An ongoing investigation into China’s organ harvesting industry depicts an illegal, widespread and systematic practice with many questions to be answered. Feeding an enormous trade in China, prisoners of conscience are being executed for their organs. Falun Gong practitioners, Uighur Muslims, Tibetan Buddhists and “underground” Christians are all subjects of China’s mass harvesting of organs from individuals without their consent.
There is a “systematic, state-sanctioned organ harvesting from non-consenting prisoners of conscience” taking place in China. And according to a new report published by David Kilgour; former Canadian lawmaker, David Matas; human rights lawyer, and Ethan Gutmann; a journalist, “thousands of people are being executed in China in secret and their organs harvested for use in transplant operations,” CNN reported. Supported by strict evidence, including their two previous reports – “Bloody Harvest” and “The Slaughter,” the report “shows that the Chinese regime is performing 60,000 to 100,000 transplants per year as opposed to 10,000 per year (the Chinese claim).”
“The ultimate conclusion is that the Chinese Communist Party has engaged the State in the mass killings of innocents, primarily practitioners of the spiritually-based set of exercises, Falun Gong, but also Uyghurs, Tibetans, and select House Christians, in order to obtain organs for transplants.”
The massive discrepancy is “made up of executed prisoners, many of them prisoners of conscience locked up for their religious or political beliefs,” CNN reported. Since China does keeps its total number of executions a secret, the report looked at publicly reported figures regarding transplants from hospitals to reveal the true number of transplants performed in the country.
“The (Communist Party) says the total number of legal transplants is about 10,000 per year,” Matas said in a statement. “But we can easily surpass the official Chinese figure just by looking at the two or three biggest hospitals.”
While the authors of the report blame the Chinese Government as well as the Communist Party, the healthcare system, doctors and hospitals for organ harvesting, the U.S. House of Representatives and the European Parliament both passed resolutions condemning the illegal practice. International standards explained in the “Guiding Principles on Human Cell, Tissue and Organ Transplantation” and passed by the World Health Organization requires consent, traceability and transparency of organ transplants – something not carried out by the Chinese government.
China’s illegal practice of organ harvesting “has been used as a method of persecution against Falun Gong practitioners and to maintain the supply of the demand for human organs,” Forbes reported.
According to Gutmann’s statements at a hearing before the Committee on Foreign Affairs, he concluded that:
“In 1999, state security launched the campaign to eliminate Falun Gong. By 2001, over 1 million Falun Gong incarcerated within the Laogai system were subject to retail organ testing and Chinese military and civilian hospitals were ramping up their transplant facilities.”
“By 2002, it was select House Christians. By 2003, it was the Tibetans. By 2005, economic opportunism had been replaced by… the party’s desire to kill off its internal enemies… Hardened criminals were harvested for organs; transplant centers stood to make $60,000, $100,000 or more but the rise of the Chinese transplant industry was built on the foundation of Falun Gong incarceration.”
The growing industry makes China the “go-to country for transplant tourists from around the world,” Epoch Times reported. With scheduled transplant surgeries and wait-times ranging from days to just a couple months, patients from United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, South Korea, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan all travel to China for organ transplants.
According to the documentary, “Killing to Live: The Dark Side of Transplant Tourism in China,” released in 2017 and aired on Korea’s Chosen T.V., many hospitals advertise “guaranteed organs” from “healthy, young donors.”
“In China, the organs come easy,” a senior nurse said in the documentary. I don’t know where they come from. It takes just two hours for them to bring the fresh organs here.”
While China initially denied the claims calling them “vicious slander,” Chinese officials admitted to the practice in 2005 and “promised to reform it,” CNN reported. In 2014 the country said it would use a donation system instead, but with few organ donations reported in China (1,400 people between 2012 and 2013) this system has been far from a success.
Five doctors wrote in an open letter to the Lancet:
“China is still using death row inmates’ organs. The only difference is that these organs are now been classified as citizens’ voluntarily donated organs.”
The International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China (ETAC) has established a coalition of lawyers, academics, ethicists, medical professionals, researchers and human rights advocates to investigate and end the forced organ harvesting in China. Aside from the ETAC’s efforts, legislation in Israel, Spain, Taiwan, Italy and Norway has been passed to combat transplant tourism and organ trafficking.