Independent Investigation Backs Organ Harvesting Allegations

On July 6, 2006, former Canadian Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific David Kilgour and human rights attorney David Matas released a 140-page report about their independent investigation of organ harvesting from Falun Gong detainees. The two had spent weeks gathering and verifying evidence for the report, interviewing witnesses, and attempting to travel to China.

Their report draws “the regrettable conclusion that the allegations are true.”

Detailing at length the team’s methods of investigation and the process of evaluating evidence, the report includes transcripts of phone conversations between investigators and Chinese hospitals, graphs, and interviews with witnesses.What follows are excerpts from the Kilgour-Matas Report in their own words. The full report is available here.

by David Matas and David Kilgour

The allegations here are so shocking that they are almost impossible to believe. The allegations, if true, would represent a grotesque form of evil which, despite all the depravations humanity has seen, would be new to this planet. The very horror makes us reel back in disbelief. But that disbelief does not mean that the allegations are untrue…

The allegation is that organ harvesting is inflicted on unwilling Falun Gong practitioners at a wide variety of locations, pursuant to a systematic policy, in large numbers.

Organ harvesting is a step in organ transplants. The purpose of organ harvesting is to provide organs for transplants. Transplants do not necessarily have to take place in the same place as the location of the organ harvesting. The two locations are often different, organs harvested in one place are shipped to another place for transplanting.

The allegation is further that the organs are harvested from the practitioners while they are still alive. The practitioners are killed in the course of the organ harvesting operations or immediately thereafter. These operations are a form of murder.

Finally, we are told that the practitioners killed in this way are then cremated. There is no corpse left to examine to identify as the source of an organ transplant…

We have come to the regrettable conclusion that the allegations are true. We believe that there has been and continues today to be large scale organ seizures from unwilling Falun Gong practitioners…

The government of China and its agencies in numerous parts of the country, in particular hospitals but also detention centers and “people’s courts”, since 1999 have put to death a large but unknown number of Falun Gong prisoners of conscience. Their vital organs, including hearts, kidneys, livers and corneas, were virtually simultaneously seized involuntarily for sale at high prices, sometimes to foreigners, who normally face long waits for voluntary donations of such organs in their home countries…

There are many more transplants than identifiable sources. We know that some organs come from executed prisoners. Very few come from willing donor family members. But these sources leave huge gaps in the totals. The number of executed prisoners and willing sources come nowhere close to the number of transplants…

There appeared to be only 22 21 liver transplant centers operating across China before 1999, compared to fully 500 in mid – April, 2006 22. The number of liver transplant operations in all of China appeared to total 135 by 1998, contrasted with more than 4000 in 2005 alone. For kidneys, the pattern is also significant (3,596 transplants in 1998 and nearly 10,000 in 2005).

The increase in organ transplants in China parallels the increase in persecution of the Falun Gong… There are some very strong policy statements, attached as an appendix to this report, by the Government of China and the Communist Party of China, calling for the persecution of the Falun Gong, including physical persecution. These statements are consistent with the allegations we have heard…

A number of family members of Falun Gong practitioners who died in detention reported seeing the corpses of their loved ones with surgical incisions and body parts missing. The authorities gave no coherent explanation for these mutilated corpses…

We met one witness who said that her surgeon husband told her that he personally removed the corneas from approximately 2,000 anaesthetized Falun Gong prisoners in northeast China during the two year period before October, 2003, at which time he refused to continue. The surgeon made it clear to his wife that none of the cornea “donors” survived the experience because other surgeons removed other vital organs and all of their bodies were then burned. The woman is not a Falun Gong practitioner…

One of the callers, “Ms. M”, who will not be identified to avoid risk of harm to family members still in China and will be referred to hereafter as M, told one of us that in early March, 2006 she managed to get through to the Public Security Bureau in Shanxi. The respondent there told her that healthy and young prisoners are selected from the prison population to be organ donors. If the candidates could not be tricked into providing the blood samples necessary for successful transplants, the official went on with guileless candor, employees of the office take the samples by force…

On June 8, 2006, an official at the Mijiang city detention centre, Heilongjiang Province admitted that the centre then had at least five or six male Falun Gong prisoners under 40 years-of-age available as organ suppliers…

A doctor at this hospital in mid-March of this year said that all of his organs come from Falun Gong practitioners…

In May, Dr Lu of this hospital said organs from Falun Gong practitioners were not available at his institution and suggested the caller call Guangzhou to get them. He also admitted that he earlier went to prisons to select healthy Falun Gong persons in their 30s to provide their organs…

It appears to us that many human beings belonging to a peaceful voluntary organization made illegal seven years ago by President Jiang because he thought it might threaten the dominance of the Communist Party of China have been in effect executed by medical practitioners for their organs.

The following is a transcript of a call made be researchers to the Nanning City Minzu Hospital in Guangxi Autonomous Region on May 22, 2006, cited in the Kilgour-Matas Report: 

M: “…Could you find organs from Falun Gong practitioners?”
Dr. Lu: “Let me tell you, we have no way to get (them). It’s rather difficult to get it now in Guangxi. If you cannot wait, I suggest you go to Guangzhou because it’s very easy for them to get the organs. They are able to look for (them) nation wide. As they are performing the liver transplant, they can get the kidney for you at the same time, so it’s very easy for them to do. Many places where supplies are short go to them for help…”

M: “Why is it easy for them to get?”
Lu: “Because they are an important institution. They contact the (judicial) system in the name of the whole university.”

M: “Then they use organs from Falun Gong practitioners?”
Lu: “Correct…”

M: “…what you used before (organs from Falun Gong practitioners), was it from detention centre(s) or prison(s)?”
Lu: “From prisons.”

M: “…and it was from healthy Falun Gong practitioners…?”
Lu: “Correct. We would choose the good ones because we assure the quality in our operation.”

M: “That means you choose the organs yourself.”
Lu: “Correct…”

M: “Usually, how old is the organ supplier?”
Lu: “Usually in their thirties.”

M: “… Then you will go to the prison to select yourself?”
Lu: “Correct. We must select it.”

M: “What if the chosen one doesn’t want to have blood drawn?”
Lu: “He will for sure let us do it.”

M: “How?”
Lu: “They will for sure find a way. What do you worry about? These kinds of things should not be of any concern to you. They have their procedures.”

M: “Does the person know that his organ will be removed?”
Lu: “No, he doesn’t.”

Summary of the report’s recommendations:

  1. organ harvesting must stop
  2. systematic organ harvesting is a crime against humanity—it should be prosecuted
  3. governments, NGOs, and the United Nations should investigate
  4. governments should withhold visas from Chinese doctors seeking overseas transplant training
  5. governments should discourage their citizens from receiving transplants in China
  6. the “charade of the “human rights dialogue” should cease
  7. “All detention facilities, including forced labor camps, must be opened for international community inspection”

Other text boxes or pull quotes:

“I don’t think anyone can have any doubt that this unbelievable practice is continuing… They take both kidneys, then the heart and the skin and the corneas and the liver, and your body is then thrown in the incinerator.” – former Canadian Secretary of State for Asia Pacific and former Member of Parliament David Kilgour on July 4, 2006

“Our conclusion comes not from any one single item of evidence, but rather the piecing together of all the evidence we have considered. Each portion of the evidence we have considered is, in itself, verifiable and, in most cases, incontestable. Put together, they paint a damning whole picture. It is their combination that has convinced us.” – from the Kilgour-Matas Report


“These organ harvesting crimes are so horrific that, sadly, what is preventing many organizations and nations around the world from pressuring China to open the doors of its labor camps immediately is the disbelief that such crimes are possible in this day and age. But under the direction of the Chinese Communist regime, they do take place and many continue to die.” – Falun Dafa Information Center spokesman Erping Zhang

“This whole scheme and the trading of organs were organized by

the government healthcare system. The doctors’ responsibility was simply to do what they were told to do.” – witness whose ex-husband said he had performed surgeries to remove cornea from 2,000 living Falun Gong practitioners, cited in the Kilgour-Matas Report


“As time went by, he knew they were Falun Gong practitioners. When they did more of these removals of organs and became bold, these doctors started to do the removals

together; this doctor extracted the cornea, another doctor removed the kidney, the

third doctor took out the liver…The bodies would be sent to the crematorium.” – witness whose ex-husband had performed surgeries to remove cornea from 2,000 living Falun Gong practitioners, cited in the Kilgour-Matas Report