Organ harvestings on detainees happened in China and the vast majority were practitioners of Falun Gong, political dissidents, minority Uyghur and Tibetan.
Official reports issued by Chinese authorities documented 18,500 organ transplant cases in the six years between 1994 and 1999. And the number skyrocketed to around 60,000 in the next six years between 2000 and 2005. According to estimation made by the Amnesty International, approximately 2,000 prisoners were executed in China every year. Even if all organs used in the 18,500 transplant operations between 1994 and 1999 were supplied by executed prisoners, and that dead prisoners also supplied same amount of organs in the subsequent six years, it still left the sources of organs used in the other over 40,000 operations unexplained.
Mr. David Matas, a renowned human rights attorney, and Mr. David Kilgour, former Member of Parliament, and former Secretary of State, Asia-Pacific of the Canadian Government, conducted independent investigations. Their analysis of the massive amount of evidence led to the conclusion that “There has been and continues today to be large scale organ seizures from unwilling Falun Gong practitioners”.
They called the organ harvesting in China “an unprecedented form of evil on this planet”. Professor Arthur Caplan, head of the Division of Bioethics at New York University Langone Medical Center, reviewed all the evidence from the perspective of a medical professional, and concluded the same that there exists a state system to “kill on demand”.
This means that prisons and labor centers in China, in collaborations with hospitals affiliated with the Chinese military and police, choose organ donors amongst hundreds of thousands of detainees for their clients (many from abroad), practically killing those whose organs were identified as matches.
Since August 2006, the UN Rapporteur on Torture, Manfred Nowak and UN Rapporteur on Religious Intolerance, Asma Jahangir have submitted to the Committee Against Torture numerous testimonies about the CCP harvesting organs from living Falun Gong practitioners. In 2008, they said: “The reportedly short waiting times that have been advertised for perfectly-matched organs would suggest the existence of computerized matching system for transplants and a large bank of live prospective donors. It is alleged that the discrepancy between available organs and numbers form identifiable sources is explained by organs harvested from Falun Gong practitioners, and that the rise in transplants from 2000 coincides and correlates with the beginning of the persecution of these persons”. (U.N. document A/HCR/7/10/Add.1,29 February 2008 paragraph 40 to 41)
It is indeed “an unprecedented form of evil on this planet”. It harms people who are being detained, their beloved family members, the dignity of humankind, and most seriously, the underpinning principles of human civilization.
As we are concerned that the discipline of transplant surgery is abused for political reasons in China, we feel the responsibility to bring this issue to your attention.
Therefore, we call upon the UN Human Rights High Commissioner to initiate the formation of an independent, professional investigation team and to oversee the investigation on forced organ harvesting practices in China, with a special attention to prisoners of conscience. We also call upon you to call upon China to immediately halt the practice of harvesting organs from executed prisoners and prisoners of conscience.
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