Media Advisory: Organs trafficking conference features films, activist Harry Wu

Contact: Kathleen Maclay
(510) 643-5651
kmaclay@berkeley.edu

ATTENTION: International affairs, health care, health policy, ethics, human rights and higher education reporters and editors

WHAT

An invitation-only international conference at the University of California, Berkeley, on combating illegal trafficking in human organs and tissues. It will feature two special events that are open to the public and free of charge:

  • The screening of two films – the soon-to-be-released thriller “Inhale,” about organs trafficking on the U.S.-Mexico border, starring Sam Shepard and Rosanna Arquette and directed by Baltasar Kormákur; and “H.O.T.-Human Organs Trafficking,” a prize-winning 2009 documentary directed by Roberto Orazi that explores international organs trafficking.
  • A keynote address by human rights activist Harry Wu about organs trading at Chinese forced labor camps.

WHEN

The conference runs Wednesday through Friday, May 5-7

WHERE

The films will be shown from 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 5, in the Gifford Room (Room 221) of Kroeber Hall, on campus near the intersection of Bancroft Way and College Avenue. Wu’s lecture will take place from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, May 6, in the Howard Room of The Men’s Faculty Club, in the southeastern portion of campus, west of the Haas School of Business.

WHO

Harry Wu, who will give the keynote address, is the executive director of the Laogai Research Foundation, which he founded in 1992 to gather information and raise public awareness about the Chinese Laogai. The term “laogai” means “reform through labor” and is used to refer to the use of prison labor and prison farms in China.

In 1960, Wu was imprisoned for criticizing the Communist Party and spent 19 years working in the factories, mines and fields of the Laogai. He was released in 1979 and came to the United States in 1985. Since then, Wu has traveled to China repeatedly to further investigate Laogai camps and to call for increased hu¬man rights protections in China.

DETAILS

The conference is being sponsored by UC Berkeley’s doctoral program in medical anthropology and Organs Watch, a university-affiliated medical human rights and documentation project concerned with illegal organs procurement via global traffic in organs and tissues.

NOTE: Both events are open to media who R.S.V.P. Seating is limited. Please R.S.V.P. to Kathleen Maclay, UC Berkeley Media Relations, (510) 643-5651, kmaclay@berkeley.edu.