(This page will be updated regularly over the next week as messages continue to come in.)
A Tribute to the Honourable David Kilgour
It is with great sorrow that we farewell our dear friend and colleague David Kilgour.
David’s warm and friendly nature, and his great capacity to care for and dedicate himself to others, will be greatly missed.
David was a tireless human rights advocate throughout his career – as a prosecutor, as an elected member of the Canadian Parliament, as Secretary of State for Latin America & Africa and Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific, and in his tireless work with NGOs. With David Matas, he performed the first investigation of forced organ harvesting in China, culminating in the 2006 publication of Bloody Harvest, for which he and David Matas were nominated for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. This work was followed up with the joint Kilgour, Matas Gutmann Update in 2016. With these collaborators and friends, David co-founded ETAC.
If everyone gave even just a tiny portion of what David has given, the world would certainly be an amazing place.
We send our deepest sympathies to David’s wife Laura, his children and extended family.
SALUTATIONS and TRIBUTES
Rest in peace! My friend! – Enver Tohti
In David Kilgour, no human rights defender, no refugee, no person fleeing or challenging persecution could ever have found a more steadfast, passionate, energetic, compassionate, enthusiastic or wise friend. Losing David, so suddenly, deprives the whole worldwide movement for human rights of one of our most extraordinary champions. He inspired, encouraged, enthused and advised so many, and for me personally, he was a constant source of advice, wisdom and support. – Benedict Rogers
In January 2018 I had the honour and pleasure to join the two David’s on a visit to Japan aimed at raising their politicians’ and physicians’ awareness of the source of organs Japanese patients were getting as they traveled to China for transplantation. Between one cup of Japanese tea and another, we befriended, and I became acquainted with David Kilgour’s immense strive for justice in its more pure sense. Having been born in the Holy Land, he reminded me of our ancient prophets who tirelessly repeated their call for human justice, disregarding many who criticised them and even shamed them.
I was deeply saddened that David left us only one day after the publication of the research by Matthew Robertson and myself in the American Journal of Transplantation – https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/ajt.16969. I know he would have been thrilled by these findings and would have emailed me, as he always did: “This is a big step forward for our cause. Onwards!”
Rest in peace, my friend! I promise we will carry on! – – Dr Jacob Lavee
David’s integrity and humanity shone through – although I did not have the privilege of knowing him personally, his emails provided constant encouragement, humour and news about his tireless activities. We will miss him sorely, and remain ever grateful for his enormous contributions to fighting human rights abuses. – Wendy Rogers
David’s wisdom, knowledge and conviction have been a guiding light for me and for ETAC for many years. An influential, kind, energetic, humorous man, David somehow managed to embrace everyone, everywhere. His work exposing the CCP’s organ harvesting crimes will go down in history, as will his important work helping many others who have suffered under the hands of the Chinese regime. David, we will miss you. Thank you for everything you have given and thank you for working we me, David, Ethan, Wendy and many others, to found ETAC. We will continue our work knowing you are by our side. – Susie Hughes
David’s inspiring work, strength, standing and support in human rights will live on. He leaves behind a lasting legacy and example to us all of what can be achieved with the kind of spirit for human rights work that David had. Vale David Kilgour. – Nina Smythe
Perhaps for many people, he was a great politician and a human rights fighter. However, in my mind, he was like a loving father, a close friend, a rare gentleman, and a fellow human being with such an extraordinarily kind heart.
I’m sure he’s now looking at us somewhere from heaven with the same warm smile as he always had. And everything he did will go down in history forever. – Jennifer Zeng
David was such a hero for human rights in Canada and beyond. I long admired David’s meticulous research work and untiring promotion of awareness and action on China’s truly scandalous organ-transplant system. In 2018, I needed to point to objections being raised for a piece on the Vatican’s shameful endorsement of China’s transplant organ-sourcing, and when I asked him for comment, he replied immediately with a quote that sums up his passion for fundamental rights and lifelong efforts to rouse concern: “[All involved] must summon the wisdom and courage to reconsider [their] collaboration with Chinese officials,” says David Kilgour, former Canadian Secretary of State for the Asia-Pacific. I remember lots of last-minute correspondence as he re-arranged his schedule multiple times in order to be able to speak at a June 2019 “Confronting Atrocities in China: The Uyghur Crisis” conference in Washington. And every time I sent him a joint public letter on China human rights or the Uyghur genocide, he promptly signed and recruited others to do the same. His frequent columns on human rights were always passionate and forthright. The loss of such a comrade-in-struggle is a sad day indeed. – Louisa Greve
I knew David for more than 40 years and, though this is a sad time for us, it is indeed a triumph for him. In relationships with all, David put the perspective of others first and he was second, always. This approach is reflected in his work, his family, in the legacy he leaves, and in how he interacted with everyone individually in faith. He did not ignore evil when he saw it, and he always encouraged all those around him to think of others first, and selves second. This approach will stand the test of time, is the most practical approach to living, and his approach is an example for others to follow. As he would tell you, he is fully confident without hesitation that this is not the end, and he lived in the hope of a better tomorrow. – Cameron
What very sad news. A life very well lived. May he rest in peace, RIP. – Catherine
David was a giant – his nobility, integrity, humanity and sincerity were second to none and he was always the first to condemn injustice and stand for human dignity and human life. We are inspired by his strength of character and will continue his great work in his legacy. – Dr Aliya Khan
David will always be remembered for the work that he did in his life, especially for this contributions to ETAC. – Michelle Nguyen
I met David by chance at Bridgehead here in Ottawa before I returned to Australia for my last working contract. I returned to Canada a couple years later and again again by chance I met David in a different Bridgehead Coffee shop. That was the beginning of what became for me a privileged relationships that evolved into a decade long friendship. David K was one of the most respected people I ever met and to assist him a small amount in his passion to help the oppressed was indeed a privilege. He will be sorely missed. Thank you David. “Peace be with you”. – Dr Graeme Barber
David struck me as a lovely human being, a bright star, a person of great integrity and valiance. Such a great loss for ETAC and indeed the world – a tremendous loss I’m sure for his friends, family and close colleagues. – Mal Mitchell
Tragic news. He was an amazing leader, advocate and person. – Dr Ali Iqbal
When I first met David, he had ‘retired’ from his political career a few years prior. However, he was still hard at work fighting injustice in Canada and worldwide. A political legend in Canada, his humility, generosity, and integrity set him apart. I admired his boundless energy and steadfast resolve to make a difference. He maintained that resolve until the very end, and he impacted many lives, including my own.
It saddens me that I will never again be able to pick up the phone to ask for his advice, meet him for coffee, or commiserate on how to make the world a better place. That said, I am grateful that I got to know him at all. Rest in peace, David, and thank you for giving me the honour of being your friend. – Valerie Gervais
Former Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific
Co-Founder, International Coalition To End Transplant Abuse In China
David Kilgour was a former Canadian cabinet minister, Member of Parliament, prosecutor, lawyer, author, columnist and human rights advocate.
First elected to Canada’s House of Commons in 1979, he was re-elected seven times for the south-east region of Edmonton, Alberta. While in Parliament, he served as Deputy Speaker and Chair of the Committees of the Whole House, and in Jean Chretien’s cabinet as Secretary of State for Latin America & Africa (1997-2002) and Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific (2002-2003). Currently, he is co-chair of the NGO Friends of a Democratic Iran, a director of the Ottawa Mission (for homeless men) Foundation, a director of the Helsinki-based NGO First Step Forum, and a Session member of Westminster Presbyterian Church.
Before entering Parliament, he was a Crown and defence counsel. His prosecution work began as an assistant city prosecutor in Vancouver, later working on tax litigation for the Department of Justice in Ottawa. In 1970-72, he was Crown Attorney for the Dauphin Judicial District in his native Manitoba. From 1972-79, he was a senior agent of the Alberta Attorney General in Edmonton.
His awards include Honorary Doctor of Divinity (Knox College, University of Toronto); Special Award, Ukrainian Canadian Congress – Alberta Provincial Council; Masaryk Award, Czechoslovak Association of Canada; Human Rights Award, B’Nai Brith Canada; Katipuman Award, Council of Edmonton Filipino Associations; Outstanding Service Award, Edmonton Sikh Association; Community Religious Liberty Award, International Religious Liberty Association, Liberty Magazine and the Seventh-Day Adventist Church.
In 2006, Mr Kilgour co-authored Bloody Harvest: Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners in China alongside David Matas. Both Mr Kilgour and Mr Matas were nominated for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize for this work.
He co-authored the 2016 investigative report An Update to Bloody Harvest and The Slaughter. The report meticulously examines the transplant programs of hundreds of hospitals in China, drawing on media reports, official propaganda, medical journals, hospital websites and a vast amount of deleted websites found in archives.
Speeches and Interviews
RISE OF EUROPEAN DEMOCRACIES AFTER COLLAPSE OF SOVIET UNION; MISGOVERNANCE IN CHINA Tenth Anniversary Conference in Prague Council of Members of the Platform of European
Jordan Harbinger from The Jordan Harbinger Show interviews David Kilgour about forced organ harvesting in China. In the podcast, Jordan and David discuss: Who is
ORGAN TRANSPLANTS FROM PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE IN CHINA Message (virtual) by Hon. David Kilgour, J.D., for International Coalition to end Organ Transplant Abuse in China
The regime has continued to direct a vast network organ-harvesting from prisoners of conscience — primarily Falun Gong –– since 2001, but also from Tibetans,
UNIVERSAL VALUES AND ENGAGEMENT WITH BEIJING West Lawn, Capitol Hill, Washington Notes for Hon. David Kilgour, J.D. For International Coalition to end Transplant Abuse in
ENGAGING CHINA WITH CANADIAN VALUES Notes for Hon. David Kilgour, J.D. of International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China (ETAC), Canadian International Council Forum
A second roundtable meeting was held at Westminster on Tuesday the 17th April 2018 to raise awareness about claims of forced organ harvesting in China
BY HON. DAVID KILGOUR, J.D The Platform of European Memory and Conscience International Conference Collège des Bernardins and Fondation Napoleon, Paris Communism as articulated by Karl
by David Kilgour Speech given at the International Leadership Conference, co-sponsored by the Universal Peace Federation (UPF)-Japan and the Institute for Peace Policies (IPP). Keio Plaza
An unprecedented new report by a team of relentless investigators was published on June 22, 2016. The basis of the report is a meticulous examination of
David Matas & David Kilgour on “Two Davids & Goliath” at TEDxMünchen 2015 David Kilgour is co-chair of the Canadian Friends of a Democratic Iran,
BY HON. DAVID KILGOUR, J.D. Let me begin with a confession. As a student in Paris in the late 60s, I was actually …an admirer
by Hon. David Kilgour, J.D International Conference on Religious Freedom In Honour of Hon. Shahbaz Bhatti A 2011 Pew Forum study estimated that Christians
By David Kilgour | David vs. David Diplomats, politicians and business leaders sometimes overlook that China is its peoples, cultures and history far more than