The Chinese government has reportedly refused to respond to the repeated invitations to submit evidence to an independent tribunal in London, hearing allegations of forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience in China.
The tribunal’s seven strong panel is aiming to establish whether, beyond a reasonable doubt, the Chinese state or state-approved entities have committed criminal offences under international law.
Chaired by Geoffrey Nice, who previously led the prosecution of former Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milosevic at the International Criminal Tribunal, the panel consists of seven experts tasked with conducting the world’s first ever independent analysis of forced organ extraction in China.
The tribunal follows a three-day hearing that took place last December when tribunal members passed a draft interim judgment concluding that forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience has taken place in China 'on a substantial scale'. The second public hearings in the case were held on April and 7.
“Despite every effort to find an analysis contrary to the thrust of the evidence no such analysis has been provided,” said the chair, Geoffrey Nice was quoted in the Brtish Medical Journal as saying.
According to the journal, Nice emphasised that the tribunal will continue to welcome all pertinent evidence until it issues its final judgment, expected on June 17.
Twenty witnesses and experts including refugees from China, doctors, academics, and journalists gave evidence in London in April to the Independent Tribunal into Forced Organ Harvesting from prisoners, the medical journal reported.
Another report in The Epoch Times said that between April 6 and 7, two dozen witnesses, including researchers, medical professionals, journalists, and survivors from around the world, gave testimonies before the tribunal on allegations of state-sanctioned organ harvesting targeting persecuted groups in China, including practitioners of the spiritual practice Falun Gong and the Uyghur ethnic minority.
Reports on systematic organ harvesting from Falun Gong prisoners first emerged in 2006, though the practice is thought by some to have started six years earlier. Several researchers—most notably Canadian human rights lawyer David Matas, former parliamentarian David Kilgour and investigative journalist Ethan Gutmann—estimate that tens of thousands of Falun Gong prisoners of conscience have been killed to supply a lucrative trade in human organs and cadavers and that these abuses may be ongoing.
The judgement by the independent tribunal is expected on June 17.