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SDIR Committee Meeting

Notices of Meeting include information about the subject matter to be examined by the committee and date, time and place of the meeting, as well as a list of any witnesses scheduled to appear. The Evidence is the edited and revised transcript of what is said before a committee. The Minutes of Proceedings are the official record of the business conducted by the committee at a sitting.

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MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
 
Meeting No. 53
 
Tuesday, February 3, 2015
 

The Subcommittee on International Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development met in camera at 1:04 p.m. this day, in Room 237-C, Centre Block, the Chair, Scott Reid, presiding.

 

Members of the Subcommittee present: Tyrone Benskin, Hon. Irwin Cotler, Nina Grewal, Jim Hillyer, Wayne Marston, Scott Reid and David Sweet.

 

In attendance: Library of Parliament: Erin Shaw, Analyst; Justin Mohammed, Analyst.

 
The Subcommittee proceeded to the consideration of matters related to Subcommittee business.
 

It was agreed, — That the Subcommittee invites Michael Mostyn (CEO, B’nai Brith Canada), Yehuda Azoulay (Chair, Sephardic Affairs Council, B’nai Brith Canada), and David Matas (Senior Legal Counsel, B’nai Brith Canada) on February 26th to testify on the Iranian regime’s systematic repression of minorities, violation of basic human rights and fundamental opposition to Jewish values and the Jewish State.

 

It was agreed, — That the subcommittee invite Carlos Vecchio, co-founder of Venezuelan opposition party Voluntad Popular, Diana López, director of human rights initiative “Acción por la Libertad” and sister of imprisoned opposition leader Leopoldo López, and Orlando Viera-Blanco, attorney for persecuted Venezuelan opposition leader María Corina Machado, to testify on February 5, 2015, about the deteriorating human rights situation in Venezuela.

 

It was agreed — That the Subcommittee adopt the following amended statement:

“The Subcommittee has heard troubling testimony about the forced harvesting and trafficking of human organs. The gap between the supply of and demand for donor organs has given rise to a number of unethical and illegal practices. Individuals on transplant lists often must wait years for an organ to become available legally in Canada or elsewhere. Desperate to live, these individuals may decide to travel abroad for the transplant, to a country where they can purchase an organ. Sadly, the organs in this global trade are often taken – without consent – from the world’s poorest people and from those most vulnerable to exploitation. The Subcommittee was disturbed by the evidence it heard that organs were being forcibly harvested for transplant from executed prisoners of conscience and members of religious and ethnic minority groups in the People’s Republic of China, including but not limited to practitioners of Falun Dafa and Uighurs. Witnesses indicated that police, military and medical professionals in a number of regions of China were involved in illegal organ harvesting, implicating doctors, researchers, hospital and clinical staff, as well as justice sector professionals.

In light of the evidence that it has heard, the Subcommittee:

  • Expresses its deep concern over credible allegations that prisoners of conscience and members of religious and ethnic minority groups, including but not limited to practitioners of Falun Dafa and Uighurs, in the People’s Republic of China are being executed for the purposes of harvesting and transplanting their organs.
  • Expresses its deep concern over the persistent and credible reports of systematic, state-sanctioned organ harvesting from non-consenting prisoners of conscience and members of religious and ethnic minority groups, including but not limited to practitioners of Falun Dafa and Uighurs, in the People’s Republic of China.
  • Condemns and calls for an immediate end to the practice of organ transplantation from living or deceased donors without free, informed and specific consent from donors or, where appropriate, their next of kin.
  • Encourages Canadian medical professionals, scientists, researchers and their professional organizations – as well as regulatory bodies – to continue their efforts to put an end to illegal and unethical transplantation practices.
  • Calls on medical and scientific professional and regulatory bodies to name, shame and ostracize individuals, institutions and their affiliates involved in the forced harvesting and trafficking of human organs.
  • Calls on the Government of Canada to consider ways to discourage and prevent Canadians from taking part in transplant tourism, where the organs have not been obtained in an ethical, safe and transparent fashion.”
 

It was agreed, — That the Subcommittee invite Ambassador Dominique Rossetti to appear by videoconference in relation to its study on the human rights situation in Eritrea.

 

It was agreed, — That, pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), the Committee undertake a study on the human rights situation in Sudan.

 

At 1:46 p.m., the Subcommittee adjourned to the call of the Chair.

 



Michael MacPherson
Clerk of the Subcommittee

 
 
2015/02/05 11:02 a.m.