David Kilgour and David Matas, two Canadian human rights crusaders, have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for their work related to the investigation of organ harvesting crimes against Falun Gong practitioners in China.
In his nomination to the Nobel committee, MP Boris Wrzesnewskyj said awarding the prize to Matas and Kilgour “would help the world realize that liberty, human rights, and the rule of law can be won by determined peaceful acts of conscience.”
“I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and knowing the two Davids for a number of years now, and from my work with them it’s quite clear that these are two incredibly courageous men who made the decision not to stand by and observe the horrific injustice—they were going to do something about it,” Wrzesnewskyj said in an interview on Tuesday.
A former Canadian cabinet minister and Crown Prosecutor, Kilgour was Secretary of State for Latin America and Africa, and Secretary of State for the Asia-Pacific. Matas is a human rights lawyer, a member of the Order of Canada, and author of eight books.
Both are recipients of the 2009 Human Rights Award from the International Society for Human Rights, also in recognition of their efforts in investigating the Chinese Communist Party’s removal of organs from living Falun Gong practitioners for profit.
Wrzesnewskyj said that as a result of Matas and Kilgour’s “selfless efforts” in traveling to 44 countries to raise awareness of the situation, world leaders and global citizens have gained a better understanding of the issue of the illicit harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners’ organs in China.
In addition to their publication of two reports, Kilgour and Matas co-authored Bloody Harvest: The killing of Falun Gong for their organs, a 2009 book detailing evidence that tens of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners had been killed by the Chinese regime in the process of extracting their organs for lucrative transplant surgeries.
“They investigated, they produced reports, and now having produced those reports they’ve continued on a global campaign to inform the world of what was taking place,” Wrzesnewskyj said.
Kilgour and Matas have urged countries to discourage or prevent their citizens from going to China for organ transplants. Their investigations found that many rich foreigners seek transplants in China, where a matching donor can be found in mere weeks while in other countries it takes an average of 2.5 years.
“We trade with China and we sometime forget the political system that exists there, the human cost of it, and how destructive it can be,” said MP Wrzesnewskyj.
He believes Matas and Kilgour are “absolutely deserving of the rest of humanity saying thanks” because they have shown that “two people can make a difference.”
The 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony will take place on December 10, 2010 in Oslo, Norway.