David Matas, winner of the Distinguished Alumni Award for Lifetime Achievement

DMatas_greyA shield, a sword, and a warrior in the battle for international human rights. 

APRIL 28, 2014 — If you accuse a global superpower like China of harvesting organs from a persecuted segment of its population, you’d better be ready for some backlash.Since co-authoring the report A Bloody Harvest with fellow U of M alumnus David Kilgour [BA/1962], international human rights lawyer David Matas had his life threatened, saw his work labeled “extremist”, has been banned from presenting his findings in Russia’ received (with Kilgour) the 2009 Human Rights Award from the International Society for Human Rights’ and was nominated for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. For Matas, the size of his opponent seems irrelevant; if he sees them committing crimes against humanity, he digs in his heels and takes them on.