The results of an international investigation published today accuse China of slaughtering its own citizens to harvest organs such as hearts, kidneys, lungs, eyeballs and even skin to sell and to transplant into sick patients in hospitals across the country.
The inquiry accuses the Beijing government of covering up “crimes against humanity” against religious minorities, and states that the practice is comparable to “the worst atrocities committed in conflicts of the 20th century” such as the Nazi extermination of Jews and Khmer Rouge massacres in Cambodia.
Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, a war crimes prosecutor who led the investigation, told The Mail this week that there was such clear evidence of “systemic and widespread” organ harvesting that international bodies should investigate whether China has been practicing genocide.
“There is a systematic program to kill people. They have willing doctors, an enormous medical infrastructure, and it is by all accounts a very lucrative business,” he said.
“Our government should accept it is going on and take appropriate action. If you had clear evidence of crimes against humanity being committed closer to home in Europe, not only would the Government act but the public would demand they act. It should not matter this is on the other side of the world.”
After initial denials, Beijing has admitted using executed prisoners for organ donation. However, the Chinese government strongly denies targeting members of Falun Gong, a banned spiritual group branded an “evil cult” by the Communist Party.
The Chinese government insists it has run a voluntary system of organ donation since 2015, but the claim is undermined by substantial evidence gathered by the inquiry and analysis of “unbelievable” official data by medical experts.
An article in a Chinese medical journal even discusses the need to anaesthetise a donor in a heart-lung transplant operation, a procedure that would obviously be fatal.
It is feared that Uighur Muslims – rounded up in vast numbers and imprisoned in “re-education” camps – are being used as a supply of body parts after evidence that many have been forced to undergo medical tests. Signs were also spotted recently at airports in western China – home to Uighur and other Muslim minority groups being terrorised by the state – for “special” passengers directed through a “human organ transport channel.”
One was written in English as well as Chinese, which indicates it was to guide foreign visitors.
Investigations into “transplant tourism” by a Japanese journalist uncovered prices of $200,000 (£156,000) for a kidney and $300,000 (£234,000) for a liver in 2013.