found to our deep and ongoing concern that since 2001 the government in China and its agencies have killed thousands of Falun Dafa practitioners, without any form of prior trial, and then sold their vital organs for large sums of money, often to 'organ tourists' from wealthy countries (Our report is available at ).

We amassed a substantial body of evidence and became convinced beyond any doubt that this crime against humanity has occurred and is still happening.

Neither of us is a Falun Dafa practitioner, but our own experience with Falun Data in the numerous countries we have visited, seeking to bring this crime to a halt through public awareness, has been overwhelmingly positive. Falun Gong practitioners attempt to live their core principles of "truth, compassion and forbearance." They are persecuted in only one of the eighty or so countries in which they live and are good citizens in all.

Chinese hospitals advertise in the Internet they offer scheduled transplantations within 2-4 weeks. In the Western hemisphere, the waiting period usually amounts to several years. The Internet offer is even more surprising if one knows that nationals in Asian countries - unlike western cultures - are reluctant to donate organs and that there is not even a public organ donation program in China. Consequently the Chinese Vice-Minister of Health, Huang Jiefu admitted in 2005, that organs for transplantations mainly stem from executed prisoners.

This explanation is not persuasive. In order to provide matching organs in such a short period of time, one would need to refer to a large standing pool of donors. Death row candidates are executed relatively quickly after their sentences, so they cannot really be part of a permanent donor pool of donors.

Matas and I have interviewed a number of Falun Dafa practitioners sent to forced labour camps since 1999, who managed later to leave both the camps and China itself.

It is simply implausible that members of a banned group would undergo blood testing while, at the same time, being subject to torture and at times even death from such treatment. The witnesses told us of working in appalling conditions for up to sixteen hours daily with no pay and little food and many sleeping in the same room. They made export products, ranging from garments to chopsticks to Christmas decorations for multinational companies. This, of course, constitutes both corporate social irresponsibility and violations of World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.

We appeal to business leaders dining with China's Premier Wen in Manhattan this week: while doing business, do not forget your social responsibilities. For the reputation of your firms, for sustainable business, your customers do care about your conduct. Do not turn a blind eye to the systematic and gross human rights violations in China.

We appeal to the head of sates who are meeting at the UN Assembly and celebrate 60th year anniversary of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide to take serious steps to end the persecution in China, Iran and elsewhere.

Each of us, in our own ways, in our own profession, be courageous and generous in our willingness to fight for what we cherish human dignity, religious freedom and freedom of speech. We give a voice to those who are voiceless under repressive regimes.

We cannot undo history, but we can create momentum against its repetition. There have already been too many victims in the bloody harvest in China. There must be no more victims. We must commit to never to let indifference overcome integrity or justice on our watch. We must act before we lose the final victim: our own humanity.

I'd like to end with a quote from Anne Frank: "Nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."

Thank you.

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