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: Body & Mind, CCP, China, Falun Gong, human rights, labor camps, organ harvesting, persecution of dissidents, Society
By Matthew Robertson
It is the latest attempt by the Chinese authorities to give a veneer of credibility to their organ transplant industry: new regulations. But the long anticipated rules about how organs should be procured and allocated, made public on Sept. 1, still don’t answer a few basic questions.
They do not explain, for example, whether the organs of executed prisoners will be included in the registry of organs that the authorities say they are establishing.
It was not until 2008 that Huang Jiefu, the then-Chinese vice-minister of health, acknowledged publicly and in writing that the Chinese transplant system relied heavily (to the tune of 90 percent) on organs from executed prisoners.
That was two years after reports emerged that prisoners of conscience, overwhelmingly practitioners of Falun Gong, a persecuted spiritual group, were the targets of widespread organ harvesting.
It was also nearly a decade after credible testimony was given that the Chinese system widely used death row prisoners. For many years, the Chinese authorities simply said that all organs from China came from voluntary donations, and attacked those who suggested otherwise.
Now, the authorities have admitted that they did in fact take organs from prisoners, and without consent—though they have never admitted to the harvesting of Falun Gong.
Chinese medical officials this year said that they intend to “phase out the dependency on organs from executed prisoners,” rather than promise to immediately cease the practice, as would be in line with international medical ethics.
Will executed prisoners be part of the organ registration system? It is unclear. Article II of the regulations says that it applies to all “citizens.” Do prisoners count?
The South China Morning Post quotes an unnamed surgeon saying that organs harvested from prisoners would enter the electronic allocation system. But China Daily, a state mouthpiece, says that only organs from the “general public” will be registered.
If the new system, called China Organ Transplant Response System (COTRS), did include executed prisoners, it would make it a very simple matter to launder the organs of Falun Gong detainees by representing them as death row prisoners.
Organ donation registration fraud in hospitals has been reported in the Chinese media, and official institutions in China are widely seen to lack probity and credibility. The security apparatus, and the military-medical complex, in particular, which have been heavily involved in organ harvesting, are notoriously secretive.
The regulations, moreover, do not provide any real transparency to the allocation process. The idea that the source of organs can be verified is bedrock for the trust that, for example, the United States organ donation system is based on.
Verification of the source is also a condition that the World Health Organization and The Transplantation Society, both international health groups that are attempting to work with the Chinese regime on its organ transplantation system, require from countries. They have shown little appetite for challenging Chinese authorities on their practices, however.
If organs were still “harvested and allocated in secrecy,” as Arne Schwarz, an independent researcher, put it, it would mean that none of the promises made by the authorities could be tested or trusted.
Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH), a medical advocacy group that typically attempts to strike a reserved tone, published a press release showing exasperation at what has become an exercise in avoidance by the Chinese regime.
China’s announcement of phasing out the harvesting of organs from prisoners is deceptive and insufficient, they titled the statement.
DAFOH’s primary problem with the regulations was similar to the issues articulated by Schwarz: no external safeguards or monitoring, and a miasma of ambiguity about whether unethically procured organs would be allowed into the new computerized system.
Failing to obtain these two items, DAFOH said, “We might need to ask ourselves, if China were successful in using a computerized organ-allocation system, whether the announcement of a phaseout is like a Trojan Horse that undermines and dilutes our ethical standards.”
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: Body & Mind, CCP, China, Culture, documentary, environmental issues, film, human rights, IT and Media, labor camps, Nature, organ harvesting, persecution of dissidents, Science, Society, sustainable development, technology
Since I have not posted any articles in a long time I will post some so you can select those that are of interest to you.
By Sarah Laskow
We have seen a lot of solar chargers in our day. And among all of them, this is the first one we’ve seen that we will definitely run out and buy as soon as it’s made available in the U.S. It’s a portable socket that gets its power from the sun rather than the grid. You plug into a window instead of into the wall. It’s easy.
By Joshua Philipp
Epoch Times Staff
Watching the soft glow of fireflies could become a more common activity if researchers at Syracuse University have anything to do with it. They’re developing a method to artificially create luciferase, the chemical behind the soft glow of fireflies, and are working to create commercial lights that mimic the insects’ bioluminescence.
These migrants know why they keep moving
By Francisco Gavilán
When I was going to travel through Central Asia for the umpteenth time, I was looking for new and enriching experiences, including living for a while with the nomads of Song Kul, in Kyrgyzstan.
By Tara MacIsaac
Earth permanently deformed: Geologists have discovered that the Earth’s crust may not be as elastic as previously thought. Quakes in Northern Chile have permanently deformed the Earth.
Celebrating compassion and higher living across the globe
By Arshdeep Sarao
In India the full moon day of May 25, 2013, is being celebrated as Buddha Purnima or the birth anniversary of Buddha Shakyamuni. This year the Buddha becomes 2,556 years old.
By Matthew Robertson
‘I didn’t take blood money from a government that is murdering its people,’ says Jeffrey Van Middlebrook, Silicon Valley inventor.
By Leonardo Vintini
Everybody longs for happiness, but it seems like a hidden treasure. One way or another—consciously or unconsciously, directly or indirectly—everything we do, our every hope, is related to a deep desire for happiness.
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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More in China Human Rights
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, Culture, documentary, Falun Gong, film, human rights, labor camps, organ harvesting, persecution of dissidents
Award-winning documentary focus of gathering by human rights groups at National Press Club
WASHINGTON—While China has one fifth of the world’s population, the Chinese regime racks up far more than that proportion of the world’s human rights abuses. Responsible for Equality and Liberty (REAL) and several other human rights groups marked Human Rights Day with that unfortunate fact in mind by screening the award-winning documentary “Free China” and hosting a talk by one of the subjects of the film, in an event held on Dec. 10 at the National Press Club.
“You can’t be a human rights group if you’re ignoring 20 percent of the world,” said Jeffrey Imm, the founder of REAL and master of ceremonies for the event. “It’s in humanity’s interest,” to pay attention to human rights abuses in China, he said.
“Free China” tells the stories of two Falun Gong practitioners who each faced detention and torture for their beliefs and portrays the efforts of people around the world to stop the persecution by the Chinese regime of this traditional spiritual practice.
Dr. Charles Lee is one of the two individuals featured in the film and spoke at the event. Lee is of Chinese origin but held U.S. citizenship when he visited China in 2003. He was thrown into prison for three years.
Lee had returned to China to oppose the regime’s campaign against Falun Gong. He had plans to insert into television broadcasts documentary information about this persecution—information that is heavily censored in China.
Lee explained how this persecution came about. “We found a way of life which is much better than the doctrines given by the Communist Party,” he said, explaining the attraction of tens of millions of Chinese to Falun Gong during the 1990s. That led to paranoia from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Lee says, which was terrified of losing power.
Lee also spoke of the large number of human rights crimes committed by the CCP over its decades of rule, some of them particularly grotesque. These included descriptions of violent torture, public executions, mass starvation, cannibalism, and other atrocities.
This led Lee to a discussion of the most recent round of systematic and concentrated human rights abuses in communist China, carried out against Falun Gong practitioners since 1999. Lee focused in particular on the harvesting of organs from living Falun Gong adherents.
Organ harvesting targets Falun Gong practitioners detained in labor camps and prisons. They are blood-typed and then forced into having their organs pillaged when a matching donor requires an organ.
According to Corinna-Barbara Francis, a senior East Asian researcher at Amnesty International speaking at a recent European Parliament hearing, “Thousands and thousands of organ transplants occur in China… Belatedly, after a number of years of the issue having been exposed, [the regime] stated that the majority of the organs were harvested from executed prisoners.”
Francis said that much more horrifying and disturbing is the “allegation that these organs may be taken from live people. So in other words, individuals in China have their organs harvested and in the process of that they die… There are many groups that these organs may be taken from, the Falun Gong being one of the main groups. There are many things that provide supporting evidence that this may have occurred and may still be occurring.”
Lee not only spoke about the crimes of the Chinese regime, but also about how China could recover from those crimes.
He considers the Tuidang movement the foundation for China’s future. That movement calls for Chinese people to renounce their ties to the CCP and its affiliated organizations.
Lee said the Tuidang movement leads people to understand “the basic principles and moral structures of being a human being,” something that he believes that 60 years of communist rule has distorted.
Other speakers on the day included Niemat Ahmadi of Darfur Women Action Group, Carolyn Cook of United for Equality, a gender rights group, Nathalie Nguyen, with the International Committee To Support The Non-Violent Movement For Human Rights in Vietnam, and Ahmar Mustikhan, Senior Balochistan journalist. Balochistan is a region divided among Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan. The Pakistani part is that nation’s southwestern province and holds rich mineral deposits and a robust nationalist movement.
Mustikhan spoke about the persecution of Balochistani dissidents and the struggle of his people for independence. “China is deeply involved,” he said. “Some of those being tortured report the presence of Chinese intelligence personnel. I hope the U.S. will not be sleepy on this.”
- Fighting for One’s Belief: ‘Free China’ at the US Capitol
- ‘Free China’ Film Wins Award at Houston Festival
Tags: CCP, China, Falun Gong, human rights, labor camps, organ harvesting, persecution of dissidents, Society
There is new evidence that Gu Kailai, the wife of disgraced former Chinese Communist Party CCP politician Bo Xilai, was involved in selling the organs of prisoners of conscience, including adherents of the persecuted Falun Gong meditation practice, according to a report from a human rights organization.
The World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong, or WOIPFG, said in a recent report that Gu, who was convicted of killing British businessman Neil Heywood, was profiting from selling bodies to body plastination factories. Body plastination involves replacing body fluids with certain plastics in order to preserve them.
A source previously told The Epoch Times that Gu profited from the plastination of bodies while her husband Bo Xilai was mayor of Dalian. Bo was later made head of the Chongqing mega-city but was sacked earlier this year after his right-hand man Wang Lijun attempted to defect to a U.S. consulate, triggering factional strife in the regime.
Bo advanced through to nearly the top echelon of the Chinese regime by following the charge of former CCP leader Jiang Zemin to persecute Falun Gong adherents, as recalled by journalist Jiang Weiping.
“You must show your toughness in handling Falun Gong much like the toughness shown by Hu Jintao in handling the 1989 Tibetan riot; it will be your political capital,” Jiang Zemin told Bo years ago, according to Jiang Weiping, who was later arrested and sentenced to seven years imprisonment.
Bo was this year stripped of his position and Communist Party membership for corruption and nepotism.
Bo, Gu, and Wang were involved in the selling of bodies and harvesting of organs from Falun Gong practitioners, the WOIPFG report said.
“Falun Gong practitioners were victimized in several ways. One was having their organs forcibly removed, and being killed in the process,” Wang Zhiyuan of the WOIPFG said, according to the New York-based New Tang Dynasty Television.
“Secondly, Wang Lijun had a center to research legal injections where Falun Gong practitioners were experimented on and killed. Also, others were tortured to death, or killed directly so their bodies could be used for plastination.”
Wang cited several pieces of evidence, including taped phone calls that the group says incriminate Gu. An investigator posed as Liaoning Province Communist Party secretary Xia Dereng, calling Dalian police chief Sun Guangtian. Dalian is in Liaoning.
In the recorded phone call exchange, the two said:
Investigator: “A lot of things have happened. No matter what, do not reveal that Bo Xilai’s wife Gu Kailai, was selling bodies of Falun Gong practitioners, in case anyone asks.”
Sun Guangtian, Dalian police chief: “Who are you?”
Investigator: “My surname is Wong.”
Sun Guangtian: “Party Committee Secretary Xia’s secretary is surnamed Wong?”
Investigator: “Yes, I was transferred here recently.”
Sun Guangtian: “Oh.”
Investigator: “Are you able to do this?”
Sun Guangtian: “Oh, go on.”
Investigator: “If other departments ask about this, make sure you don’t reveal anything.”
Sun Guangtian: “Hmm, what else do you want to tell me?”
Investigator: “Also, Secretary Xia wants me to tell you to make sure those from the Dalian Public Security Bureau back then also keep things a secret.”
Sun Guangtian: “Please tell Secretary Xia to trust me; I will make sure this is carried out.”
WOIPFG believes the statements from Sun are a tacit admission to knowledge of the atrocities. Later, the WOIPFG contacted an official with the 610 Office, an organization that was created by Jiang Zemin to enforce the persecution of Falun Gong. The phone call exchange between an investigator and the 610 Office official, who was identified only by the surname of “Zhao,” reads:
Investigator: “Don’t you know you guys are a criminal group? Once the persecution ends, have you thought about what will happen to you? Look at Gu Kailai … on the surface.”
Zhao, the 610 Office official: “Gu Kailai was selling organs of Falun Gong”
Investigator: “What did you say?”
Zhao: “I said, Gu Kailai, she was selling organs of Falun Gong people.”
Zhao: “It wasn’t just Falun Gong either.”
The rights group also contacted Sui Hongjin, the assistant professor with the Dalian Medical University and who set up the Plastination Company of Dalian Medical University, was a former general manager of the Von Hagens Dalian Plastination firm, which specializes in body plastination. He was also part of another plastination company, the Dalian Hongfeng Biological Technology firm.
Sui told the WOIPFG investigator that many of the bodies his companies received are from the Dalian Municipal Public Security Bureau.
The recording reads as follows:
Investigator: “What was the main source of the bodies your company used?”
Sui Hongjin: “We received dozens [of bodies] from the Public Security organs … that was … from the Public Security Bureau.”
Investigator: “From the Public Security Bureau, how many bodies have you received?”
Sui: “I don’t remember. Probably dozens of them.”
Investigator: “What Public Security Bureau?”
Sui: “Dalian City. The Dalian City Public Security Bureau.”
Premier Exhibitions, which receives bodies from Sui’s Plastination Company of Dalian Medical University, issued a warning to visitors of its body exhibitions after the connection was discovered.
Sui Hongjin also did business with more than 100 world-renowned museums and from that, received more than 200 million yuan (US$32 million), reported the Bandao Daily in November 2010.
According to the WOIPFG, Sui Hongjin has exported at least 1,000 plastinized specimens made from Chinese bodies to the United States and Europe for exhibition.
Editor’s Note: When Chongqing’s former top cop, Wang Lijun, fled for his life to the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu on Feb. 6, he set in motion a political storm that has not subsided. The battle behind the scenes turns on what stance officials take toward the persecution of Falun Gong. The faction with bloody hands—the officials former CCP head Jiang Zemin promoted in order to carry out the persecution—is seeking to avoid accountability for their crimes and to continue the campaign. Other officials are refusing any longer to participate in the persecution. Events present a clear choice to the officials and citizens of China, as well as people around the world: either support or oppose the persecution of Falun Gong. History will record the choice each person makes.
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: CCP, China, documentary, Falun Gong, film, human rights, labor camps, organ harvesting, persecution of dissidents, Society
WASHINGTON—Some lucky people in the nation’s capital had a first look at the documentary Free China: The Courage to Believe, which had a private showing at the U.S. Capitol. The 53-minute documentary has won four international awards.
Directed by Michael Perlman of Tibet: Beyond Fear, and produced by Kean Wong of NTD Television, Free China tells the story of two prisoners of conscience and how they survived against physical torture and enormous pressures to recant their beliefs.
“There are not enough human rights fighters in Congress,” Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett told The Epoch Times. She is the Chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).
Swett said that Free China is “a truth-telling film.” It “lifts the curtain on what is really going on in China—the horrible religious persecution of Falun Gong, the appalling practice of organ harvesting, and the slave labor in [the re-education through labor camps] and prisons. Tragically, we have a Western press that so often turns a blind eye to the stunning revelations of human rights abuses going on in China on an ongoing basis. I think this film can be a powerful tool for telling the truth and spreading the story. I hope it is going to be widely seen.”
Swett is the daughter of the late Congressman Tom Lantos and President of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice.
After the showing, a panel discussed the film. Sixteen term Congressman Chris Smith (R-N.J.) led off with the statement, “With story-telling of the film, [it] puts a human face on China’s human rights abuse and arbitrary detention of dissidents, harvesting of organs from live prisoners of conscience, and export of products made by prison labor to the West. The film also examines how Chinese citizens are awakening to demand their rights of conscience in the intense Internet censorship and the end of censorship that is so prevalent in China today.”
The sponsor of the film screening at the U.S. Capitol on Sept. 20 was the Congressional-Executive China Commission (CECC).
Rep. Smith is chairman of CECC. The week before, he co-chaired a congressional hearing on “Organ Harvesting by the Chinese Communist Party.” The day before the screening, Smith co-sponsored a Dear Colleague letter with Congressman Robert Andrews (D-N.J.), asking the State Department to release any information it may have that relates to organ transplant abuse in China.
In Free China, Jennifer Zeng, a mother and former Communist Party member, and Dr. Charles Lee, an American Chinese businessman, practice the spiritual beliefs of Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa). Both get caught up in the forced labor camps ubiquitous in mainland China.
There, they have to endure a life of torture of electric batons, forced feedings, risk having their organs harvested, and working all day on products exported to the West. They manage to survive without bitterness and become determined to end the persecution of their fellows and help China become free.
Both Zeng and Lee were in attendance at the Capitol preview. Lee said that in prison he held two letters for two years that sustained him during the time. One was from the late Congressman Tom Lantos and the other from Congressman Smith. Lee said, “I knew so many people were working together to stop the persecution.”
Courage to Believe
In addition to all the physical abuse, Zeng and Lee were subjected to the communist party’s brainwashing techniques to make them renounce their beliefs. If one breaks down, the practitioner will have to write slandering articles in the labor camp that are recorded.
Furthermore, one is used to break the will of other practitioners. One doesn’t have a choice in the matter. Renouncing your beliefs is shown in the film by willingness to “reform” others, especially newcomers, an ordeal that is particularly troublingly to the conscience. Hence, the words in the subtitle of the film “Courage to Believe” were chosen for a good reason.
Zeng is the author of the best-selling book, Witnessing History: One Woman Fights for Freedom and Falun Gong. In the film, she recounts going from being upper class society and Party member to prisoner in one day. On her first day in prison, she was made to squat down and look down at her feet in the hot sun for 15 hours. When she challenged the requirement, she was taken away and tortured with electric batons. Her whole world began to collapse, she said.
After she was released, she fled to Australia, to avoid being detained again. About one year ago Zeng moved to New York, where she is now a New Tang Dynasty news reporter. Later her daughter and husband were able to join her.
As an American citizen, Dr. Lee led a comfortable and secure life. But he wanted to do something to break through the propaganda machine of the regime that brainwashes most of China’s 1.3 billion people. He had an idea on how to do it, but on his second visit to the mainland, he was arrested and sentenced to three years. He was released in 2006. Lee is a medical doctor by training and continued his medical studies at the University of Illinois and Harvard Medical School.
Products Made from Prison Labor
Zeng knitted rabbit dolls, hats and scarves. It took her 10 hours to make one rabbit, for which, of course, she was not paid. Lee was forced to make Homer Simpson slippers for export to the West.
Film director Michael Perlman said the film shows that products illegally made and exported that made him wonder how many other products are out there that we don’t know about. He said he spoke to Congressman Smith about the law that disallows goods made with prison labor, and Smith told him that the law is like Swiss cheese, with many holes.
“No goods made with prison labor should be imported in the United States,” Perlman said. Consumers need to be educated and pressure needs to be brought to get enforcement and legislation to end this, Perlman said.
Tags: CCP, censorship, China, human rights, IT and Media, organ harvesting, persecution of dissidents, Society
Freedom House recently reported that the Chinese regime has in the past year intensified its efforts to block the Internet. But in the past two weeks, those efforts have become even more vigorous.
Many mainland Chinese who have used software to “climb the wall,” referring to breaking the Internet blockade by the regime’s “great firewall,” have encountered a very slow Internet and difficulty accessing the websites that allow them to surf the Internet freely.
Several things have happened recently in China that might make the regime want to restrict access to the World Wide Web. Xi Jinping disappeared for two weeks, and speculation about that was suppressed.
The controversy over the Senkaku Islands—the Diaoyu Islands as they are known in China—needs to be carefully handled so that the protests instigated by Party officials don’t blow out of control.
And sometime in the next month the 18th Party Congress is expected to take place, at which the once-in-a-decade introduction of the new Party leadership will take place.
But the strengthening of the Internet blockade is most likely related to United Nations’ 21st session of the Human Rights Council at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.
The Human Rights Council met from Sept. 10 to 28, and the atrocity of forced, live organ harvesting became a hot topic at the meeting.
Meetings in Geneva
On Sept. 18, two non-governmental organizations at the Human Rights Council presented reports on the crime of live organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners in China and asked that the United Nations immediately investigate.
On Sept. 19, Free China: The Courage to Believe and Between Life and Death, two award-winning films that tell of the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners and the live harvesting of their organs for profit, were shown at the venue.
Representatives from a number of countries as well as representatives of non-governmental organizations watched the films and joined discussion after the show.
On Sept. 21, the two films were shown again at the General Assembly of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva during a film show hosted by the Worldwide Organization for Women.
Members of the Human Rights Council and representatives of the NGOs that were present were excited that the atrocity of live organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners has finally been discussed for the first time at the General Assembly of the U.N. Human Rights Council.
Many of those present in Geneva said that in order to pressure the U.N. and the international community to go into China to investigate, more activities exposing the atrocity should be held around the world.
Saving the Party
Meanwhile, the exposing of its crime at the international human rights council to over 200 countries is certainly a blow to the Chinese regime. The high levels of the CCP have no idea what the response of the international community will be.
Various analysts have pointed out that the persecution of Falun Gong is core issue facing the CCP leadership. The forced, live organ harvesting is the cruelest crime used against the Falun Gong practitioners.
The individuals who were recently the most powerful men in China—former Party head Jiang Zemin and members of his faction, including Zhou Yongkang, Zeng Qinghong, Luo Gan, Bo Xilai, and Liu Qi—are implicated in the atrocity, as well as the military, local hospitals, and the public security system.
The involvement of the top Party officials in the forced, live organ harvesting poses a danger to the Party itself.
Ever since the Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun attempted to defect to the United States, a battle for supremacy has raged within the CCP between Jiang’s faction and the current head of the Party, Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao, presumptive next head of the Party Xi Jinping, and their various supporters.
Although Hu, Wen, and Xi have gradually gained the upper hand, they have chosen not to hold Jiang’s faction accountable for organ harvesting. They realized that exposing the atrocity would also forever sink the Party’s chance of ruling China. The Chinese people would discard the CCP.
Hu, Wen, and Xi have chosen to save the Party. We have thus seen lenient sentences given to Bo Xilai’s wife Gu Kailai for the murder to the British businessman Neil Heywood and to Wang Lijun for his attempted defection and other crimes. Neither was charged with their involvement in organ harvesting, which was far-reaching.
Similarly, domestic security czar Zhou Yongkang is still free to speak as he likes on television and to visit foreign countries, even though Zhou’s security forces are deeply implicated in the organ harvesting and he is believed to have plotted to seize power in a coup.
The two factions have reached a compromise to save the Party amid their struggle.
The recent increase in Internet censorship is part of the deal between the factions to hide the organ harvesting.
However, Internet censorship can only go so far, and nothing can stay hidden forever.
With the continuous development of new software that breaks the Internet blockade, more and more people in China will discover the truth. And as the international community becomes more aware of the CCP’s atrocity of live organ harvesting, the CCP will face pressures as it never has before.
Read the original Chinese article.