Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Group Decries Possible Use of Executed Chinese Prisoners in Bodies Display

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Group Decries Possible Use of Executed Chinese Prisoners in Bodies Display

Article excerpt

Bodies exhibit sparks calls for investigation


TORONTO - The possible use of corpses from executed Chinese prisoners for a public display as part of an exhibition in Ontario merits a criminal and coroner's investigation, a human-rights group is asserting.

The group, Choose Humanity, argues Premier Exhibitions may be breaking the law with its "Bodies Revealed" display in Niagara Falls, Ont.

"We're concerned that the presenter of these exhibitions does not have any form of consent whatsoever to show these bodies," said Joel Chipkar, spokesman for Choose Humanity.

"If these bodies do not have consent to be shown, these bodies are being shown illegally in Canada."

On display are whole cadavers and body parts -- as well as fetuses shown in a mother's uterus -- that have been put through a process known as plastination to preserve the specimens indefinitely. The bodies are posed in various positions, some skinless or with muscles flayed.

Proponents argue the displays offer a fascinating and educational look at the inner workings of the human body.

Premier Exhibitions, based in Atlanta, Ga., did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the complaint.

However, a disclaimer on its website confirms the remains are from Chinese citizens or residents "originally received" by Chinese police.

"The Chinese Bureau of Police may receive bodies from Chinese prisons. Premier cannot independently verify that the human remains you are viewing are not those of persons who were incarcerated in Chinese prisons," the disclaimer states.

"Premier relies solely on the representations of its Chinese partners and cannot independently verify that they do not belong to persons executed while incarcerated in Chinese prisons."

Choose Humanity -- which aims to create awareness of human rights abuses in China, including those against members of the Falun Gong organization -- says the disclaimer simply isn't enough. …

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