Organ Harvesting – An inhuman crime and tragedy

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Organ Harvesting

An inhuman crime and tragedy


noun. The unlawful killing of a human being by an act done with intention to kill or to inflict grievous bodily harm, or with reckless indifference to human life.

We are confronted with not only a few acts of murder, but murders that are systematic and
committed on a large scale, sanctioned by the world’s largest remaining communist regime. This is the tragedy of organ harvesting in China, where victims’ bodies and organs are forcibly harvested and sold for profit; the evidence has been covered up for over a decade.

Leaked documents reveal mass killings

International headlines are documenting the momentum and depth of the political turmoil in China. The reason for this attention stems from the recent attempt of top official Wang Lijun to defect to the US Consulate in China.

Details of this attempted defection reveals explosive and controversial information that threatens to undermine the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its stranglehold control over the Chinese people.

It is reported that Wang gave US officials documents implicating the powerful former CCP boss Bo Xilai, Bo’s wife Gu Kailai and their connection to the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood.1

In particular, Wang gave US officials confidential documents containing critical information about the widespread involvement of top communist officials in the persecution of Falun Gong. Details reveal organ harvesting occurred from living Falun Gong practitioners in China’s network of military hospitals, prisons, mental hospitals, and labour camps.2

Live organ harvesting

Ethan Gutmann, a renowned specialist and researcher on human rights in China, has been investigating the state-controlled practice of removing organs from living victims.3 Mr Gutmann details interviews with former doctors and nurses who testified to witnessing the “on-site operations” (removal of organs straight after the execution of prisoners), indicating that tens of thousands have become unwilling sources for organs sold for profit to both local and foreign recipients. The business of organ trade is highly lucrative. A single kidney can sell for up to $US60,000, a liver up to $US90,000.

During the 1990s, organs were illegally removed from Uyghurs, Christians and other prisoners of conscience. In 1999,

The business of organ trade is highly profitable. A single kidney can sell for up to $US60,000, a liver up to $US90,000.”

Facts on Organ Harvesting

August 1999

Gunther von Hagens established his first corpse-processing factory in Dailian.

March 2006

A Chinese military doctor, a hospital worker and a Chinese journalist revealed that Falun Gong practitioners were being killed by the thousands for their organs in labour camps and hospitals throughout China.

July 2006

David Kilgour and David Matas released a report with evidence showing that harvesting of organs from Falun Gong practitioners in China is widespread and serious. China responded with Article 348, which became law in China.

March 2007

The number of documented cases of Falun Gong practitioners in China killed as a result of theresponded persecution surpasses 3,000. Estimates place the number of actual deaths many times higher.

May 2008

From December 2007 to May 2008, 8,000 Falun Gong adherents were reported to have been taken into custody as part of a pre-Olympic campaign of arrests. Several adherents died from torture within days or weeks of being taken into detention, and many others were sentenced to lengthy prison terms.

Updated October 2012



3. 4.


the pool of unwilling “donors” suddenly spiked, coinciding with the year that the Falun Gong spiritual practice was outlawed.

Former Canadian Secretary of State David Kilgour and international human rights lawyer David Matas released a report in 2006 that confirmed 41,500 unaccounted for transplants for the period 2000-2005 took place – the conclusion was that these could only have come from Falun Gong practitioners. 4

The evidence that has surfaced from Wang’s exposé has confirmed that Falun Gong practitioners have been widely killed on demand for their organs. Up to 65,000 are now estimated to have been murdered.2

Corpse factories revealed

Wang revealed information that confirmed Bo Xilai’s family were instrumental in mass-corruption and profiteering from the “organ industry”1,2. Bo’s wife Gu Kailai has been given a suspended death sentence for the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood. Reports have implicated Mr Heywood and Gu. Moreover, they were both directly involved in building institution-like factories in Dalian (the region where Bo was mayor) – that performed plastination of human corpses. The process involves dehydrating the bodies and injecting them with plastic. The bodies were then used in worldwide exhibitions, including in Australia in 2011.

The Dalian factory was approved by the Dalian Bureau of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation and the Dalian Industrial and Commercial Administrative Management Bureau, with Bo personally involved in approving the registration.

According to a New York Times report5, the pioneer of plastination, Gunther Von Hagens, discovered the availability of cheap labour, eager students, few regulations, and easy access to a large number of human bodies.

However, laws changed after July 2006. According to article 348 of the Chinese Supreme People’s Court’s judicial interpretation of China’s Criminal Procedure Law, the family of an executed prisoner is supposed to be notified that the body is available to be picked up within a specified time frame. Article 348 in effect leaves a loophole wide open for courts and public security officials to handle as they wish any body designated unclaimed.

When the family members of Falun Gong practitioners are summoned to claim the bodies of their loved ones, they are often handed a box of ashes, according to accounts on the Falun Gong website The families have no way of verifying whose ashes they have been given. According to Radio Free Asia, a single plastinated body can be sold for $US1 million.

Amnesty International Response

Amnesty International in August 2010 issued an appeal that stated companies should exercise due diligence to ensure that they are not directly or indirectly implicated in the taking or use of organs from executed prisoners.

Latest Research

In July 2012, Dr Torsten Trey and lawyer David Matas published an edited volume on organ transplant abuse in China, State Organs, including the killing of Falun Gong prisoners of conscience. It consolidates evidence from international researchers of these abuses, discusses their ethical implications and provides insight into how to combat these violations.

“In contrast to the global phenomenon of organ trafficking where the donor stays alive, organ procurement practices in China are mostly based on the ‘intended death’ of the donor… the death that did not occur by accident or in the course of nature, but rather through the decision or intention of other people. Practitioners of the spiritual movement Falun Dafa have become the main target for this pool of living organ donors.”

A re-enactment of the organ harvesting practice that takes place in labour camps and hospitals across China.

China’s political crisis

China, the world’s largest communist regime, comprises one-fifth of the global population and has created economic ties with the majority of Western countries. The political storm dominating news headlines in recent months has been compared to the fall of the Berlin Wall. Turbulence within the highest ranks of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has global implications.

What does this mean to Australia and the world?

The political storm unfolding in China is not only newsworthy, but governments and corporations connected with China are watching closely to see how they will be affected.
China is Australia’s largest two-way trading partner for goods and services. The value of trade with China topped $100 billion for the first time in 2010. 1

China is the biggest foreign investor in Australia’s coalmining industry.
Chinese nationals have also been buying farmland at an alarming rate and heavily investing in the real estate market.

Significant political changes in China are paramount to the stability of its economic climate and trade with Western nations.

Although there are always transitional and leadership changes in communist regimes, the political fallout can have significant global consequences.

Some of these impacts have already been felt. In March 2012, media reports revealed an alleged coup was averted in Beijing’s leadership compound.2 The same day, the cost of insuring the Chinese regime’s debt using credit-default swaps jumped 10 basis points, the biggest daily gain since Nov 9, 2011, according to Bloomberg.

The crisis

On Feb 6, Wang Lijun – a senior official and then-head of security in Chongqing – attempted to defect to the US Consulate. He feared for his life after being pursued by his own boss, the very powerful Bo Xilai.

Bill Gertz (Washington Times)3 reported that Wang Lijun had revealed to US officials that Bo Xilai was plotting to challenge the leadership. Wang also revealed significant information confirming widespread organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners.

Bo has since been arrested and purged from the CCP, bringing to the surface a serious rift in the Party.

Any political battle within the ruling body in a country that has had a totalitarian regime for over 60 years is a serious threat to its survival. Wang’s explosive defection revealed the brewing power struggle between two opposing camps within the CCP.

One faction maintains loyalty to Bo and former leader Jiang Zemin, while the other is on the side of current leader Hu Jintao.

View on Falun Gong critical

The two factions’ views on the regime’s most extensive campaign of suppression, the persecution, focuses on the Falun Gong (otherwise known as Falun Dafa) spiritual practice.

As the fastest growing spiritual practice in China in the 1990s, Falun Gong practitioners became a prominent target for ex-CCP leader Jiang Zemin. Falun Gong is now the largest group of prisoners of conscience in the world.

The extent of the persecution has extended beyond the borders of China and has interfered with foreign countries and policies. Subsequently, Falun Gong has also commonly been a topic that has surfaced around the world, as Chinese politicians and business people attempt to influence Western governments.

Since the earliest days of the brutal campaign, certain top Party officials have been particularly enthusiastic in carrying out the orders to “wipe out Falun Gong”.
bo xilai.png

Bo Xilai (L) and his wife Gu Kailai (R) have made billions of dollars selling human organs and corpses from unwilling prisoners of conscience.

Updated October 2012
Falun Dafa meditation.png

These officials – including Bo Xilai and Zhou Yongkang, among others – have proactively advanced the persecution, using it as a means to increase their power and influence within the CCP.4

Together, they have propelled an unlawful campaign of arrests, violence, and propaganda that has led to over 80,000 documented cases of torture, as well as a death toll in the thousands, if not the tens of thousands.

Officials like Bo Xilai have personally devised new torture methods to use on Falun Gong adherants, ordered the arrest of specific practitioners, and been involved in the forcible removal of organs5.

According to reports on the official Falun Dafa Information Centre, which collects eyewitness accounts and evidence of the persecution, systematic medical testing commenced on Falun Gong prisoners of conscience in 2000 throughout detention facilities. The testing was reported to ignore injuries inflicted by torture; instead, it focused on the health of vital organs.

According to The Epoch Times in 2006, the wife of a doctor publicly testified in the US that her husband personally removed as many as 2,000 corneas from Falun Gong practitioners.

According to official numbers from China, from 1991 to 1998, only 78 liver transplants were performed nationally. In 1999, when the ban on Falun Gong started, 118 liver transplant surgeries took place. By 2003, the number drastically increased to over 3,000. 6

Organ harvesting, and also using the remaining corpses in the practice of plastination, has brought billions of dollars to some officials in China. 7

The state-run organ trade in China has been denounced by the international community, including Australia. In 2006, two major Queensland hospitals banned the training of Chinese transplant doctors following reports of live organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners. 8

Governments’ responses

Following a public outcry over the unethical display of human remains for entertainment, the Body Exhibitions have been banned in a number of countries. Governments are increasingly voicing concern over the unconfirmed origin of these bodies and the possible health risks they present. Formal resolutions have been passed by the local governments of Seattle, Washington and New York City in the US.

We are calling on the Australian Government to urge China to stop the persecution of Falun Gong, as well as all illegal organ harvesting and plastination of bodies. Please contact your local MP regarding these crucial life-and-death issues.

Falun Gong practitioners are now the largest group of prisoners of conscience in the world.

Key Facts

Falun Gong is an ancient spiritual practice deeply rooted in Buddhist and Daoist traditions.

The key teachings are based on the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance, and involve five simple meditative exercises. It is practised by over 100 million people in more than 100 countries.

Falun Gong was illegally outlawed in China in 1999 due to the practice’s perceived threat to the communist regime. The practice was immensely popular and was the largest spiritual movement in China at the time.

Today, an estimated 450,000 to 1,000,000 Falun Gong practitioners are locked up in labour camps, where they suffer abuse, brainwashing and torture.

According to UN Rapporteur on Torture Dr Manfred Novak, Falun Gong practitioners comprise 66 per cent of all reported torture cases in China.

Falun Gong adherents are the largest single group of prisoners of conscience in the world today. A Falun Gong practitioner dies in police custody every three days.9


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