China is Forcibly Harvesting Organs from Religious Detainees

China’s human rights abuses are well known, and now a new independent panel report lifts the lid on a horrifying fact: China is forcibly taking organs from its prison population, from which many prisoners have died.

These are the findings of the independent China Tribunal. The group, which is made up of leading human rights investigators and prosecutors, including the lauded Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, released its findings on June 17. This represents the first ever “robust” analysis of the evidence of China’s organ harvesting and encompasses testimony from witnesses, investigators, forensics experts and human rights investigative analyses.

In China, it is a matter of some pride that their organ donor waiting times are short. Whereas in places like the US and the UK patients may wait several months or even years, patients in China can expect to wait only a matter of weeks.

In fact, China is considered an organ transplant tourist spot, where people needing organ transplants will pay extremely large sums in order to receive an organ. China has never adequately explained where it is getting these organs from.

This latest report details a sustained and widespread practice of human rights abuses targeting religious minorities and prisoners of conscience. The alleged victims include those practicing the spiritual meditative practice known as Falun Gong in addition to Uyghur Muslims, some Tibetan Buddhists and House Church Christians.

“The conclusion shows that very many people have died indescribably hideous deaths for no reason, that more may suffer in similar ways and that all of us live on a planet where extreme wickedness may be found in the power of those, for the time being, running a country with one of the oldest civilisations known to modern man,” Sir Geoffrey Nice QC said. “There is no evidence of the practice having been stopped and the tribunal is satisfied that it is continuing.”

The Tribunal arrived at these damning conclusions after examining organ donation accounts and noticing that the figures just don’t add up.

An analysis from a 10 day period in 2016 of one province’s data sets appears to show that, although only 30 donors were officially recorded in medical records, 640 organs were transplanted. The analysis notes that would mean each donor would have provided 21 body parts on average, a figure that just isn’t credible.

The analysis concluded that: “A variety of evidence points to systematic falsification and manipulation of official organ transplant datasets and the misclassification of donors in China.” It also notes that China’s population are given cash incentives to volunteer their organs, something that is, at best, ethically fraught.

In 2014, China said that it would no longer be using organs from executed prisoners within its organ donor pool and has repeatedly dismissed claims that it is still using prisoner organs in this way. However, as the China Tribunal notes, the evidence suggests that China has continued this practice and may be using its crackdown on religious groups as a means to fuel that supply.

In particular, the report highlights that there was a “massive infrastructure development” that preceded any announcement of a voluntary organ donation system and that this yields evidence of forced organ harvesting practices having continued at pace since the supposed reforms.

While China officially allows Islam and guarantees protections for religious freedom under its Constitution, Uyghur Muslims have reported being detained for wearing what has been dubbed “Islamic attire”, praying or even something as innocuous as having “foreign connections”, such as family abroad. Many are detained for weeks at a time, where they are reportedly subjected to a sustained campaign of indoctrination against their faith. Several people have died while being held. It now appears that their organs may have been harvested, though whether they died accidentally or were killed specifically for their organs is not known.

Christians in China have also reported being hounded, with the government attempting to create a more supposedly “socialist” view of the religion.

The spiritual group, the Falun Gong, appear to be most at risk for forced organ harvesting, however, with reports saying that prisoners have been subjected to organ harvesting while still alive and conscious in some cases. The Tribunal concludes that, for the Falun Gong, this is evidence of China committing abuses that fulfill the criteria for genocide.

The Tribunal stressed that international governments, like the UK, have a duty to stem to the flow of so-called organ tourists to China in order to procure organs, saying that unless we tackle this problem from all sides China is likely to continue its terrible practice of using detainees as organ banks.

Related at Care2

Photo credit: Getty Images.

225 comments

Callie R
Callie Rabout an hour ago

Thank you.

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Callie R
Callie Rabout an hour ago

Thanks you.

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Mary W.
Mary W.2 hours ago

Sad to hear.

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Brandy S
Brandy S2 hours ago

Thanks.

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Brandy S
Brandy S2 hours ago

Thanks.

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Vikram S
Vikram S11 hours ago

Thanks

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Janet B
Janet B17 hours ago

Thanks

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Julia R
Julia Ryesterday

China is such a horrible country! How sad that people and animals end up in such a place that denies them both any rights or freedoms!

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Sandra V
Sandra V1 days ago

Thanks

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Sandra V
Sandra V1 days ago

Thanks

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