Thursday, February 22, 2007

Christians jailed for walking near Olympic hotel

Who was it that said the Olympics would make everything better in Communist China by 2008 (and with any luck - afterwards)? Something went wrong because it's quite the opposite that is happening nowadays.

Persecution ramping up as 2008 Games in Beijing approach February 22, 2007 - A Christian house church leader in China and his mother are facing a criminal prosecution that appears to be part of that government's campaign to eliminate messages that are contrary to the official publicity releases as the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing approach.

According to reports from Voice of the Martyrs, a Christian organization that works in support of persecuted Christians around the world, house church leader Hua Huiqi has been formally arrested and his 76-year-old mother arrested a second time for the offense of walking near a construction site for a hotel being built in preparation for the Olympics.

China house church leader Hui Huiqi

VOM said Hua was arrested by the Beijing Public Security Bureau Chaoyang Branch and his mother arrested by Beijing Security Bureau Chongwen Branch. They had been injured in January when seven police officers attacked them while they were walking near the hotel construction site in Beijing.

"We are deeply concerned about Brother Hua and his elderly, ill mother. They are faithful Christians seeking only to serve the Lord in accordance with their conscience," said Todd Nettleton, a spokesman for Voice of the Martyrs.

"We encourage Christians around the world to pray for their family, and we strongly urge the Chinese government to release them immediately," he said.

China Aid Association officials told VOM that Hua has been very active in trying to help persecuted Christians and others who are oppressed by local officials who travel to Beijing trying to obtain justice from the central government.

He and his mother were attacked, and while on the ground, kicked. Then later they were taken to a police station for questioning, according to reports. "When Hua asked the police to release his sick mother and explain the legal ground for the detention, he was beaten repeatedly. While the temperature in Beijing was in the 20s, cold water was poured on him. He was later taken to a detention center," the organization said.

"The Chinese government says they ensure freedom of religion, but this case clearly shows the truth," Nettleton said. Police from the Olympic Sports Stadium Police Station also threatened to arrest Hua's brother, officials reported.

Authorities in China told CAA that Hua was under criminal detention on the charge of "intervening public affair," essentially damaging public and private property at the construction site.

The arrest notice for China house church leader Hui Huiqi

"The charge against Brother Hua is totally baseless and it's clearly revenge to Hua's Christian ministry to the oppressed," said Bob Fu, who works with Hua. "Hua's case should be seen as a litmus test on whether China is sincere to improve its worsening human rights record before the 2008 Beijing Olympics."

Co-workers told CAA that they believe the aggressive actions in the arrest of Hua and his mother could be because of instructions from high government officials to send a message to those who present a message during the Olympics that does not fit the government's formal statements.

CAA said letters of concern can be sent to: Premier Wen Jiabao, PRC, PO Box 1741, The State Council, Beijing, PRC (zip code 100017). The telephone contact is: +86-10-66012399.

"The detention of innocent peaceful Christians like Mr. Hua and his mom is certainly contradictory to the Chinese government's human rights commitment for 2008 Beijing Olympics," said Fu.

A number of human rights organizations ¨C both faith-based and secular ¨C have raised concerns about China's human rights record, and its preparations for the 2008 Games, which were awarded to Beijing in a vote by the International Olympic Committee in 2001.

Human Rights Watch said Chinese police have cracked down on "subversive Internet users" who have been censored in their efforts to post information that contradicts the government's public relations statements.

"Chinese authorities reinforced repression against Internet users, Tibetans, members of the Falun Gong spiritual movement, foreign scholars, the Muslim Uigur minority, democrats, foreign journalists and delinquents, all 'in the name of the Chinese Olympics,'" the organization said.

There are estimates several thousand Chinese are executed each year for their "crimes." WND recently reported on an assessment of China's human rights situation that alleges the government keeps members of the Falun Gong religious sect in detention camps, and then executes them as their organs are needed for that nation's transplant industry.

Also, at the current time, hundreds of thousands of Chinese are being evicted from their homes just so that the redevelopment projects in preparation for the Games can continue, the HRC said.

"The IOC has invested the Chinese regime with a task it will carry out zealously: host safe Olympics. This means arrests of dissidents, social 'cleansing,' and censorship against 'critical' elements," the group said.

"The Olympic movement was discredited in 1936, when it allowed the Nazis to make the Games a spectacle to glorify the Third Reich. In 1980, in Moscow, the IOC suffered a terrible defeat when more than 50 countries boycotted the Olympics," the group said. The 2008 Games should not be allowed to advance the restrictions China imposes, it said.

VOM is a non-profit, interdenominational ministry working worldwide to help Christians who are persecuted for their faith, and to educate the world about that persecution. Its headquarters are in Bartlesville, Okla., and it has 30 affiliated international offices.

It was launched by the late Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, who started smuggling Russian Gospels into Russia in 1947, just months before Richard was abducted and imprisoned in Romania where he was tortured for his refusal to recant Christianity.

He eventually was released in 1964 and the next year he testified about the persecution of Christians before the U.S. Senate's Internal Security Subcommittee, stripping to the waist to show the deep torture wound scars on his body.

The group that later was renamed The Voice of the Martyrs was organized in 1967, when his book, "Tortured for Christ," was released

Who needs Kyoto while China pollutes?

A brilliant piece by Neil Reynolds. It says it all.

"Were Canada to eliminate all of its GHG emissions, China's increases would replace them - every last ounce - in 18 months. Were Canada to eliminate 10 per cent of its emissions, China's increases would replace them all in 60 days. As noble as self-sacrifice can occasionally be, it must have - somewhere - a rational purpose."

Who needs Kyoto while China pollutes?

2007 Telegraph-Journal (New Brunswick): 22 Feb 2007 - China pollutes deliberately, strategically. The World Health Organization says that seven of the 10 most polluted big cities in the world are in China.

Beijing's ambient air holds 360 micrograms of particulate pollutants per cubic metre - compared with zero readings (for all practical purposes) in London and Los Angeles. Two-thirds of China's 350 biggest cities pump sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide into the atmosphere in vast quantities in routine violation of China's clean-air laws. (The Americans have tracked these mobile pollutants 16,000 kilometres away, at the Donner Summit near Lake Tahoe, as they pass by.) China's biggest lakes are all seriously polluted. So vast are the diversions of water from it, the Yellow River runs dry every year, failing to reach the ocean in one instance (1997) for 226 days.

China's own environmental protection agency reported last year that pollution costs the country 10 per cent of its US$2.2 trillion economy - $200 billion a year. The World Bank has gone further, calculating the cost of the premature deaths of thousands of Chinese killed each year by pollution. Economic losses from pollution-induced mortality and morbidity, the bank found, equals as much as three per cent of China's gross dometic product - $60 billion a year. By contrast, the country spends roughly one per cent of its GDP to fix environmental messes which, according once again to China's EPA, have multiplied - on average - by 250 significant environmental "accidents" a year for the last decade.

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are another thing altogether. China reportedly builds a coal-fired power plant every week, and expects to maintain this pace for years. Few of these plants are equipped with pollution-control technology. Not that it matters. Writing last year in Foreign Affairs magazine on the limitations of the Kyoto Protocol, U.S. environmental bureaucrat Ruth Greenspan Bell says that pollution-cutting technology often goes unused in China - even when provided to the country free. "Evidence from China demonstrates," she writes, "that plants equipped with superior pollution equipment do not run these controls when doing so proves inconvenient." When might it prove inconvenient? Whenever, Ms Bell suggests, no one is watching.

Ms Bell held management positions in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for 20 years and is now a resident scholar with Resources for the Future, a Washington-based think tank. She supports reductions in GHG emissions but warns people not to expect too much from Kyoto. "There are 900 environmental treaties on the books," she observes. "Unfortunately, few have achieved any reduction in pollution." This cautionary note reflects the judgment of another Kyoto scepto-enthusiast, British Prime Minister Tony Blair: "The truth is that no country is going to cut its growth or consumption [to deal with] a long-term environmental problem." Ms Bell says this impediment will be even greater in China than elsewhere - because the government owns or controls so many industries that environment enforcers find themselves working "with hopelessly divided allegiances." These enforcers, she says, have no capacity for independent regulatory action.

Implicit in these observations is the fact that environmental advances occur when rich countries, acting unilaterally and independently, invest large amounts of money, privately and publicly, either to preserve environmental legacies or to restore them. China will turn environmentalist, too - someday.

Economists have calculated that countries begin to clamp down on sulfur dioxide when per-capita GDP reaches $9,000 a year, on particulate pollution when per-capita GDP reaches $15,000 a year - a variation on the "Kuznets Curve" which holds that you have to get dirty before you get rich and you have to get rich before you get clean. China will get much dirtier. Its per-capita GDP reached $1,000 last year.

The producer of 18 per cent of the world's GHG emissions, China is gaining fast on Europe (22 per cent) and the United States (21 per cent). The International Energy Agency says that China will expand GHG emissions by 120 per cent in the next 20 years, averaging six per cent a year, far surpassing Europe and the U.S.

For a small-population country such as Canada, with two per cent of global emissions, the awkward question that compels awkward answers is this: Why bother with Kyoto? What difference will it make?

Canada produces 160 million tons a year of the world's eight billions tons of carbon dioxide emissions. Were Canada to eliminate all of its GHG emissions, China's increases would replace them - every last ounce - in 18 months. Were Canada to eliminate 10 per cent of its emissions, China's increases would replace them all in 60 days. As noble as self-sacrifice can occasionally be, it must have - somewhere - a rational purpose.

Neil Reynolds, a former editor

OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Exploit China's Desire for Successful Olympics, Rights Advocates Urge US

I'm starting to believe that it's a blessing in disguise to have China host the Olympics--how else could we beam the spotlight on their abysmal human rights track record for the world to see?

( - By Payton Hoegh - As the 2008 Olympics approach, human rights and religious freedom advocates are urging the U.S. government to "exploit the need" China has to host a successful event and step up the pressure on Beijing to improve its record.

"A smooth and successful Olympics is paramount to China," Sharon Hom of Human Rights in China told a statutory panel on Capitol Hill Wednesday.

Yet despite the fact that the games are only 18 months away, she said the communist regime's repression has been getting worse.

Hom joined representatives of four major religions and others in testifying before the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, which advises the executive and legislative branches on efforts to counter religious persecution around the world.

Since Beijing in 2001 won the hosting rights to the 2008 summer games, human rights groups have called on the international community to exert pressure on the government to improve its record.

Some groups, such as Reporters without Borders, advocate boycotting the Olympics, while others hope to use the event to pressure Beijing into reforming.

Critics point to the Olympic Charter, which states, "Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy found in effort, the educational value of good example and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles."

Under pressure from the International Olympic Committee (OIC), China promised during its host city bid that if the event came to Beijing, the nation would reform its human rights policies.

"[In] allowing Beijing to host the Games, [the OIC] will help the development of human rights," Vice President of the Beijing Bid Committee, Liu Jingmin, said at the time.

Beijing's then Mayor Liu Qi also promised social progress and improved human rights policies in the event the city won its bid.

Analysts who spoke Wednesday supported the idea that China's position as host nation could be used as a lever.

Hom advised the panel to use the event, along with China's desire to be a recognized and respected power in world politics, to press for improvement on religious freedom and human rights.

"Exploit this need" for a successful Olympics, she urged the panel, adding that in the lead-up to the Olympics, the struggle will get harder although there would be "windows of opportunity."

Michael Green of the Center for Strategic and International Studies stressed that the issue of human rights in China is sometimes pushed to the background and that it was important that "we bring these issues to light."

"The last thing we want to do is let China think we are willing to compromise on issues involving human rights," he said.

Arrest, torture

Commission Chair Felice Gaer invited officials from five organizations to give evidence and to help the U.S. as it decides how to "most effectively advance freedom of religion and related rights" in China.

Representatives of the Protestant, Catholic, (Tibetan) Buddhist and (Uighur) Islamic faiths echoed the analysts' call for Washington to intervene.

The constitution of the atheistic nation grants its people freedom of religion, but the government monitors each of the nation's five major religions and allows only government-sanctioned religious practices.

Members of churches that do not register with the state authorities or are refused registration because they are considered "evil cults" are under constant threat of arrest and attack.

The representatives submitted reports on behalf of their respective religious group telling the commission of specific instances of government repression, including reports of religious leaders being arrested, tortured, and detained for months or years under frivolous charges.

The China Aid Association (CAA) released a report documenting the level of persecution against Protestant house churches and giving the known number of arrests, attacks, and churches destroyed.

It said China detained at least 600 Christians and destroyed numerous churches in 2006.

"Zhejiang and Henan province should be put on notice [as] having the worst religious persecution record," said Rev. Bob Fu of CAA. "It is morally imperative for any conscientious foreign investors in Henan to address this serious issue."

Joseph Kung of the Catholic Cardinal Kung Foundation told the panel of the latest instance of Catholic bishops being arrested, and he called on the commission to help locate them.

"Religious persecution in China is not ancient history" Kung said, adding that it "should be one of the top priorities of the U.S." in the coming year.

Bhuchung Tsering of the International Campaign for Tibet voiced concerned that Beijing may use the games to legitimize its control over Tibet. China has occupied the Himalayan region since 1950 and is accused of repressing the Buddhist religion there.

The commission is a panel reporting directly to the president and Congress which examines the religious rights policies of nations and advises the government on how to deal with those that are of "particular concern."

China is one of eight "countries of particular concern" the administration lists as especially oppressive. The others are Saudi Arabia, Iran, Burma, North Korea, Sudan, Eritrea and Uzbekistan.
OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

Friday, February 02, 2007

Green and harmonious Olympics--not quite

After reading this article, I am appalled to see how far China, the great pretender, is willing to go to boost its image. And it's a very costly facelift at that! But things are not always what they seem. They can brag all they want about being so great, nevertheless a new report on organ harvesting of prisorners should serve as an eye opener to us all. However, China has it right on one count -that is- they should worry about human rights activitists in the leadup to the Olympics. Intervention from rights activists, trouble as the Communist officials would call it, could easily be avoided if they'd only stop brutalizing their own people. Another Olympic-size headache for China is the environment. Superficial measures won’t resolve the core of the problem. And saying things are allright don't make it so.

Freedom of the press is certainly not a done deal either. Journalism is the third most dangerous profession in China. Regardless of the new regulations to protect journos, a journalist was brutally murdered outside a mining company office January 11. What new laws? Even Hu Jintao felt he had to apologize for that one. Look here for Reporters Without Borders' annual report for 2007.

Send a letter to the IOC and let them know that China has broken its promise of improving their human rights record before the Games--and it's even worst than ever!

Sydney Morning Herald, Australia: Faster, higher and on target

Unlike Athens, Beijing is forging ahead with Olympic Games preparations. There's just the small matter of chronic pollution, writes Jacquelin Magnay.

Hard-hatted Henry Zhang stood atop the towering birds' nest that has come to signify the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and cast his eyes over the surrounding Olympic Green, not so much lush as huge brown mounds of construction dust. "I felt very proud and very scared at the same time," says Zhang, the deputy general manager of the national stadium, of that moment last year.

Zhang has overseen the construction of the Olympic stadium, now 70 per cent complete, which is really three tiers of seating that can stand alone without the cosmetic envelope of the huge steel that wraps around it like string.

"To be honest we have never had this experience of building such an external steel structure and it was a very big challenge for us, but since last September we feel very, very confident that we can finish it on schedule and with quality," Zhang says, noting with a hearty laugh that when the supporting pylons were removed nothing fell down.

Zhang's thoughts about his eye-popping 91,000-seat stadium that will convert to a football stadium after the Games mirrors the entire ambitious Beijing Olympic project. It is bold, it is out there and it is very risky.

China's authorities have chosen the August 2008 Games to exhibit the new China: a more open, vibrant, energetic, high-tech country that is breathtaking in its transformation. Authorities have moved villages, invested many billions of dollars and searched the highest peaks for inspiration.

The Olympic torch and flag, for instance, will be taken by climbers to the top of Mount Everest. And the pictures of this moment will be beamed live by Chinese television around the world.

The logistics of this exercise are mind-boggling - how to keep the torch alight in such a low-oxygen, high-altitude environment; how to carry satellite dishes and broadcast equipment to beam the moment; how to select a skilled Chinese climber for this privilege; and how to keep the team safe.

"We want to put the Olympic flag on top of the world. The training has already started," says Wang Wei, the executive vice-president of the Beijing Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (BOCOG).

The funding of some of the Olympic venues has broken new ground and illustrated how Communist China has opened to the world. Authorities looked outside of the state's revenue and won private investment in the stadium. Three companies, Citic Group, the Beijing Urban Construction Group and the US Golden State pension fund, have funded the total cost (which has not been revealed) in return for a 42 per cent stake over the next 30 years.

Several hundred metres away the Australian-designed spectacular aquatic centre, "the water cube", features translucent walls and ceilings of "bubbles", and can change colour. The 1.02 billion yuan ($169 million) cost of this construction was totally funded by contributions from 80,000 expatriate Chinese who will have their names recorded on a wall nearby. "They had a very strong will to contribute," says the centre's executive deputy general manager, Zhao Zhixiong.

While there is tremendous enthusiasm and a seriousness of attitude, the Chinese political leaders and the Olympic organisers face enormous challenges to control aspects that can bring the Games undone, such as the Falun Gong, which is campaigning among supporters to disrupt the Olympics, human rights protesters or the acutely uncomfortable, choking air pollution.

Beijing organisers are worried China's image will suffer if the pictures beamed around the world show athletes whingeing about being unable to breathe or if the Great Wall of China is cocooned in a thick blanket of smog.

The high pollution levels are of such concern that many Australian training camps will not be held on the Chinese mainland and many teams will delay their entry into Beijing until the last possible moment.

The Beijing Municipal Authority has been open about the problem and since 1998 has spent 119.1 billion yuan to find a solution, closing coking factories, halving the production of the Capital Steelworks factory, and embarking on a widespread public transport system that by 2012 will mean any Beijing citizen will be just five minutes walk from a train station. All of the industrial burners have had to change to cleaner fuels and the city's 9000 construction sites have been covered to prevent dust storms.

Their efforts are paying off, with the number of clean air days (judged by whether the pollution has exceeded Beijing's five-point standard test) at 241 last year, up from 101 days nine years ago. But the number of worst pollution days also rose - to 20.

The vice-director of the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau, Du Shaozhong, acknowledges the rapid urbanisation was an issue and says the next 12 months are critical.

"We try our best and we invest a lot of money [in] Beijing's air-pollution control, but the air and water quality still has a lot to improve," Du says, describing this year as "a crucial year for Beijing to realise an Olympic green environment and the Beijing municipality will try our best to increase the air and water quality".

Compounding the problem is the sale of nearly 1000 new cars a day to Beijing citizens, all of which require the highest quality emission standards. Sales of cars, mobile phones and real estate underpinned the country's eighth consecutive year of double-digit growth, figures released last week show.

By August next year, it is expected there will be 3.5 million cars in Beijing.

Wang says all factories can be temporarily shut during the Games if need be. And there will be a concerted push for people to leave their cars at home. Beijing residents are being educated via television, billboards and slogans about "Olympic etiquette".

"When not to give a big shout, when to keep quiet, to cheer both sides, to be nice hosts," says Wang.

Ticket prices were kept low (from 30 yuan to 1000 yuan for competitions; 200 to 5000 yuan for the ceremonies) to encourage local participation. Unlike the West, which uses sport to tackle obesity, the Chinese want to use the Olympics to help people relax. The Games will also be about exhibiting China's athletic prowess and the Chinese Olympic Committee dearly wants to knock off the United States from the top of the medal tally, especially in front of the 80 heads of state who have indicated they will be there.

But that triumph must come without any taint of drugs following the loss of face at the 1998 World Swimming Championships in Perth where several athletes were caught with the hormone-boosting EPO (erythropoietin). Late last year one of the provincial sports schools was raided and a large cache of performance-enhancing drugs seized, but for the first time, the authorities revealed that the raid took place.

The International Olympic Committee has stressed that China must be transparent and allow journalists to do their work without interference.

The Communist Party responded and has relaxed restrictions on journalists until after the Games so that they can report more freely and move about the provinces more easily. No longer will journalists have to seek permission from the state to interview an athlete. Wang says the organisers do not fear the human rights questions either, because human rights at the moment is "the best in the history of China" . He is confident that with less than 550 days until the opening ceremony Beijing and China will be ready for the world's inspection.

"Journalists will see the reality of China, they can ask about how happy they [the people] feel about now and the future and for the most part it will be positive [response]. Every country has its pros and cons and we want to do our best for the people to know more about China and the reality of China," he says.

"We want to showcase Beijing and showcase China and we understand the international community doesn't know Beijing or China as it really is and this is our opportunity for the world to focus on us. We understand the bar is high, our own expectations are high, but we want a distinct Olympic Games with Chinese features."

The writer travelled as a guest of BOCOG.


Budget for the Beijing Games organising committee: $US2 billion ($2.5 billion)

Ticket revenue: $US140 million

Product licensing 4000 items: $US50 million

IOC sponsors: $US1 billion

Volunteers: 220,000 registered for 70,000 positions


$US1 billion in public facilities,

transport and infrastructure around Olympic venues

$US1 billion to improve urban environment

$US1 billion on underground subway

$US133 million to improve air quality

$US38.5 million to modernise industry

Source: Beijing Finance Bureau, BOCOG OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

Chinese army harvesting parts from Falun Gong inmates

China is indulging in human rights violations again. When will the butchery stop? If this insanity keeps up, it will be surprising if anyone will even bother to show up at the 2008 Olympics. Why support an evil dictatorship? Read the Matas/Kilgour report here.

OTTAWA (AFP) - China's military is reportedly harvesting organs from prison inmates, mostly Falungong practitioners, for large scale transplants including for foreign recipients, a study said.

Canada's former Secretary of State for the Asia Pacific region David Kilgour and human rights lawyer David Matas released a report Wednesday into such transplants after interviewing organ recipients in 30 countries.

They also interviewed Canadian hospital staff who subsequently cared for hundreds of patients after they underwent dubious transplant surgeries in China.

"The involvement of the People's Liberation Army in these transplants is widespread," Kilgour told a press conference.

Like many civilian hospitals in rural China, military hospitals turned to selling organs to make up for government funding cuts in the 1980s, the report states.

But military personnel could operate with much more secrecy, it added.

"Recipients often tell us that even when they receive transplants at civilian hospitals, those conducting the operation are military personnel," the report states.

It is the second report to be released by the pair, who in July published the results of a two-month investigation in which they implicated dozens of hospitals and jails throughout China in the transplant scandal.

Those allegations were vigorously denied by Chinese officials.

Hospitals in Canada's biggest cities, Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto meanwhile confirmed "a substantial number" of Canadians had traveled to China for suspicious organ transplants, Kilgour said.

"We're in the three digits, up over 100 (from Canada each year) and the trend is accelerating," Matas said.

To curb what they called a "disgusting form of evil," the pair publicly asked pharmaceutical firms to stop selling organ anti-rejection drugs to China.

They also urged countries to post travel advisories warning that organs from China may have been harvested from unwilling donors; asked states to cease offering follow-up care to patients who had shady organ transplants in China; and called on foreign doctors to cut ties with their Chinese counterparts suspected of such practices.

States should also enact legislation to ban their citizens from traveling to China for organ transplants from forced donors, although the study's authors admitted such prosecutions would be difficult to prove.

The US-based lobby group "The Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of the Falungong in China" had asked Kilgour and Matas to investigate claims by several of their members.

China banned the spiritual group in 1999 and has vehemently denied the allegations of organ harvesting, accusing the Falungong of spreading rumors in a bid to undermine the country's international relations and "social stability."

Kilgour and Matas admitted that many of the claims were second-hand, but said there was enough evidence to "paint a picture."

They described one man traveling to Shanghai in 2003 for a kidney transplant at the civilian No. 1 People's Hospital and his convalescence at No. 85 hospital of the People's Liberation Army.

Eight kidneys were tested, to find a match. Only the last "from an executed prisoner" was compatible, his military surgeon told him, according to the report.

Wang Xiaohua, a Falungong practitioner who now lives in Montreal, told reporters he "suffered inhumane persecution" at a Chinese labor camp where jailed Falungong practitioners, and not other prisoners, were systematically subjected to blood tests to match their organs with recipients.

In their previous report, Matas and Kilgour interviewed several Falungong members and the former wife of a surgeon who told her he had removed the corneas from some 2,000 anaesthetized Falungong prisoners in northeast China in the two years prior to October 2003.

They said they listened, with the help of certified interpreters, to more than 30 veiled calls made from Canada and the United States to Chinese officials who admitted to the surgeries.

Dozens more Chinese hospitals and jails were implicated in transcripts of new telephone calls, including one to an air force hospital in Chengdu City, in which an official said it would be "no problem" to get organs from young and healthy Falungong practitioners for a transplant.

OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008