Harvesting organs

In 2006 three people stated that thousands of membersof Falun Gong were murdered at Sujjiatun Hospital in order to supply the countries organ transplant programme. One of the three people making such claims was a doctor who suggested that as well as the ‘hospital’ stated, there were thirty-six similar places around China. These allegations were investigated by andconclusions made by the Kilgour-Matas report that indeed a large number of Falun Gong practitioners were killed in hospitals and detentioncentres since 1999. It also reported about the very short waiting time for new organs, a matter of weeks, whereas in North America you would have to wait three years or more for a liver transplant. This fitted in with the allegations that people were killed for their organs, especially those of Falun Gong. Even though there were a very low number of volunteers donating their organs, China did the second largest amount of transplants each year. They also uncovered information from a transplant centre that suggested that organs were available immediately and that they would be from living donors. There are also transcribes of interviews carried out where hospitals would tell those wanting a transplant that they would get organs from Falun Gong members.

An investigative journalist looked into these claims and he interviewed people that used to be detained in the labour camps and prisons as well as those who used to work there such as doctors and those working in security there. He suggests that organ harvesting began in the 1990’s using political prisoners. He suggested that over 60,000 Falun Gong and up to 4,000 other political prisoners were killed in order to use their organs for transplants between 2000 and 2008.

The Deputy Health Minister of China admitted in 2005 that the practice of taking organs from prisoners after death was widespread. Large transplant hospitals in Australia stopped training Chinese surgeons or doing any organ research with them. In both 2006 and 2007 officials in China denied that they had harvested organs and said that they abided by the World Health Organization where it is illegal to remove organs without the donors written consent.

In 2008 it was requested that the authorities in China should respond to organ harvesting allegations by two United Nations Reporters. They wanted China to reveal where they got such a high level of organs from since 2000. One of the reporters stated the following year that the Chinese government still hadn’t revealed any information on the sudden influx of organ transplants when the number of volunteer donors was so low.