Four years ago, Newsweek reported in a powerful article, “China forces its political prisoners to sell body parts,” but little has been printed in American news outlets since. So what did they report and can it still be confirmed?
They reported, “Dozens of highly respected investigators, scholars and government officials around the world claim the Chinese government is harvesting organs from groups considered to be political or cultural enemies of the regime currently in power.”
It identified “members of Christian house churches, Tibetans and especially followers of Falun Gong, an outlawed peaceful Chinese religious movement created in 1992” as being “forced into “organ harvesting since the 1990s.” These groups, already incarcerated, have become the government’s secret source “to fill the growing demand for organs and to provide ‘organ tourists’ from Western nations with potentially life-saving treatments.”
Newsweek reported that the practice on death row prisoners was widely known, practiced and admitted to by Chinese authorities but it has since escalated.
“Sometimes the ‘donor’ has still been alive during this process – the organ-removal process is what actually kills them,” according to Newsweek’s article.
The victims are merely prisoners of conscience taken mostly from religious groups. The Chinese government in December 2014 announced its discontinuance; unfortunately, “data show organ donations in China have actually increased, which seems extremely unlikely if the practice has truly ceased,” Newsweek said Feb. 1, 2016.
Most of what Newsweek printed had been confirmed Sept. 12, 2012, by the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs in 2012 in their “Chinese Communist Party Organ Harvesting of Religious and Political Dissidents” Hearing. Such was also confirmed by the European Parliament in 2013.
Then nothing but silence on the issue for almost four years; finally, the Australian paper, The Sydney Morning Herald, broke the silence Nov. 9, 2019, with an article, “Crimes against humanity: is China killing political prisoners for their organs?” by Tim Elliott. It documented the creation of the China Tribunal in London by the International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China. This body headed by a seven-person panel and chaired by Sir Geoffrey Nice investigated the stream of documentation flowing out of China.
Its exhaustive 12-month inquiry “examined thousands of pages of submissions, including previous investigations and academic papers, internal Chinese medical records and reports from Amnesty International, independent watchdog group Freedom House and the United Nations Committee Against Torture. It reviewed undercover video footage taken inside Chinese hospitals, covert telephone recordings with Chinese transplant surgeons and heard from 50 witnesses, some of whom appeared in person and others via video link, from France, Canada, the U.S., Japan, Australia, Turkey and Korea.”
It confirmed, in its 60-page summary report released June 2019, everything that Newsweek, The House Committee and the European Union had shared, but instead of ending in 2014, as the Chinese government promised, it vastly accelerated.
“It found that official transplant statistics in China are routinely falsified, and that instead of performing 10,000 operations as claimed, the real figure is between 60,000 and 90,000 a year. It found that the main source of these organs were Falun Gong, but that Uighurs, a mostly Muslim minority – up to 1.5 million of whom are incarcerated in China – were at risk of becoming the next ‘organ bank.’”
It also established “that illicit organ transplants had become a lucrative industry in China, directed by the state and enabled by the military.” The China Tribunal “accused the People’s Republic of China of having committed mass murder, and warned that governments or any other bodies that engaged with it in any substantial way ‘should now recognize that they are interacting with a criminal state.’”
One highly disturbing new finding from Tribunal testimony was the concept of “incomplete executed” prisoners. This “often via a gunshot to the right side of the chest, is not uncommon, the purpose being to maintain blood circulation to the organs,” presumably to enhance viability of healthy extraction. Some witnesses “recounted how they had been told by guards that they would be killed for their organs; how guards referred to Falun Gong prisoners as “merchandise” and that they were “being kept as spare goods.”
The China Tribunal Report, as summarized by The Sidney Morning Herald, revealed that China did not have a volunteer organ donor program until 2013, largely because the “Chinese people have a cultural aversion to organ donation, owing to a traditional belief that the body must be buried intact.” The Red Cross in Beijing in 2015, “didn’t even have a donor office and hadn’t arranged a single case of organ donation.” Yet, “there seemed to be an endless supply of organs.”
The Report wrote about the difficulty in free countries of voluntarily obtaining the volume of organs needed.
“In the UK, the average waiting time for a liver transplant is 135 days. In Australia, people needing a kidney can wait between five and seven years. Waiting times in China, meanwhile, can be as little as two weeks” Fiatarone Singh from the University of Sydney said. “Booking in a transplant … is impossible in a normal, voluntary organ donor system… There is only one way you can do this, and that is where you have an organ bank – a large group of people who are being held in detention and killed on demand.”
Dr. Harold Pease is a syndicated columnist and an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and to applying that knowledge to current events. He taught history and political science from this perspective for over 30 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly articles, visit www.LibertyUnderFire.org.