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Christchurch Art Gallery, Christchurch, New Zealand

The award-winning documentary Hard To Believe is screening at the Christchurch Art Gallery on Monday, October 17.



Time & Date

Date: Monday 17 October 2016
Venue: Christchurch Art Gallery, 58 Gloucester Street , Christchurch
Time: 6.00pm, followed by Q&A panel discussion
Tickets: Free

Reserve Seats:

Ph: 021 205 3743      Email:

Guest speakers on panel:

Ethan Gutmann (featured in the film) - Award-winning China analyst and human-rights investigator

Angela Ballentyne - President of the International Association of Bioethics and the ethics member of the New Zealand Central Ethics Committee

Kerry Gore - Human rights lawyer

Jaya M Gibson - Investigative Journalist & Communications Consultant who has advised NGO’s, government and private organisations in Europe, the USA, Asia & New Zealand for the last 16 years

For detailed speaker biographies please scroll down.

Co-presented by:

International Coalition to End Organ Pillaging in China (

Speaker biographies in detail

  • Ethan Gutmann (via video call, featured in the film)

Ethan Gutmann, an award-winning China analyst and human-rights investigator, is the author of the award winning book Losing the New China: A Story of American Commerce, Desire and Betrayal. He has written widely on China issues for publications such as the Wall Street Journal Asia, Investor’s Business Daily, Weekly Standard, National Review, and World Affairs Journal, and he has provided testimony and briefings to the United States Congress, the Central Intelligence Agency, the European Parliament, the International Society for Human Rights in Geneva, the United Nations, and the parliaments of Ottawa, Canberra, Dublin, Edinburgh, and London. A former foreign-policy analyst at the Brookings Institution, Gutmann has appeared on PBS, CNN, BBC, and CNBC. His most recent book is The Slaughter: Mass Killings, Organ Harvesting, and China’s Secret Solution To It’s Dissident Problem.  

  • Dr Angela Ballentyne

Dr Angela Ballantyne is a Senior Lecturer in Bioethics at the University of Otago. She teaches medical ethics in the 4th and 5th year ALM program at Wellington School of Medicine. Her research interests include exploitation, research ethics, vulnerability, ethics of pregnancy and reproductive technologies, and secondary use research with clinical data. 

She is President of the International Association of Bioethics and the ethics member of the New Zealand Central Ethics Committee. In 2016 she received a New Zealand Marsden Fast Start grant and a UOW Award for Best Emerging Researcher. 

Angela has worked in a wide range of international settings, including Australia, England, Europe and the United States, in schools of medicine, primary health care and philosophy. She received her PhD in Bioethics from Monash University (Australia), and spent a year of her doctorate program undertaking research at Imperial College London. 

Her interest in global health policy lead to a position as Technical Officer for Genetics and Ethics for the Human Genetics unit at WHO in Geneva in 2005, where she worked on projects concerning the ethical, legal and social issues associated with medical genetics.

  • Kerry Gore

Kerry Gore is a Human Rights Lawyer. He has assisted asylum seekers in New Zealand with refugee and protected person status claims at first instance and at appellate level. He also helps asylum seekers overseas with refugee applications made to the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees.

He has extensive experience (i.e. 16 years) with asylum seekers from Mainland China., especially Falun Gong practitioners and House Church Christians from that country. He has also assisted pro-democracy advocates, petitioners and civil society activists from China.

  • Jaya M Gibson

Jaya M Gibson is an investigative Journalist & Communications Consultant. He has advised NGO’s, government and private organisations in Europe, the USA, Asia & New Zealand for the last 16 years. He currently runs his own consulting practice in Christchurch where he also serves on the boards of several trusts.

He helped start an international newspaper in 2004 and ended up in Manhattan as Global Marketing Director until 2011 when he made New Zealand his home base.

Jaya has conducted sensitive political lobbying globally and within the UN on China human rights issues since 2005. In 2006 he was detained in Singapore for his investigation into the corruption of the domestic courts by the Chinese Communist Party. During the course of this work, he has met with world leaders such as the Dalai Lama and Rebiya Kadeer and has presented on his investigative research into organ harvesting in the UK, Sweden, USA, India, Australia and New Zealand.

Reserve Seats:

Ph: 021 205 3743      Email:

Film Synopsis


IT’S HAPPENED BEFORE: Governments killing their own citizens for their political or spiritual beliefs. But it’s never happened like this.

It’s happened so often that the world doesn’t always pay attention. But is economic influence the reason, that this time, it’s going largely unreported? It’s hard to believe that doctors would carve up innocent people so their organs could be sold. It’s even harder to believe that major media are not investigating. Yet it happened tens of thousands of times, and may be happening still.

Hard to Believe is a documentary that examines the issue of forced live organ harvesting from Chinese prisoners of conscience, and the response—or lack of it—around the world. Produced by Swoop Films, two-time Emmy Award-winning director/producer, Ken Stone, and Irene Silber. 


“The first sustained examination into why the world is so willing to turn a blind eye to 'one of the most catastrophic human rights violations in our time'.”
— Daily Mail

“This documentary is extremely important for those involved in organ donation and transplantation, human rights, healthcare, ethics, and the law...The credentials of the interviewed experts are impeccable.”
— Journal of Bioethical Inquiry

Read more reviews

Earlier Event: October 17
Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Thailand
Later Event: October 20
Orlando Film Festival, FL, USA