United Nations Human Rights Special Rapporteurs Reiterate Findings on China's Organ Harvesting from Falun Gong Practitioners
Two United Nations Special Rapporteurs have reiterated their previous findings on China's organ harvesting. Once again, they requested the Chinese government to fully explain the allegation of taking vital organs from Falun Gong practitioners and the source of organs for the sudden increase in organ transplants that has been going on in China since the year 2000.
Ms. Asma Jahangir and Mr. Manfred Nowak, the UN Special Rapporteurs on Freedom of Religion or Belief and on the Question of Torture, made the request jointly and documented it in their respective 2008 annual reports to the UN Human Rights Council, as a follow-up to their previous communications to the Chinese government.
The two Special Rapporteurs, together with Ms. Sigma Huda, the UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, transmitted their original communication to China on August 11, 2006. Drawing on information submitted by individuals and volunteer groups, including the Falun Gong Human Rights Working Group (FalunHR), the Special Rapporteurs highlighted and raised questions about the identifiable sources of organs, the short waiting times for finding perfectly-matched organs, and the correlation between the sudden increase in organ transplants in China and the beginning of the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners.
Although the Chinese government responded in November 28, 2006, with categorical denials, it failed to address the critical issues raised by the Special Rapporteurs. The follow-up communication by Ms. Jahangir and Mr. Nowak, sent on January 25, 2007, holds the Chinese government to address those critical issues.
FalunHR has posted the Special Rapporteurs' original and follow-up communications at (http://www.falunhr.org/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=1693&Itemid=0)
The Special Rapporteurs' original communication is documented in their respective 2007 annual reports, and their follow-up communications in their 2008 annual reports. The annual reports of UN Special Rapporteurs typically document their previous year's activities, and these reports are usually presented to the United Nations Human Rights Council during its spring sessions.
It is important to note that, in their 2008 annual reports, Ms. Asma Jahangir and Mr. Manfred Nowak also reported their joint urgent action, together with the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, on behalf of Mr. Cao Dong, a witness to China's organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners. On May 21, 2006, in Beijing, Mr. Cao met with Edward McMillan-Scott, the Vice-President of the European Parliament, and gave him testimony on China's organ harvesting. Following this meeting, the Chinese authorities arrested Mr. Cao. Reports indicate that Mr. Cao was sentenced to five years in prison for "accepting illegal interviews."