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About Organ Harvesting in China

Are prisoners really executed in China and their organs taken without consent?

Yes. This petition addresses two types of prisoners who are known to have their organs harvested without consent. One type of prisoner are criminals who have been tried through the court system in China and executed. The other type are prisoners of conscious who are imprisoned without trial because of their belief in a Buddha school practice called Falun Gong.

In 1993, Amnesty International reported organ harvesting from prisoners on a widespread scale. In 1994, Human Rights Watch also provided compelling evidence which included text of a government decree on the subject. [1]

In 2005, The Times reported that although China has denied for many years that organ harvesting of prisoners as a trade exists, Huang Jiefu, the Deputy Health Minister, acknowledged that the practice is indeed widespread. The article explains the main reason for using prisoners: "The supply of organs in China is severely restricted because of religious traditions that require the body to be whole when it enters the afterlife."[2]

Executed prisoners:

In China now there are 320 offences that carry the death penalty, including many non-violent white-collar crimes. The exact number of executions in the People's Republic of China (PRC) is a "state secret" but Amnesty International reports that at least 1,770 executions are definitely known to have been carried out in 2005 with a further 3,400 being put on death row. The general view among China watchers is that these figures are only the tip of the iceberg, with estimates of the real annual number of executions ranging from 8,000 to 15,000.

Communist China annually executes four times more people than the rest of the world put together. Despite the fact that the death penalty has been categorically shown to be ineffective as a deterrent, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is not looking at how to move to a more enlightened position on this issue, but rather how they can execute more people more efficiently, namely they are now incorporating "death vans" where prisoners are executed and their organs are removed efficiently in the van.

Unfortunately in China today miscarriages of justice are all too common. Prisoners are frequently condemned to death, for what we would consider relatively minor offences, on dubious circumstantial evidence without adequate legal representation. Government cadres are given preferential status for organ procurement and the transplant hospitals comply with this since they want the court to help in arranging a steady supply of executed prisoners' organs. Execution dates are scheduled to conform with patient transplantation needs, rather than with the strict requirements of due legal process.[3]

Faced with accumulating evidence and numerous media reports, on 19 April 2006 the British Transplantation Society (BTS) publicly condemned the practice of extracting organs from executed prisoners as an "unacceptable" human rights violation.

Falun Gong prisoners of conscience:

Falun Gong is a meditation practice and the most popular QiGong (ChiGong) in China's history. When the Chinese Communist Party conducted a survey in late 1998 and found that 70-100 million people were practising it, the communist regime launched a brutal crackdown on Falun Gong in 1999, believing the popularity of the meditation practice threatened the officially atheistic ideology of the state. The leader of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) gave the direct order to "Destroy their reputation, bankrupt them financially and annihilate them physically."

There are an estimated 3 million Falun Gong practitioners in detention presently based on the United States Department of State Report which tells us that about half the people in Chinese labour camps are Falun Gong and the Laogai Foundation which says there’s 6.8 million people in labour camps currently. Other than the prisoners on death row, Falun Gong are the only people detained who are blood tested and tissue sampled while in detention.

Since the ban, these tens of millions of Falun Gong practitioners have been placed outside the protection of the law in China. They are refused education and social support, fired from their jobs, imprisoned without trial, and are tortured in forced labour camps, where deaths of Falun Gong practitioners are ordered to "count as suicide". Many practitioners who were arrested often refuse to disclose their names and personal details for fear of implicating their families, friends and colleagues.[4]

This situation makes Falun Gong practitioners particularly vulnerable, since the regime (which works very closely with organ transplant hospitals) can remove their organs without being held accountable for their actions. Victims' family members have no way of knowing what is happening to them and when it is too late, no legal recourse afterwards.

With the need for organs far exceeding the thousands of executed prisoners per year (the state news agency, Xinhua estimates 2 million transplants are needed per year), and in a country that has no ethical problem with using prisoners as live organ banks (in fact they have such a long history of using prisoners and society is not encouraged to donate organs, that they don't actually have an organ donor system in place), it doesn't take much imagination to suspect that Falun Gong prisoners of conscience are being used as a live organ pool. But imagination is not necessary, since a report has been done containing over 50 pieces of evidence showing that this horrific situation is currently happening in China. This report is by former Canadian Secretary of State (Asia-Pacific) David Kilgour, and international human rights lawyer, David Matas. The evidence includes things such as recorded conversations with doctors at Chinese transplant hospitals who openly admit that they use Falun Gong organs. This report can be read or downloaded from: www.david-kilgour.com

The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Detention, Manfred Nowak, talked about this report in an interview. [5] He said, "The two Canadians are drawing clear conclusions. The chain of evidence they are documenting shows a coherent picture that causes concern."

"It´s a fact that Falun Gong is being suppressed since 1999. It is incontestable that since the beginning of the repressions against Falun Gong the number of Organ transplantations has increased massively."

"Furthermore, Falun Gong-followers are ideal organ donators because of their lifestyle and the sociological typology of the members are ideal organ donators. They don´t smoke, they don´t drink, and most of them are aged between 25 and 35 years."

"Speaking about the Canadian Report, one can see that there is a downright market and a big willingness, e.g. from hospitals, to accommodate potential customers. They promise to fulfil the requirements in very short time. Within a few weeks one receives an organ. That implies a high level of organization."

What does the Chinese regime say about this?

In response to the massive media attention to this subject the CCP put into place regulations. However, Amnesty International notes the introduction, in China, of new regulations on organ transplants on 1 July 2006 banning the buying and selling of organs. However, questions remain about how well the regulations will be enforced, particularly in view of the high commercial value of organ sales in China. Amnesty International also notes that the regulations fail to address the basic issue of the source of organs for transplantation.[6]

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Dr. Manfred Nowak, has repeatedly questioned Beijing on this issue, but to date China's communist government has done little to dispute the Kilgour-Matas report's findings and evidence of its accuracy, said David Matas in July 2008.[7]

In November 2008, the United Nations Committee Against Torture examined China's compliance with the Convention Against Torture, which China signed in 1988, and published its recommendations and observations. The recommendations state that the Chinese regime should: "... immediately conduct or commission an independent investigation of the claims that some Falun Gong practitioners have been subjected to torture and used for organ transplants and take measures, as appropriate, to ensure that those responsible for such abuses are prosecuted and punished."[8]

In August 2009, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Dr. Manfred Nowak stated "The Chinese government has yet to come clean and be transparent," said Nowak in an interview. "It remains to be seen how it could be possible that organ transplant surgeries in Chinese hospitals have risen massively since 1999, while there are never that many voluntary donors available." The accusations remain, said Nowak. "They were denied, but the Chinese government has not invalidated them, but on the other hand they haven´t been proven either. This makes for a difficult dilemma—one that only be resolved if China is willing to cooperate. And that is what is lacking."[9]

Nowak has submitted two reports to the U.N. Human Rights Council formally requesting the Chinese regime respond to the allegations. The report states, in part, that, "The [Falun Gong] practitioners were given injections to induce heart failure, and therefore were killed in the course of the organ harvesting operations or immediately thereafter."

"Nothing seems to have changed for the better," said Nowak. “We lack exact statistics. I cannot say if the situation has changed since I left China. But I have no reason to assume anything has turned for the better, because I have not had any such hints. The majority of the inmates in these [forced labour] camps were Falun Gong members. And that is so frightening, because none of these people were ever given the benefit of a trial. They were never charged."

Please watch these web sites for the updated information about Organ Harvesting in China:

The International Coalition to End Organ Pillaging in China: EndOrganPillaging.org

Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting: www.dafoh.org

References:

[1] web.amnesty.org/library/index/engasa170032004 March 2004

[2] www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,25689-1901558,00.html December 2005

[3] www.hrw.org/reports/1994/china1/china_948.htm#_1_13

[4] www.faluninfo.net the official source on Falun Gong human rights abuses in China

[5] www.misik.at/die-grossen-interviews/hoher-organisationsgrad.php Profil Magazine March 2007

[6] www.amnesty.org.nz/web/pages/home.nsf/dd5cab6801f1723585256474005327c8/83fba691f912206bcc2571d3001824ed!OpenDocument

[7] en.epochtimes.com/news/8-7-8/73074.html July 2008

[8] UN Committee Against Torture CAT/C/CHN/CO/4 November 21, 2008

[9] Unsolved: Organ Harvesting in China, Interview with Manfred Nowak August 5, 2009

Further reading:
BBC News: China Selling Prisoners' Organs April 2006.
IPS News: British Surgeons, Rights Groups Warn Chinese to Halt Organ Harvesting May 2006.
Yorkshire Post: Secret Atrocities of Chinese Regime June 2006.
Canada TV: Chinese embassy denies organ harvesting report July 2006.
The Epoch Times: Kilgour and Matas Respond to Chinese Government July 2006.
Nolan Chart: Media and geno cidal correctness August 2008.
Epoch Times: New Evidence of Organ Harvesting in China August 2008.

This petition was organized by Friends of Falun Gong - Europe
33 Exeter Road, Rayners Lane, Harrow, Middlesex HA2 9PW, UK   +44(0)20 8422 7789

Please visit the web site: fofg.org to learn more about us.