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29 August 1943 |
David Matas (born 29 August 1943) is the senior legal counsel of B'nai Brith Canada. He has maintained a private practice in refugee, immigration and human rights law since 1979. He has published various books and manuscripts and currently resides in Winnipeg.
David Matas was born in Winnipeg; his grandparents were immigrants from the Ukraine and Romania. He obtained a B.A. from the University of Manitoba in 1964, and a Masters of Arts from Princeton University in 1965. In 1967, he obtained a Bachelor of Arts (Jurisprudence) from the University of Oxford, England, and in 1968 he obtained a Bachelor of Civil Law. In 1969, he became a Middle Temple United Kingdom Barrister, and he joined the Bar of Manitoba in 1971.
Matas served as a Law Clerk to the Chief Justice Supreme Court of Canada in 1968-69, and was a member of the Foreign Ownership Working Group, Government of Canada, and was special assistant to the Solicitor General of Canada in 1971-72.
He served as a member of the Canadian delegation to the United Nations General Assembly, the Task Force on Immigration Practices & Procedures, the Canadian delegation to the United Nations Conference on an International Criminal Court 1998, the Canadian Delegation to the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust, and since 1997 the Director of the International Centre for Human Rights & Democratic Development.
Matas has also taught constitutional law at McGill University, Introductory Economics, Canadian Economic Problems, International Law, Civil Liberties, and Immigration & Refugee Law, at the University of Manitoba.
He ran for the Canadian House of Commons in the 1979 and 1980 federal elections as a Liberal candidate in Winnipeg—Assiniboine district and came in second place both times. He was named to the Order of Canada on December 30, 2008.
Human rights work
He has been actively involved as Director of the International Defence & Aid Fund for South Africa in Canada, Director of Canada-South Africa Cooperation, Co-chair Canadian Helsinki Watch Group, Director Manitoba Association of Rights & Liberties, Amnesty International, B'nai Brith Canada, the Canadian Bar Association, the International Commission of Jurists, Canadian Jewish Congress, and Canadian Council for Refugees.
He is also counsel for Justice for Jews from Arab Countries and is co-author of "Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries: The Case for Rights and Redress".
In 2009 David Matas was a signatory to a letter that opposed the appointment of Professor Christine Chinkin to a UN Human Rights Council fact finding mission regarding the potential that Israeli and Hamas engaged in war crimes during the 2008-2009 Gaza War on the basis that Chinkin signed a letter prior to the fact finding mission that Matas claims showed that she "concluded that Israel was acting contrary to international law." Chinkin was not dismissed from the fact finding mission and went on to help produce the Goldstone report.
He presented various papers on the legal issue of prosecuting war criminals in Bangladesh.
Exposing large scale organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners in China
In 2006, with David Kilgour he released the Kilgour-Matas report, which found that "the source of 41,500 transplants for the six year period 2000 to 2005 is unexplained". One of the conclusions of the report was, "we believe that there has been and continues today to be large scale organ seizures from unwilling Falun Gong practitioners." In 2009, they published an updated version of the report as a book. They traveled to about 50 countries to raise awareness of the situation.
In 2012, State Organs: Transplant Abuse in China, edited by David Matas and Dr. Torsten Trey, was published with contributions from 12 specialists. In 2014 Ethan Gutmann, who contributed to State Organs, published a book. He interviewed over 100 people and estimates 64,000 Falun Gong prisoners have been killed for their organs from 2000 to 2008.
- David Matas: Revisiting Human Rights
- Governor General Announces New Appointments to the Order of Canada
- The Associated Press: China's most wanted man admits guilt by Jeremy Hainsworth, hosted by Google, 2009-08-09 - Dead link (feb.21, 2013)
- David Kilgour, David Matas (6 July 2006, revised 31 January 2007) An Independent Investigation into Allegations of Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners in China (free in 22 languages) organharvestinvestigation.net
- David Kilgour, David Matas (2009) Bloody Harvest, The killing of Falun Gong for their organs p. 232 seraphimeditions.com
- "Crusader up for Nobel Prize, Lawyer lauded for investigating abuses in China". Winnipeg Free Press. 20 February 2010.
- Matthew Robertson (31 August 2012). "Book Exposes Organized Killing for Organs in China". Epoch Times.
- David Matas, Dr. Torsten Trey (2012). "State Organs, Transplant Abuse in China". seraphimeditions.com. p. 144.
- Ethan Gutmann (2014). "The Slaughter: Mass Killings, Organ Harvesting, and China's Secret Solution to Its Dissident Problem". Prometheus Books. p. 368.
- Ethan Gutmann (2014) The Slaughter: Mass Killings, Organ Harvesting, and China's Secret Solution to Its Dissident Problem p. 368 amazon.com
- Pam Mclennan (12 October 2014). "‘The Slaughter’: Shedding Light on China’s Illegal Organ Trade". Epoch Times.
- Ethan Gutmann (25 April 2014). "The Slaughter – An Interview with DAFOH (Doctors Against Forced Harvesting)". ethan-gutmann.com.
- Ethan Gutmann (10 March 2011) "How many harvested?" revisited eastofethan.com
- Revised Report into Allegations of Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners in China (2007) David Kilgour, David Matas organharvestinvestigation.net
- Matas's books on amazon.com
- Biography at University of Winnipeg
- Biography at Canadian Political Science Students' Association
- Aftershock: Anti-Zionism & Antisemitism by David Matas (Dundurn(Toronto),2005)