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Wed 11 December 2019
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Continuing his reports on the atrocities in western China, CJ Werleman documents more of Beijing’s crimes against humanity.


What will it take before the international community does anything meaningful to pressure China into ending what has become the world’s largest industrial-scale persecution of a religious minority since the Holocaust?

Will it take photographs of dead bodies piled on top of each other? Or satellite footage of chimney stacks spewing the smoky remains of gassed Muslim concentration camp detainees into the atmosphere?

These are reasonable questions given no amount of alarming evidence – including a trove of recently leaked Chinese Government documents, as published by The New York Times and others – has rallied the world into ending Beijing’s crimes against humanity.

We now know that there are more than three million Muslims being held in 500 camps. We also know that children are being separated from their families; that the wives of detained Uyghur men are forced to sleep with male Han Chinese Government officials; and that detainees are subjected to pack rape, forced sterilisations, torture and even death.

Now, a new report published in the journal BMC Medical Ethics has revealed what appears to be China’s effort to cover up its harvesting of body parts from Uyghur Muslim detainees by falsifying organ donation data. It suggests that more than 90,000 Muslims and other political prisoners are being executed each year for the purpose of profiting from the sale of their live organs.

“A variety of evidence points to what the authors believe can only be plausibly explained by systematic falsification and manipulation of official organ transplant data-sets in China,” the report states. “Some apparently non-voluntary donors also appear to be misclassified as voluntary. This takes place alongside genuine voluntary organ transplant activity, which is often incentivised by large cash payment.”

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) claims that the total number of legal organ transplants in China are roughly 10,000 per year – but the authors of the report are able to demonstrate that the actual figure is far greater, falling somewhere in the range of 60,000 to 100,000, using data obtained from the country’s three largest hospitals.

According to the Chinese Government, only 100 hospitals are approved to carry out organ transplant operations. But the researchers have “verified and confirmed 712 hospitals which carry out liver and kidney transplants”.

The report’s authors conclude that the discrepancy between Beijing’s official figures and estimates made by researchers is a result of China attempting to hide what the International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China describes as an “elaborate cover-up that disguises the state-run mass murder of innocent people”.


Earlier this year, Enver Tohti, an exiled Uyghur oncology surgeon, who is credited by human rights organisations with carrying out the first live organ removal of a political prisoner in China, described to me the grisly details of the CCP’s grisly live organ harvesting programme.

“I was called by my chief surgeon to go to a room near the Urumqi execution grounds to remove the liver and two kidneys from an executed prisoner,” said Tohti. “It turned out he wasn’t fully dead because they [Chinese execution squad] intentionally shot him through the right chest to knock him out [without killing him], so I would have time to remove his organs.”

Tohti said that his chief surgeon demanded he perform the operation without giving the prisoner anesthesia, and that he could also see the man’s still-beating heart as he removed his kidneys and liver.

This deliberately botched execution of a Uyghur prisoner took place in 1995 and would be the first time Tohti unwittingly participated in China’s live organ harvesting programme, telling a UK newspaper in 2013 that it wasn’t until years later that he realised what he had been a part of and just how widespread and systematic the grotesque practice had become in the Uyghur Muslim-majority region.


The European Parliament’s Public Health Committee and Human Rights Sub-Committee has said that illegally harvested kidneys and livers fetch as much as €150,000 each, emphasising one of the driving motives behind China’s organ harvesting programme.

In June, the China Tribunal, a panel of lawyers and experts, concluded that “China continues to kill prisoners of conscience for organ transplants”, with murdered members of the Falun Gong spiritual group and Uyghur minority “being used as a bank of organs”.

“The conclusion shows that very many people have died indescribably hideous deaths for no reason,” said Sir Geoffrey Nice, the tribunal’s chairman, in the judgment. Many were “cut open while still alive for their kidneys, livers, hearts, lungs, cornea and skin to be removed and turned into commodities for sale,” he added.

Two months ago, China Tribunal lawyer Hamid Sabi told the United Nations Human Rights Council that “forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience, including the religious minorities of Falun Gong and Uyghurs has been committed for years throughout China on a significant scale”.

China is not only systematically erasing 12 million Uyghur Muslims, but also profiting from their annihilation by marketing and selling their remains.

In 20 years from now, when Hollywood produces films about the Muslim Holocaust in China, we’ll forget we did nothing to stop the genocide, scratch our heads and ask: “How did we let this happen and why did we do nothing to stop it?”


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