Author Topic: China's Gruesome Organ Harvests organs from Falun Gong + other prisoners  (Read 7929 times)

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Offline Irobot

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The jeepney driver sizes us up the minute we climb in. My research assistant is a healthy, young Israeli dude, so I must be the one with the money. He addresses his broken English to me: "Girl?"

No. No girls. Take us to the .  .  .

"Ladyboy? Kickboxer?"

No. No ladyboy, no kickboxer, thanks. I may be a paunchy, sweaty, middle-aged white guy, but I'm here to--well, actually, I am on my way to meet a Chinese woman in a back alley. She is going to tell me intimate stories of humiliation, torture, and abuse. And the truly shameful part is that after 50 or so interviews with refugees from Chinese labor camps, I won't even be listening that closely. I'm in Bangkok because practitioners of Falun Gong, the Buddhist revival movement outlawed by Beijing, tend to head south when they escape from China. Those without passports make their way through Burma on motorcycles and back roads. Some have been questioned by U.N. case workers, but few have been interviewed by the press, even though, emerging from Chinese labor camps, they are eager, even desperate, to tell their stories. With the back-alley Chinese woman, I intend to direct my questions away from what she'll want to talk about--persecution and spirituality--to something she will barely remember, a seemingly innocuous part of her experience: a needle jab, some poking around the abdomen, an X-ray, a urine sample--medical tests consistent with assessment of prisoners for organ harvesting.

My line of inquiry began in a Montreal community center over

a year ago, listening to a heavy-set middle-aged Chinese man named Wang Xiaohua, a soft-spoken ordinary guy except for the purple discoloration that extends down his forehead.

He recalled a scene: About 20 male Falun Gong practitioners were standing before the empty winter fields, flanked by two armed escorts. Instead of leading them out to dig up rocks and spread fertilizer, the police had rounded them up for some sort of excursion. It almost felt like a holiday. Wang had never seen most of the prisoners' faces before. Here in Yunnan Forced Labor Camp No. 2, Falun Gong detainees were carefully kept to a minority in each cell so that the hardened criminals could work them over.

Practitioners of Falun Gong were forbidden to communicate openly. Yet as the guards motioned for them to begin walking, Wang felt the group fall into step like a gentle migrating herd. He looked down at the red earth, streaked with straw and human waste, to the barren mountains on the horizon. Whatever lay ahead, Wang knew they were not afraid.

After 20 minutes, he saw a large gleaming structure in the distance--maybe it was a hospital, Wang thought. The summer of 2001 had been brutal in South China. After he'd worked for months in the burning sun, Wang's shaved head had become deeply infected. Perhaps it was getting a little better. Or perhaps he had just become used to it; lately he only noticed the warm, rancid stench of his rotting scalp when he woke up.

Wang broke the silence, asking one of the police guards if that was the camp hospital ahead. The guard responded evenly: "You know, we care so much about you. So we are taking you to get a physical. Look how well the party treats you. Normally, this kind of thing never happens in a labor camp."

Inside the facility, the practitioners lined up and, one by one, had a large blood sample drawn. Then a urine sample, electrocardiogram, abdominal X-ray, and eye exam. When Wang pointed to his head, the doctor mumbled something about it being normal and motioned for the next patient. Walking back to camp, the prisoners felt relieved, even a tad cocky, about the whole thing. In spite of all the torture they had endured and the brutal conditions, even the government would be forced to see that practitioners of Falun Gong were healthy.

They never did learn the results of any of those medical tests, Wang says, a little smile suddenly breaking through. He can't help it. He survived.

I spoke with Wang in 2007, just one out of over 100 interviews for a book on the clash between Falun Gong and the Chinese state. Wang's story is not new. Two prominent Canadian human rights attorneys, David Kilgour and David Matas, outlined his case and many others in their "Report into Allegations of Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners in China," published and posted on the web in 2006.

By interviewing Wang, I was tipping my hat to the extensive research already done by others. I was not expecting to see Wang's pattern repeated as my interviews progressed, nor did I expect to find that organ harvesting had spread beyond Falun Gong. I was wrong.

Falun Gong became wildly popular in China during the late 1990s. For various reasons--perhaps because the membership of this movement was larger than that of the Chinese Communist party (and intersected with it), or because the legacy of Tiananmen was unresolved, or because 70 million people suddenly seemed to be looking for a way into heaven (other than money)--the party decided to eliminate it. In 1998, the party quietly canceled the business licenses of people who practiced Falun Gong. In 1999 came mass arrests, seizure of assets, and torture. Then, starting in 2000, as the movement responded by becoming more openly activist, demonstrating at Tiananmen and hijacking television signals on the mainland, the death toll started to climb, reaching approximately 3,000 confirmed deaths by torture, execution, and neglect by 2005.

At any given time, 100,000 Falun Gong practitioners were said to be somewhere in the Chinese penal system. Like most numbers coming out of China, these were crude estimates, further rendered unreliable by the chatter of claim and counterclaim. But one point is beyond dispute: The repression of Falun Gong spun out of control. Arrests, sentencing, and whatever took place in the detention centers, psychiatric institutions, and labor camps were not following any established legal procedure or restraint. As an act of passive resistance, or simply to avoid trouble for their families, many Falun Gong began withholding their names from the police, identifying themselves simply as "practitioner" or "Dafa disciple." When asked for their home province, they would say "the universe." For these, the nameless ones, whose families had no way of tracing them or agitating on their behalf, there may be no records at all.

In early 2006, the first charges of large-scale harvesting--surgical removal of organs while the prisoners were still alive, though of course the procedure killed them--of Falun Gong emerged from Northeast China. The charges set off a quiet storm in the human rights community. Yet the charge was not far-fetched.

Harry Wu, a Chinese dissident who established the Laogai Foundation, had already produced reams of evidence that the state, after executing criminals formally sentenced to death, was selling their kidneys, livers, corneas, and other body parts to Chinese and foreigners, anyone who could pay the price. The practice started in the mid-1980s. By the mid-1990s, with the use of anti-tissue-rejection drugs pioneered by China, the business had progressed. Mobile organ-harvesting vans run by the armed services were routinely parked just outside the killing grounds to ensure that the military hospitals got first pick. This wasn't top secret. I spoke with a former Chinese police officer, a simple man from the countryside, who said that, as a favor to a condemned man's friend, he had popped open the back of such a van and unzipped the body bag. The corpse's chest had been picked clean.

Taiwanese doctors who arranged for patients to receive transplants on the mainland claim that there was no oversight of the system, no central Chinese database of organs and medical histories of donors, no red tape to diminish medical profits. So the real question was, at $62,000 for a fresh kidney, why would Chinese hospitals waste any body they could get their hands on?

Yet what initially drew most fire from skeptics was the claim that organs were being harvested from people before they died. For all the Falun Gong theatrics, this claim was not so outlandish either. Any medical expert knows that a recipient is far less likely to reject a live organ; and any transplant dealer will confirm that buyers will pay more for one. Until recently, high volume Chinese transplant centers openly advertised the use of live donors on their websites.

It helps that brain death is not legally recognized in China; only when the heart stops beating is the patient actually considered dead. That means doctors can shoot a prisoner in the head, as it were, surgically, then remove the organs before the heart stops beating. Or they can administer anesthesia, remove the organs, and when the operation is nearing completion introduce a heart-stopping drug--the latest method. Either way, the prisoner has been executed, and harvesting is just fun along the way. In fact, according to doctors I have spoken to recently, all well versed in current mainland practices, live-organ harvesting of death-row prisoners in the course of execution is routine.

The real problem was that the charges came from Falun Gong--always the unplanned child of the dissident community. Unlike the Tiananmen student leaders and other Chinese prisoners of conscience who had settled into Western exile, Falun Gong marched to a distinctly Chinese drum. With its roots in a spiritual tradition from the Chinese heartland, Falun Gong would never have built a version of the Statue of Liberty and paraded it around for CNN. Indeed, to Western observers, Falun Gong public relations carried some of the uncouthness of Communist party culture: a perception that practitioners tended to exaggerate, to create torture tableaux straight out of a Cultural Revolution opera, to spout slogans rather than facts.

For various reasons, some valid, some shameful, the credibility of persecuted refugees has often been doubted in the West. In 1939, a British Foreign Office official, politely speaking for the majority, described the Jews as not, perhaps, entirely reliable witnesses. During the Great Leap Forward, emaciated refugees from the mainland poured into Hong Kong, yammering about deserted villages and cannibalism. Sober Western journalists ignored these accounts as subjective and biased.

The yammering of a spiritual revivalist apparently counts for even less than the testimony of a peasant or a Jew. Thus, when Falun Gong unveiled a doctor's wife who claimed that her husband, a surgeon, had removed thousands of corneas from practitioners in a Northeastern Chinese hospital named Sujiatun, the charge met with guarded skepticism from the dissident community and almost complete silence from the Western press (with the exception of this magazine and National Review).

As Falun Gong committees kicked into full investigative mode, the Canadian lawyers Kilgour and Matas compiled the accumulating evidence in their report. It included transcripts of recorded phone calls in which Chinese doctors confirmed that their organ donors were young, healthy, and practiced Falun Gong; written testimony from the mainland of practitioners' experiences in detention; an explosion in organ transplant activity coinciding with a rise in the Falun Gong incarceration rate, with international customers waiting as little as a week for a tissue match (in most countries, patients waited over a year). Finally, Kilgour and Matas compared the execution rate in China (essentially constant, according to Amnesty International) and the number of transplants. It left a discrepancy of 41,500 unexplained cases over a five-year span.

This report has never been refuted point by point, yet the vast majority of human rights activists have kept their distance. Since Falun Gong's claims were suspect, their allies' assertions were suspect. Transplant doctors who claimed to have Falun Gong organ donors in the basement? They were just saying what potential organ recipients wanted to hear. Written testimony from practitioners? They'd been prepped by activists. The rise in organ transplant activity? Maybe just better reporting. The discrepancy between executions and transplants? As a respected human rights scholar asked me, why did Kilgour and Matas use Amnesty International's estimate of the number of executions in China to suggest the execution rate had stayed constant for 10 years? Even Amnesty acknowledges their numbers might represent a gross understatement. There might be no discrepancy at all.

Finally, why had no real witness, a doctor or nurse who had actually operated on Falun Gong practitioners, come forward? Without such proof (although such an individual's credibility can always be savaged, even with supporting documents), human rights advocates argued there was no reason to take the story seriously. There certainly were not sufficient grounds for President Bush to mention organ harvesting in his human rights speech on the eve of the Beijing Olympics.

The critics had hinted at legitimate points of discussion. But so had the Chinese government: Fresh off the confession in 2005 that organs were being harvested from ordinary death-row prisoners, and after issuing their predictable denials of harvesting organs from Falun Gong, Beijing suddenly passed a law in July 2006 forbidding the sale of organs without the consent of the donor.

Three things happened. The organ supply tightened. Prices doubled. And transplants continued. So unless there has been a dramatic cultural shift since 2004, when a Chinese report found that only 1.5 percent of transplanted kidneys were donated by relatives, the organs being sold must still come from somewhere. Let's assume it's prisoners--that's what Taiwanese doctors think--and theorize that the new law was a signal: Get your consent forms and stop harvesting from Falun Gong. For now.

And the critics had one thing exactly right: Precision is an illusion. No taped conversation with a mainland doctor is unimpeachable. All witnesses from China have mixed motives, always. And, again, no numbers from China, even the one in the last paragraph, can be considered definitive.

Indeed, the entire investigation must be understood to be still at an early, even primitive, stage. We do not really know the scale of what is happening yet. Think of 1820, when a handful of doctors, scientists, and amateur fossil hunters were trying to make sense of scattered suggestive evidence and a disjointed pile of bones. Twenty-two years would pass before an English paleontologist so much as coined the term "dinosaur"--"terrible lizard"--and the modern study of these extinct creatures got seriously under way. Those of us researching the harvesting of organs from involuntary donors in China are like the early dinosaur hunters. We don't work in close consultation with each other. We are still waiting for even one doctor who has harvested organs from living prisoners of conscience to emerge from the mainland. Until that happens, it is true, we don't even have dinosaur bones. But we do have tracks. Here are some that I've found.

Qu Yangyao, an articulate Chinese professional, holds three master's degrees. She is also the earliest refugee to describe an "organs only" medical examination. Qu escaped to Sydney last year. While a prisoner in China in June 2000, she refused to "transform"--to sign a statement rejecting Falun Gong--and was eventually transferred to a labor camp. Qu's health was fairly good, though she had lost some weight from hunger strikes. Given Qu's status and education, there were reasons to keep her healthy. The Chinese police wanted to avoid deaths in custody--less paperwork, fewer questions. At least, so Qu assumed.

Qu was 35 years old when the police escorted her and two other practitioners into a hospital. Qu distinctly remembers the drawing of a large volume of blood, then a chest X-ray, and probing. "I wasn't sure what it was about. They just touch you in different places . . . abdomen, liver." She doesn't remember giving a urine sample at that time, but the doctor did shine a light in her eyes, examining her corneas.

Did the doctor then ask her to trace the movement of his light with her eyes, or check her peripheral vision? No. He just checked her corneas, skipping any test involving brain function. And that was it: no hammer on the knee, no feeling for lymph nodes, no examination of ears or mouth or genitals--the doctor checked her retail organs and nothing else.

I may have felt a silent chill run up my spine at points in our interview, but Qu, like many educated subjects, seemed initially unaware of the potential implications of what she was telling me. Many prisoners preserve a kind of "it can't happen here" sensibility. "I'm too important to be wiped out" is the survivor's mantra. In the majority of the interviews presented here, my subjects, though aware of the organ harvesting issue, had no clear idea of my line of questioning or the "right" answers.

Falun Gong practitioners are forbidden to lie. That doesn't mean they never do. In the course of my interviews I've heard a few distortions. Not because people have been "prepped," but because they've suffered trauma. Deliberate distortions, though, are exceedingly rare. The best way to guard against false testimony is to rely on extended sit-down interviews.

In all, I interviewed 15 Falun Gong refugees from labor camps or extended detention who had experienced something inexplicable in a medical setting. My research assistant, Leeshai Lemish, interviewed Dai Ying in Norway, bringing our total to 16. If that number seems low, consider the difficulty of survival and escape. Even so, just over half of the subjects can be ruled out as serious candidates for organ harvesting: too old, too physically damaged from hard labor, or too emaciated from hunger strikes. Some were simply too shaky in their recall of specific procedures to be much help to us. Some were the subjects of drug tests. Some received seemingly normal, comprehensive physicals, though even such people sometimes offered valuable clues.

For example, Lin Jie, a woman in her early 60s living in Sydney, reported that in May 2001, while she was incarcerated in the Chongqing Yong Chaun Women's Jail, over 100 Falun Gong women were examined "all over the body, very detailed. And they asked about our medical history." Fine. Yet Lin found herself wondering why "one police per practitioner" escorted the women through the physical, as if they were dangerous criminals. Practitioners of Falun Gong are many things--intense, moralistic, single-minded--but they are strictly nonviolent. Clearly someone in the Chinese security system was nervous.

Or take Jing Tian, a female refugee in her 40s, now in Bangkok. In March 2002, the Shenyang Detention Center gave a comprehensive physical to all the practitioners. Jing watched the procedure carefully and saw nothing unusual. Then, in September, the authorities started expensive blood tests (these would cost about $300 per subject in the West). Jing observed that they were drawing enough blood to fill up eight test tubes per practitioner, enough for advanced diagnostics or tissue matching. Jia Xiarong, a middle-aged female prisoner who came from a family of well-connected officials, told Jing outright: "They are doing this because some aging official needs an organ."

But Jing sensed something else in the air that fall, something more substantial: Prisoners were arriving in the middle of the night and disappearing before dawn. There were transports to "hospital civil defense structures" with names like Sujiatun and Yida, and practitioners with no names, only numbers.

It was not a good time to be an angry young practitioner, according to a refugee in her 30s recently arrived in Hong Kong. She has family in China, so let's call her Jiansheng Chen. Back in 2002, Chen noticed another pattern. When the blood tests started, she said, "before signing a statement [renouncing Falun Gong] the practitioners were all given physicals. After they signed, they wouldn't get a physical again."

Chen was a "nontransformable"--with an edge. Not only did she refuse to renounce Falun Gong, but she shouted down anyone who did. Chen was getting medication three times a day (possibly sedatives), so drug-testing can't be ruled out. Yet as her resistance dragged on, the police said: "If you don't transform, we'll send you away. The path you have chosen is the path of death." For eight days efforts were made to persuade Chen to renounce Falun Gong or gain her submission by torture. Suddenly the guards ordered her to write a suicide note. Chen mocked them: "I'm not dead. So why should I sign a death certificate?"

The director brought in a group of military police doctors wearing white uniforms, male and female. The labor camp police were "very frightened" at this point, according to Chen. They kept repeating: "If you still won't transform, what waits for you is a path to death."

Chen was blindfolded. Then she heard a familiar policewoman's voice asking the doctors to leave for a minute. When they were alone, the policewoman began pleading with her: "Chen, your life is going to be taken away. I'm not kidding you. We've been here together all this time, we've made at least some sort of connection by now. I can't bear to see this--a living person in front of my eyes about to be wiped out."

Chen stayed silent. She didn't trust the policewoman--why should she? In the last eight days, she had been hung from the ceiling. She had been burned with electric batons. She had drunk her own urine. So, the latest nice-nice trick was unconvincing. Then Chen noticed something dripping on her hand--the policewoman's tears. Chen allowed that she would think about transforming. "That's all I need," the policewoman said. After a protracted argument with the doctors, the police left.

Practitioners like to talk about altering the behavior of police and security personnel through the power of their own belief. It's a favorite trope. Just as a prisoner of war is duty bound to attempt escape, a Falun Gong practitioner is required by his moral code to try to save sentient beings. In this spiritual calculus, the policeman who uses torture destroys himself, not the practitioner. If the practitioner can alter the policeman's behavior, by moral example or supernatural means, there's some natural pride, even if the practitioner still gets tortured.

But practitioners vary. Chen did not tell her story with composure. She screamed it out cathartically, in a single note of abrasive, consuming fury. It's also relevant that Chen is not just stubborn, impossible, and a little mad, but young, attractive, and charismatic. She gave her account of the policewoman without braggadocio, only abject, shrieking shame at having finally signed a transformation statement. The policewoman had met a fellow warrior--her tears are plausible.

Dai Ying is a 50-year-old female refugee living in Sweden. As 2003 began, 180 Falun Gong were tested in Sanshui labor camp. The usual our-party-especially-cares-for-you speech was followed by X-rays, the drawing of massive blood samples, cardiograms, urine tests, and then probes: "They had us lie on [our] stomachs and examined our kidneys. They tapped on them and ask[ed] us if that hurt."

And that was it--organs only, hold the corneas--a fact that Dai, almost blind from torture at the time, remembers vividly. Corneas are relatively small-ticket items, worth perhaps $30,000 each. By 2003, Chinese doctors had mastered the liver transplant, worth about $115,000 from a foreign customer.

To meet the demand, a new source of supply was needed. Fang Siyi is a 40-year-old female refugee in Bangkok. Incarcerated from 2002 to 2005, Fang was examined repeatedly and then, in 2003, picked out for special testing in the Jilin detention center in Northeast China.

Fang had never seen the doctors before: "Upon arriving here, they changed into labor camp uniforms. But what struck me is that they seemed to be military doctors." Twelve prisoners had been selected. Fang estimates that eight were Falun Gong. How did she know? "For Falun Gong, they called them, Little Faluns." Who were the other four? "[The staff] would say, Here comes another one of those Eastern Lightning."

Eastern Lightning are Christians--fringy, out-there Chinese Christians to us, incurable, nontransformable deviants to the party. Jing, too, remembers Eastern Lightning being given blood tests in 2002, but Fang remembers the Jilin exam as far more focused: "The additional examinations would just be blood tests, electro-cardiograms, and X-rays, nothing else. It was Falun Gong practitioners and Christians."

Compassion fatigue seeping in? I'll keep this short.

"Masanjia Confidential" has family in China, so prudence dictates mentioning only that she's about 40 and is in Bangkok. Her experience takes us into what I call the "Late Harvest Era" of 2005, when many practitioners seem to have been whisked off to wham-bam organ exams and then promptly disappeared. When I asked her if anyone in Masanjia Labor Camp actually received medical treatment, she responded without missing a beat: "If people came in on a stretcher, they were given cursory treatment. In good health, a comprehensive exam. .  .  . They needed healthy people, young people. If you were an auntie in your 60s or 70s they wouldn't pay attention to you."

Were there military personnel present at the physicals? "They didn't need them. Masanjia is very close to Sujiatun [hospital]--a pretty quick drive. If they needed someone they could just tie them up and send them over. .  .  . Usually they were taken at night."

In 2007, Yu Xinhui, free after five years in Guangdong prison, signed himself, his wife, and their infant son up for a foreign trip with a Chinese tour group. Upon arriving in Bangkok, they fled to the YMCA and applied for U.N. refugee status. Yu is in his 30s, the picture of robust health. While in prison, he was tested repeatedly, finally graduating to an "organs-only" exam under military supervision in 2005.

Yu makes a good show of indulging my questions, but to him it was never a big mystery: "There was common knowledge of organ harvesting in the prison. .  .  . Even before you die, your organs are already reserved." Criminal prisoners would taunt the practitioners: "If you don't do what we say we'll torture you to death and sell your organs." That sounds like a stupid game, but everyone knew there was a real list: Prisoners and practitioners alike would be taken away on an annual schedule. Yu knew which month the buses would arrive and where they would park in the courtyard. He gave me a tour of the exact spot on Google Earth.

When Falun Gong's claims about organ harvesting surfaced in March 2006, Yu still languished in prison, incommunicado. So it's all the more interesting that he vividly remembers a large, panicky deportation of prisoners (perhaps 400 people, including practitioners) in May 2006. "It was terrifying," Yu says. "Even I was terrified." The timing is consistent: With all the bad publicity, mainland doctors were hinting at a close-of-business sale on organs at exactly this time.

By 2007, the consensus was that the Chinese government had shut down Falun Gong harvesting to avoid any embarrassing new disclosures before the Olympics. So my final case must be viewed as borderline, a comprehensive medical exam followed by .  .  . well, judge for yourself.

Liu Guifu is a 48-year-old woman recently arrived in Bangkok. She got a soup-to-nuts physical--really a series of them--in Beijing Women's Labor Camp in 2007. She was also diagnosed as schizophrenic and possibly given drugs.

But she remembers her exams pretty well. She was given three urine tests in a single month. She was told to drink fluids and refrain from urinating until she got to the hospital. Was this testing for diabetes or drugs? It can't be ruled out. But neither can kidney-function assessment. And three major blood samples were drawn in the same month, at a cost of about $1,000. Was the labor camp concerned about Liu's health? Or the health of a particular organ? Perhaps an organ that was being tissue-matched with a high-ranking cadre or a rich foreign customer?

The critical fact is that Liu was both a member of a nontransformed Falun Gong brigade with a history of being used for organs and was considered mentally ill. She was useless, the closest approximation we have to a nameless practitioner, one of the ones who never gave their names or provinces to the authorities and so lost their meager social protections.

There were certainly hundreds, perhaps thousands, of practitioners identified by numbers only. I've heard that number two hundred and something was a talented young female artist with nice skin, but I don't really know. None of them made it out of China alive.

None of them likely will. Tibetan sources estimate that 5,000 protesters disappeared in this year's crackdown. Many have been sent to Qinghai, a potential center of organ harvesting. But that's speculative. Both the Taiwanese doctors who investigate organ harvesting and those who arrange transplants for their Taiwanese patients agree on one point: The closing ceremony of the Olympics made it once again open season for harvesting.

Some in the human rights community will read that last assertion with skepticism. Until there is countervailing evidence, however, I'll bet on bargain-basement prices for organs in China. I confess, I feel a touch of burnout myself at this thought. It's an occupational hazard.

It's why I told that one-night-in-Bangkok joke to get you to read beyond the first paragraph. Yet what's really laughable is the foot-dragging, formalistic, faintly embarrassed response of so many to the murder of prisoners of conscience for the purpose of harvesting their organs. That's an evil crime.

Washington faces its own imperatives: The riptide of Chinese financial power is strong. Those in government do not want to hear about Falun Gong and genocide at a time of financial crisis, with China holding large numbers of U.S. bonds. So the story continues to founder under the lead weight of American political and journalistic apathy. At least the Europeans have given it some air. They can afford to. They aren't the leader of the free world.

It will be argued--quietly, of course--that America has no point of easy leverage, no ability to undo what has been done, no silver bullet that can change the Chinese regime. Perhaps not, but we could ban Americans from getting organ transplants in China. We could boycott Chinese medical conferences. Sever medical ties. Embargo surgical equipment. And refuse to hold any diplomatic summits until the Chinese put in place an explicit, comprehensive database of every organ donor in China.

We may have to live with the Chinese Communist party, for now. For that matter, we can console ourselves that there are no bones, for now. There will be none until the party falls and the Chinese people begin to sift through the graves and ashes.

We are all allowed a touch of compassion fatigue--it's understandable. But make no mistake: There are terrible lizards. And now that the Olympic Games are over, and the cameras have turned away, they roam the earth again.

Ethan Gutmann, an adjunct fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, wishes to thank the Earhart Foundation and the Wallenberg family of Sweden for research support.

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Offline Dok

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Re: China's Gruesome Organ Harvests organs from Falun Gong + other prisoners
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2008, 05:39:51 am »
Chinese Mobile Death Vans!

China is equipping its courts with mobile execution vans as it shifts away from the communist system's traditional bullet in the head, towards a more "civilized" use of lethal injection.

Intermediate Courts of the southern province of Yunnan were issued with 18 new execution vans on February 28 and a court official said some have already been used.

"We cannot tell you how many executions so far, otherwise you could work out from the daily rate how many we carry out," the official said.

Chinese authorities keep execution numbers a secret, but Western human rights monitors believe it is about 15,000 a year, more than the rest of the world's judicial executions combined.

The death penalty can apply for serious crimes against the person, armed robbery, drug trafficking, major cases of corruption and political violence.

Many public executions have been held in football stadiums so traditional execution methods are no secret. The condemned criminal is taken by open truck to the execution ground and made to kneel with hands cuffed and head bowed, before being shot in the head. Families who want to reclaim the body are charged for the bullet.

China's legal system allows only one appeal and lawyers say that less than 20 per cent of defendants have professional legal representation. When appeals against the death penalty are rejected, the sentence is carried out immediately, sometimes within hours.

In Yunnan, as well as in the cities of Harbin and Shanghai, death on the road has replaced death row. The execution vans are converted 24-seater buses. The windowless execution chamber at the back contains a metal bed on which the prisoner is strapped down. A police officer presses a button and an automatic syringe plunges a lethal drug into the prisoner's vein. The execution can be watched on a video monitor next to the driver's seat and be recorded if required. Court officials say the lethal drug was devised by researchers at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences to meet two criteria: that it causes no sharp pain or emotional upset for the prisoner and that it works within 30 to 60 seconds.

Although the vans cost about 500,000 yuan ($A100,000) each, officials say the method is cheaper and requires less manpower than traditional executions, because land for traditional execution grounds is not cheap. But the main impetus was a law passed in 1995, making lethal injection an alternative to the bullet.

Yunnan officials say most prisoners and their families prefer the injection.

"When they know they can't be pardoned, they accept this method calmly, and have less fear," one official told the Chinese Life Weekly.


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Offline Dok

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Re: China's Gruesome Organ Harvests organs from Falun Gong + other prisoners
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2008, 05:40:27 am »
ORGANized crime
Americans are using Chinese prisoners as spare parts!
- - - - - - - - - - - -
by Erik Baard and Rebeccah Cooney


Three years ago, Dr. Thomas Diflo's moral nightmare walked into his examination room: a patient freshly implanted with a kidney bought from China's death row, where prisoners are killed sometimes for minor offenses and their organs harvested.

Since then, Dr. Diflo, director of the renal transplant program at the New York University Medical Center, has seen half a dozen such people, typically young Chinese American women. The surgeon says his patients weren't distressed about snatching organs from the condemned, but he was overwhelmed by the implications.

Unable to shoulder the burden alone, on January 11, Diflo took his "horror at a real ethical quagmire" to the medical center's Ethics Committee.

Diflo is the first American doctor to talk publicly about this experience. The gruesome practice has been documented among ethnic Chinese communities throughout Asia, but so far every attempt to prove that people were leaving U.S. soil to buy organs from China's massive death row has failed.

"To tell you the truth, the original rationale for bringing this situation to the Ethics Committee was my own discomfort in taking care of these patients. I was outraged at the way in which they obtained their organs, and I had a great deal of difficulty separating that fact from the care of the patient," Diflo told New York City's Village Voice.

"Several patients were very up-front and candid about it, that they bought an organ taken from an executed convict for about $10,000," Diflo recalls. "Most of the patients are ecstatic to be off of dialysis, and none has seemed particularly perturbed regarding the source of the organs."

There's no telling how many kidney buyers returning to the U.S. have gone for follow-up care at a less elite institution or stayed within secretive medical channels recommended by their brokers. Diflo gets his patients on referral from recognized hospitals. "Patients sort of arrive on their doorstep and they don't know what to do. Not everybody who's had a transplant is cared for by a transplant specialist. I tend to see the more complicated ones," Diflo says.

Of all medical disciplines, organ transplantation is perhaps the most bittersweet. Transplants are gifts that coax life from death, that close the door for one person while opening the future for another. But the outright sale of organs is abhorrent to nearly all surgeons in the field. Selling organs is a felony under a 1984 federal law that was spearheaded by then senator Al Gore, and is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000. Live or executed prisoners in the U.S. are forbidden to donate an organ, even for free, except to family members under special circumstances.

In China, human rights groups say citizens have been executed for nonviolent offenses like taking bribes, credit card theft, small-scale tax evasion, and stealing truckloads of vegetables. Political dissidents have also been sentenced to death. Chinese embassy officials did not respond to requests for comment, but in the past the government has denied promoting the for-profit organ trade.

Diflo says he and his colleagues wrestled with the issue in a debate that was "quite lively and revealing, but the bottom line was that we take care of patients who come to us, regardless of their situation moral, ethical, financial, or social. Although I might find what they had done reprehensible, I was still nonetheless obligated to care for them in the best way that I knew how, and that is what I do."

But Diflo refuses to let it end at that. "Because it is not really appropriate for me to take my outrage out on the patients who come to me, I began to think that I would be better off addressing the root problem, the pilfering of organs from prisoners in China. That is what pushed me to pursue this further," he says. And so he's going public.

America-based human rights activists have sought this break for years.

The trafficking of human organs from Chinese executions to American residents is "something we've always known was going on but something we've never been able to document," says an American investigator working for the Laogai Research Foundation, a group founded by renowned human rights crusader Harry Wu and named for the gulags of China.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation partnered with Wu in 1998 in a sting operation aimed at netting two suspected organ brokers who resided in Queens. Wu posed as a board member of a renal clinic in Aruba and got the men, Wang Cheng Yong and Fu Xingqi, to not only arrange for patients to fly to China for kidneys but to also smuggle corneas, which can keep for weeks when frozen, for sale abroad. The case was dismissed when a key witness fled the U.S. and refused to return to testify. The Laogai Research Foundation also discovered a doctor advertising himself as an organ broker in a Chinese-language newspaper published in the U.S. but no physical evidence was ever uncovered. In 1998, the FBI raided the Los Angeles offices of a man the feds said had presented himself as an organ broker, but it's unclear whether the scheme led to any transplants.

When told that an American doctor was revealing his experiences, the laogai investigator, who asked that she not be identified because it would make her work in China impossible, pointed out that the opening comes at a critical time. Executions in China have surged to 400 in April alone as the Communist government conducts another of its periodic "strike hard" crackdowns on crime. During the most recent campaign, in 1996, more than 4,000 prisoners were killed, she said.

Even in a normal year China executes more inmates than in all other nations combined, reports Amnesty International. In 1999, the confirmed toll reached 1,263, according to the organization, which gathers its statistics from tallies published, for propaganda purposes, in government-run newspapers.

"It's for scaring criminals and scaring controlling society," the investigator says. The approach is known as "killing the chicken to scare the monkey."

Executions often come in floods, usually around the holidays, according to the investigator. This month, with Labor Day celebrations that started May 1, is viewed by Chinese doctors as a particularly good time to get an organ, but there's no better time than the Lunar New Year, she added. Most perhaps 70 percent of the hospitals performing the procedures are run by the military, which has the best connections to the penal system and can be present at executions, she explains. Money from patients purchasing organs is dispersed among those who provide access to the prisoner's body. Hospitals even pay judges to tip them off when they sentence a suitable donor to death. "The money goes to officials all of the way up the line," she says. "It goes to the courts, the people in charge of the prisons. It goes to the doctors, the hospitals, everything."

The Laogai Research Foundation reports that sometimes tens of operations are done at the same hospital on the same day for patients who are essentially walk-ins. China says it has performed about 25,000 transplants in 20 years, but makes no distinction between organs culled from executions and those garnered through accidents and live donors.

Forced labor from China's laogai has always been a source of cash for the country's rapidly advancing economy. And punishment doesn't necessarily end at the point of death, usually a single shot to the back of the head. Families are often forced to pay for the bullet used. But the laogai turned into Execution, Inc. less than 20 years ago after the introduction of Cyclosporine, an immunosuppressant drug that prevents rejection of organs by the recipient's body.

Wei Jingsheng, an agitator at Columbia University's Human Rights Center, testified before the International Relations Committee and Government Reform & Oversight Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives on June 4, 1998, that while he was on death row a guard confided that often organ removal is the means of execution in and of itself. Wei, who now heads his own foundation in Washington, D.C., stated that the guard told him, "There are almost no exceptions. They first are given anesthesia. Just the same as killing a pig. We use cloth to wrap them up and bring them to the execution ground. No one cares if they are alive or dead."

Further, Wei said he had confirmed, through a plan hatched with a 20-year-old cellmate, that executed prisoners were being harvested against their will. The young man, whom he called Zhang, was to cry out, "I'm not sick, I don't need a doctor," if he saw a medical team equipped to harvest his organs waiting at his execution. If there was no evidence of this, Zhang was to scream as the condemned normally would.

After a long stretch of silence, Zhang sent the message. "My first feeling was of satisfaction, knowing that this evidence finally proved this practice. But this feeling was quickly replaced by another," Wei told the congressional committees. "My second feeling was of heaviness, knowing that this young man used his life to record an unbelievable crime. If I did not have the opportunity to tell others of this evil, if I did not have the opportunity to try and stop this evil from continuing, then I would have to apologize to this young man. All this time, I have deeply felt this responsibility. We must stop this practice."

Harry Wu spent 19 years in the laogai, and has also testified before Congress. His Laogai Research Foundation claims that when bullets are used, the target reflects the market: a shot to the head when a liver's wanted, a shot to the chest when corneas are in demand. Amnesty International also reports that a form of lethal injection gaining acceptance in China can be used to kill without damaging crucial organs, and can blur the line between life and death.

Young, nonsmoking prisoners are given blood tests and medical exams to assess compatibility with arriving patients, the investigator explains, and courts set execution dates accordingly.

Long before the U.S. and China clashed in the spy plane incident, the West was wary of the emerging superpower. Wei and Wu have edged the organ trade into the human rights spotlight on China, an arena already crowded with accusations of prison and child labor, coerced abortions, and suppression of religious minorities and Tibetan national aspirations. The nation's trade surplus with America, chilling of freedoms in Hong Kong, and occasional saber rattling at Taiwan have done little to soften sentiments in Washington. Business interests striving to engage China as a strategic ally, rather than competitor through most-favored-nation trade status, membership in the World Trade Organization, and support for its bid to host the Olympics may have a tougher row to hoe now that Diflo is delivering the goods on an explosive Chinese crime that touches on American soil.

Suddenly, what had existed largely as a kind of urban legend, a science-fiction horror story from a distant world, has become very, very real, right here on the streets of New York. Activists say that if it's happening here, it's likely happening in other large cities of North America, from Boston and San Francisco to Vancouver and Los Angeles.

The Chinese government published regulations in 1990‹"On the Use of Dead Bodies or Organs From Condemned Criminals" stating that for a prisoner to be a donor, prior consent must be given by that person or remaining family, unless the body is unclaimed. Human rights activists scoff at that statement, noting that since prisoners are often kept from communicating with family members, there is no one to claim the body, which is harvested and cremated almost immediately. The government also requires that medical teams involved in the procurement of organs act stealthily: "Surgical vans must not display hospital logos; surgeons must not wear hospital uniforms when at the execution site; guards must be present until the organ is removed; and the corpses should be promptly cremated following the removal of the organs."

Human rights groups seeking to determine the source of organs might try matching the dates of operations to dates of executions in the same city, but the method isn't reliable, especially since the government has taken to selectively publicizing its tallies. The Laogai Research Foundation says doctors speaking for the Chinese government claim regulations against contacting the family of a donor prevent them from revealing to patients where the organs come from.

The harvesting enrages physicians like Dr. Diflo. "I think it's a gross violation of human rights and very much at odds with what the transplant community tries to promulgate as the way to go about things. This does not involve appropriate consent. I don't think prisoners are given the option of donating or not donating. It's not done from an altruistic point of view," Diflo says. Even putting aside his reservations about the death penalty, Diflo says, "The central issue is the nonconsensual taking of organs and making human body parts a commodity."

The Laogai investigator agrees. "It's very obviously profit-motivated because if the person can pay extra then they might be able to move up an execution date, or have it arranged for later," she says. "And those who pay more get better treatment." She cites a case where a Chinese patient from Malaysia was allowed to die without anti-rejection medications when his money ran out.

The economics of human organ trafficking are powerful. Patients can live active lives on dialysis thanks to this technology, most don't need a kidney to survive but the inconvenience and discomfort are considerable. Diflo says his patients were "obviously much more troubled by being on dialysis than by getting organs this way."

For patients, the cost of a transplant is far cheaper than a lifetime of dialysis, says Dr. André-Jacques Neusy, head of the dialysis unit at Bellevue and director of the NYU School of Medicine Center for Global Health. Both Bellevue and NYU Medical Center work with Gouverneur hospital in Chinatown.

Bellevue is a public hospital, so it takes all comers. Many of the city's sick immigrants end up here. "We call it the 'Bellevue Express,' because patients head there directly from the airport," remarks Neusy. In addition to being the designated facility for the President and visiting dignitaries, the hospital offers extensive translation services.

Affiliated with the NYU Medical Center, Bellevue is Dr. Diflo's chief source of referral patients who have Chinese prisoners' organs. People who receive a transplant must remain under a doctor's care for an extended period. Thus, patients who buy a kidney from China's death row end up seeking treatment in American hospitals, where the cost can be supported by public funding. Diflo says his patients pay for their anti-rejection drugs with Medicaid and Medicare.

Though no patient would be denied treatment at Bellevue when arriving with an organ of mysterious origin, candidates for domestic transplants must be legal American residents. Even for those eligible candidates the wait for an organ can be extraordinary. There are now more than 75,000 people on waiting lists for organs in the U.S., according to the United Network for Organ Sharing, which maintains the national Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network under contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Fewer than a third of those people are likely to get their organs this year, the group said in March. Immigrants, both legal and illegal, will sometimes visit home rather than relocate, naturalize, or wait, Neusy says. "We've had patients disappear from the dialysis unit and reappear with a kidney," he notes. He was unaware of any who'd gone specifically for kidneys from executed prisoners in China. "It's disturbing to think we have professional colleagues on the other side that would condone this kind of thing," he says.

Dr. Nathan Thompson, also of Bellevue, concurs. "We have had patients who have gone against our advice and come back with transplants. Where they've gotten them I have no idea," Thompson says.

Another Bellevue physician, Dr. Gerald Villanueva, sent Diflo a Chinese American woman who had appeared at the hospital, implanted with a death row kidney. Suffering from hepatitis, the patient became one of the complicated cases referred to NYU. Only after talking to Diflo did Villanueva realize the source of her transplant. "I guess we've all heard about things like this, but it kind of gets you when, for the first time, you see it," he says. "There are things we read about, but when you see it, it's still surprising. I guess it shouldn't be, huh?"

Diflo says that doctors seeing scores of patients daily simply don't have time to probe more deeply into their patients' histories, especially when language is a barrier. And they're not paid to argue with their charges. "I don't really see that confronting them about the ethics involved will really serve any useful function. In addition, we see them during our office hours, in which we can see as many as 50 patients in three hours not really time for prolonged ethical discussions," he says.

Most doctors interviewed for this article agreed that the majority of those organs aren't coming from China. There's a thriving black market in organs sold by live, willing donors in poorer nations with medical know-how, like India. "I believe that both are morally and ethically reprehensible," Diflo says. "If there are degrees of reprehensibility, however, China wins hands down" because the organs are coming from the executed, who are deprived the right of refusal, for profits. Unlike with desperately poor live donors, that's cash that neither the victims nor their survivors will ever see.

Nearly every country touched by the organ trade has laws barring the business; India and Japan are among those who've enacted them only in the past decade as the tide of the organ trade rose. In the United States, the practice of flying to China for organs becomes a crime if arrangements were made for a fee on American soil. But as with the war on drugs, many experts argue that the only real solution to fighting the organ trade is by addressing the demand. People need organs quickly, through humane means. Doctors interviewed floated several ideas.

The most ready cure is for more people to make provisions that their organs be donated at the time of death. Belgium achieves this by presuming organ donation, requiring that people opt out. The doctors noted that while organ donor cards (like those on drivers' licenses) might help tip the balance in discussions with family, the form isn't a binding agreement. Families can still have the final say. And even with that acceptance, families parents must be willing to say goodbye at times when they might falsely believe there's a shred of hope.

"Brain death is a hard concept to get across. Japan only recently accepted it as a legal definition," explains Dr. Dale Distant of the SUNY Downstate Medical Center. "How does a person take this action when their loved one is warm, his heart's going, a machine is making his lungs go up and down; when for all the world he's just in a coma?" In many corners of the world, including part of Asia, people hold strong, entrenched taboos against violating the body after death.

Dr. Neusy would like to create centers in less medically advanced nations where the needy might be screened and matched with potential donors, usually family members, and then prepared before finally being brought together to the U.S. and other rich nations for the operation. Others promote the free market as a way to meet the demand for organs. One group of supply-siders operates a website and on August 26, 1999, a kidney from a live potential donor was offered up on eBay before site managers closed the bidding down.

On the furthest fringe, some scientists are hoping to master techniques that might allow newborns in future generations to be equipped with a genetic repair kit‹stem cells or other tissue frozen at birth or even later for eventual cloning into needed organs. Enterprises like the longevity company YouthCell have been founded on this premise. Scientists are also trying to perfect transplants from livestock into humans.

But social and technological change takes time. Meanwhile, no one expects Chinese bureaucrats to readily forsake an easy source of income like selling organs from the laogai. "If you have a government more or less imposed on the people, you can do that, so in China it's not a problem," says Distant.

Diflo, for his part, says he came forward not to seek attention for himself but in hopes of kicking off public discussion and scrutiny of the issue. "I don't see myself going on a world speaking tour," he says. "The whole reason I spoke up about this is that I was having a difficult time taking care of these patients because of my own repugnance at what had gone on and how things had happened. It really comes from a more personal place. It comes from my own outrage."

This story first appeared in Village Voice.


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Offline Dok

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Re: China's Gruesome Organ Harvests organs from Falun Gong + other prisoners
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2008, 05:42:01 am »
Chinese cosmetics firm using skin from executed prisoners
November 10 2005

A Chinese cosmetics company is using skin harvested from the corpses of executed convicts to develop beauty products for sale in Europe, an investigation by the Guardian has discovered.
Agents for the firm have told would-be customers it is developing collagen for lip and wrinkle treatments from skin taken from prisoners after they have been shot. The agents say some of the company‘s products have been exported to the UK, and that the use of skin from condemned convicts is “traditional“ and nothing to “make such a big fuss about.“

With European regulations to control cosmetic treatments such as collagen not expected for several years, doctors and politicians say the discovery highlights the dangers faced by the increasing number of people seeking to improve their looks. Apart from the ethical concerns, there is also the potential risk of infection.

The House of Commons‘ Select Health Committee is to examine the regulatory system and may launch an investigation and question ministers about the need for immediate new controls.

“I am sure that the committee will want to look at this,“ said Kevin Barron, its Labour chairman. “This is something everyone in society will be very concerned about.“

Plastic surgeons are also concerned about the delay in introducing regulations to control the cosmetic-treatments industry.

It is unclear whether any of the “aesthetic fillers“ such as collagen available in the UK or on the Internet are supplied by the company, which cannot be identified for legal reasons. It is also unclear whether collagen made from prisoners‘ skin is in the research stage or is in production.

However, the Guardian has learned that the company has exported collagen products to the UK in the past.

An agent told customers it had also exported to the US and European countries, and that it was trying to develop fillers using tissue from aborted fetuses.

When formally approached by the Guardian, the agent denied the company was using skin harvested from executed prisoners. However, he had already admitted it was doing precisely this during a number of conversations with a researcher posing as a Hong Kong businessman.

“A lot of the research is still carried out in the traditional manner using skin from the executed prisoner and aborted fetus,“ the agent told the researcher.

This material, he said, was being bought from “biotech“ companies based in Heilongjiang Province and was being developed elsewhere in China.

He suggested that the use of skin and other tissues harvested from executed prisoners was not uncommon.

“In China it is considered very normal and I was very shocked that Western countries can make such a big fuss about this,“ he said.

Speaking from his office in northern China, he added: “The government has put some pressure on all the medical facilities to keep this type of work in low profile.“

The agent said his company exported to the west via Hong Kong.

“We are still in the early days of selling these products, and clients from abroad are quite surprised that China can manufacture the same human collagen for less than 5 percent of what it costs in the West,“ he said.

Skin from prisoners used to be even less expensive, he said. “Nowadays there is a certain fee that has to be paid to the court.”

The agent‘s admission comes after an inquiry into the cosmetic surgery industry in Britain, commissioned by the Department of Health, pointed to the need for new regulations controlling collagen treatments and the use of cadavers for cosmetic treatments.

The Department of Health has agreed to the inquiry‘s recommendations, but is waiting for the European commission to draw up proposals for laws governing cosmetic products. It could be several years before this legislation takes force.

Meanwhile, cosmetic treatments, including those with with aesthetic fillers, are growing rapidly in popularity. Lip enhancement treatments are one of the most popular.

Some fillers are made from cattle or pig tissue, and others from humans. Health officials believe that there may be a risk of transmission of blood-borne viruses and even vCJD from collagen containing human tissue.

While new regulations are to be drawn up, the UK‘s health department is currently powerless to regulate most human-tissue fillers intended for injection or implant, as they occupy a legal grey area. Most products are not governed by regulations controlling medical products, as they are not classified as medicines.

They also escape cosmetics regulations, which only apply to substances used on the surface of the skin and not those injected beneath it. The UK Healthcare Commission is planning new regulations for cosmetic surgery clinics next year, but these will not control the substances used by plastic surgeons.

A number of plastic surgeons have said that they have been hearing rumors about the use of tissue harvested from executed prisoners for several years. Peter Butler, a consultant plastic surgeon and UK government adviser, said there had been rumors that Chinese surgeons had performed hand transplants using hands from executed prisoners. One transplant center was believed to be adjacent to an execution ground.

Human-rights activists in China have repeatedly claimed that organs have been harvested from the corpses of executed prisoners and sold to surgeons offering transplants to fee-paying foreigners. Although the exact number of people facing the death penalty in China is an official secret, Amnesty International believes around 3,400 were executed last year, with a further 6,000 on death row.

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Offline Dok

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Re: China's Gruesome Organ Harvests organs from Falun Gong + other prisoners
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2008, 05:42:54 am »
A British newspaper charges: "The skin of executed convicts is used in Chinese cosmetics"

An undercover investigation undertaken by journalists of the Guardian alleges that a Chinese cosmetics company uses the skin of people condemned to death to develop collagen. Research is also under way on the tissue of aborted fetuses. 
London (AsiaNews/Agencies) � A Chinese cosmetics firm is using skin taken from the corpses of inmates on China's death row to develop beauty products to sell on the European market. The charge is leveled by the UK Guardian daily.

Agents for the firm, which could not be named for legal reasons, have told would-be customers (undercover Guardian journalists) that skin taken from prisoners after they have been shot is being used to develop collagen for lip and wrinkle treatment. Collagen is the fibrous protein constituent of skin, cartilage, bone, and other connective tissue.

"The agents say some of the company's products have been exported to the UK, and that the use of skin from condemned convicts is 'traditional' and nothing to 'make such a big fuss about'," the daily alleged. "Apart from the ethical concerns, there is also the potential risk of infection."

It is not clear whether the cosmetics are already for sale on the English market or if they are available only on Internet, nor is it known if the collagen taken from the corpses' skin is in research phase or already in production. In any case, the Guardian said the firm in question has in the past exported products linked to collagen: "Exports were sent to the US and European countries, and that the company has also tried to develop cosmetics using tissue from aborted fetuses."

When questioned officially, a company representative denied using skin taken off corpses. But the undercover journalist said: "A lot of the research is still carried out in the traditional manner using skin from the executed prisoner and aborted foetus." The representative said materials were bought from bio tech" companies based in the northern province of Heilongjiang, and were being developed "elsewhere" in China.

China executes more prisoners than the rest of the world combined, although the precise number put to death is not known.

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Re: China's Gruesome Organ Harvests organs from Falun Gong + other prisoners
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2008, 05:44:27 am »
Harvesting Revealed

Epoch Times | November 16, 2006
Jan Jekielek

A Chinese military surgeon had eight Chinese citizens killed to supply a single foreign patient with a new kidney, said former Canadian Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific David Kilgour on November 14. Kilgour spoke as a special guest at the Asian Human Rights Week forum in Warsaw, on day two of a five day program.

"The incredible thing is that the doctor would…go down the names on sheets of paper looking for blood types and tissue types and so on, and he [the patient] would point at names on the list. The doctor would then go away and come back with organs," said Kilgour.

While conducting research in Asia, Kilgour interviewed a now 35 year-old man (name and nationality withheld) who received a kidney transplant at Shanghai No. 1 People's Hospital in 2003. The man said that his surgeon was Dr Tan Jianming, Secretary General of the Chinese Research Society of Dialysis and Transplantation. Dr Tan also holds top posts in a number of Chinese military and civilian hospitals.

The patient suffered from an antibody condition that made it difficult to find a suitable kidney. Over an eight day period, four separate kidneys were brought to him and tested, said Kilgour. When none of those worked, three months later he tried another four – the last of which was a fit. The man was later transferred to No. 85 Hospital of the People's Liberation Army to convalesce.

Dr Tan told the man explicitly that these organs came from executed Chinese prisoners, and that at least some of the organs had been harvested secretly, against the donors' will.

"I am certain that at least some of these were Falun Gong practitioners who never went near a court, who were never convicted of anything," said Kilgour.

Earlier in 2006, Kilgour co-wrote a report detailing evidence of China's large scale state-supported killing of Falun Gong prisoners of conscience – in order to extract their organs to sell for huge profits to people such as this man. Kilgour and co-author human rights lawyer David Matas estimated that over 41,000 organ transplants performed in China could not be accounted for, based on published records.

Kilgour believes, based on many lines of evidence, that apart from death row prisoners, Falun Gong practitioners are particularly targeted for live organ harvesting, as opposed to other groups that the Chinese Communist regime labels as "dissidents" or "enemies of state."

Falun Gong is the peaceful spiritual practice that saw its popularity grow at an astonishing rate in the 1990's. In 1999, then-Chinese dictator Jiang Zemin outlawed the practice in China and ordered its eradication. Multiple human rights organizations have documented the communist regime's brutal, large scale persecution of Falun Gong practitioners since that time.

Since the publication of their report last July, Kilgour and Matas have traveled to over 20 countries searching for support, as well as for new evidence that might either prove or disprove the organ harvesting allegations. Over that time, in addition to the 18 lines of evidence examined in the initial report, Kilgour says they found another ten areas of evidence pointing to the same conclusion. He intends to publish an updated report by the end of the year, and says that it will contain more evidence of the Chinese military's involvement.

"We were hoping that it [the organ harvesting] would have stopped by now, but we are convinced that it is still happening," said Kilgour.

Cautiously Optimistic

Yet Kilgour is cautiously optimistic.

The Transplantation Society (TTS), a global body dedicated to the development of transplantation science, education and ethics, issued a statement on the use of organs from Chinese executed prisoners on November 6.

"TTS is opposed to the recovery of organs and tissues from executed prisoners and from any other individual where an autonomous consent for the procurement is lacking," said the statement.

"TTS should express concern that the recovery of organs from executed prisoners [in China] has resulted in rampant commercialism and transplant tourism," it said.

After Kilgour detailed the organ harvesting evidence to the Australian parliament last August, the Australian media took up the cause.

"I have evidence from a senior medical professional in Australia that the number of Australians going for transplant operations in China has [since] collapsed. We are delighted that Australians have stopped," said Kilgour.

On November 15, Chinese state-controlled media reported that Chinese Assistant Health Minister Huang Jiefu called for "an information network that registers and keeps track of every human organ donation."

"That's either a step in the right direction, or it's a smoke screen," said Kilgour, in response to news of the official statement.

Kilgour's revelations were part of series of seminars examining the state of human rights in Asia being held November 13-17, 2006 in Warsaw, Poland. Warsaw's Asian Human Rights Week is focused on human rights in Burma, Cambodia, North Korea, Vietnam, China, Tibet and Bhutan.

The forum was organized by the Oriental Culture Center, an organization dedicated to the promotion of Asian culture in Poland, and Collegium Civitas, a top Polish private university specializing in the humanities. It was under the patronage of Polish Minister of Culture and Heritage, as well as the Mayor of Warsaw.

While in Warsaw, Kilgour also presented his report to Marek Jurek, the elected leader of the Sejm, the lower house of the Polish Parliament.



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Offline Triadtropz

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Re: China's Gruesome Organ Harvests organs from Falun Gong + other prisoners
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2008, 06:15:17 am »
Good posts ..very informative..those are your allies at work..If the NWO gets their way..they will be doing this in america...
one man with courage makes a majority..TJ

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Re: China's Gruesome Organ Harvests organs from Falun Gong + other prisoners
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2011, 07:44:50 pm »
Does anyone remember or have a link to that one sheik that had a person/organ donor fly with him incase he had a heart attack and needed the transplant.
Make it so!

Offline chris jones

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Re: China's Gruesome Organ Harvests organs from Falun Gong + other prisoners
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2011, 08:38:31 pm »
 Ya, it sickning, ongoing, and will not stop. As long as their are people who are determined to have transplants and no remorse as to how they got them.
  It happens here in the USA, not on this scale of course, ITS MONEY. Body parts are expensive folks.
I assume the big corps have looked into using bodys as a means of food as well. Why not, its profit.
  I keep getting this thought that when the perverbial shit hits the fan, the old folks, thecrippled, etc will be enlightened by our leaders concepts and rhetoric. Times are difficult, people are starving, the coming generation  OUR YOUTH are at risk. The partriotic message would be donate you body, assistance would be availble, clinics to expediate the end, hyms playing, a flag flying, a comfy setting, clergy on hand and a final lethal shot, no pain. Flesh and organs can be manipulated to produce tasty burgers, bones ca be crushed for their calcium value etc. Twiligh zone shit is becominbg a norm.
 Sounds nuts, I admit it, but given what I have seen going on throughout my lifetime I could imagine something like this happening.

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Re: China's Gruesome Organ Harvests organs from Falun Gong + other prisoners
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2015, 10:29:46 am »
Thousands of religious prisoners in China had their livers, kidneys and corneas ripped out while they were ALIVE to sell to 'transplant tourists', claims new film
Tens of thousands of people have been killed in China so their organs can be sold to 'transplant tourists', claims documentary
Those allegedly killed belonged to repressed Fulan Gong spiritual practice
Rumours surfaced in 2006 and investigators claim evidence is 'very strong'
Film offers first full examination into why allegations aren't taken seriously

By Imogen Calderwood For Mailonline

Published: 01:39 EST, 3 October 2015  | Updated: 08:40 EST, 3 October 2015

China harvested livers, kidneys, corneas and even hearts from tens of thousands religious prisoners while they were still alive and the world is paying no attention, according to a new documentary.

Rumours of the live organ trade in China first surfaced in 2006, and have been supported by human rights lawyers, witnesses and even surgeons who admit having performed the operations.

But claims that supporters of the Falun Gong faith are having their organs sold to wealthy transplant tourists from all over the world are still not taken seriously.

The documentary, Hard to Believe, offers the first sustained examination into why the world is so willing to turn a blind eye to 'one of the most catastrophic human rights violations in our time'.


Dr Tohti reveals in the documentary the chilling details of his own involvement in the live-organ harvest, in a testimony that he also gave to the European Parliament.

The doctor – who now works as a taxi driver in London – was a young surgeon in Xinjiang province, when in 1994 he was taken to an execution site. There, he found a Falun Gong prisoner lying on the ground with a gun-shot wound.

The wound was non-fatal and the prisoner would have made a full recovery, according to the surgeon's horrifying account.

But even so, he was told by his superiors to remove the man's organs from his living body, before being warned to 'remember nothing happened today'.

China has strong motivation to keep at bay the allegations of organ-harvesting, which has been dubbed by Canadian investigators a 'billion dollar business'.

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Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty: For he maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole ; He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee. - Job 5