News / Asia

Illicit Organ Harvesting in China Criticized

International Campaign Targets Organ Harvesting in Chinai
December 18, 2013
An international spotlight is focusing on the alleged practice by China of forcibly harvesting organs from prisoners of conscience and members of religious and ethnic minority groups. The European Parliament called on China on December 12th to halt the practice and the U.S. House of Representatives is considering a similar resolution. Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles on the mounting campaign to stop China from harvesting the organs of prisoners.
Elizabeth Lee
— The international spotlight is increasingly focused on the alleged practice by China of harvesting organs from prisoners of conscience and members of religious and ethnic minority groups. The European Parliament called on China on December 12 to halt the practice and the U.S. House of Representatives is considering a similar resolution.

In front of the Chinese consulate in Los Angeles, Falun Gong practitioners protest with banners and speeches. They accuse the Chinese government of forcibly harvesting the organs of imprisoned Falun Gong followers.  

Speaking to journalists, Zeng Zheng recalled her experience after her arrest.  

“On the day that we were transferred from the detention center to the labor camp, the person we saw, to our surprise, was not the police guard but a doctor.  We were taken to an unknown place where a doctor was waiting for us and to interrogate us about our medical history," said Zheng.

Falun Gong practitioner Dana Churchill is with Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting. The group works closely with Falun Gong.

“The majority of the people in the labor camps are Falun Gong. The majority of the organs are all coming from Falun Gong practitioners.  65,000 Falun Gong practitioners are estimated to have been murdered for their organs from 2001 to 2006, 2007," said Churchill.

Speaking to the China Daily, a Chinese government official dismissed the allegations as “sheer fabrications" of what he called the Falun Gong Cult.  The official said not a single Falun Gong practitioner has been subject to "forced organ transplantations.”

Harry Wu spent 19 years in Chinese labor camps. He eventually became a U.S. citizen and is a prominent human rights activist.  He is skeptical about the Falun Gong accusations.

“If you want to argue, if you want to protest, if you want to show up in front of the Chinese government, it’s right [alright]. But I told the Falun Gong very clear[ly] you really need the evidence," said Wu.

Wu has spoken with patients and doctors in China, and says the practice of removing the organs of executed prisoners continues but there has been a change in policy.

"China, until today, [for] more than 30 years remove[d] the organs from executed prisoners.  If we give a small estimate like 4,000 executed prisoners every year, 30 years that means 120,000 - [a] huge number," he said.

Gabriel Danovitch is a doctor at the University of California Los Angeles and a member of the Transplantation Society, also known as TTS.  He says TTS is working with the Chinese government to establish a transplant registry similar to those in the United States and Europe.
“I believe at the highest levels of the Chinese government and health ministries a decision has been made, and there is an understanding that this practice must come to an end," said Danovitch.

Haibo Wang, a top Chinese health official, confirmed this, telling the World Health Organization Bulletin last year that relying on the organs of death row prisoners is not ethical or sustainable.  

But Dr. Danovitch says China also needs to change a system that caters to the wealthy.

“China has almost been like a department store for organs for people coming from all over the world to pay for those organs and pay big money for those organs," he said.

Doctors and human rights groups say change will not happen overnight.  But Danovitch is hopeful that international pressure will move China to adopt an ethical way of acquiring organs for transplant.

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Comment Sorting
by: Deborah from: USA
December 31, 2013 12:39 AM
This article brings attention to the crisis of forced organ harvesting in China veiled in secrecy and ignorance. It is shockingly poorly informed. Aside from radical communists who seek to coverup the crimes against humanity of the current totalitarian insanely evil regime in China, no one in the free world disbelieve the urgent crisis of forced organ harvesting for profit. 170 US Congressman believe it and are moving to pass House Resolution 281. 1.5 million people just signed the Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting petition to end this crime. Wake up !! You could be the next victim ! Your heart is worth $160,000 in China.

In Response

by: Welft from: England
January 06, 2014 3:05 PM
Have you ever seen any positive news about China on VoA. BBC. CNN? Have you ever been in China? What are the information which you get from? Look at this news, no quotes, no authorized agencies, when and where did the journalist interview these people? And, what is most important, these people'words are their own words, no evidence, not credible. I don't want to judge this news because I have no evidence to support it or object to it. The only thing that we can do is doubting. And, please do not be misled by the newspaper!

by: Mehtasaab from: Washington, DC
December 18, 2013 3:10 PM
It is true. China does such horrible thing. It is shame to China.

by: Lucy from: California
December 17, 2013 9:38 PM
Flaunt Gong is full of elderly paranoidpeople or pure lying opportunists. China is not persecuting these con artists

by: Winston from: China
December 17, 2013 8:59 PM
I found this kind of news all were made by some Chinese dissidents,they fabricated them and accompanied the voanews to
announce that it found some breaking news,it is a really a farce.Please give the news truly,please investigate more and more,and give us a real China.

by: Anonymous
December 17, 2013 7:07 PM
No one will believe such fabricated stories. It is a shame for VOA.

In Response

by: Mao's Ghost from: NYC
December 19, 2013 9:50 AM
Thank you, Comrade. We need more loyal Party members like you on these Yankee Imperialist forums. Unfortunately, we used our remaining funds for this day to pay 50 Cent Party members Lucy and Winston. Instead, we can offer you a free beverage of your choice at any of our Party-owned cafes known as Mao's Beans. You should try the latte. It's revolutionary.

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