Concentration Camp in China

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Summary Of Report Into Allegations Of Organ Harvesting Of Falun Gong Practitioners In China

  • Summary Of Report Into Allegations Of Organ Harvesting Of Falun Gong Practitioners In China (audio)

  • On Thursday, July 6th, an independent team of Canadian investigators released the findings of its investigation into the allegations that large numbers of Falun Gong practitioners are being used as unwilling live organ donors in China.
    The investigators are David Matas, renowned human rights attorney, and David Kilgour, former Canadian Parliament member as well as former Secretary of State for the Asia Pacific region. Their final analysis states, “Based on what we now know, we have come to the regrettable conclusion that the allegations are true.”
    News of the live organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners was first reported by The Epoch Times earlier this year. The story was revealed by 3 Chinese witnesses, including a former journalist, and a nurse whose husband was a surgeon directly involved with the live organ harvesting of the Falun Gong practitioners. None of these witnesses are themselves practitioners.
    The Canadians spent the past 2 months researching and reviewing the growing body of evidence supporting these claims. “Our conclusion comes not from any one single item of evidence, but rather the piecing together of all the evidence we have considered. Each portion of the evidence we have considered is, in itself, verifiable and, in most cases, incontestable. Put together, they paint a damning whole picture. It is their combination that has convinced us.”
    The 46-page report, comprehensive in its scope, begins with a description of the investigators’ approach and methodology. Any and all evidence was considered and followed to its natural conclusion, and are included in the appendix. These include personal testimony, published reports by NGO and other government agencies, statistical data and information taken from various China hospital websites, detailed transcripts and taped recordings of phone calls made to various hospitals in China by independent investigators, as well as official policy directives by the Chinese Communist Party that could be verified.
    The investigation begins with a recounting of the historical evidence of the persecution of Falun Gong, from its rise in popularity in the early 1990s to the brutal crackdown in 1999 by former President Jiang Zemin. The persecution of Falun Gong was made official by CCP policy. The report states “According to Li Baigen, then assistant director of the Beijing Municipal Planning office who attended the meeting, during 1999, the three men heading the 610 office called more than 3000 officials to the Great Hall of the People in the capital to discuss the campaign against Falun Gong, which was then not going well. Demonstrations were continuing to occur around the capital. The head of the 610 office, Li Lanqing, verbally announced the government’s new policy on the movement: “defaming their reputations, bankrupting them financially and destroying them physically.” It appears to have been only after this meeting that the deaths of adherents at police hands began to be recorded as suicides.”
    The report further reveals that classified information obtained by author Jennifer Zeng confirms that by the end of April 2001, there had been approximately 830,000 arrests of Falun Gong practitioners . The authors state “Large numbers of Falun Gong adherents in arbitrary indefinite secret detention alone do not prove the allegations. But the opposite, the absence of such pool of detainees, would undermine the allegations. An extremely large group of people subject to the exercise of the whims and power of the state, without recourse to any form of protection of their rights, provides a potential source for organ harvesting of the unwilling.”
    A large numbers of Falun Gong practitioners have disappeared, presumably captured, their whereabouts unknown to their friends and families. In reviewing the number of transplants that have taken place in China, the report states “According to public records, there were approximately 30,000 transplants in total done in China before 1999 and about 18,500 in the 6-year period 1994 to 1999. Professor Bingyi Shi, vice-chair of the China Medical Organ Transplant Association, says that there were about 90,000 in total up until 2005, leaving about 60,000 in the six year period 2000 to 2005 since the persecution of Falun Gong began.”
    The researchers were able to account for a small percentage of the supply of organ donations from executed prisoners and from family donations. Therefore, they asked the question “Where do the organs come from for the 41,500 transplants? The allegation of organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners provides an answer.” Based on these statistics, the investigators concluded that the allegations are true.
    This is Teresa Tan for SOH Radio.

    Sunday, July 09, 2006

    Charges Against Wenyi Wang Were Dropped

  • Charges Against Wenyi Wang Were Dropped (audio)

  • An interview with Dr. Wenyi Wang immediately after the federal charges against her were dropped.

    Monday, June 05, 2006

    Military Hospital Openly Admits Transplant Organs Come From Falun Gong Practitioners

  • Military Hospital Openly Admits Transplant Organs Come From Falun Gong Practitioners (audio)

  • Military Hospital Openly Admits Transplant Organs Come from Falun Gong Practitioners
    By Li Sisi and Tang Mei
    Sound of Hope Radio May 02, 2006

    Chengdu City Air Force Hospital, Sichuan Province, China, has become a busy transplant center. (Photo from the hospital website)On April 28, a Sound of Hope journalist made contact with one kidney transplant surgeon in Beijing. The surgeon said, because there were more organ donors in Sichuan province, China, he had been temporarily transferred to Sichuan local military hospital to help out. The doctors in the Air Force Hospital admitted they had young and healthy Falun Gong practitioner donors.

    [Download telephone recording from Sound of Hope. ]

    Tsinghua University Yuquan Hospital, also known as No. 2 Affiliated Hospital of Tsinghua University, is a noted kidney transplant centre. Kidney Transplant Department Chief Li Honghui said that every year the centre performed over 100 transplants but recently, the donor pool in Beijing was a shrinking, so two months ago, he was transferred to a military hospital in Chengdu City, Sichuan Province to assist with the overload; that region had plenty of donors.

    Li Honghui: "We were in the military district!"

    Journalist: "Is it because there were more kidney donors, that you went there to perform surgeries?"

    Li Honghui: "Yes"

    Li said that it was several years ago that organs mostly came from Falun Gong practitioner; when the journalist asked whether they could provide Falun Gong practitioner donor organs, he answered, "Yes."

    Li Honghui: "It happened that for the past several years that donor organs were from Falun Gong practitioners."

    Journalist: "Do you mean that this type of donor was quite easy to get several years ago."

    Li Honghui: "That's true."

    Journalist: "Can you supply young and healthy donors, such as people who practice Falun Gong?"

    Li Honghui: "This request can be considered, I will tell you when the time comes"

    Li Honghui said there would be a batch of kidneys on April 30.

    Li Honghui: "Today I inform you that there will be kidneys available the day after tomorrow. Can you make it tomorrow, because we will have a new batch of kidneys the day after tomorrow.

    Only one or two kidneys in every batch are provided to foreigners, because the rest are required here in the mainland there are one or two hundred mainland patients waiting for the organ."

    Air Force Hospital Department Chief Xu Yahong, who has 22 years experience said the hospital started to bring in kidney transplant surgery in the middle of 1980s. Up to now, he personally had performed around 500 operations, and in the past two to three years, he has performed an average of 100 surgeries in a year.

    Xu Yahong: "I have totally performed around 500 surgeries, but for the past two three years, an average of 100 operations in a year."

    Xu Yahong said, there would be a batch of kidney donors in the middle of May, and there would be volunteer donors, and that the hospital could provide young and healthy Falun Gong practitioners' organs.

    Journalist: "Is that right! There will be quite a lot of donors in May?"

    Xu Yahong: "That's right. We perform surgeries every month. Around May 20, before end of May, there should not be any problem; we carry supplies all the time. Speaking in a conservative way we still have other supplies, but, regarding this, I think we should talk about this issue after we meet. We have young donors."

    Journalist: "Is that right that you have young donors?"

    Xu Yahong: "Positively, our donors are young, we have volunteers."

    Journalist: "He (journalist pretend to represent a patient) emphasized that the donor must be young and healthy; the best would be the person who practices Falun Gong, do you have any chance?"

    Xu Yahong: "Yes, we have."

    Journalist: "Are you sure?"

    Xu Yahong: "(Military) hospitals like us have this kind of opportunity; please contact us after May 15."

    A nurse from West China Hospital, also located in Chengdu City, said they performed six kidney transplants in a day.

    Nurse: "Just today, we performed six kidney transplants."

    According to a reliable source from inside the Communist regime, organ harvesting from Falun Gong, including live organ removal and subsequent incineration of the bodies, has always happened in China's labor camps and local police hospitals, including paramilitay police hospitals and military hospitals, which collude with labor camps and illegal organ traders to do the organ trade together.

    From the mainland organ transplant patents, it was noted that in the three years from 2002 to 2004 there were 13 patents submitted by nine universities, and all of them are top class universities in China, and Sichuan University is number one, it had two patents in 2004 and one patent in 2003. And there are seven kidney transplant centre in Chengdu City, nine in Chongqing City and five in other areas of Sichuan province.

    Monday, May 22, 2006

    Former Police Officer Eye Witnessed Horrific Organ Harvesting In Kwangtung Province, China

  • Former Police Officer Eye Witnessed Horrific Organ Harvesting In Kwangtung Province, China (audio)

  • My name is Zhang Jianhua. I was a cop in the LongGang District Branch of the Police Department in Shenzhen City, Guangdong province in China. I was born on June 30, 1959.
    I finished my military service in 1981 and became a local policeman in Shenzhen City in 1987. I was a cop in charge of anti-smuggling and anti-drug trafficking works at that time. My jobs involved some intelligence work, so I was very familiar with some of the internal operations of the Chinese communist party, its corruption, killing people, the persecution system against Falun Gong and many dark sides of the communist party.

    It was 1998 and I was investigating a case, one of the largest cases of drug trafficking in Asia. The case was coded "961", I recalled. The main criminal was called Wang Tiansong, and he had a subordinate named: "Chen Hongzai". I knew this guy and he used to be one of my inside men. Anyway, he also got involved in drug trafficking and I could not help him out anymore. But, his family members also knew me, so his brother in Hongkong asked me to help him see his brother for the last time before execution. They were afraid that the organs would be taken away and local people also believe that it was a bad omen for the family if the organs were taken away.

    They knew that taking away the organs were a routine practice, and there was no place for the family members to complain about it, and no way for the family to see the body or bring the body back home after execution. It is a secret practice and no outsiders were allowed to know about it.

    So, on that day, there were 6 people to be executed, including Chen Hongzai. The whole process was quite secret.

    The execution site was about two hours away from the cremation site. The operation was run by armed police. Why use armed police? Because it belongs to the military system and have better security and discipline for keeping the secrets. The Central Military Committee has certain policies that make people on death row to not be treated as human..and only people in police systems, like me, would be able to know some inside situation.

    I went to the execution site to see the process. I saw that they fired at the back of the necks. In doing so, there would be little bleeding. The execution site was pretty simple, and had no hills around it so no one could see what was happening from remote places even with telescopes.

    I was curious and went closer to see what was happening. Because I was a policeman so they did not block me. I was surprised at the beginning that there were several vans that had curtains over the windows. I once stayed in a armed police hospital for about a month for treatment of my stomach disease. I knew that the armed police hospitals recruited a lot of young doctors from Medical Universities for the research study of organ transplants. A lot of these young people still dreamed about immigrating to other countries. However, once they got involved in organ transplant studies, they would never get a chance to leave China, because they were exposed to the secret operation of this organ business. Many of them were quite regretful that they got involved in this.

    The process of execution was fast. Once the executions were done, the bodies were quickly moved into the waiting vans. The people handling the bodies were armed policemen wearing the white medical gowns.

    Actually, two of the vans were not from the armed police hospitals, instead, those two vans were from the Shenzhen City Hospital. So, they might not have enough medical vans, so they borrowed the vans from the City hospitals.
    But the drivers and staff were basically all from armed police hospitals, with a few exception of military doctors who still wore their military hats. Maybe they were the experts from the military. On the way to the cremation facility, the security was very tight, even more stringent than protecting some visiting leaders. There were police cars leading and protecting all the way and no other automobiles could come close to the vans.

    Once we arrived at the cremation site, Chen's brother wanted to see Chen for the last time. I told him that there would be no way for him to see the body if he did not have a police uniform. So, I lent him a police uniform. The crematory was under tight security with policemen surrounding the whole facility. No ordinary cremations were allowed on that day. Even the staff in the crematory were not allowed to come near it, except the cremation workers. Since Chen's brother strongly demanded to see his brother for the last time, I took the risk. I told the guards that we were cops from the LongGang branch and we needed to take a few extra photos for these criminals to make our investigation records complete.

    Quite often, the young soldiers did not have much education, so they wouldn't be too cautious. So they said that it was ok for you to take a look, but just don't get too close because the order was that nobody should stay near the bodies or closer than two meters distance. So, we looked at the bodies from about two meters away. I saw those body bags were pretty professional, even with characters indicating that the bags belonged to the Central Military Committee. The bags were transparent, and the bodies were soaked in blood; probably after the surgery, blood was everywhere.

    A guard opened the bag for us to take a photo, but Chen's brother was so emotional at that moment, he stepped forward to the bags and completely upzipped them. The blood in the bag poured out and the whole corpse emerged. The body was hollow inside, even the eyeballs were gone. Probably somebody wanted the corneas. Chen's brother almost wanted to scream. I stopped him. It was very dangerous, since he would get killed in that way.

    So, I had to apologize to the guards that he was so emotional after he saw so much blood. Later, I also had to talk to the people in charge, asking them to forgive him since he was related to the victim.

    Nowadays, the organ harvest business is out of control in China. People do it for money, for the research achievements. They don't care about people's lives, including the Falun Gong practitioners. They utilized all the organs awailable. And nobody inside China dares to expose such a huge crime. Who dares? The media? Impossible. Only the people outside China, only the media outside China can do it. Even if you witnessed the crime, in China, you dare not expose it.

    Therefore, this kind of crime actually has become a rampant business now. All the hospitals were trying to make deals with the courts and police departments, so that they could get a quota on this business. The Department of Public Health received budgets for this organ business from the Department of Treasury, so that they could get some useful organs.

    Every year in October, the Communist party would launch a campaign to "harshly punish criminals". This means killing more people. By killing more people, it could have more organs. So every year on this period, the Department of Public Health would allocate some money to those big hospitals for organ transplants. Therefore, there were usually a lot of transplant surgeries during this period because more executions were carried out. There were some foreign investments on this business as well, because this business has such a high profit. Even the police system made a lot of money from it. The head of our local police department, Liu Zhigeng, said it very clearly that the police would be rewarded 30,000 RMB for killing one criminal. How could the policemen not work hard to make money from it?

    From their perspective, killing the criminals shows that the police were fulfilling their duty to punish the criminals and improve social stability. As for whether the persons were genuine criminals or not, nobody really cares. No to mention, the TV media reports could also be controlled.

    Therefore, the hospitals need to cooperate with the police. If they want more organs, then the police would kill more people.

    This is supported by the funding allocated by the government. Once you can earn money from it, people would do it. In the government paperwork, it does not have to state clearly that you need to get more organs. They would only need to say that funding would be allocated for organ study.

    Well, how do you do perform organ transplant study without a supply of organs?

    So, they called for joint meetings with different departments. The police chief would say that recently the crime rate increased in the city. The police need to work harder then. Therefore, the Department of Treasury would have to allocate some money to the police department. So, the police needed to kill more people. Their job is to kill. You got all the heads from different departments to support it, the Department of Treasury, the judicial systems, the Department of Public Health, the police system, etc. And the city leaders might also be involved. They gave the green light for all related works. You could do whatever you want. See, this is how the Communist party runs this operation. The police would feel happy that they could earn 30,000 RMB for killing one person. If I don't do it, jobs could be lost.

    So, the key issue is that there should be someone in the Central Communist Party to give approval for this operation. If this organ transplant study could be achieved with high results, China could become famous for its transplant technology. Then, many people from overseas would come to China for organ transplants.

    Therefore, in the past few years, China's organ transplant technology is pretty advanced. Because there is ample supply of organs, the researchers could do studies again and again, and after repeated failures. This would be impossible in other countries, because the doctors would be sued if one surgery failed. Well, in China, where could you sue such cases? Every department knows very clearly what the nature of the business is. If you file law suits, you yourself might end up as a victim. This is China, under the Communist dictatorship. In the past, people said that Chairman Mao is even more a kin than your parents. That is to say, in China, the Communist party is beyond everything. If it asked you to die, you have to die. The Communist party is very evil. Their members could kill their parents just for the so-called Communist Revolution.

    Monday, May 15, 2006

    A Summary Report Covering John Nania, Peter, Annie, Veteran Military Doctor, Wenyi Wang

  • A Summary Report Covering John Nania, Peter, Annie, Veteran Military Doctor, and Wenyi Wang (audio)

  • Dr. Wenyi Wang is scheduled to appear in federal court on May 18th to face charges of intimidating, coercing, threatening or harassing a foreign official, a charge that carries a possible sentence of up to six months in jail and a $5,000 fine. Dr. Wang was the Epoch Times reporter who called out at the White House during the April 20th meeting between President Bush and China's President Hu Jintao, asking that China stop the persecution and killing of Falun Gong practitioners.
    Here's a look at the series of events which led to her arrest.

    According to Dr. Wang, it began with a report published by the Epoch Times on March 9th of a secret concentration camp in northeast China, known as Sujiatun, where over 6,000 of imprisoned Falun Gong practitioners were used as unwitting donors for transplantation by a method known as "organ harvesting" in which their organs were surgically removed.

    John Nania, editor-in-chief for ET, recently spoke with SOH Radio about how they broke the news.

    Since these revelations, 2 more eyewitnesses stepped forward to confirm the story.

    In a letter published by the ET on March 31st, the 3rd eyewitness writes:

    (the transcript here was copied from the ET article featuring this letter)

    "Dr. Wang, a pathologist with experience in organ transplantation research is, herself, a Falun Gong practitioner, and recently spoke at a press conference about her involvement with the ET story."

    Sunday, May 14, 2006

    Doctors Confirmed That Organs Extracting From Live Falun Gong Practitioners Is True

  • Doctors Confirmed That Organs Extracting From Live Falun Gong Practitioners Is True(audio)

  • Doctors in China Working Overtime on Organ Transplants
    By Tang Mei
    Sound of Hope Radio Station issued an urgent announcement on April 6, 2006 in which it says, "Falun Gong practitioners in underground concentration camps, including Sujiatun Camp, have been secretly relocated and are subject to slaughter at any time. Meanwhile some hospitals in China have suddenly increased the number of transplant operations. Apparently a massacre with the purpose of exterminating all witnesses of such extermination camps is taking place right now in China."
    Reporters from Sound of Hope Radio made phone calls to major hospitals in China with a human organ transplant department in order to assess the current situation. Most of the medical doctors that answered the phone gave the same guarantee --- there will be an unusually large number of organ donors before May 1. After that date, the chance for a donor will become much smaller.
    I made phone calls to organ transplant centers in Hubei Province, Shanghai, Liaoning Province, Beijing, Shanxi Province and many other regions and got about the same answer from medical doctors (MD) --- grasp the opportunity right now.
    Doctor A: April. We should have a lot of organs before the end of April. We are getting a larger and larger supply of organs, but you have to grasp the opportunity. Do you know what I mean? After this period of time, the supply will become very slim. After the end of April, there will be a period we will have nothing. We just won't have any supply of organs. If you don't have an organ transplant now while there is a supply, you are leading yourself to a dead end when the supply disappears.
    Doctor B: You will have to get it done by May 1. This week and next week. After May 1, we will have very few organs.
    Doctor C: If you want to come have an organ transplant, you must try to come before May.
    Doctor D: All of our donors are in their 20's and 30's. They are very healthy. We guarantee livers and kidneys from living human beings. We can provide a whole liver. For some blood type, we can find matching donors right away.
    Doctor E: Normally they are in their 20's and 30's. I can guarantee they are very healthy and the organs are fresh.
    Reporter: Can I get a whole liver?
    Doctor E: A whole liver. A whole liver.
    Reporter: I heard some of the donors are young and healthy people in their 20's and 30's.
    Doctor F: Yes. That's right.
    Doctor G: We should be able to find an organ (with HLA tissue match) from a donor of AB blood type. In fact, we should be able to find one very quickly.
    Reporter: Do you mean kidneys from living people?
    Doctor H: Yes. We also supply livers from living people.
    Reporter: Livers from living people?
    Doctor H: Yes! Yes!
    Reporter: I heard you can supply organs from young, healthy people in their 20's and 30's?
    Doctor I: Yes! Yes!
    Reporter: I heard they will be harvested from living human beings.
    Doctor I: Yes! Yes! Yes!
    Reporter: Some labor camps imprison Falun Gong practitioners and then harvest their organs when they are alive?
    Doctor I: [Sneering] Right.
    The number of patients at the organ transplant centers in China suddenly surged. Major hospitals in China are now working overtime for organ transplant operations.
    Doctor J: There are 30 patients right now waiting in line for organ transplant operations.
    Reporter: Are you all working overtime for organ transplant operations?
    Doctor K: Yes. Yes. Yes. We have several organ transplant teams here working around the clock. We have a total of four teams that can perform organ transplants.
    Reporter: Are you doing a lot of organ transplants lately?
    Doctor L: Well…that's that.
    Several hospitals admitted that they started to do organ transplants since the end of 2000 and that they have performed about 100 ~200 organ transplant operations each year.
    Doctor M: We started organ transplants at the end of 2000.
    Doctor N: It has been five years since we started organ transplant surgeries.
    According to the official statistics of the Chinese Communist regime, there were only 78 liver transplant surgeries in China in eight years between 1991 and 1998. Since the Chinese Communist regime started to suppress Falun Gong in 1999, the number of liver transplants doubled and tripled in number. China has become the country with the largest number of liver transplants in the world. The number of liver transplants in China in 1999, 2000 and 2001 was 118, 254 and 486, respectively. In 2002, the number increased to 996. In 2003, the number of liver transplants in China jumped to over 3000. The statistics clearly show that the number of human organ donors suddenly has increased rapidly since 1999. We are using liver transplant as an example because each human being has only one liver. A human being will not survive once his liver is removed.
    Doctor O: In China, we get our supply of human organs from the same place. How do I explain it to you? Only we doctors know where the organs are from.
    Since Sujiatun Concentration Camp was exposed to the world, the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG)immediately started an investigation all over China. Their investigation revealed that there are at least eight provinces and cities in China that harvest internal organs from living Falun Gong practitioners, including Henan Province, Shandong Province, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Beijing, Tianjin, Liaoning Province and Hubei Province. Employees and surgeons in hospitals of these areas guaranteed the investigators they could supply Falun Gong practitioners' internal organs.

    Twenty Organ Transplants Free of Charge
    "Twenty Organ Transplants Free of Charge," at the Hunan Provincial People's Hospital, read the April 28 edition of the Hunan Xiaoxiang Morning Herald. The advertisement was for a special hospital promotion giving away 20 free liver or kidney transplants. Patients were instructed to call the paper's hotline to register. The hospital also advertised its promotion in other media, including the Changsha Evening Post and Hunan Economics TV Station.
    According to reports from the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG), Hunan is one of the Chinese provinces where the persecution of Falun Gong is most severe. In view of recent reports of organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners detained in labor camps, this promotion for free organ transplants raises concerns regarding the source of the organs.
    The source from China who provided this information said, "My heart sank after reading this report. It is justifiable for a hospital to provide patients with medical treatment. This is very disturbing in light of media reports exposing the harvesting of organs from live Falun Gong practitioners at the Sujiatun Death Camp. The communist regime is hastily destroying all evidence and sources said that many hospitals are rushing to use up these organs harvested from Falun Gong practitioners before June. It is not a coincidence that a report promoting free organs was published at this time. This is very suspicious, is this a part of the evil scheme?
    Based on statistics published on the WOIPFG website, there are five large forced labor camps and prisons near Changsha City, where thousands of Falun Gong practitioners are detained: The Xinkaipu Men's Labor Camp in Changsha City, Changsha City Women's Labor Camp, Hunan Provincial Women's Prison (Changsha), Zhuzhou Baimalong Labor Camp and Hunan Province Chishan Men's Prison.
    Considering the sheer numbers of transplants, that whole organs are used, the proximity of the labor camps and the recent reports of organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners in labor camps, it seems clear that an investigation should be initiated into the source of the "free" organs.

    Australian Surgeons Condemn "Horrific" Organ Trade

    Australian transplant surgeons have confirmed that organs from executed prisoners are used for transplants in China and have publicly condemned the practice.
    Several surgeons from the heart, lung, liver and kidney transplant units in Brisbane told The Epoch Times , it was common knowledge that there was virtually no waiting list in China because organs came from prisoners on death row.
    Spokesperson for The Transplantation Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ), Professor Peter Macdonald, said their members were unreservedly "against the use of organs and tissues from executed prisoners for the purposes of therapeutic transplantation".
    The statement from TSANZ is in line with the British and International Transplantation Societies, who recently issued public statements condemning the Chinese organ trade.
    To read more about these stories, visit I’m Drew Carlucci for the Sound of Hope Radio Network

    Tuesday, April 18, 2006

    Sale Of Human Organs In China - Hearing

    Sale of Human Organs in China

    Michael E. Parmly, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
    Hearing Before the Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights, House International Relations
    Washington, DC
    June 27, 2001

    Chairwoman Ros-Lehtinen and Members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear at this important hearing to address the issue of the sale of human organs in China. The removal of organs from executed prisoners without proper permission from family members along with the trafficking in these organs is a serious, deeply disturbing subject that raises a number of profoundly important human rights issues. The State Department welcomes the opportunity to update the committee on our assessment of the problem and what the Department is doing to encourage China to put an end to this abhorrent practice.

    As you know, reports of Chinese authorities removing organs from executed prisoners in China, without the consent of the prisoners or their families, are not new. The Hong Kong and London press carried the numerous reports as early as the mid-1980s, when the introduction of the drug Cyclosoporine-A made transplants a newly viable option for patients.

    Our concern about such practices is also not new. We repeatedly raised this issue with high-level Chinese officials throughout the 1990s, pressing for changes in Chinese policy and practice, and urging changes in China’s legal and medical systems to ensure the protection of individual rights and the guarantee of due process. We have also covered the issue of organ harvesting in our annual human rights report on China to put the spotlight of international attention on this issue. We consider organ harvesting from executed prisoners, without permission from family members, to be an egregious human rights abuse that violates not only international human rights law, but also international medical ethical standards.

    Unfortunately, despite our efforts, as well as those of human rights activists like Harry Wu, human rights organizations, and concerned medical professionals, the practice of harvesting organs from executed prisoners continues in China. The lack of transparency in the Chinese criminal justice system, the secrecy that surrounds prison executions, and the removal of organs make actual documentation of the practice impossible. However, the anecdotal and circumstantial evidence regarding the practice of removing organs from executed prisoners for sale to foreigners and wealthy Chinese is substantial, credible, and growing. It cannot be ignored. Credible sources include public statements by patients who have had transplants in China, doctors who have provided post-transplant care to these patients in the United States and elsewhere, and testimony by Chinese doctors and former officials who claim to have witnessed or taken part in such practices or to have seen incriminating evidence.

    In the past, according to available evidence, the majority of patients receiving transplants in China came from other parts of Asia, including Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand. A leading kidney specialist in Malaysia has estimated that over 1000 Malaysians alone have had kidney transplants in China. More recently, deeply troubling reports of Americans receiving transplants in China have been made public. American doctors, including Dr. Thomas Diflo, who will be testifying in a later panel, have reported seeing transplant patients from China in need of follow-up care. These patients have stated that they were informed by hospital personnel in China that the organs that they received came from executed prisoners.

    The Department of State is also aware of reports that it cannot independently confirm, of other, even more egregious practices, such as removing organs from still-living prisoners, and scheduling executions to accommodate the need for particular organs. In addition, there are compelling first-hand reports that doctors, in violation of medical ethics codes, have performed medical procedures to prepare condemned prisoners for execution and organ removal. As former Assistant Secretary John Shattuck testified before this committee in 1998, our concern about the abhorrent practice of removing organs from executed prisoners without consent is compounded by our concerns about the lack of due process. According to Amnesty International there were 1,263 confirmed executions in 1999; according to another report 800 prisoners were executed in May 2001 alone as the government conducted another "strike hard" campaign against crime. A high court nominally reviews all death sentences, but as our Country Report on Human Rights Practices points out, and as a recent New York Times article graphically described, the time between arrest and execution is often days or even hours. Some prisoners are taken directly from the courtroom to the execution grounds. Appeals of sentences consistently result in confirmation of sentence.

    The lack of meaningful consent further compounds our concerns about this practice. According to Article 3 of China’s Provisional Regulations on the Use of Executed Prisoners’ Corpses or Organs (1984), a corpse may be used for medical purposes if nobody claims the body or the family refuses to bury it; the prisoner voluntarily donates the body for use by medical facilities; or the inmate’s family consents to its use after death. The first category opens the door to abuse because families are often not notified of impending executions or are too far away or unable financially to make the trip to claim a relative’s body. Also, bodies are routinely cremated immediately after a sentence is carried out, making it impossible even for those families who are able to claim a family member’s remains to determine whether or not the body has been used for medical purposes.

    Many have expressed the view that condemned prisoners and their families cannot make free and fully-voluntary decisions on organ donations because of the very nature of incarceration. In the United States, Federal Bureau of Prisons regulations do not allow organ donation by federal prisoners, unless the donation is to an immediate family member. Other countries have similarly strict laws and regulations regarding organ donations by prisoners.

    Recent reports indicate that the phenomenon of organ trafficking has expanded beyond trafficking in the organs of executed prisoners. Our posts have reported increased numbers of Chinese media reports of organ harvesting from hospital cadavers by corrupt medical and hospital personnel, and the sale of organs by poor people for cash. This trade in human organs takes place openly, including on the Internet. Chinese web bulletin boards have reports of organs for sale and discussion of corruption in the "organ business." We are monitoring this trade closely and are raising our concerns with the Chinese government.

    The lack of due process and consent, coupled with credible evidence of harvesting organs from executed prisoners and from hospital cadavers, raises serious human rights concerns. We, like Congress, are committed to press the Chinese authorities to take strong action to address human rights abuses wherever they occur. Despite the lack of transparency in China's legal system, we are making every effort to determine the magnitude of the problem and how effectively Chinese authorities have implemented Article 3 of China’s Provisional Regulations on the Use of Executed Prisoners’ Corpses or Organs (1984) and other pertinent regulations governing the practice of organ donations, sale and transplants. We are also pressing the Chinese to enact and implement legislation or regulations that prohibit removing organs from executed prisoners. In the weeks and months ahead, we will step up our efforts to work with countries in the region, with allies, and other like-minded countries to put an end to organ trafficking. And, finally, we are committed to investigating and prosecuting to the fullest extent of our own law any criminal acts over which the United States has jurisdiction. While we will continue to press the Chinese on this issue, we recognize the enormous challenge we face. The complex social issues in China involving severe rural poverty, along with corruption among poorly paid prison and hospital administrators who harvest organs from prisoners and patients without their consent, play a large role in this issue.

    During the course of the 1990s, in response to repeated inquiries and demarches by the State Department, our ambassadors to China and other Embassy and State Department officials, the Chinese have provided information on their official policy, including two documents on regulations promulgated on April 6, 1996, governing organ donation. The regulations provide that "the buying or selling of human tissues and organs is not allowed. The donation or exchange of human tissue and organs with organizations or individuals outside national borders is not allowed." However, the Chinese have not responded to our inquiries about the extent and scope of harvesting and trafficking in human organs and about Chinese authorities’ efforts to implement their own regulations.

    We most recently discussed the issue of organ harvesting in Washington with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) International Organization Director and senior Chinese Embassy officials on June 26. I participated in the meeting and specifically mentioned that I would be testifying before this committee today and would have to say that the United States was appalled by the number of highly credible reports coming out of China about the removal of organs from executed prisoners and about trafficking in those organs. I noted that enforcement of Chinese regulations governing organ donations appeared to be woefully inadequate. Our interlocutors responded that such practices are illegal in China and that those who are found to engage in such practices are brought to justice. I responded by asking that Chinese authorities provide us with evidence of such prosecutions. We also raised the issue on June 14 in Beijing with the MFA Human Rights Division Director and here in Washington with the Chinese Embassy. We informed Chinese Embassy officials of the increased level of attention being focused on this issue in the United States and urged China to work intensively to ensure that its organ transplant policies are consistent with international standards. We also urged China to take steps to combat the actions of those who engage in such unconscionable acts, pointing out that they are a perversion of medical ethics and state power as well as an egregious human rights violation.

    Assistant Foreign Minister Zhou Wenzhong was in Washington last week and we communicated to him the strong bipartisan support that the issue of human rights has in the United States. In the months ahead, we will continue to make clear our strong opposition to the repugnant practice of coercive organ harvesting and will press the Government of China to ensure its organ transplant policies and practices are in compliance with international human rights norms as well as international medical practices. We will urge them to enforce all regulations governing organ transplants, to prosecute those who violate existing regulations, and to pass and implement new legislation. We also will share the testimonies delivered here today with our Embassy in China and instruct our Embassy to raise the allegations made in them with the appropriate officials in China. They will be asking Chinese authorities for evidence that those who engage in the practices discussed here today are brought to justice. In the United States we will investigate and prosecute all violators over whom the United States has jurisdiction to the fullest extent of the law.

    Thank you.

    Released on June 27, 2001

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    Kill And Cull: China Rejects Doctor's Testimony

    Kill and cull: China rejects doctor's testimony
    June 28, 2001 Posted: 6:23 AM EDT (1023 GMT)

    Wang Guoqi told Congress he had helped remove the organs from prisoners whose executions had been intentionally botched

    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- China has denied allegations of harvesting and selling the body parts of executed prisoners, sometimes before the donors were clinically dead.

    The allegations were made by a Chinese doctor, Wang Guoqi, during testimony to U.S. lawmakers Wednesday, where he described coordinated procedures between surgeons and Chinese government officials to extract convicts' organs immediately after executions.

    Wang, who is seeking political asylum in the U.S., said he worked at execution grounds, helping surgeons operate in ambulances to harvest the organs of executed prisoners, without prior consent.

    Denying the claims, Beijing accused Wang of lying.

    CNN's Eileen O'Connor reports on Wang's harrowing testimony to the U.S. Congress

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    "Any clear-sighted person can see that this is a vicious slander against China," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said.

    "I believe for personal purposes, they have gone so far as to create those sensational lies."

    "With regard to the trade in human organs, China strictly prohibits that. The major source of human organs comes from voluntary donations from Chinese citizens," she said.

    At a glance: China

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    Chinese officials say organs are only transplanted from executed convicts with consent.

    China executes more prisoners each year than any other nation. According to reports from the human rights group Amnesty International, China executed more than 1,000 people last year alone.

    Wang's testimony is not the first time such an allegation has been made, but his testimony is considered rare because it offers an eyewitness account from someone who claims to have been directly involved in the practice.

    A state department official in Washington told CNN the White House has expressed its concerns to China over reports of the practice.

    Tortured conscience
    Wang told the U.S. House of representatives Subcommittee on Human Rights he had also worked at a crematorium, carving skin off convicts bodies for use on burns victims.

    Corneas and other body tissue were also removed for transplant, Wang said.

    His hospital, the Tianjin Paramilitary Police General Brigade Hospital, then sold the body parts for profit.

    Speaking before the subcommittee, Wang described the procedures, saying that often group executions were organized to facilitate the demand for organ transplants.

    "It is with deep regret and remorse that I stand here today testifying against the practices of organ and tissue sales from death row prisoners," he said.

    "My work required me to remove the skin and corneas from the corpses of over one hundred prisoners, and on a couple of occasions, victims of intentionally botched executions."

    Wang said that prisoners were given blood tests to determine their compatibility with donor seekers.

    He said his conscience was tortured after an incident in October 1995 when he was ordered to remove skin from a prisoner still alive.

    The prisoner -- sentenced to death for robbery and murder -- was administered an anti-blood clotting agent and then shot.

    Wang said the prisoner did not die immediately and was taken into the back of an ambulance where urologists removed his kidneys.

    Wang and other surgeons then harvested the prisoner's skin before putting the body -- still not dead -- in a plastic bag then into a truck.

    Shortly after that incident Wang said he had requested a transfer within the hospital before entering the U.S. with a fake passport, aiming to alert the international community to the practice.

    While living in the U.S., Wang made contact with Chinese-American human rights activist Harry Wu -- himself once imprisoned in China.

    Wu heads the Laogai foundation, a non-profit organization campaigning against the collection of organs from Chinese Prisoners.

    'Only in China'
    According to Wu, Chinese government documents show Beijing is actively helping military hospitals make money selling the skin, corneas, kidneys and livers of executed prisoners.

    "This human rights violation is very unique. It does not happen in any other country, only in China," Reuters quoted Wu saying.

    Wu said patients outside of China who are willing to pay for the organs are helping to drive a growing trade.

    Sometimes the money comes from Americans, he said, with a kidney for a foreign patient probably costing around $30,000.

    According to an unwritten policy, he said, priority recipients of organs were high-ranking officials, wealthy overseas Chinese and other foreigners.

    Human rights activists say China isn't the only guilty party and the business of organs for sale happens elsewhere.

    But they say the practice of removing organs without consent from the prisoner or relatives was an abhorrent human rights violation.

    Evidence 'overwhelming'
    "Congress cannot allow this horrific situation to go unchallenged," said U.S. Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who heads the panel that held Wednesday's hearing.

    While some Congress members were skeptical whether Wang's allegations were true, Michael Parmly of the U.S. State Department's human rights bureau said the evidence was "overwhelming and growing".

    "[The] sources who have reported this are credible and numerous," he said.

    Ros-Lehtinen and other members of congress have introduced a resolution to prohibit visas for any Chinese physician seeking transplant related training in the United States.

    She said the bill would send a strong human rights message to Chinese doctors.

    "It tells the Chinese doctors that they better be careful, their visas will not be automatically stamped for approval," she said.

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