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Probe urges Hong Kong help over China organs

Jul 17, 2006 | AFP

A Canadian team probing claims that China harvested human organs for transplants from unwilling donors has called on Hong Kong activists to pressure Beijing to end the practice.

Lawyers launched the investigation after the wife of a Chinese surgeon claimed her husband had been asked to remove organs from a member of the outlawed Falungong sect.

The report of their investigation, published in Ottawa last week, concluded that while it had been difficult to obtain evidence backing her claims, there was no evidence to dispute them.

The lawyers have since sought support from governments around the world, including Hong Kong.

"We don't expect China to come out and admit this is happening but if we can get people to pressure authorities into doing something, then that's a positive move," said one of the investigative lawyers on Monday.

"Hong Kong shares such an affinity with China that we believe a few words from people here would be able to achieve a lot of change," one of the lawyers said.

China denied it had allowed tranplants from unwilling donors many of whom were said to have died and then been cremated, according to the report.

The report said it was more than likely that the grisly trades were taking place and that "substantial amounts of money are changing hands."

It pointed to evidence provided by jailed Falungong activists and disparities between the numbers of transplants and the number of executions, whose victims have been the traditional source of transplantable organs.

The majority of victims, it said, were living Falungong followers. Thousands of members of the sect, which China has banned as evil, have been jailed for their views.

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