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Aust: Protect Falun Gong from "organ harvesting"

Govt, Ministers, should intervene to protect Falun Gong from "organ harvesting"

"The Australian government should publicly attack China over "organ harvesting" of its Falun Gong political prisoners, while at the same time through the Immigration Minister Senator Amanda Vanstone, publicly declare and provide an undertaking to Falun Gong practitioners in Australia, and to the Falun Gong asylum seekers in Baxter and other detention centres, that they will be protected from being forced to return to China where they are at risk of being imprisoned and then executed to provide China with their organs, in a horrendous practice as reported by Australian media," WA Rights group Project SafeCom said this morning.

"The Canadian Report referred to by the ABC Radio program "PM" (transcript below) is not the first rumour or story coming from these horrific practices in China, and while the government should have been aware of these issues a long time ago, this time the issue can no longer be avoided," spokesman Jack H Smit said.

"The track record of the Immigration Department and its Minister to the Falun Gong asylum seekers is already rather shocking: DIMA has allowed Chinese government officials into the Baxter and Villawood detention centres - entirely contrary to Australia's undertakings under the UN Refugee Convention - and more and more refugee advocates fear that the Chinese asylum seekers may be quietly whisked away to Nauru, especially if the Bill currently scheduled to go before Parliament, should be successfully implemented and become law."

"Currently the Howard government seems to act as if the latest Immigration Amendment Bill 2006 has already passed both Houses and has become law: the Nauru detention centre has come out of its near-moth-balling stage, yesterday Nauru government officials reportedly visited the Baxter detention centre, and following its intent to "take political considerations into account" in its refugee policies, now Australia's trading relationship with China may result in irresponsible treatment of Falun Gong asylum seekers."

"Once again the government is at the cross-roads between pandering to a foreign nation, and sacrificing the safety of refugees, and on the other hand protection the integrity of Australia's human rights for asylum seekers while at the same time using diplomatic channels to express its dismay with what really are gross forms of torture and human rights violation."

"The government needs to stand up to this shocking reality - which has brought the hundreds Falun Gong practitioners into Australia in the first place. It needs to show openness, frankness and courage, rather than silence and collusion to these shocking realities, in the name of its trade relations," Mr Smit concluded.
.

Report alleges Chinese Govt harvesting body organs of political prisoners

PM - Monday 10 July 2006 18:26:00
Reporter: Michael Edwards

MARK COLVIN: Australia has one of the lowest rates of organ donation in the developed world. The people who had kidney transplants in New South Wales last year, for example, had waited an average of eight years for a suitable organ.

That's the kind of pressure that's created the new phenomenon of "transplant tourism", with patients going to countries like India and China for their operations.

Last year an Australian report highlighted the rate of HIV/AIDS or Hepatitis in patients who'd had such operations overseas.

Now a report from Canada says most of the organs in China are not donated at all. They're taken from political prisoners who die after the organs are literally harvested from them.

Transplant doctors in Australia are alarmed and are calling for more Government controls on patients travelling to China.

Michael Edwards has this report.

http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2006/s1683142.htm

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