ABC: Former policeman sheds light on organ harvesting

PM – Monday, 24 July , 2006 18:35:41
Reporter: Michael Edwards

COLVIN: Dozens of Australians go to China each year for organ transplants, but
do the organs they receive come from political prisoners?

Earlier this month
we reported on a Canadian investigation which said it had found more than 40,000
cases of organ transplants in China where the body parts came from executed political

Now a former Chinese policeman living in Australia has come forward
with details of how the gruesome practice of organ harvesting is done.

Liyong spent eight years as a policeman in Beijing.

Michael Edwards reports.

EDWARDS: Chinese body parts are in hot demand, with Western patients sick of long
waiting queues and in need of a transplant.

Customers are prepared to pay
up to $US 170,000 for a major organ such as a lung or heart.

Earlier this
month PM reported on a Canadian human rights study about political prisoners being
executed and then harvested for body parts.

It claimed since 2000 almost
40,000 transplants have been carried out using body parts harvested from executed
members of the Falun Gong movement.

And former Beijing policeman Sun Liyong
says he knows the methods used by Chinese authorities to harvest body parts from

Mr Sun now lives in Australia, but during the 1980s he claims
he was well aware of what was happening to executed prisoners.

(translated): Before the prisoners were executed the public security bureau would
go to the detention centre and test their blood. As far as I know during the period
I was a policeman all the organs were harvested by the Friendship Hospital in

MICHAEL EDWARDS: Records show the Friendship Hospital boasts of
an excellent reputation in transplant operations.

SUN LIYONG (translated):
The Beijing Public Security Bureau would notify the Friendship Hospital before
they carried out the execution of prisoners. The friendship hospital would then
send an ambulance, and as soon as the prisoners were executed, the police on the
spot would put them in a plastic bag and throw them into the van.

EDWARDS: Mr Sun says the date and time of the executions were determined by patient

He says once prison authorities had carried out the execution, hospital
staff were ready to act.

SUN LIYONG (translated): And the staff from the
hospital would already have everything prepared for the organ harvesting.

EDWARDS: Sun Liyong left the police force in 1987, but afterwards he became involved
in China’s democracy movement. He was eventually arrested for anti-government
activity and spent eight years in prison. In prison he came across more cases
of political prisoners being used for organ harvesting spending

diplomat Chen Yonglin defected to Australia last year. He says it was no big secret
in Government circles that both criminal and political prisoners were used for
organ harvesting.

Chen says it’s as much for political purposes as it is
commercial ones.

CHEN YONGLIN: In China, especially in modern time, the
ethics standard is extremely low. A lot of… you can see that fake products,
fake medicine everywhere in China. People just want money.

The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons warns Australians against travelling
to China to undergo transplants for both medical and ethical reasons. The Chinese
Government has rejected all aspects of the report into organ harvesting.

COLVIN: Michael Edwards.

Posting date: 24/July/2006
Original article
date: 24/July/2006
Category: Media Report


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