Tags: CCP, China, documentary, Falun Gong, film, human rights, Kilgour and Matas, labor camps, organ harvesting, persecution of dissidents, Society
“Davids and Goliath,” a film about organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners in China, won Best Documentary at the 9th Hamilton Film Festival in Hamilton, Canada. The movie is currently available here to view for free until Nov. 27: http://tinyurl.com/nzx7fed
“It’s a movie like this that needs to get out to the public, and more people to become aware of it that it’s happening and how it’s happening. That kind of thing needs to be stopped.”— Administrative director of the Hamilton Film Festival, Nathan Fleet.
“Davids and Goliath” focuses on the investigation into organ harvesting by Canadian human rights lawyer David Matas and former Canadian Secretary of State (Asia-Pacific) David Kilgour. Both were separately nominated for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize for their work on forced organ harvesting in China.
Read more: http://tinyurl.com/q5cjkzm
Tags: CCP, China, Falun Gong, human rights, Kilgour and Matas, organ harvesting, persecution of dissidents, Society
By Larry Getlen
Enver Tohti was a surgeon in a hospital in Xinjiang, in the northwestern part of China, when, in June 1995, he was instructed by his superior to prepare for an adventure — surgery in the field.
In the morning, when the doctor and his team arrived at their destination, he realized they were at “the Western Mountain Execution Grounds, which specialized in killing political dissidents.”
“When you hear a gunshot, drive around the hill,” he was told.
He asked why they were there.
“You don’t want to know.”
After the shot rang out, he drove where he was told, and saw “10, maybe 20, bodies lying at the base of the hill.” The police led him to one in particular, a man of “about 30 dressed in navy blue overalls,” and told him that this is the man Tohti would be operating on.
“‘Why are we operating?’ Tohti protested. ‘Come on. This man is dead.’ ”
But Tohti felt a faint pulse, stiffened and corrected himself. “No. He’s not dead.”
“Operate, then. Remove the liver and kidneys. Now! Quick! Be quick!’ ”
A stunned Tohti did as he was told, trying to pretend this was normal procedure. He “glanced questioningly at the chief surgeon. ‘No anesthesia,’ said the chief surgeon. ‘No life support.’ ” The anesthesiologist “just stood there, arms folded. ‘He’s already unconscious,’ the man reasoned.”
The anesthesiologist was wrong.
“As Enver’s scalpel went in, the man’s chest heaved spasmodically and then curled back again.” After Tohti removed the organs and stitched him up — “not internally,” as there was “no point to that anymore” — he noticed that blood was still pulsing. He was sure the man was still alive.”
Enemies of the state
Reports of organ harvesting in China are nothing new, as the government has admitted that the organs of death-row prisoners have been used for transplants, and BBC investigations have found that “British women apply the collagen of executed prisoners to their faces every night.”
But according to longtime China analyst and human-rights investigator Ethan Gutmann in his disturbing new book, “The Slaughter: Mass Killings, Organ Harvesting, and China’s Secret Solution to its Dissident Problem” (Prometheus Books), the realities of the practice are far more awful.
Organs coming out of China — which sometimes wind up in American bodies — are taken not just from the worst Chinese criminals, as China claims, but also from prisoners of conscience, especially practitioners of the banned and derided practice Falun Gong, who never committed, or were even accused of, capital crimes.
Making this far worse, though, are the revelations that authorities aren’t waiting for death to claim their bounty. In an effort to increase the chances of successful transplant, Gutmann writes, the organs are often taken from prisoners while they are still alive.
Gutmann estimates that to date, more than 64,000 Falun Gong practitioners have suffered this fate, with more being added to the count every day.
Tags: Kilgour and Matas
The European Parliament has put the People’s Republic of China on notice that its practice of forced organ harvesting is unacceptable.
A resolution passed Thursday afternoon in Strasbourg, France, expresses “deep concern over persistent and credible reports of systematic, state-sanctioned organ harvesting from nonconsenting prisoners of conscience in the People’s Republic of China, including from large numbers of Falun Gong practitioners imprisoned for their religious beliefs, and members of other religious and ethnic minority groups.”
China is called on by the resolution to: “immediately end the practice of organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience”; respond to requests from the UN special rapporteurs on torture and on freedom of religion or belief as to the source of the organs used in transplantation and allow the rapporteurs to conduct an investigation; and immediately release “all prisoners of conscience in China, including the Falun Gong practitioners.”
The EU and its member states are recommended by the resolution to publicly condemn the transplantation abuses in China and to raise awareness among their citizens travelling to the PRC. The resolution calls for the EU to conduct a “full and transparent investigation” into the PRC’s organ transplant practices and “for the prosecution of those found to have engaged in such unethical practices.”
The resolution also identifies the main victims of forced organ harvesting in China: “In July 1999, the Chinese Communist Party launched an intensive, nationwide persecution designed to eradicate the spiritual practice of Falun Gong leading to the arrest and detention of hundreds of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners … there are reports that Uyghur and Tibetan prisoners have also been subject to forced organ transplantations.”
“The position of the European Parliament is really very important,” wrote Dr. Rafael Matesanz, the director of the National Transplant Organization in Spain, in an email.
“That the representation of the citizens of 28 EU countries express a common position in front of the Chinese government and ask them to stop immediately all these unethical practices … should be certainly welcome,” wrote Matesanz.
He noted that on this occasion “other considerations” that have “modulated the positions of many governments or international bodies” were forgotten. The PRC regularly uses access to trade and diplomatic browbeating to try to suppress criticism of its human rights record.
Erping Zhang, the spokesman for the Falun Dafa Information Center, said the EU resolution “has sent a loud message to the CCP regime that such crimes against humanity are unacceptable by members of civilized societies.”
Kirk Allison, Ph.D., the director of the program in Human Rights and Health at the University of Minnesota, hailed the resolution as a “significant step forward.”
“By formally recognizing as credible the evidence of … ongoing abuses,” Allison wrote in an email. “It advances the issue from discussion to action.”
“International pressure should follow in the same direction [as the EU resolution] not just in Europe but all over the world, with international bodies like the WHO, the UN, or the Council of Europe,” wrote Matesanz.
Dr. Torsten Trey, executive director of the human rights organization Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting, sees the resolution as helping to galvanize international condemnation of the PRC’s forced organ harvesting.
The resolution “will serve as a beacon for many other sovereign countries and regions to demand from China to immediately live up to the basic rights of the 21st century,” wrote Dr. Trey in an email.
Matesanz said the resolution gives “A clear definition about what should not be done for patients: going abroad to buy an organ of unethical origin.” It also gives guidance to “some European doctors, which ‘understand’ or even facilitate such practices for the theoretical benefit of their patients.”
Matesanz worked in his native Spain to see that a law was passed that criminalized a Spanish citizen receiving an organ taken from an unwilling victim, whether the transplantation took place in Spain, China, or elsewhere.
Trey wrote, “This resolution will contribute to sensitize nations around the world to adopt regulations that put an end to unethical organ trade and procurement.”
The EU resolution builds on work done investigating and condemning the PRC’s regime of forced organ transplantation and its human rights record.
The resolution refers to U.N. conventions, previous EU resolutions, hearings at which “former Canadian Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific David Kilgour and human rights lawyer David Matas” testified, and reports by U.N. special rapporteurs.
The work that has previously been done on the issue of the PRC’s forced organ harvesting has borne fruit not only in the EU resolution, but also in several other recent initiatives.
On Dec. 9, a delegation from Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting delivered a petition to the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner on Human Rights that had been signed by 1.48 million people from 53 countries.
The petition asks the high commissioner to call for “an immediate end of forced organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners in China,” to initiate investigations that will lead to the prosecution of those responsible for this crime against humanity and to call upon the Chinese government to end the persecution of Falun Gong.
On Dec. 6, Canadian M.P. Irving Cotler introduced a law that seeks to prevent Canadians from getting a transplant of organs that were not willingly donated.
The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote soon on a resolution with 165 co-sponsors that condemns the forced harvesting of organs from prisoners of conscience.
In Australia, when the Parliament of the state of New South Wales comes back in session in early 2014, it will consider a bill that will prohibit obtaining organs harvested from unwilling victims.
Tunne Kelam, a European Parliament MP from Estonia, believes the fundamental cause of the forced organ harvesting in China is the system.
He told a New Tang Dynasty reporter that, being from Estonia, “I’m more familiar with that totalitarian system, they can do anything, being a dictatorship.”
At a forum held at the European Parliament on Dec. 11, the day before the vote on the resolution, Edward McMillan-Scott, the vice president of the EU Parliament responsible for human rights and democracy, described China as “probably the most terror-based country on earth.” He said, “The repressive, brutal, and arbitrary tactics used by the Chinese regime… [are] the result of totalitarianism.”
Zhang of FDI wrote that the practice of forced organ harvesting in China “is essentially the expression of the CCP’s system of eradicating all dissenting voices.”
“The ultimate solution to ending injustice in today’s China is a change in the system, namely a China free of the Communist Party,” Zhang wrote, “where the citizens of China can freely practice their personal beliefs and follow their cultural traditions.”
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Tags: Kilgour and Matas
By Stephen Gregory
A grass-roots movement that has spanned 5 continents and 53 countries reached a climax Monday morning in Geneva when a delegation from the organization Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting formally presented to the office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights a petition that has garnered almost 1.5 million signatures. The presentation was timed to coincide with International Human Rights Day, which falls on Tuesday, Dec. 10.
The petition calls for “an immediate end of forced organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners in China,” and asks the high commissioner to initiate investigations that will lead to the prosecution of those responsible for this crime against humanity and to call upon the Chinese government to end the persecution of Falun Gong.
In a one and one-half hour meeting in a conference room in the U.N.’s Motta Building, Torsten Trey, M.D., executive director of Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH), along with three doctors and three lawyers from six countries and three continents, presented a letter for the high commissioner and briefed the high commissioner’s staff on the forced organ harvesting taking place in China.
In a phone conversation, Torsten Trey explained how the petition got started. The members of DAFOH were frustrated, Trey said. They knew an atrocity was taking place in China, but governments and professional and human rights organizations had often been slow to react.
The DAFOH members thought that if people were asked directly, they would respond. In June DAFOH reached out to a few supporters to start collecting signatures for a petition. The signature collection started in earnest in July.
The petition took off. The more people heard about the organ harvesting taking place in China, the more volunteers and organizations wanted to help gather signatures, in more places around the world. Like the proverbial snowball rolling downhill, the petition rapidly started getting bigger.
By the end of September it had 400,000 signatures. By the end of October, the signature count doubled to approximately 800,000. By the end of November, when the petition was closed, it had almost doubled again, to 1.48 million.
The work of gathering signatures was done by volunteers, with Falun Gong practitioners taking the lead in most areas, but then often finding non-practitioners jumping in to assist. Getting signatures was not a hard sell.
Zek Halu, a real estate developer in his mid-60s, would show up in London’s Chinatown with two clipboards under each arm, one in his hands, and pens sticking out of his pockets.
On the weekends, the streets of Chinatown are thronged with people, mostly European tourists. Halu would plunge into a group and find one person who wanted to sign. “Soon, everyone wants to sign, and then the clipboards with the petitions start getting tossed around in the crowd from one to the other. One can’t keep up.”
Also collecting signatures in London’s Chinatown was a couple in their sixties from mainland China each of whom had been tortured in mainland China for their belief in Falun Gong. Without speaking any more English than “please sign” and “petition,” they would collect signatures every day.
“Their faces are so kind,” Halu said, “People want to do whatever they ask.”
In fact, formidable, elderly Chinese practitioners of Falun Gong with limited English skills collected signatures in major cities all over the world. In Toronto, the 75-year-old Ms. Li Jiayu collected 8,000 signatures from July through November.
In Switzerland, the Swiss chapter of the human rights organization International Society for Human Rights organized the signature collection.
Silvan Fedier, a 40-year-old educator, headed up the project for the society. “Individuals from churches would simply pick up a petition somewhere without our knowing and take it to their church,” Fedier said in an email, “And then they would send us the filled-out signature sheets.”
In Korea, tables at which doctors could sign the organ harvesting petition were set up at 18 different meetings of medical societies; 7,000 doctors signed.
While people were willing, most had not heard of the forced organ harvesting before and were not prepared for what the volunteers had to tell them.
“80 to 90 percent were disgusted,” said Thanh Le a retired manager for Los Angeles County in California. “They couldn’t believe it. ‘This is the most inhumane thing,’ they would say.”
Toronto’s Ms. Zhou Chuanying said through an interpreter, “What impressed me the most was how many people’s faces were shocked after they read the petition letter. With some, their eyes reddened. With others, there were tears on their cheeks.”
The information in the petition letter first came to the world’s attention in March 2006, after an investigative reporter for a Japanese TV station and the wife of an eye surgeon fled the country for the United States, where they told a gruesome story.
They provided credible details about a camp near a hospital in northeastern China in which Falun Gong practitioners were held as a kind of live organ bank. When the hospital needed an organ for transplantation, they would check the records of individuals in that camp, and if one matched, pluck that person out and harvest all of his or her salable organs, killing the practitioner in the process.
After this story broke, international human rights lawyer David Matas and former Canadian Secretary of State David Kilgour began investigating the allegations that forced organ harvesting was taking place on a mass scale in China.
In the report Bloody Harvest (released in July 2006 and since published as a revised report and then a book), they concluded the allegations were true. They estimated that in the years 2000–2005, Falun Gong practitioners had provided organs for 41,500 transplantations.
Among other pieces of evidence, Kilgour and Matas pointed to the following: unexplained blood tests and medical exams given to detained Falun Gong practitioners, but not to other prisoners; phone admissions by doctors in China in 2006 that they had or could get access to “fresh organs” from Falun Gong practitioners; the way in which the number of transplants done in China shot upward after the persecution of Falun Gong began in China; and the absence of any other source other than Falun Gong practitioners that could provide the organs for this rapid increase.
Bloody Harvest understands the forced organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners to be part of the persecution of Falun Gong launched by then-paramount leader Jiang Zemin in 1999.
Falun Gong involves practicing meditative exercises and seeking to become a better person by living according to the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. After first being publicly taught in 1992, it rapidly became very popular. According to official Chinese state reports at the time, at least 70 million people had taken up the practice. Practitioners say the true number was over 100 million.
Jiang feared how popular Falun Gong had become—more were practicing it than were members of the Chinese Communist Party. He also feared that the traditional moral teachings of Falun Gong would erode the authority of the Communist Party’s atheist ideology.
David Matas is well-positioned to gauge how the public is responding to the forced organ harvesting taking place in China. In an email, Matas wrote that he had traveled “almost continuously” for more than seven years—since completing Bloody Harvest in July 2006—meeting with groups and politicians to tell them about these crimes against humanity.
He wrote that when he returns to a location after time has lapsed, he can see that awareness of organ harvesting, and activism opposing it, has increased, with more concern at higher levels of society. “The story of organ transplant abuse in China has, over the years, spread wider, higher, and deeper,” Matas wrote.
“There is a gathering global momentum finally to set in place the mechanisms to prevent the transplant abuse we have seen and continue to see in China.” Matas wrote. “The petition both reflects and adds to the momentum.”
That momentum has recently broken through in several legislatures. On Dec. 7 legislation was introduced in the Canadian Parliament that would sanction those involved in organ trafficking. On Dec. 12, the European Parliament is scheduled to vote on a resolution condemning organ harvesting. On Dec. 13, the U.S. House of Representatives is also expected to vote on a resolution condemning organ harvesting.
A state in Australia is considering legislation that would prohibit individuals from receiving organs harvested from unwilling victims. New legislation has been discussed in France. In Sweden recently, 20 MPs took part in a brainstorming session that discussed possible new legislation.
“Out of the Chinese Communist Party’s killing of Falun Gong for their organs will arise a global legacy, an ethical global organ transplantation system,” Matas wrote. “That legacy will survive long after the Communist Party of China is a bitter, distant memory.”
Additional reporting by Allen Zhou
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Tags: CCP, China, Falun Gong, human rights, Kilgour and Matas, labor camps, organ harvesting, persecution of dissidents, Society
The West is deeply enmeshed in China’s questionable and lucrative organ trade, a major German newspaper says.
In China, executed prisoners’ organs are removed and sold for transplantation, including into patients from the West. Western hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and doctors support Chinese transplantation centres without asking questions, according to an investigative report in the German newspaper, Die Zeit.
The German-language report, titled “Herz auf Bestellung,” or “Heart to Order,” and written by Martina Keller, said it intends to expose China’s practice of execution on demand, and to shine a light on doctors who go against the ethics of their profession.
As they maneuver on a narrow path “between co-operation and complicity,” participants become entangled by moral conflicts, professional ambitions, and money, with many preferring to remain silent about the issue, writes Keller.
“A human being dies, just in time, so that another can continue to live. In the Chinese transplant system, this is possible. In the name of progress, in the name of making money—including Western money,” states the report.
The article poses the question, “Where must the West draw its boundaries so as to not become an accomplice?”
China holds second place in organ transplant statistics worldwide after the United States, “a fact that fills the government with pride,” writes Keller.
“More than 10,000 kidneys, livers, hearts, and lungs are being transplanted annually, [former] deputy minister of health Huang Jiefu—himself a transplant surgeon—wrote in the scientific journal The Lancet last year. According to his statics, close to 60 per cent of these organs come from executed prisoners, an open admission that surprises,” states Die Zeit.
Until a few years ago, the government had dismissed as propaganda all foreign reports regarding questionable Chinese transplant practices, and the number of executions in China is a state secret.
“Insiders say that transplant hospitals work together with prisons and send out their own teams to harvest the organs. It cannot be excluded that doctors are participating in the execution,” the report states.
Short Waiting Times
Patients from Western countries also get their new kidneys, livers, and hearts thanks to Chinese executions, the report claims.
Die Zeit conducted an interview with 63-year-old Mordechai Shtiglits from Tel Aviv, who flew to China in November, 2005 to receive a new heart at Shanghai’s Zhongshan hospital. There he met patients from Canada, Australia, and Hong Kong who were all waiting for new, life-saving organs.
In China, one gets a new heart in two to three weeks. If you are lucky, it is even faster…
“In China one gets a new heart in two to three weeks. If you are lucky, as Mordechai Shtiglits, it is even faster,” writes Keller. One week after his arrival in Shanghai, a Chinese surgeon told him he would get his new heart the following day, saying it came from a 22-year-old “donor,” the victim of a traffic accident.
The report claims that this situation is extremely unlikely, however. Although more than 60,000 Chinese people die annually in traffic accidents, Chinese doctors cannot know in advance when someone will die through an accident. In addition, China to this day doesn’t have a central system for rapid organ distribution.
Organ removal from executed prisoners is outlawed worldwide, according to Die Zeit—transplantation is based on the principle of voluntary donation. Prisoners, however, are not in a position to make a free decision. This is how the World Association of Doctors sees it, as does the International Transplantation Society.
Dr Jacob Lavee, director of heart transplantation at Sheba Medical Centre, took care of Mordechai Shtiglits for years before Shtiglits received his new heart in China. Lavee said he was almost out of hope for his patient. But when Shtiglits told him he was going to China to get a heart transplant in two weeks, Lavee smiled at him and said, “That is not possible.”
You can take a kidney or part of a liver from a living donor, Dr Lavee explained. “But when somebody gets a heart, it means someone else must die,” he told Die Zeit.
The article quotes New York ethicist Arthur Caplan, a contributor to the book State Organs: Transplant Abuse in China: “Prison authorities have to specifically search for potential donors, test their health, blood, and tissue type, and execute them while the tourist is in China. That is simply killing on demand.”
Organ trafficking that is tolerated by a government is frightening, as are executions that supply the material for transplantations. But it is not all—there is another, even worse suspicion. Canadian lawyer David Matas and David Kilgour, a former Canadian Secretary of State, both nominated for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize, have meticulously gathered facts since 2006.
The two Canadians have tried as far as possible to keep everything in their research independent of statements made by Falun Gong practitioners, according to the Die Zeit article. They gathered not only material about Falun Gong prisoners who were medically examined in prisons, disappeared without a trace from camps, or whose corpses were missing body parts. They also interviewed foreign patients who received kidney or liver transplants in China.
They’ve even succeeded in questioning former accomplices about organ removal from Falun Gong prisoners. And they documented phone calls by investigators, who posed as patients or their relatives inquiring at Chinese transplantation centers and institutions about the availability of Falun Gong organs—Falun Gong practitioners are regarded as particularly suitable donors, while other prisoners are frequently infected with Hepatitis B.
They also cite a March 2006 phone conversation with Zhongshan Hospital, four months after Mordecai Shtiglits received his new heart there, Die Zeit reports. To answer the question of the caller on whether organs from Falun Gong practitioners were being transplanted, a doctor responded: “Ours are all of this type.”
Keller’s article quoted Manfred Nowak, Professor of International Law at the University of Vienna and UN Special Rapporteur on Torture until the year 2010, as saying that the allegations of the two Canadians are “well-researched and very serious,” and an important indication is the strong increase in the numbers of transplantations in China coinciding with the persecution of Falun Gong.
On behalf of the United Nations, Nowak sent an urgent call to the Chinese government to provide accurate information regarding the sourcing of all the transplanted organs. According to Nowak, China has rejected all accusations as propaganda, but never explained them.
“Elsewhere in the world, such announcements raise horror,” reports Die Zeit. “But what almost nobody knows is that the West is deeply enmeshed in the Chinese system.”
Pharmaceutical companies supply the Chinese market with anti-rejection medication, and carry out transplantation research that most likely uses organs from executed prisoners. Western hospitals and doctors support Chinese transplantation centers without asking questions, Die Zeit reports.
Western advisors of the Chinese government purport to help advance change in China’s transplantation practice, while at the same time pursuing financial interests in China.
Automobiles from the West are being outfitted as so-called ‘execution-mobiles’. A Chinese car dealer, for example, offers a European-brand van on the internet that is equipped with medical monitoring and infusion apparatuses—a grisly symbol of the hand-in-hand co-operation between executioners and doctors, reports Die Zeit.
With such entanglements, many Western participants prefer to be silent.
According to a presentation in Madrid by former Chinese deputy minister of health Huang Jiefu, organ transplantation experienced a remarkable upturn, saying kidney transplants increased between 1997 and 2005 from 3,000 to 8,500 per year, livers from two to approximately 3,000. The boom was possible in part thanks to new and better medications.
They are medications that come from the West, Die Zeit said.
The Swiss company Sandoz has supplied China since the mid 1980s with Cyclosporin A, which is vital to the survival of transplant patients. Roche and Novartis, who now own Sandoz, as well as Japan’s Astellas, now sell their anti-rejection drugs in China, according to Die Zeit. At the latest, since 1994, these corporations were able to know about the accusations against China: At that time the NGO Human Rights Watch published a detailed report, Die Zeit said.
At the End of 2005 Roche even began producing their drug Cellcept in China. During a grand opening celebration at their plant in Shanghai, according to a report in the Handelsblatt, Roche chief Franz Humer defended their decision why, of all places, Cellcept should be produced in China: In contrast to Japan, there were no ethical or cultural inhibitions in China against the transplant medical field, Die Zeit said.
The Western pharmacological industry is also responsible for research studies in China, Die Zeit said. Research journals have published nine clinical studies of around 1,200 transplantations in which the companies Wyeth and Pfizer from the U.S., Novartis and Roche from Switzerland, and Astellas from Japan have tested their transplant drugs. Altogether, these companies have collaborated with 20 hospitals in China for these studies.
Training Chinese Surgeons
In the journal Liver Transplantation, Huang Jiefu wrote that “whole transplantation teams from the PRC” have received their training abroad. He himself perfected his abilities in Australia.
Some Australian medical centers, meanwhile, have put requirements in place when training Chinese surgeons, writes Keller. For example, Dr Stephan Lynch at the Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane asks applicants to supply a written assurance by their clinic directors, or someone responsible in the provincial government, that the acquired abilities will not be used in transplant programs that use executed prisoners as donors.
However, German doctors are less scrupulous, Die Zeit reports. The German Heart Centre in Berlin, where nearly 2,300 hearts have been transplanted since its founding in 1986, works together with more than 30 hospitals in China, including transplantation centers. In 2005, the personal assistant to medical director Roland Hetzer proudly reported on Radio China International about their strong co-operation.
At the opening of a heart surgery conference in Shanghai in May, 2012, Hetzer announced: “More than 500 doctors…from China have participated in our work in Berlin over the years. Some of the surgeons have completed an entire five-year training. They all have done good work after returning to their homeland,” Die Zeit quotes.
Keller provides another, different interpretation: “Put another way: In Germany, Chinese doctors get the tools that allow them to transplant organs from executed prisoners in China—the tools for human rights abuses.”
Liu Zhongmin is one of the surgeons who has worked in Berlin for several years, Keller writes. He is now the executive director of the Chinese-German Heart Institute in Shanghai, which was founded in 2000 by the German Heart Centre and the Shanghai East Hospital. The hospital is the German’s closest co-operation partner in China.
Liu’s qualifications are listed on the website of the Heart Institute: He is responsible for clinical research into “heart transplantation, artificial heart, and combination heart-lung transplantation.”
In total, how many hearts have been transplanted at the Chinese-German Heart Institute? What is the source of the organs? To these questions posed by Die Zeit, Liu did not reply.
Weng, Hetzer’s long-time representative, and now a senior physician at the German Heart Centre, is, like Liu, an executive director at the Chinese-German Heart Institute. Several times a year, he travels to China, according to Die Zeit.
He, too, failed to answer questions from Die Zeit. As did Hetzer.
Stopping the Organ Trade
Since Mordechai Shtiglits returned from China, Dr Jacob Lavee has been active politically in seeking to stop more Israeli citizens from obtaining hearts in China, Keller writes. In 2008, a transplantation law was enacted in the country to prohibit medical reimbursement for transplants received in foreign countries if organ trade was involved. Since that time, no patients from Israel have gone for organ transplants to China.
Dr Lavee told Die Zeit that he has been subjected to online abuse for having blocked patients from going to China.
“About this accusation, I am very proud,” Lavee said. But he has not reached the end of his mission because international organ tourism to China continues, even as the Chinese leadership is—officially, at least—trying to reform, he told Die Zeit.
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Tags: CCP, China, Falun Gong, human rights, Kilgour and Matas, labor camps, organ harvesting, persecution of dissidents, Society
China’s 5000-year-old civilization deserves the respect of the entire world. This talk is about governance and violence committed by its current party-state since 1949 on those deemed its opponents, which has most recently resulted in large scale pillaging of organs from Falun Gong practitioners for commercial transplantation purposes. No Falun Gong “donors” survive transplantation operations anywhere in China because both kidneys and all other vital organs are invariably seized and their bodies are then cremated.
David Matas and I located 52 kinds of direct and circumstantial proof about this commerce occurring since 2001. For the period 2000-2005 alone, we concluded that for 41,500 transplants the only plausible explanation for sourcing was Falun Gong. We arrived at this figure by deducting from the government figure of 60,000 transplantations over the six-year period, which appears accurate, the best estimate available about executed convicts (18,550) for the same years.
In the 2012 book, State Organs, researcher/writer Ethan Gutmann’s best estimate is that about 65,000 Falun Gong were killed for their organs during the years 2000-2008, selected from about 1.2 million practitioners he considers were interned in China’s forced labour system (Laogai). A police signature is sufficient to send anyone to the camps for up to three years. As Mark Mackinnon of Canada’s Globe and Mail put it recently, “No charges, no lawyers, no appeals.” In 2007, a U.S. government report estimated that at least half of the inmates in 340 camps were Falun Gong. Leninist governance and “anything is permitted” economics created the conditions for organ trafficking to occur and persist today.
Falun Gong (or Falun Dafa) is a spiritual discipline, which seeks to improve health and ethics. It contains features of traditional systems, like Chinese Qigong, Buddhism and Daoism, combined with a set of gentle exercises. Because it grew astonishingly rapidly in popularity from its inception in 1992, former Party head Jiang Zemin saw it as a threat, labeled it a cult, and commenced persecution against its practitioners from mid-1999 on.
After 1980, the post-Mao Party began withdrawing funds from the health system across China, requiring it to make up the shortfall from service charges to mostly uninsured patients. Selling the organs of executed convicts became a source of income for surgeons, the military and other participants. After 1999, Falun Gong prisoners of conscience became a vast live organ bank for wealthy Chinese patients and “organ tourists” from abroad, the former often preferring that the “donors” were Falun Gong, being normally healthy persons.
Matas and I visited about a dozen countries to interview Falun Gong practitioners sent to China’s forced labour camps, who later managed to leave the camps and the country. Practitioners told us of working in appalling conditions in camps for up to sixteen hours daily with no pay and little food, crowded sleeping conditions and torture. They made a range of export products as subcontractors to multinational companies. This is both gross corporate irresponsibility and a violation of WTO rules; it shrieks for an effective response by all trading partners of China. Each government should ban forced labour exports by enacting legislation which places an onus on importers in each country to prove their goods are not made by slaves.
The responsible international community should nonetheless engage as constructively as feasible with the new government in Beijing, while pressing it to end organ pillaging.
Tags: CCP, China, human rights, Kilgour and Matas, labor camps, organ harvesting, persecution of dissidents, Society
A prestigious Australian university has come under scrutiny recently for giving an honorary professorship to a former top Chinese health official who has been involved in unethical organ harvesting.
Researchers of organ harvesting in China spoke to the influential Australian news program the “7:30 Report” with information about Huang Jiefu’s involvement in organ harvesting in China; they called on the University of Sydney to rescind the honorary professorship they gave to Huang in 2008 and renewed in October 2011.
Researcher Maria Fiatarone Singh, a member of the faculty of health science at the University of Sydney, regards Huang as one of the former leaders of an unethical system of organ transplantation.
In the 1990s a very special form of lethal injection called slow lethal injection was perfected in China by Chinese officials. – Researcher Maria Fiatarone Singh
“In the 1990s a very special form of lethal injection called slow lethal injection was perfected in China by Chinese officials,” she said to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, which produces the “7:30 Report.” This was meant to preserve the organs while the person is anaesthetised.
“They don’t die right away,” Singh said, giving the surgeon time to pull out organs before the lethal injection is finalized. “It’s done in a way that actually allows this very, very unsavoury mix of execution and medical care and treatment to be done by the same team of doctors,” Singh said. “It’s horrific, really.”
Huang was the vice minister of health from 2001 to 2013, and was the point person for international groups to hear the official word on the Chinese regime’s organ transplantation policies. He was also a member of the Party Leadership Group in the Ministry of Health, according to the Ministry’s website; and he is a reserve member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, ostensibly an advisory body for the Communist Party.
Huang also watched over a period of extensive harvesting of organs from prisoners of conscience, according to the research of David Matas, a Canadian lawyer who co-authored the seminal “Independent Investigation Into Allegations of Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners in China,” first published in 2006.
Practitioners of Falun Gong are suspected of being the preponderant source of illicit organs trafficked through the Chinese system from the early 2000s onwards; tens of thousands may have been killed in that fashion, researchers indicate.
Much of that activity was carried out by the medical-military complex, where military hospitals work with labor camps to source organs and carry out the transplants in secret. Such hospitals are not under the purview of the Ministry of Health—but as head of the transplantation system, Matas holds Huang accountable.
The University of Sydney defended itself with a note from Professor Bruce Robinson, Dean of the Medical School: “Huang Jiefu is recognised internationally for having made significant changes to the regulation of China’s organ transplantation processes in an effort to curb the practice of organ retrieval from executed prisoners.” Robinson listed some of the initiatives that were attributed to Huang, including “publicly stating that executed prisoners are not an appropriate source of organs for transplantation.”
But it’s likely that Huang has himself extracted the vital organs of executed prisoners, says Singh. Singh notes that even up until November of last year Huang was still carrying out liver transplants.
“That would be 100 organs a year,” Singh says. “Using his own figures, 90 to 95 percent of those would have come from executed prisoners.” Huang previously gave estimates that 90 or 95 percent of all organ transplants in China were from executed prisoners.
Before an operation in 2005, he also contacted the Third Military Medical University in Chongqing, which is affiliated with the Chinese military, as well as the Zhongshan School of Medicine located in Guangzhou, to obtain a blood-matched liver. Within about 24 hours, one arrived from Chongqing and he performed the transplant, according to a news report on a Chinese official website, recounting the incident in adulatory terms.
While David Matas, the lawyer and researcher, acknowledges that Huang played a public role in highlighting the need for the People’s Republic of China to reform its organ sourcing system, he said in a previous interview with The Epoch Times that it was far from enough.
“With Huang Jiefu, I mean, he says all the right things, but he’s a fellow traveller. This guy is sitting on top of a system of massive transplant abuse,” Matas said. “What I see is the system playing good cop/bad cop. Huang is the good cop. He has this notion of ‘Let’s change things gradually.’ He’s been saying this for many years now, and I don’t see a lot of changes. They do everything to hide the figures.”
Matas added: “I don’t buy the line that they’re doing what they can. They should stop it.”
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Tags: CCP, China, Falun Gong, human rights, Kilgour and Matas, organ harvesting, persecution of dissidents, Society
A former patient of a hospital in China says she saw and heard things during a lengthy hospitalization that makes her believe the hospital was involved in murdering people to harvest their organs.
Ms. Li Jinzhen (not her actual name), a Chinese national, said she has known for some time about allegations that Falun Gong practitioners in China have become involuntary donors of organs for the transplantation trade over the last dozen years.
Li, who asked not to have her identity or location revealed, told The Epoch Times that she wanted to come forward about things she observed and heard during a three month stay at the First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University in the winter of 2006.
“One day I saw seven police cars entering the hospital premises from a side entrance. Getting out of the cars were 20 policemen in plain clothes,” she said, guarding seven handcuffed men and women, of around 30 to 40 years old. “All of them looked very healthy,” Li said.
The individuals were taken into an old two to three story building with a steel gate and two rows of plainclothes officers in front of it, Li recalled. “They were all forced into the building,” she said.
Her knowledge of the allegations of organ harvesting of Falun Gong prisoners, coupled with her observation of the demeanor of the prisoners, led Li to believe that they were Falun Gong practitioners being targeted for organ harvesting. She said their facial expressions appeared to be “peaceful and quiet,” which she associated with practitioners of Falun Gong.
This reporter spent four years in Chinese prisons as a prisoner of conscience and, based on that experience, the prisoner transport described by Li is unusual. Male and female inmates are typically not transported together—they are managed by different prison staffs. Also, sick prisoners are treated in an outpatient unit, not in an old, abandoned building.
A student assistant working in an office in the hospital complex told Li that he believed Falun Gong practitioners were being used for organ harvesting at the hospital and that those seven prisoners locked up in the abandoned building were Falun Gong practitioners meant to be used as live organ donors.
This student also told Li that a fellow student, whom he was close to, was always on operating room duty and had become a “butcher.”
“All he knew now was how to kill people with his scalpel, and he became insensitive,” the student told Li.
The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University is a state-run “Grade A tertiary” general hospital. It states on its web site: “Our hospital is the only local hospital in Chongqing that has the licenses to conduct both liver and kidney transplantation, resulting in advanced and superior technology of organ transplantation.
A member of the cleaning staff at the hospital told Li: “The doctors here aren’t performing operations, they are in fact killing people. The blood is splattered everywhere, all over the floor of the operation room.”
He said they are using hoses, and it still takes two hours to clean an operating room. “How can this be called a medical operation? It seems more like brutal murder to me,” the man told Li.
The man also told Li that operations are performed on the third and fourth floor in the building opposite the Inpatient Department building.
A former Uyghur surgeon in China, Enver Tohti, said in a telephone interview that the idea that there was a lot of blood in the operating room seemed normal. “With a prisoner, there’s no need, and no time for you to care how much blood will come out. What you do is just go straight to the organ and take it, that’s it.” Tohti, however, could not understand why it would take two hours to clean up.
After reviewing the entire witness statement, in its original Chinese, Tohti said that he was not surprised by the scenario depicted. “There are no surprises here,” he said. Tohti was a surgeon in Xinjiang and himself was called on to remove the organs from a recently-executed prisoner, right near the execution ground. “That is something that is haunting,” he said.
Dr. Zhang worked for a long time in the logistics staff of a hospital in mainland China. Now in Bangkok, he told The Epoch Times that it is not common for the operating room floor to be covered by that much blood during an organ transplant.
“Usually that does not happen,” he said. “When performing an operation, the doctors have a hemostatic plan, such as using hemostatic pliers and clips to stop the blood. If the floor is covered in blood, then it is a case of medical malpractice. It definitely does not happen often.”
Li also said that she repeatedly witnessed four to five men in the middle of the night pushing gurneys with corpses into a restricted elevator.
“Nobody was using that elevator during the day,” Li said. She said she had wondered if there was a secret passageway behind it.
The corpses on these midnight gurneys were tightly wrapped in multiple layers of green blankets, Li said. “Normal” corpses were never wrapped in such a way, and they were always transported on the regular elevator, she said.
“The bodies from the forbidden elevators were not meant to be seen, maybe those were the bodies of the victims of organ harvesting,” she added.
Eyewitness reports of forced organ harvesting in China are difficult to obtain, say Canadian lawyers David Kilgour and David Matas who are the authors of a 2006 independent report into the allegations of organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners in China.
“There are no surviving victims to tell what happened to them. Perpetrators are unlikely to confess to what would be, if they occurred, crimes against humanity,” the report says.
However, they say they have collected many points of circumstantial evidence, including very short waiting times and a surprising number of admissions through investigator phone calls, that paint a “damning” picture.
“Hospital web sites in China advertise short waiting times for organ transplants. … If we take these hospital’s self-promotions at face value, they tell us that there are a large number of people now alive who are available on demand as sources of organs,” the report says.
Based on their research, Kilgour and Matas estimate that from 2000 to 2005, 41,500 organs were harvested for which the most likely source was Falun Gong prisoners. Kilgour and Matas have each said on various occasions since their report was issued that the practice of organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners and other prisoners of conscience is continuing in China.
Related Articles: Chinese Military Hospitals Involved in Forced Organ Harvesting
Tags: books, CCP, China, human rights, Kilgour and Matas, organ harvesting, persecution of dissidents
JERUSALEM—On a recent trip to Jerusalem, lawyer and human rights activist David Matas was in town for merely 48 hours, but still made time for an interview after a long day of meetings. His deep well of energy seems to come in part from his enthusiastic commitment to fighting for human rights.
In 2009 Matas, a Canadian, co-authored Bloody Harvest: Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners in China with David Kilgour, a former Canadian secretary of state. The book was an updated and extended version of a 2006 report under the same title that horrified the world with its revelations of systematic murder for huge profits from organ transplant sales by China’s medical community. Among other revelations, it established the veracity of allegations that disappeared Falun Gong practitioners were being murdered for the price of their organs.
Each year in China 1,000 death row prisoners are killed for their organs … 500 come from Uyghurs, Tibetans, and Eastern Lightning House Christians, and 8,000 come from Falun Gong practitioners.
Illegal organ transplants from donors of unknown origin purchased for huge sums by foreign patients remains a major human rights crisis in China. Without a national system for voluntary organ donation, China mysteriously has a tremendous number of readily available organs for transplant available on demand. According to research done by the Falun Dafa Information Center (FDIC), of the tens of thousands of organ transplants performed in China annually, records of voluntary donations only number in the hundreds.
That means Matas’s work is far from done.
Having spent the last few years building interest in the subject through “Bloody Harvest” and connecting with professionals in the medical transplant community, Matas published this year a second book on the topic, State Organs: Transplant Abuse in China. He co-edited the book with Dr. Torsten Trey, the founding member and executive director of Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH). The book is a collection of 12 essays by authors from four continents.
Matas is also the author of other books on topics that include anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, as well as Nazi war criminals in Canada. But his two most recent books on illegal organ harvesting in China target a very specific—and urgent—problem.
“What I found was a real community of concern among the transplant profession,” Matas said of bringing together authors for the essays in his new book. He adds that part of that concern stems from the impact that China’s unethical transplant practices have on the worldwide transplant community’s reputation—sometimes impacting funding efforts.
Matas, who travels frequently for both his work as a lawyer and a human rights activist, says he constantly multi-tasks on different issues he is involved with. He sees publishing the new book on organ harvesting as “another way to get the message across.”
His sense of urgency around the issue is well-founded. According to estimates from research he and others have done, each year in China 1,000 death row prisoners are killed for their organs, 500 transplants come from living donor relatives, 500 come from Uyghurs, Tibetans, and Eastern Lightning House Christians, and 8,000 come from Falun Gong practitioners.
To this end, the book’s essays examine China’s systematic abuse of medicine for illegal organ transplants. It includes pieces by Arthur L. Caplan, head of the Division of Bioethics at the New York University Langone Medical Center; Jacob Lavee, director of the Heart Transplantation Unit at Sheba Medical Center in Israel; Gabriel Danovitch, Medical Director of the Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program at UCLA’s School of Medicine; and more than a dozen others.
One key point Matas wants to make with the new book is that the desire to stop organ harvesting is much bigger than he and his past co-author. “Both David Kilgour and I are not young, (and) are both doing other things,” said Matas. “It [fighting against organ harvesting] cannot rest with us. The message of this book is that the constituency is bigger than us.”
One aim Matas has in continuing to raise the issue is that individual countries will enact legislation to make it either required for doctors to report a patient who got a transplant overseas or for governments to prosecute individuals who got such an operation illegally. So far, attempts at such legislation have been limited, but Israel is one of the few countries where restrictions do exist.
What I found was a real community of concern among the transplant profession.
—David Matas, editor ‘State Organs’
The Israeli Organ Transplant Law forbids transplant tourism (the practice of patients traveling overseas to get organs from foreign donors) from Israel. The law also promotes national self-sufficiency in organ donation. The enactment of the law was a direct result of “Bloody Harvest.”
Today, Matas sees the best place for pressure to come from is inside the transplant profession itself. That includes working on getting the World Medical Association to evict the Chinese Medical Association (CMA). But progress so far is slow, since the CMA consists of every type of medical professional in China, not just those involved in transplants.
“If the transplant professionals in China stopped doing [illegal organ harvesting], that would end it,” he said. “The [transplant] profession [inside and outside of China], through peer pressure, can stop it.”
In the meantime, Matas continues to focus on promoting his new book, which is close to selling out its first print run. He is also encouraging those who read it and others who hear about the issue of organ harvesting in China to “do what they can do.”
“Write a letter, talk to a neighbor, go to a rally,” he said of efforts that individuals can make. “What you’re dealing with is human rights—so you don’t know who it’s going to hit and when.”
As for putting others in the spotlight with his new publication, Matas believes by taking on more on more of a supporting role, it will actually benefit the issue.
“People will say, ‘I saw you on TV, but I can’t remember what you said,’” notes Matas of his work since his 2009 book and the many subsequent congressional hearings, public rallies, and events he took part in to speak on the issue. “Other people need to be involved.”
With additional reporting by Matthew Robertson
Tags: CCP, China, Falun Gong, human rights, Kilgour and Matas, labor camps, organ harvesting, persecution of dissidents, Society
Please go to http://tinyurl.com/DAFOH-petition (DAFOH – Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting) to add your name to the list of people who want to stop forced organ harvesting in China.
It’s being called “abhorrent” and a “crime against humanity.” Allegations of forced organ harvesting in China started to surface in 2006. Since then, mounting evidence suggests these allegations are true—and even worse than originally suspected.
Prisoners of conscience—especially Falun Gong—are being killed for their organs.
Starting in 1999, the number of transplant centers in China increased by 300% in just 8 years, even though China has no effective national organ donation system. 1999 was the year the Chinese regime began persecuting adherents of the Falun Gong spiritual practice, sending hundreds of thousands to labor camps. Many of them were never seen again.
Transplant medicine was developed to save lives. But in China, innocent people are being killed for their organs—so they can be sold for profit.
Increasingly, doctors, congressmen, international politicians, human rights lawyers, journalists, and people around the world are raising awareness about forced organ harvesting.
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KILLED FOR ORGANS:
CHINA’S SECRET STATE TRANSPLANT BUSINESS
A New Tang Dynasty Television Production
Produced by Milene J. Fernandez
Engaging Beijing on Organ Pillaging
Fellow Canadian David Matas and I are here to urge your government, legislators, media and other citizens to join the international campaign to end the inhuman commerce in organs from a large community of peaceful Chinese citizens.
We’re both encouraged that The Traffickers, playing now in theatres across Korea, is bringing public attention to this new crime against humanity. The film was prompted by the tragedy of a Korean couple honeymooning in China. The bride disappeared: her body was later found with many organs missing. It is, however, government-sponsored organ trafficking across China that many of us have been attempting to stop for more than a decade.
The democratic world should be as actively engaged as feasible on human dignity issues during the leadership transition in Beijing. Democracy with Chinese features is probably closer than many now realize. The Chinese people should be encouraged to know that the values we seek to encourage in their new leaders are universal ones, including, the rule of law, dignity for all, and a peaceful world.
Tags: CCP, China, Falun Gong, human rights, Kilgour and Matas, labor camps, organ harvesting, persecution of dissidents, Society
What impact is the killing of Falun Gong practitioners for their organs having on Communist Chinese Party control of China? Are we seeing now, because of these killings, the end of communism in China?
Falun Gong is a blending of ancient Chinese spiritual and exercise traditions. It was brought out to the public in 1992 by Li Hongzhi and quickly spread throughout China with the encouragement of the government officials who considered the exercises as beneficial to health and to the finances of the health system. By 1999 Falun Gong practitioners were, according to a government survey more numerous than the membership of the Communist Party. At this point, out of fear of losing its ideological supremacy and jealousy of its popularity, former Party head Jiang Zemin declared Falun Gong banned.
Those who did the exercises after 1999 were arrested and asked to denounce the practice. Those who did not were tortured. Those who refused to recant after torture disappeared.
What happened to the disappeared? David Kilgour and I, in two reports dated July 2006 and January 2007 and a book dated November 2009 all under the title Bloody Harvest, concluded that many were killed for their organs used in transplants sold to patients, many of them foreign, for large sums. While it would take me too far afield to go through all the evidence which led us to that conclusion, I will mention a few bits.
Investigators made calls to hospitals throughout China, claiming to be relatives of patients needing transplants, asking if the hospitals had organs of Falun Gong for sale on the basis that, since Falun Gong through their exercises are healthy, the organs would be healthy. We obtained admissions throughout China on tape, and transcribed and translated them.
Falun Gong practitioners who were detained and after torture recanted and who then got out of detention and out of China told us that they were systematically blood tested and organ examined while in detention. Other detainees were not. The blood testing and organ examination could not have been for the health of the Falun Gong since they had been tortured; but it would have been necessary for organ transplants.
Waiting times for transplants of organs in China are days and weeks. Everywhere else in the world waiting times are months and years. A short waiting time for a deceased donor transplant means that someone is being killed for that transplant.
There is no other explanation for the transplant numbers than sourcing from Falun Gong. China is the second largest transplant country in the world by volume after the U.S. Yet, until 2010 China did not have a deceased donation system and even today that system produces donations which are statistically insignificant. The living donor sources are limited in law to relatives of donors and officially discouraged because live donors suffer health complications from giving up an organ.
The Ministry of Health of China accepts that organs for transplants are coming almost entirely from prisoners. The Ministry claims that the criminals sentenced to death not executed prisoners of conscience.
The number of prisoners sentenced to death and then executed that would be necessary to supply the volume of transplants in China is far greater than even the most exaggerated death penalty statistics and estimates. Moreover, in recent years, death penalty volumes have gone down, but transplant volumes, except for a short blip in 2007, remained constant.
Politics of Organ Transplant Abuse
The Ministry of Health acknowledges that sourcing of organs from prisoners is wrong and promises eventually to end the abuse—in five years but not immediately. The reason the Ministry gives for not ending the abuse immediately is politics.
I and others had pressed the World Medical Association to expel the Chinese Medical Association because of organ transplant abuse in China. Dr. Wonchat Subhachaturas, President of the World Medical Association, in a letter dated July 18, 2011, to Dr. Torsten Trey, Executive Director of Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting, wrote: “[Deputy Health Minister] Professor Huang … said that he would not get the necessary political support to change the practice of harvesting organs from executed prisoners immediately.”
The use of the word “immediately” is a euphemism. Deputy Minister Huang had been advocating an end to the practice at least since August 2009. Why in the intervening years had the abuse not stopped?
To understand the politics of organ transplant, it is necessary to understand the politics of repression of Falun Gong
And what did politics have to do with it? Organ transplants are done by medical practitioners, not politicians. One could maybe understand Deputy Minister Huang’s pleading economics, that too much money was being made from transplant abuse to stop it. But instead, he pleaded politics.
To understand the politics of organ transplant, it is necessary to understand the politics of repression of Falun Gong. According to an April 9, 2012 Epoch Times article by Cheng Jing, the political dynamic preventing the end to organ transplant abuse was explained in a cryptic nutshell by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in March this year. According to a source, the Premier, at a closed Communist Party meeting in Zhongnanhai on March 14, 2012, stated: “Without anesthetic, the live harvesting of human organs and selling them for money—is this something that a human could do? Things like this have happened for many years. We are about to retire, but it is still not resolved. Now that the Wang Lijun incident is known by the entire world, use this to punish Bo Xilai. Resolving the Falun Gong issue should be a natural choice.”
The Party announced the next day that Bo lost his position as Communist Party General Secretary of Chongqing.
So, the Chinese Premier Wen urged using the Wang Lijun incident to punish Bo Xilai. Live harvesting of organs for money, he was asserting, is tied up with the Falun Gong issue. Resolve the Falun Gong issue, that is to say end the banning of Falun Gong, and the killing of people for their organs, according to Premier Wen, would end.
This statement of the Premier needs unpacking. What does organ transplant abuse have to do with the ban on Falun Gong? A lot, if you conclude, as David Kilgour and I have, that Falun Gong are being killed for their organs.
What is the Wang Lijun incident? On Feb. 6 this year, Wang Lijun, then deputy mayor and police chief in Chongqing, visited the American consulate in Chengdu for a full day. When he left, the Chinese security police arrested him. Wang went on trial for his attempted defection secretly on Sept. 17 and publicly on Sept. 18. He pleaded no contest.
What is the connection between organ transplant abuse and Bo Xilai? That takes a bit of explaining.
Although this is a simplification, the civilian power struggle in China revolves around three factions—the hardliners, the reformers, and the harmonizers. The leader of the hardliners used to be former President Jiang Zemin who led the banning of Falun Gong in 1999. His successor in the current Standing Committee is Zhou Yongkang, the Party head of Chinese security apparatus and also of the repression of Falun Gong. The man designated to replace Zhou Yongkang in the Standing Committee at the 18th National Congress was Bo Xilai.
The position of premier has sporadically been held by a line of reformers—Zhao Ziyang from 1980 to 1987, Zhu Rongji from 1998 to 2003, and Wen Jiabao from 2003 to the present. Before Jiang Zemin began his campaign to ban Falun Gong, Premier Zhu Rongji was encouraging the practice of Falun Gong as beneficial to health.
The harmonizers, exemplified by current Communist Party chief Hu Jintao and his designated successor Xi Jinping, are not trying to keep everybody happy, just the various factions within the Party. They attempt to avoid confrontations and paper over differences.
Bo Xilai was not just tough on Falun Gong. He and his assistant Wang Lijun were central to the killing of Falun Gong for their organs.
The investigation David Kilgour and I did was triggered by a statement by a woman using the pseudonym Annie. She told The Epoch Times in Washington D.C. in a story published in its March 17, 2006 edition that her ex-husband harvested corneas of Falun Gong practitioners in Sujiatun hospital between 2003 and 2005. Annie said other doctors at the same hospital harvested other organs of these victims, that Falun Gong were killed during the harvesting and that their bodies were cremated.
The details of the story Annie told about the work of her husband were not that different from the details of the story Doctor Wang, another speaker here, who told this Congress about his own work, a story which, as you can see, was initially vehemently denied by the Government of China and then years later admitted. The only substantial difference in the two stories, Annie’s and Doctor Wang’s, was a difference in the type of prisoner from whom organs were extracted.
Sujiatun, where Annie’s husband worked, is a district in the city Shenyang. Shenyang is a city in the province Liaoning. Bo Xilai was appointed Mayor of Dalian City in Liaoning Province from 1993 to 2001. He was appointed Deputy Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party for Liaoning Province in 2000. From February 2001 to February 2004 he was Governor of Liaoning Province.
While he was in Liaoning, Bo developed a reputation as a brutal leader of the persecution of Falun Gong. The period that Annie’s husband worked in Sujiatun hospital and the period that Bo Xilai was Governor of the province in which the hospital was located overlapped, for the years 2003 and 2004.
From 2003 to 2008, Wang Lijun was the head of the Jinzhou City Public Security Bureau Onsite Psychological Research Centre (OSPRC), Liaoning Province. He conducted research on a lingering injection execution method which would allow organ removal for transplants before the person died from the injection. He conducted further research to prevent patients who received organs of injected prisoners from suffering adverse effects from the injection drugs.
One of the calls the investigative callers made which we used for the reports and book David Kilgour and I authored was placed to the First Criminal Bureau of the Jinzhou Intermediate People’s Court. The call, dated May 23, 2006, had this exchange:
Investigator: Starting from 2001, we always [got] kidneys from young and healthy people who practice Falun Gong from detention centres and courts … I wonder if you still have such organs in your court right now?
Official: That depends on your qualifications … If you have good qualifications, we may still provide some … .
Investigator: Are we supposed to get them, or will you prepare for them?
Official: According to past experience, it is you that will come here to get them.
In September 2006, Wang Lijun received the Guanghua Science and Technology Foundation Innovation Special Contribution Award for his research and testing of this lethal injection method. In his acceptance speech, he talked about “thousands” of on site organ transplant cases from injected prisoners in which he and his staff participated. He said “to see someone being killed and to see this person’s organs being translated to several other person’s bodies is profoundly stirring,” a remark that would have been worthy of Josef Mengele.
Wang Lijun worked directly under Bo Xilai in Liaoning Province in 2003 and 2004. Bo in February 2004 went to Beijing where he became Minister of Commerce. While Minister of Commerce, Bo traveled around the world to promote international trade with China and investment into China. His traveling gave victims the opportunity to serve him with lawsuits for his role in the persecution of Falun Gong in Liaoning Province. Lawsuits commenced against him in thirteen different countries, including one in Canada in which I am acting as counsel.
The American Consulate in Shanghai wrote in December 2007 to the State Department in Washington: “Gu [Nanjing's Professor Gu] noted that Bo had been angling for promotion to Vice Premier. However, Premier Wen had argued against the promotion, citing the numerous lawsuits brought against Bo in Australia, Spain, Canada, England, the United States, and elsewhere by Falun Gong members. Wen successfully argued Bo’s significant negative international exposure made him an inappropriate candidate to represent China at an even higher international level.”
Bo became a member of the Politburo and went from Minister of Commerce in Beijing to Communist Party head of Chongqing in November 2007.
In 2008, shortly after Bo was moved from Beijing to Chongqing, Bo brought Wang Lijun from Liaoning Province. Wang held various positions in public security in Chongqing and in 2011 became deputy mayor of the city under Bo. Wang attempted his defection from that position in February this year.
Superficially, the attempted defection of Wang Lijun related only to the murder of British national Neil Heywood by Gu Kailai, the wife of Bo Xilai. However, as the remarks of Premier Wen Jiabao at the March Communist Party meeting indicated, there was more going on than that.
What happens in China behind closed doors at Communist Party meetings is, by its very nature, not a matter of verifiable public record. What could be seen though by anyone at this time was the lifting of censorship on the killing of Falun Gong for their organs.
In late March 2012, search results about organ transplants on the officially sanctioned Chinese search engine Baidu showed information about the work David Kilgour and I did, Bloody Harvest and the involvement of Wang Lijun in organ harvesting. There appeared to be an active attempt to discredit the Bo faction through disclosure of organ transplant abuse in which Bo was complicit.
The banning of Falun Gong and their killing for their organs are issues too big for the Party to handle easily.
The focus on the murder of Neil Heywood looks to be the work of President Hu Jintao and Vice President Xi Jinping to minimize the scope of the dispute between the factions. The banning of Falun Gong and their killing for their organs are issues too big for the Party to handle easily.
President Hu and his successor Xi then, in the grab for places in the new Communist Party Standing Committee, were prepared to sacrifice Bo, but wanted to take Falun Gong and organ transplant abuse off the table. I suggest that those of us who are interested in ending organ transplant abuse in China should make every effort to prevent that from happening.
There may be a tendency to watch from the sidelines and speculate on what the future holds. We must not forget that, when it comes to human affairs, we hold the future in our hands. We do not need to sit idly by and predict the future. We can make the future. We should be making effort to fashion the future in a way that respects human rights.
The struggle to shape the new Standing Committee of the Communist Party shows that the Party is far from monolithic. Bo Xilai was moved from the Ministry of Commerce in Beijing to the City of Chongqing because of the lawsuits against him abroad. Foreign resistance to Chinese Communist Party oppression, when it is knowledgeable and directed, has an impact.
Killing innocents for their organs is a tragedy and a disgrace, a delegitimization of the whole Communist Chinese regime. Wen Jiabao used the killing of Falun Gong for their organs to discredit Bo Xilai. In reality, it discredits the whole Communist Party control over China.
Repressive regimes look stable because they are not threatened by elections. However, their repression is brittle. Each human rights tap on the hard shell of a repressive regime may seem to have little impact. The accumulation of these taps over time though leads to the shattering of the shell unpredictably, at any time, all at once.
That is the experience through which we lived with the apartheid regime in South Africa, communist tyranny over the Soviet Union, Soviet control of Eastern and Central Europe, and the national security states of Latin America. Yesterday they were there and looked impervious to change. Now they are gone.
Communist China awaits a similar fate. We can not be sure when it will happen. But we can help to make it happen, accelerate its happening. We should not stand idly by in the face of Chinese Communist Party atrocities, wringing our hands, hoping for the best, when we can actually do something to counter these atrocities.
The book State Organs that Torsten Trey and I have co-edited, which addresses organ transplant abuse in China and which has just been published, begins with a quote from Athenian ruler Solon from the 7th century B.C., almost three thousand years ago. He said: “When will we end injustice? When those who are not victims feel as much outrage as those who are?”
That is a universal truth. Not only will the concerns of outsiders have an impact on the evolution of events in China. Only when those outside China who are not victims of the communist regime show as much outrage at the crimes of the regime as the victims themselves will Communist Party oppression in China end.
This article is an edited version of remarks prepared for delivery at a public forum at the Koreana Hotel, Seoul Korea, October 31, 2012.
David Matas is an international human rights lawyer based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
Tags: books, CCP, China, Falun Gong, human rights, Kilgour and Matas, organ harvesting, persecution of dissidents, Society
Experts see report part of attempt to bury bigger state-sponsored crimes
The Chinese Communist Party CCP has indirectly admitted that a large-scale black market and network for live organ harvesting exists in China, according to a report in the state-run media Beijing Times on Aug. 4.
The report says that Chinese police have arrested 28 gangs involved with removing organs from living victims and selling them to patients via hospitals. This is the first time Beijing has officially acknowledged the existence of live organ harvesting in China since it was publicized in 2006. At that time The Epoch Times reported that prison camp and hospitals in Liaoning Province were trafficking in organs from detained practitioners of Falun Gong.
China’s Ministry of Public Security (MPS) said there were 127 individuals and 18 doctors involved, representing 18 organizations, in the recent network. The groups incarcerated their victims, then contacted hospitals to match tissues with patients awaiting transplants before doctors removed organs from the victims, according to the report.
The report said the network spread across 18 provinces and cities, including Beijing, Hebei, Anhui, Shandong, Henan, and Shaanxi. A typical example was given of a young man’s kidney being sold for 35,000 yuan (US$5,500) for which a patient would eventually pay as much as 200,000 yuan (US$31,000).
Since the persecution of this spiritual discipline began in 1999, organ transplants in China increased five-fold between 2000 and 2006.
In 2006, witnesses said communist authorities were mediating between hospitals and prisons that the Party had permitted to harvest organs from Falun Gong practitioners. Since the persecution of this spiritual discipline began in 1999, organ transplants in China increased five-fold between 2000 and 2006.
Live organ harvesting was mentioned for the first time in the State Department’s 2011 Human Rights Report for China. Earlier this year, a question about involvement in organ harvesting was added to the non-immigrant U.S. visa application, Form DS-160.
Experts on CCP politics said that increasing exposure of live organ harvesting in China has led the regime to seek a scapegoat for its crimes.
“Criminal gangs alone cannot handle the whole process,” said commentator Heng He, an analyst with New York-based Chinese-language broadcaster New Tang Dynasty (NTD) Television. “With organ transplants, there must be an organization willing to receive the organs from outside sources. They are the regular hospitals; hospitals in China are often affiliated with governmental agencies, the military, or police agencies. The [organ] transportation itself needs time, and organs have to be provided fresh. So, it cannot be resolved with common means of transport.”
Since February, when Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun fled to the U.S. Consulate and revealed his involvement in organizing organ harvesting, the regime has started to crack down on organ sales.
“The Chinese Communist Party wants to release itself from the crime,” Heng He said. “It doesn’t want to take responsibility. Why was the Ministry of Public Security allowed to crack the case now? It is likely they themselves are part of the criminal system, and now they have exposed some of the things they are accountable for.”
In March, the regime pledged to end organ harvesting from prisoners within five years.
“Before, the Communist Party didn’t admit [the organs were from] executed prisoners. Then it thought using executed prisoners might be the least evil of the sins it had committed, so it started to admit that organs were from executed prisoners,” NTD news analyst Dr. Jason Ma told the Sound of Hope Radio Network.
He continued: “However, the statistics on organs transplanted were not right. So who are the rest of the organ sources? The regime hopes that people will focus on individual cases, such as a homeless person having their organs harvested.”
Read the original Chinese article.
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Chinese Doctor Admits to Falun Gong Organ Harvest
By Matthew Robertson & Li Wenhui
Epoch Times Staff
A high-ranking retired Chinese military doctor has been caught in a phone call placed by a human rights group admitting that he used the organs of political prisoners in a joint research project with Wang Lijun, the former right-hand man to disgraced Party official Bo Xilai.
Chen answered: “That had been approved by the court.”
Falun Gong is a Chinese spiritual practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party since 1999.
The human rights researcher asked again if it had “gone through the court.” Chen affirmed.
The caller, a researcher with the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG), a human rights research and advocacy group, had presented himself as a member of a “cross-department special investigative team” for the Wang Lijun matter.
Wang Lijun is widely known to be under investigation by the CCP. On Feb. 6 he fled to the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu and passed to U.S. consular officials documents that are believed to have detailed crimes by Bo Xilai and Bo’s wife Gu Kailai, including information about organ harvesting. After surrendering to central Party authorities, Wang has been under investigation, was purged from the Party, and is due to be tried for treason.
When the WOIPFG investigator posed a follow-up question, asking about more details about where the Falun Gong practitioners were housed in connection with the organ harvesting, Chen Rongshan balked: “Let me say, I mean, I’m saying, you don’t talk, ask me about this now, OK?”
He added: “If you have to ask, go through the political division of the hospital, OK?”
“We in the military have a code of discipline, there are things that if we are to talk about them, you have to go through our political division, and tell the people in our political division to call me.”
The investigator and Chen tussled for another minute before the latter hung up. But the researcher had already gained the admission.
Human Rights Research Calls
This was not the first such admission. Dozens of calls are available online where the WOIPFG investigator, whose voice in the digital recordings was tweaked to sound as though he had just inhaled helium to protect his identity. In the recordings he elicits admissions from Party officials of participating in these crimes.
Chen Rongshan was most recently targeted because he had worked with Wang Lijun on a “research project” related to organ transplantation. Nearby in Jinzhou City, Liaoning Province, Wang, as head of the Public Security Bureau (PSB), had run the “On-site Psychological Research Center,” a laboratory connected to the PSB. There, according to his remarks in a 2006 award speech, he carried out executions, organ harvesting, organ transplants, and related experimentation.
The award, a “special contribution award,” was given by the Guanghua Science and Technology Foundation in September 2006. Guanghua, according to its website, is a charity that promotes science under the direct leadership of the Communist Youth League, one of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) mass organizations used for recruitment and dissemination of Party dogma to young people.
Wang said in his acceptance speech, which is still available online, that he had participated in “thousands” of on-site organ transplantations.
Wang Lijun was already close to Bo Xilai when he was PSB chief in Jinzhou. Later when Bo was transferred to Chongqing, Wang followed him and was installed as his chief of police. Analysts are confident that Bo was at least intimately aware of Wang’s activities.
Experts interviewed at the time of the discovery of this award understood “on-site” to indicate that the execution and organ removal happens near or at the same site as the transplantation to a new host.
The experts, including Ethan Gutmann, a journalist whose research focuses on the Chinese regime’s abusive organ transplantation practices, and David Matas, a lawyer who co-authored the seminal text on organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners, were also confident that, judging by Wang’s remarks, the prisoners were alive when their organs were removed, and would have died in the process of extraction.
Gutmann and Matas also thought it was probable that many of those thousands of organs were harvested from practitioners of Falun Gong.
Wang had worked together with the 205 Hospital, Chen’s department, on a “Key Research Project of Trauma-Free Anatomy in the Asia-Pacific Region,” according to the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong.
In the phone call Chen was asked to confirm that collaboration, and he did, before being asked to admit to using Falun Gong organs.
Dr. Torsten Trey, the co-editor of a recently published book on the abuse of organ transplantation in China, State Organs, said that he thought the telephone call and admission were credible, and fit into a broader pattern.
“When Dr. Chen refers to the court that has approved the cases of Falun Gong practitioners as organ source, he actually indicates that the organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners is state sanctioned, as state institutions and courts, are involved in the approval process,” Dr. Trey said in a written response, after being shown a transcript of the telephone call.
“People under the communist rule are usually very afraid of making a mistake, because it could lead to fatal consequences,” Trey said. So by directly referring to the court’s approval of the organ sourcing, “he actually strongly confirms the statement,” Dr. Trey said. “It’s a double-yes.”
The fact of state involvement further indicates, Dr. Trey said, that the harvesting of Falun Gong has not been done by underground syndicates or a few doctors, “but with the full knowledge and approval of the state.”
He says that global health bodies like the World Health Organization and World Medical Association should be inquiring into court records that would have been produced in the course of providing living Falun Gong adherents for people like Wang Lijun and Chen Rongshan.
Dr. Trey also pointed out that the research collaboration between Wang and Chen, involving “organ-transplantation-after-drug-injection” potentially involved human experimentation “in which Falun Gong practitioners were subject to ‘drug injections’ and that after the drug injections, organs were possibly removed while the victims were still alive.”
He added: “This is very likely, because it wouldn’t make sense to inject drugs to a cadaver and then remove organs for transplantation.”
Chen’s work has received recognition previously. On May 23, 2006, Liaoxi Economic Daily ran an article on its B4 print edition titled “A Military Doctor’s Noble Realm and Pursuit.”
The article said: “Chen Rongshan, Director of Urology of 205 Hospital of PLA in Jinzhou, has performed as many as 568 kidney transplants in recent years … His reputation drew patients from Taiwan, Korea, and Malaysia.”
With the publication of the recent admission however, Chen may have difficulty getting into the United States, where his daughter currently lives. He last visited her with his wife in early 2012, according to WOIPFG. The group plans to pass the record of their investigation into Chen to “concerned U.S. departments.”
The U.S Nonimmigrant Visa Application Form DS-160, since June 2011, asks whether the applicant “has participated in forced human organ transplantation.” The Visa applicants who answer yes to this question are often denied a visa.
The State Department was not immediately available for comment.
On June 13, 2012, another investigator called Chen pretending to be a secretary for Wang Jia. Wang Jia is the former director of the 205 PLA Hospital, and currently a deputy minister of the Ministry of Health of the Joint Logistics Department in the Shenyang Military Base.
“The former director asks me to send you a message,” the caller said.
After Chen began to engage in the conversation, the investigator said, “No matter which supervising department comes to investigate the removal of organs from Falun Gong practitioners for organ transplants, you must not disclose any secret. Can you do that?”
“Yes, yes, yes,” Chen said. “Just don’t be careless in talking about this and it’ll be fine, right?”
For to see the article and the call transcript: Chinese Doctor Admits to Falun Gong Organ Harvest
Tags: CCP, China, Falun Gong, human rights, Kilgour and Matas, organ harvesting, persecution of dissidents
By Pamela Tsai
Epoch Times Staff
A recent report by a human rights watchdog group linking would-be defector and former police chief Wang Lijun with research into organ harvesting has brought outspoken condemnation of Wang’s mixture of police work and medical innovation from members of the medical community within the United States.
The report, released by the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG), shows that while serving as police chief in Jinzhou City, Wang Lijun founded the On-Site Psychology Research Center (OSPRC) on the subject of human organ transplant inside the building of the Public Security Bureau.
Prior to Wang’s research, victims of forced organ harvesting were typically executed with a shot to the head, and then their organs would be harvested. A team working under Wang’s supervision developed an injection method that is claimed to yield organs in better condition for transplantation. Wang, upon receiving an award for this, bragged in a speech that he had overseen thousands of organ harvesting operations.
David Matas, the international human rights lawyer and investigator into forced organ harvesting in China (author, with former Canadian Secretary of State David Kilgour of the 2009 book “Bloody Harvest”) had previously told The Epoch Times that with the injection method, “In effect they’re not killing by injection, but paralyzing by injection, and taking the organs out while the body is still alive.”
Arthur Caplan, professor of Bioethics and director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, reacted to the report, calling it “terrifying.”
“For a research center run by police authorities to study anything regarding how people die—on its face—is ethically, legally, highly suspicious. It makes no sense other than to try and facilitate the immoral practice of killing people to get their [body] parts.”
“I can’t take anything like it,” said Dr. Caplan, who writes a regular column on MSNBC.com and often testifies before Congress on bioethics issues.
The report provides well-sourced materials on OSPRC, mostly from the CCP’s own state-run media reporting. A Chinese state-run newspaper reporter who visited the OSPRC is quoted in the report, saying that he witnessed the entire process of
“executing a death penalty criminal by injection method.” The reporter stated, “The execution site was crowded with experts, making it look like a scientific research lab.”
OSPRC researchers told this same reporter that the data collected would “contribute greatly to the research on subjects like the dying process of the criminal, the physiological changes before and after the injection into a healthy person, the residual toxin in different organs after the injection of the toxin, psychological changes of a person facing death, organ transplant after the injection,” and “on-site rescue from the toxin effect.”
Caplan responded that observing people’s psychological reaction during their dying process is absolutely unaccepted in the international medical community. “I’ve never heard of such a thing,” he said.
When asked if there was precedence historically to something similar to OSPRC, Caplan said the human experiments conducted by Japanese invaders of China during World War II could be a more provocative analogy than Nazi’s concentration camps.
The most notorious Japanese human experiment center in China during World War II was unit 731, located in the Pingfang District of Harbin City in Northeast China. The center was responsible for some of the most notorious crimes against humanity in modern history.
Victims were subjected to such human experiments as being hung upside down to see how long it would take for them to choke to death, having air injected into their arteries to determine the time until the onset of embolism, and having horse urine injected into their kidneys, among other atrocities.
The report also shows Wang Lijun as instrumental in carrying out Bo Xilai’s campaign to eradicate the practice of Falun Gong. According to a policeman who worked under Wang in Linzhou City, Wang gave orders regarding Falun Gong that we must “arrest them all and kill them all,” the report said.
Caplan said the OSPRC “requires vociferous condemnation” from the international medical community. “Governments around the world should be condemning such activities, too,” he added.
According to Caplan, not doing so would be simply allowing barbaric practices to be conducted under the banner of science.
The WOIPFG report also indicates that the organ harvesting center is receiving technological support and participation from Western medical institutes in the United States and Europe. Caplan said it is hard for him to imagine that Western medical partners are aware of China’s practice.
He urged the science and medical community to be on guard with China, and any medical collaboration related to human organs.
To raise awareness over China’s organ harvesting practice, Caplan, who served as senior editor of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, jointly wrote an editorial piece with Howard A. Rockman, incoming editor-in-chief, and Laurence A. Turka. The article called on American medical journal editors and editorial boards to boycott research data and papers on human organ studies from China.
Related Articles: Wang Lijun Suspected in Falun Gong Organ Harvest, Group Says
Tags: CCP, China, Falun Gong, human rights, Kilgour and Matas, labor camps, organ harvesting, persecution of dissidents
Former Chongqing vice mayor involved in ‘thousands’ of transplantation operations
The high-ranking Chinese official who sought to defect to the United States last week has a story to tell about his participation in thousands of atrocities—and may have already told it to U.S. consular officials.
Wang Lijun, formerly the director of public security and vice mayor of the southwestern China megapolis of Chongqing, fearing that Bo Xilai, Chongqing’s Communist Party chief, meant to assassinate him, fled on Feb. 6 to the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu, a four-hour drive west.
He spent over 24 hours in the consulate and, according to a Radio France International report, revealed to consular officials details about crimes committed by him and Bo. He then left Chengdu under the protection of Beijing security officials.
Prominent among Wang’s crimes was his participation in forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience, a practice the Chinese regime has denied. Earlier in his career, Wang gave a speech in which he discussed his involvement in organ harvesting.
In 2006, three years after becoming director of the public security bureau in Jinzhou City, Liaoning Province, Wang was given an award—but it wasn’t for fighting crime. Wang had done pioneering research on how best to transplant organs taken from prisoners—who were possibly still alive when their organs were removed—and honed his techniques over thousands of on site trials.
Wang received the award in September 2006 from the Guanghua Science and Technology Foundation, a charitable organization meant to promote science and technology to youth. According to its website it is under the direct leadership of the Communist Youth League, one of the Chinese Communist Party’s mass organizations used for recruitment.
For a veteran policeman, to see someone being executed and to see this person’s organs being transplanted to several other persons’ bodies, it was profoundly stirring.
— Former Bo Xilai Right-Hand Man Wang Lijun
He notes one time when Guanghua staff had to rush back from overseas to view a trial. “They wanted to witness organ transplantation and examine it from their point of view: organ transplant benefits the public and improves Chinese law enforcement in a humane and democratic way,” Wang said.
“As we all know, the so-called ‘on the scene research’ is the result of several thousand intensive on-site transplants,” he added.
Wang accepted the award as director of the “On-the-Scene Psychological Research Center,” which according to its entry on the website of the Ministry of Commerce is an adjunct of Jinzhou City’s public security bureau. Its brief introduction says it has relationships and scholarly exchanges with universities in over 10 countries. Emails to the research center were not returned, and calls to the number listed did not go through.
In his acceptance speech, Wang said, “For a veteran policeman, to see someone being executed and to see this person’s organs being transplanted to several other persons’ bodies, it was profoundly stirring. This is a great endeavor that involved much hard work from many people. The secretary general of China Guanghua Foundation, Jinyang and his staff were right there at the transplant scene, they have experienced it all with us.”
In a speech given on the occasion of Wang’s award, Ren Jinyang, the secretary general of the Guanghua Foundation, explained that Wang was recognized for his “basic research and on-site experiments” in making transplant recipients more receptive to organs.
“They have created a brand new protective fluid,” Ren said. “After animal tests, out of body tests, and clinical operations, they have achieved an important milestone where the recipients become more receptive to a liver and kidney injected with such protective fluid.”
Researchers investigating China’s organ transplantation practices were troubled by the remarks and what they implied.
“The so called ‘research scene’ that Wang Lijun refers to is either an outright execution site with medical vans, or possibly a medical ward, where peoples’ organs are surgically removed,” said Ethan Gutmann, who has published extensively on organ harvesting from Chinese prisoners of conscience.
He added that the injections that the award refers to are probably “anti-coagulants and experimental medications that lower the chance of immune-system rejection as the organ is passed between one living body—heart still beating, soon to expire from the trauma—to another.” Gutmann added that this is “normal medical practice” in China, where hospitals, military hospitals, and public security bureaus intersect.
“There is zero guarantee that consent was involved,” Gutmann said. “Ample evidence has come to light that the victims could well have been Uyghur Muslims, Tibetan Buddhists, ‘Eastern Lightning’ Christians or—exponentially more likely—Falun Gong practitioners. In other words, Wang Lijun received an award for, at best, barbarism.”
It is not possible to know what proportion of victims Wang referred to in his remark about “thousands” of on-site transplants were criminal prisoners and how many were political prisoners or prisoners of conscience, such as Falun Gong practitioners. Further, in China there is a range of nonviolent crimes that can be punished with the death penalty, but the communist state does not publish statistics detailing the numbers of people executed and their crimes.
David Matas, an award-winning Canadian human rights lawyer, and David Kilgour, a former Canadian secretary of state (Asia/Pacific) and crown attorney, co-authored a report on organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners in China. The pair estimate that in the six-year period 2000–2005, 60,000 transplantation operations were done in China and Falun Gong practitioners were the likely source for the organs for 41,500 operations.
In other words, approximately two-thirds of the organs used in transplant operations during this time period—which in part overlaps the period of Wang’s “research”—came from prisoners of conscience, most of whom would have been Falun Gong.
CQ Global Researcher, a leading global affairs journal, quotes Kilgour and Matas and Gutmann as independently estimating over 62,000 practitioners have been killed for their organs in the period 2000–2008.
In the eyes of experts, a significant question left worryingly open in Wang’s remarks is whether the prisoners actually died before their organs were taken from their bodies. Given the reference to drug injections, it is highly possible that the hearts of the victims were still beating when their organs were removed, these experts say.
“It used to be that China would shoot for execution, then they shifted from shooting to using injections,” says Matas. “In effect they’re not killing by injection, but paralyzing by injection, and taking the organs out while the body is still alive.”
When an organ is removed from a still-live body, it is fresher and rejection rates are lower. “It’s possible to source an organ immediately after the victim is brain dead, but much more complicated,” says Matas. “The organ deterioration is more marked once they are brain dead, but if you keep the body alive through drugs you can harvest organs over a longer period of time.”
Wang’s conversations with the U.S. consular officials in Chengdu might shed light on such details as the function of the drugs he used in transplantation operations in Liaoning Province.
In any case Wang’s visit to the consulate provides the best opportunity to date of confirmation from a Chinese official of the ongoing practice of forced organ harvesting in China.
At a press conference on Monday in Washington, D.C., Falun Gong spokesperson Dr. Tsuwei Huang called on the U.S. government to release the contents of Wang Lijun’s conversations.
With research by Sophia Fang.
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David Kilgour’s and David Matas’ ‘Extremist’ Writings Banned in Russia Because of Criticisms of China26 December, 2011 at 22:49 | Posted in China, Falun Dafa/Falun Gong, human rights, persecution | Leave a comment
Tags: China, Falun Gong, human rights, Kilgour and Matas, organ harvesting, persecution of dissidents
An appeals court in Russia has held that writings by former Canadian MP David Kilgour and prominent human rights lawyer David Matas constitute banned extremist literature that “can create for the readers a negative image of China.”
As a result, both men could be subject to criminal prosecution if they were ever to go to Russia to discuss their investigations of organ harvesting against executed Falun Gong practitioners by Chinese authorities, which are detailed in two reports and a book, Bloody Harvest.
Their writings are also subject to seizure by police, under the October decision by a court in Krasnodar in southern Russia, upheld on appeal this week.
Mr. Matas, legal counsel to B’nai Brith Canada and a leading advocate for laws against extremist hate literature in Canada and abroad, said it is “ironic” that he should be found by a court to have written extremist literature himself.
“In spite of the fact that I myself have become a victim, my position remains the same. The laws should remain, but they should not be abused,” he said in an interview Friday.
Mr. Kilgour, who was first elected as a Progressive Conservative MP for Edmonton, and later sat as a Liberal and as an independent, is among the longest-serving parliamentarians.
The law in question, Article 13 of Russia’s federal law 114, “On Counteraction of Extremist Activities,” bans the distribution of any material that is aimed at a list of banned goals, including terrorism, subversion of Russian security, “the excitation of racial, national or religious strife” and “the abasement of national dignity.”
Violating the law can result in seizure of unsold materials, and any organization that does so twice in a year “shall be deprived of the right to carry on publishing activity.”
This case dates to 2008, when Russian followers of Falun Gong learned some of their writings, which had been on display in a Krasnodar park, were added to a list of extremist materials kept by the Russian justice ministry.
These materials included Mr. Kilgour and Mr. Matas’ “Report into allegations of organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners in China.” Their investigation, first released in 2006 and updated the next year, was the basis for Bloody Harvest, published in 2009.
Falun Gong, a style of meditation with a spiritual component, like yoga, has been banned for more than a decade in China, which regards it as a dangerous cult. In their reports, Mr. Kilgour and Mr. Matas allege that hundreds of thousands of practitioners have been arrested, and tens of thousands executed, after which their organs were harvested for sale to Chinese patients and even so-called “transplant tourists.”