- China says it performs 10,000 organ transplants a year
- But shocking report says the real figure is closer to 100,000
- Incarcerated followers of Falun Gong religion are targeted for transplants
- Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said findings are ‘baseless’
China is forcing up to 90,000 prisoners a year to have organs removed, a shocking new report has claimed.
The widespread practice of removing organs from political prisoners has fuelled ‘organ tourism’ in China with foreigners paying for transplants.
Medical professionals and human rights advocates at The International Coalition To End Organ Pillaging In China have published a damning report which examines the transplant activity at hundreds of hospitals in China.
Co-author of the report Ethan Gutmann said in a video posted online:’If somebody goes to China to get an organ at this point, chances are they are getting it from a Falun Gong practitioner who was murdered on their behalf.’
‘Even if voluntary donations of organs have gone up, they can’t reach this level. This is live organ harvesting,’ he warned.
China has struggled to receive voluntary organ donations due to culture concerns so prisoners are primarily used to fill the demand for transplants.
The Chinese medical establishment claims that China performs 10,000 transplants per year but the report says the figure is closer to 100,000.
The report investigated the amount of transplant activity, surgical staff and beds in China and predicted an average of up to two transplants a day in China, over 100,000 transplants a year.
‘Many of the hospitals are relatively new or have new transplant wings or beds. This development would not have occurred without confidence in a continuing supply of organs for transplants,’ the report states.
‘The transplant business in China has developed with not only an abundance of available organs from 2001 on, but also with a confidence that this abundance would continue into the indefinite future,’ it continues.
Gutmann explained that removing organs from prisoners in China began in the 1980s but has dramatically increased in recent years.
‘By 2001, over one million Falun Gong incarcerated within the Laogai System were subject to retail-organ testing, and Chinese military and civilian hospitals were ramping up their transplant facilities. By 2002, it was select House Christians. By 2003, it was the Tibetans’ turn,’ he wrote on the End Organ Pillaging website.
Falun Gong is a Taoist-Buddhist sect that practices spiritual exercise and meditation regime. It has tens of millions of followers in China but in 1999 the Communist Party leadership initiated a nationwide crackdown to eradicate the practice.
Among the methods used to obtain the shocking transplant figures, researchers reviewed data from telephone surveys, hospital websites, and medical journals for the 865 hospitals in China which perform organ transplants (about 13 per cent of all hospitals).
They tracked 712 liver and kidney transplant centres and collected and analysed information about them and examined individually 165 hospitals approved by the Government of China to conduct transplantation.
On Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying claimed the report’s findings are false.
‘The testimony and the published report, I want to say that such stories about forced organ harvesting in China are imaginary and baseless — they don’t have any factual foundation,’ she said.