The University of San Diego’s Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice Theatre will host a lecture by former Canadian Secretary of State David Kilgour and prominent international human rights lawyer David Matas at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 11. The lecture addresses allegations that wide-scale human organ transplant abuse and organ harvesting of prisoners of conscience, including practitioners of Falun Gong, has taken place in China since 2001, and continues to date. Kilgour and Matas will present their findings and provide recommendations for reform.
The duo’s report, Bloody Harvest: The Killing of Falun Gong for their Organs, states that 41,500 documented organ transplants between the years of 2001-2006 are unaccounted for. The report also alleges that throughout China, Falun Gong practitioners are victims of systematic organ harvesting while still alive. The selling of their hearts, corneas, livers and kidneys are said to be the biggest supply for “organ tourists.” Matas and Kilgour were both nominated for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize and won the 2009 Swiss International Human Rights Award for their work on the organ harvesting report.
Kilgour states that “Falun Gong are a peaceful, spiritual people who have never harmed anybody. They believe in truth, compassion and tolerance. We believe there has been and continues today to be large scale organ seizures from unwilling Falun Gong practitioners.”
School of Leadership and Education Sciences graduate student Cyrus Parsa organized the event and continues to work on behalf of Falun Gong practitioners in the United States. “These people have endured so much, for so long, and many have turned a blind eye and remained silent,” Parsa said.
Former torture victim Chen Jin will also attend Wednesday’s lecture. He spent eight years in prisons and concentration camps in China for practicing Falun Gong. He says he was hung from the ceiling for seven days upon his arrest without food, water, sleep, or bathroom privileges while continuously being shocked by electric batons and was stripped naked, thrown into dungeons, tied down and left alone. Jin was blood tested, and his eyes, skin and kidneys were examined as well. Throughout the torture, he refused to recant his faith. He said “I never signed the paper while being tortured because Falun Gong teaches me to follow Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance and it is against his principles, I benefited from this practice, I became healthy …”
Matas called the torture, “A new form of evil on this planet.”
To complement the lecture, USD is also hosting an art exhibit, “The Truth-Compassion-Tolerance International Art Exhibit,” which has toured in more than 40 countries and 200 cities across the globe. The collection includes 38 classical realism pieces by 12 different artists from around the world and will be on display through May 23 in the Hahn University Center’s Exhibit Hall. The exhibit depicts the divine and is a blend of Eastern and Western Art with the themes of adversity, courage, harmony and justice.
This event is co-sponsored by SOLES, the Graduate Student Council and the USD Falun Dafa Meditation Club.
— Melissa Wagoner