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China is harvesting organs from prisoners, report finds

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Evidence is found that ethnic and religious minorities are being targeted for organ transplants.

More than 1.5 million detainees in China’s prison camps have been killed for their organs, and ethnic and religious minorities have been particularly targeted for transplants, according to a report by a human rights group which released its findings on Monday.

The China Tribunal, tasked by the non-profit International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China (ETAC) to research the $1 billion organ transplant business in China, found evidence to suggest that ethnic and religious minorities, including practitioners of Falun Gong and Uighur Muslims have been targeted for transplants.

The investigation found the number of transplants performed, along with the short waiting lists for transplants, led investigators to the conclusion “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the “forced organ harvesting has been committed for years throughout China on a significant scale,” the report said.

The practice is “of unmatched wickedness — on a death for death basis — with the killings by mass crimes committed in the last century,” it added.

Some of the organ extractions were conducted on detainees who were still alive, but were killed during the procedures, according to the report.

“Thousands of innocents have been killed to order having the physical integrity of their beings — their bodies — cut open while still alive for their kidneys, livers, hearts, lungs, cornea and skin to be removed and turned into commodities for sale,” read the summary of the report.

“Doctors killed those innocent people simply because they pursued truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance and lived lives of healthy exercise and meditation that was seen as dangerous to the interests and objectives of the totalitarian state of the People’s Republic of China,” it said.

The international tribunal, chaired by Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, and made up of experts in human rights, transplant surgery and international relations, heard from 50 witnesses and over the course of the last year examined evidence relating to organ transplants in China.

The report found that an estimated 60,000 transplant operations have taken place in the last 20 years. Most the operations have been carried out by hospitals which are located in close proximity to detention centers, the report found. 

The Chinese government has denied charges that it is involved in state-sanctioned organ harvesting. In 2014, the government news agency reported that China would end the practice of harvesting organs from executed prisoners, reported AP.

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