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In 2006, two prominent Canadians – David Kilgour, a former MP, and David Matas, a human rights lawyer – published a report for the ‘Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of the Falun Gong in China’, in which they gave credibility to claims that the Chinese authorities were harvesting organs from executed members of the group. At around the same time, the Chinese authorities acknowledged that they had been taking organs from executed prisoners but insisted it was only with their consent.
In the years since then, the Chinese authorities have announced steps to bring the practice to an end. The deadline eventually set for doing so was 1 January 2015. However, there continue to be allegations that the practice has not ended.
In June 2016 a report called “Bloody harvest/the slaughter: an update” was published by Kilgour, Matas and Ethan Gutmann, which takes this view.
Amongst those concerned that the practice may be continuing is the Conservative Human Rights Commission. It published a report in July 2016 on human rights in China, The darkest moment: The crackdown on human rights in China 2013-16, which looked at the organ harvesting allegations.
Successive UK governments have expressed concerns about claims of organ harvesting. They have often done so in the context of the ongoing ‘UK-China Human Rights Dialogue’ and ‘UK-China Strategic Dialogue’.