Human Rights Voices

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China, April 8, 2015

Livers, Kidneys and Even Corneas Removed From 11,000 Live Political Prisoners WITHOUT Anaesthetic Every Year In China

Original source

Daily Mail

Chinese hospitals are harvesting up to 11,000 organs from political prisoners without anaesthetic every year, according to a new documentary.

Some patients were still alive as they were secretly placed into incinerators in hospital boiler rooms after parts of their bodies had been removed, it has been claimed.

One former medical student revealed how 'blood was still running' as he cut through a body while a health worker told how her husband, a surgeon, had removed corneas from 2,000 people while they were still alive.

The harrowing details were revealed in the SBS Dateline documentary Human Harvest: China's Organ Trafficking which charted an eight year investigation in to what is said to be a multi-billion pound 'organs-on-demand' transplant programme.

It reveals Red Cross estimations that just 37 people are registered organ donors in China, even though the country has the second highest rate of transplants in the world.

Human Rights lawyer and Nobel peace prize nominee David Matas told Leon Lee's documentary that political prisoners make up the huge difference in the figures – with the banned religious group, the Falun Gong, a key target.

'Somebody's being killed for the organs. There's no other way to explain what's happening,' he said.

Mr Matas added that this explained the short wait for transplants in the country.

'Everywhere else in the world it would be months and years. When you book a transplant in advance, for a heart transplant, and you go to China and you get a transplant within a few days.'

The documentary claims that doctors and medical students in state-run military and civilian hospitals are taking thousands of organs a year from donors while they are still alive.

One former health worker is quoted as saying: 'I testify to the atrocious crime that the hospital committed in removing livers and corneas from living Falun Gong members.

'Some of them were still alive when they were secretly burnt in the incinerator that was in the boiler room.'

One medical student revealed how he took a liver and two kidneys from one person in an operation that took 30 minutes.

Chinese officials have denied the allegations, saying that organs are taken from volunteers, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

SBS quotes Health Minister Jiefu Huang as having said in a previous state television interview: 'The main source of our organs is from death row prisoners.'

But China's government last year vowed that this programme would be wound up by August this year.

Officials have faced criticism over the use of death row prisoners, but human rights lawyers involved in the investigation want further action with those responsible brought before the International Criminal Court in The Hague.