A second roundtable meeting was held at Westminster on Tuesday the 17th April 2018 to raise awareness about claims of forced organ harvesting in China – co-hosted by Jim Shannon MP and Fiona Bruce MP.
This meeting presented the available evidence of forced organ harvesting in China and experts discussed the steps the UK Government can take to help prevent this practice.
Speakers: David Kilgour, Benedict Rogers, Ethan Gutmann, Enver Tohti, Andy Moody, Dr Adnan Sharif, Si Gross, Zek Halu
SEE BELOW FOR SPEECHES BY ETHAN GUTMANN AND DAVID KILGOUR
Ethan Gutmann’s remarks at the Westminster Roundtable. April 17, 2018.
(Special thanks to Rukiye Turdush and Becky James)
Back at the Roundtable in mid-December 2017, I examined the allegation that Beijing was ending the practice of harvesting political and religious dissidents for their organs. I argued it was logical for the Chinese Communist Party to do so, and their rhetoric has certainly followed that logic – and yet, China’s transplant volume has held steady. Even if we believed the Chinese voluntary donation numbers, they could not come close to filling China’s output. I also spoke of the Chinese effort to gather blood and DNA from every Uyghur in Xinjiang – tests that could be exploited for tissue matching.
What has happened in the new year?
The blood testing of 17 million Uyghurs is complete. And the Vatican is edging toward a historic rapprochement with Beijing. In the words of Bishop Sorondo: “the Church, the United Nations, and the people of the earth must follow the evolution of a country with a population of 1,300 million and 31 million Christians” – China, it seems, is the “protagonist of the new world scenario that is passing from the Atlantic to the Pacific…”
In other words, it doesn’t matter what Beijing is doing now – such as demolishing churches – and it doesn’t matter if the Party has committed mass murder. In essence, the Vatican wants to run with the big dogs and Beijing wants a papal dispensation.
Both parties may need one. Because there is a new development since we last spoke: Uyghur mass incarceration.
There are Falun Gong practitioners in this room today who know something about incarceration. And that’s the point: China’s public security bureau, the PSB, have exploited both Uyghurs and Falun Gong as experimental subjects.
Not only live organ extraction, but the harvesting of prisoners of conscience began with the Uyghurs in the mid-1990s; the procedure was perfected and put into mass production with Falun Gong. In 2001, the PSB created a mass-media pretext for murdering Falun Gong with the stage-managed immolation in Tiananmen. Thirteen years later, it was Uyghur “terrorists” in the Kunming station. The facts are murky, yet there was a reason why every Western media outlet used quotation marks around the term “terrorists” – until CNN caved to Beijing’s pressure. About five years ago, the PSB began DNA home-testing practitioners; now they’ve sampled the entire Uyghur population. Beijing created China’s Big Brother web to catch Falun Gong; yet predictive policing using big data analysis – that is, true total surveillance – blossomed in the deserts of Xinjiang.
For the years 2000 to 2008, I postulated that 450,000 to a million Falun Gong were incarcerated in the Laogai System at any given time. Now, the Congressional Executive Commission on China has confirmed that half a million to a million Uyghurs are presently incarcerated in “re-education” camps, or “transformation” facilities – and practitioner refugees understand the full implications of that word.
How do we come up with this number? It’s pieced together from Chinese sources. Beijing estimates that there are only 12 million Uyghurs (not 17 million, the Uyghur estimate) and according to Radio Free Asia and AP, the local PSBs tend to brag about their arrests: 10% of the Uyghur northern population is incarcerated, 40% in Hotan, 10% in Kashgar. Easy enough to get to a million, although let’s acknowledge the uncertainties; these may be “revolving door” numbers with “sentences” ranging from a single weekend to 20 years. It won’t be cleared up soon. With the arrest of the Globe and Mail’s Nathan Vanderklippe, Western journalists have generally avoided the trek out to Xinjiang. So under conditions of an Internet black-out, the academic, political, and intelligence community believe – as do I – that these are the best numbers that we can get.
The tragedy lies behind these numbers. Every township has a story: In Bullaqsu, there are “hardly any males to be seen.” The pretext was an incident four years ago where police removed two women’s headscarves. About 200 Uyghurs stopped the police from arresting the women. So the PSB multiplied that number by four, and threw all the males in a camp.
Or take just one of the deaths in detention. An 87-year-old man was held for a year, with continuous sound torture using a specifically designed helmet – along with sleep and water deprivation. The PSB released him and he died. Immediately. Anyone familiar with my book, The Slaughter, or indeed many of the accounts on Minghui.com will know the pattern. Release to the home community at the point of death – “kill the chicken to scare the monkey”
And the humiliations: Mosques patrolled. Then shut down. Then destroyed. Suppressing public displays of Muslim prayer. Then the compulsory patriotic songs. Then imams forced to perform the “Little Apple” dance. College students forced to eat during Ramadan. Uyghur prisoners forced to drink alcohol and eat pork – specifically, the pig’s head, feet, and guts.
The oft-imagined world of Islamophobia is the real-life world of the Uyghurs. And any practitioner who had to step on a poster of Teacher Li Hongzhi just to pay a visit to a loved one in the Dragon Mountain labor camp will know that this gratuitous humiliation – the rape of human dignity – may be the worst torture of all.
So if the British Foreign Office is listening: The time for questions about organ harvesting and the reasons for the persecution – that’s done. Because it is already starting over again.
Congress and the European Parliament have openly condemned Beijing for the organ harvesting prisoners of conscience, so you don’t need to re-invent the wheel. Nor do you need the big dogs or “the new world scenario.” You need to run with your allies, and publicly, explicitly, condemn Beijing.
David Kilgour’s remarks at the Westminster Roundtable. April 17, 2018.
Human-trafficking is an appalling component of modern slavery; there are estimated to be more slaves today than at any other time in recorded history. The reasons include a lack of general awareness, poor data, weak legal systems, insufficient resources and inadequate collaboration in the counter-trafficking communities. Most absent of all is a coordinated international campaign. Responsible national governments worldwide need to act together.
I’ll speak to the related scourge of organ pillaging/trafficking/tourism, which has targeted and victimized innocent people for almost twenty years across China.
In mid-2006, the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong in China (CIPFG) asked David Matas and me as volunteers to investigate claims of organ trafficking from Falun Gong practitioners. We released two reports and a book, Bloody Harvest, and have continued to investigate (Our revised report is available in 18 languages from www.david-kilgour.com). We concluded that for 41,500 transplants done in the years 2000-2005 in China, the sourcing beyond any doubt was Falun Gong prisoners of conscience.
Here are two of the 18 kinds of evidence that led to our finding:
- Investigators made many calls to hospitals, detention centres and other facilities across China claiming to be relatives of patients needing transplants and asking if they had organs of Falun Gong for sale. We obtained on tape and then transcribed and translated admissions that approximately 15 such facilities across the country were then trafficking in Falun Gong organs.
- Falun Gong prisoners, who later got out of China, indicated that they were systematically blood-tested and organ-examined while in forced-labour camps across the country. Since they were tortured, this could not have been for their health, but was necessary for successful organ transplants and for building a bank of live “donors”.
Nobel Peace Prize nominee and co-founder of the International Coalition to end Organ Abuse in China Ethan Gutmann’s 2014 book, The Slaughter, places the persecution of the Falun Gong, Tibetan, Uyghur, and Eastern Lightening Christian communities in context. He explains how he arrived at his “best estimate” that organs of 65,000 Falun Gong and “two to four thousand” Uyghurs, Tibetans and Christians were “harvested” in the 2000- 2008 period.
The closing words of Slaughter are addressed to responsible governments, organizations and persons: “No Western entity possesses the moral authority to allow the (P)arty to impede the excavation of a crime against humanity in exchange for promises of medical reform. As a survival mechanism of our species, we must contextualize, evaluate, and ultimately learn from every human descent into mass murder … The critical thing is that there is a history. And only the victims’ families can absolve the Party from its weight.”
Matas, Gutmann and I released an Update on our two books in June 2016 in Washington, Ottawa and Brussels (accessible from the International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China www.endtransplantabuse.org ).
- It provides a thorough examination of the transplant programs of hundreds of hospitals across China, drawing on medical journals, hospital websites, and deleted websites found in archives. It analyzes hospital revenues, bed counts and utilization rates, surgical personnel, state funding and other factors.
- We conclude cautiously that a minimum of 60,000 transplants per year are being done across China as of mid-2016, not the approximately 10,000 the government claims. There is a very small pool of ‘volunteer donors’ plus a few thousand convicted prisoners. This means that about 150 persons daily are killed for their organs.
- We provide much evidence of a state-directed organ transplantation network, controlled through national policies and funding, and implicating both the military and civilian healthcare systems.
The party-state’s current narrative asserts that all transplantation organs since Jan 2015 are voluntarily provided through the semantical trick of reclassifying prisoner organs as “voluntary donations”.
Professionals who should know better, including the World Health Organization, the Transplantation Society (TTS) and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, have accepted the party line, skipping over, as Louisa Greve of the International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China puts it (www.endtransplantabuse.org ), “the admission that China’s billion-dollar transplant industry was built on prisoners’ organs”.
Last fall, after a screening of the Peabody award-winning film Human Harvest at a theatre in Boston’s Harvard Square, I stressed points made earlier by my colleague David Matas (http://endtransplantabuse.org/party-profession-organ-transplant-abuse-china/):
- Mental health professionals globally faced the abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet Union and acted strongly against it. Today, international transplant professionals face the abuse of transplant surgery in China, but their response differs.
- The global transplantation profession today can be broken into three groups.
o The aware who have read the research and realize that what is going on in China with transplantations is mass killing of innocents and cover up. They react accordingly, distancing themselves from the Chinese transplant profession and encouraging others to do likewise.
o The naive do not consider the research and argue that doing so falls outside their area of responsibility. They hear research conclusions on the one hand and party-state propaganda on the other and draw no conclusions.
o The foolish buy Chinese party-state propaganda. They parrot its line that the research demonstrating mass killing of innocents is based on rumour. They echo the Party line that the research is unverifiable, though it is both verifiable and verified. They repeat its claim that abuses are in the past, when they are not.
- The global transplant leadership does not have the time to read research into transplant abuse in China, or the grace to invite researchers to the events they help organize, but they might at least listen to what they themselves are saying.
- People in China, especially state officials, who deviate from the Party line get arrested. That is pervasive across all areas of policy, and not just something which happens in the transplantation field. They are released only if they undertake, after release, to conform to the Party line. There is no other basis for release, except for extreme illness. For foreign transplant leaders to take at face value what a released official says, without investigation or verification, means that they too are adopting the Party line.
- Outside China, organ sources are either dead (at least brain dead) before the sourcing or alive both before and afterwards. China is the only country where sources are killed by organ extraction, and where sources are alive before and dead afterwards.
There is an equation here of Chinese law and policy with practice, showing a lack of awareness that the law in China cannot be enforced against the Party, since it controls all aspects of the enforcement of the legal system… The four organizations (World Health Organization (WHO), the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences (PAS), The Transplantation Society (TTS) and the Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group (DICG)) are pleased that the Party says what they want to hear.
Beijing has no credible answers to the work of independent researchers who have demonstrated the mass killings of innocents. Given the scale of the transplantation industry in China, it is impossible to deny this research in any credible manner. Party propaganda, denying official data, pretending what is there is not there, can persuade only the gullible or the wilfully blind. One can only hope that a willingness to confront the truth about China will prevail generally in the transplantation profession before many more innocents are killed for their organs.
FORCED LABOUR CAMPS
David Matas and I visited a dozen countries to interview Falun Gong practitioners who had managed to leave both the camps and China. These prisoners of conscience have been the major source of organs since 2001 across China. They told us of working in appalling conditions for up to sixteen hours daily in these camps with no pay and little food, crowded sleeping conditions and torture. Inmates make a range of export consumer products as subcontractors to multinational companies. This constitutes gross corporate irresponsibility and a violation of WTO rules, calling for an effective response by all trading partners of China.
James Mann, author of China Fantasy and former Beijing bureau chief of the Los Angeles Times: “…Democratic governments around the world need to collaborate more often in condemning Chinese repression — not just in private meetings but in public as well…Why should there be a one-way street in which Chinese leaders send their own children to America’s best schools, while locking up lawyers at home? The Chinese regime is not going to open up because of our trade with it…”
Premier Wen Jiao-bao noted before leaving office, “Without the success of political structural reform, it is impossible for us to fully institute economic structural reform. The gains we have made…may be lost…and such a historical tragedy as the Cultural Revolution may happen again.”
Governments and business everywhere should examine why they are supporting the violation of so many basic human rights in order to increase trade and investment with China. It has resulted mostly in national jobs being outsourced to China and continuous increases in bi-lateral trade and investment deficits. Are we so focused on access to inexpensive consumer goods that we ignore the human, social and natural environment costs paid by abused Chinese nationals to produce them?
The first step in a better direction is to end organ pillaging/trafficking/tourism now. Ponder the reality that even if only 60,000 transplants per year are now done across China it means about 150 persons per day on average are being killed for their organs. Permit me to invite all of you to join our International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China, which you can do easily at www.endtransplantabuse.org