According to the Associated Press (AP), Australian officials doubt the credibility of Falun Gong reports of forced organ harvesting, which at the same time is not given credence by serious human rights activists.
Two Canadian lawyers came to Australia's Parliament House on Monday to urge lawmakers to pass a motion calling on China to immediately end the practice of what they say is organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience.
David Kilgour, a former prosecutor and Canadian secretary of state for Asia-Pacific, and David Matas, a human rights lawyer, say they have evidence that China performs an estimated 60,000 to 100,000 transplants a year.
They argue that killing Falun Gong practitioners, Muslim Uighurs, Tibetan Buddhists and Christians was the only "plausible explanation" for sourcing of the organs — without offering proof of such practices.
Such claims have been around for years but have not been independently verified, in part because China's opaque legal system makes such inquiries virtually impossible. It's also not a cause that's advocated by most international human rights groups. China says it has reformed its system to eliminate the harvesting of organs from executed prisoners, although doubts remain about how completely that ban has been enforced.
China says it performed 10,057 organ transplants last year and has not harvested organs of executed prisoners since January 2015.
Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade First Assistant Secretary Graham Fletcher told a Senate committee last month that he had doubts about the credibility of Falun Gong reports of forced organ harvesting.
"They are not given credence by serious human rights activists," Fletcher said.
He said Chinese were not being executed for being Falun Gong followers or Christians.