International human rights lawyer David Matas has been awarded the first-ever Global Humanitarian Leader of the Year award. Established by the human rights group Canadians in Support of Refugees in Dire Need (CSRDN), the award recognizes those who uphold the principles of integrity, peace, justice, and mercy.
The Canadian-based lawyer is co-founder of the International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China (ETAC), and along with former Edmonton MP David Kilgour, received a 2010 Nobel Peace Prize nomination for his report exposing forced organ harvesting from practitioners of the spiritual practice Falun Gong in China.
In an ETAC press release, Dr. Aliya Khan, co-chair of CSRDN, was quoted, “We want to recognize David’s tremendous contributions to saving lives and justice by speaking out against the horrific crimes of forced organ harvesting in China. Killing people for their organs is a most cruel and barbaric practice and must be stopped.”
During his distinguished career, Matas has worked tirelessly to combat human rights abuses around the globe. Thanks to his work and others, the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act was created to name and sanction individuals known to be involved in human rights violations.
The Epoch Times notes that the Magnitsky Act was first used in the United States in 2020. To date, six Chinese officials have been banned from the United States, including Huang Yuanxiong, a police chief who interrogated and abused Falun Gong practitioners.
According to reports, the forced killing of Falun Gong prisoners of conscience has been taking place on an industrial scale since 2001. With their crimes having gone largely unchecked by the international community, the Chinese Communist Party has become increasingly emboldened, and now persecutes additional groups, including Uyghurs, Tibetans, and House Christians.
Matas urges, “I would encourage people to get informed, get involved.”