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
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
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
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
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
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
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."