The organs of members of marginalized groups detained in Chinese prison camps are being forcefully harvested — sometimes when patients are still alive, an international tribunal sitting in London has concluded.
The China Tribunal concluded that “forced organ harvesting has been committed for years throughout China on a significant scale and the tribunal has had no evidence that the significant infrastructure associated with China’s transplantation industry has been dismantled and absent a satisfactory explanation as to the source of readily available organs concludes that forced organ harvesting continues till today.”
The tribunal was set up by campaign group the International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China and was charged with examining whether crimes had been committed as a result of China’s transplant practices. The panel said its findings were “indicative” of genocide but it had not been clear enough to make a positive ruling on that front. It recommended that international bodies investigate the issue further.
Central to the tribunal’s findings were estimates of the actual number of transplants taking place—far higher than official statistics, implausibly short waiting times and first-hand testimony from former detainees. Some of the organ extractions were said to have been conducted on live victims who were killed during their procedures. Various reports have estimated the number of transplants in China is somewhere between 60,000 and 100,000 per year.
Back in 2014, the Chinese government claimed that the practice of harvesting organs from executed prisoners would stop, but according to the tribunal that is not the case. “Falun Gong practitioners have probably the main source of organ supply,” the judgment stated, but “the concerted persecution and medical testing of the Uyghurs are more recent and it may be that evidence of forced organ harvesting of this group may emerge in due course.”
This is unspeakably evil. But the vaunted international community doesn’t have the fortitude to pressure China into actually stopping this horror, nor do countries and large companies want to lose the money that would result from taking such action. These faults and weaknesses being a given, we certainly shouldn’t expect China to do the moral thing any time soon.
The report concluded that anyone who interacts with China should be aware they are “interacting with a criminal state.” China and the UN have yet to issue a response.