The Killing in China of Prisoners of Conscience for their Organs: Smoking Guns
by David Matas
Individual snapshots of organ transplant abuse in China and attempts at cover up can not show volume or scale or scope of the abuse. Yet these individual snapshots can provide insights that a description of the overall situation can not.
A smoking gun is evidence of only one murder. The instances set out below are bits. Yet, they are emblematic. By seeing pieces, we get glimpses of the whole.
Witnessing a smoking gun obviates the need to be in the room, hear the shot, and see fire from the gun going off. If walking into the room shortly after, we can see that the gun is still smoking, we know that the gun was shot.
Through the prism of the instances, we can picture what is happening. Through the eyes of those engaged in the system, we can see the guilt or wilful blindness. Through the eyes of the witnesses, we can see the bewilderment. Through the eyes of the surviving victims or their families, we can see the horror. The physical trail of evidence is itself irrefutable.
The Government of China/ Chinese Communist Party engages in a rolling cover up. One can see this by the stories of Lu Guoping and Shi Bingyi below. The result is that over time old evidentiary trails of abuse are not repeated. Any indicator of abuse, shortly after it is identified as demonstrating abuse, is shut down to public access.
Accordingly, while there are many smoking guns or what the late David Kilgour used to call smoking scalpels, they tend to vary over time. We do not see replicas today of the smoking guns of yesterday, because the propagandists make every effort to ensure there are no replicas. There do exist nonetheless indicators of abuse today, albeit different from the indicators of abuse of yesterday.
There are some indicators of abuse which are continuous and impossible to hide or deny. There is the unrepealed 1984 Chinese law, referred to below, which allows for the harvesting of organs of prisoners without their consent or the consent of their families provided the bodies are unclaimed. For prisoners of conscience, bodies are typically unclaimed because the families do not know where their disappeared relatives are. As well, even if they do know, sheer prudence often means keeping away from the authorities.
For the 1984 law see the appendix “Temporary Rules Concerning the Utilization of Corpses or Organs from the Corpses of Executed Criminals” in the document found at this link;
There is also the huge transplant infrastructure in China, the massive buildings, wings of buildings, bed counts, staff counts, patient volume and transplant volume. That infrastructure is looming and obvious. Investigations show that donation sources which the State/ Party claims sustain this infrastructure supply only a tiny portion of the volume which this infrastructure generates.
Evidence from actors in the system
In September 2005, Chinese transplant doctor and former Deputy Minister of Health Huang Jiefu
“ordered two spare livers from Guangzhou and Chongqing for an emergency liver transplantation in Xinjiang province. The incident was reported in local media, Urumqi Online and sina.com.cn. See: Urumqi Online, ‘Record Breaking Two Liver Transplants in 25 Hours’ (October 11, 2005); Sina, ‘Our first autologous liver transplant was successfully performed in Xinjiang’ (October 3, 2005) The links to these reports were taken down, but details of the original reports are available at http://www.upholdjustice.org/node/264#_edn25.
According to the news reports, Huang Jiefu went to The First Affiliated Hospital of Xinjiang Medical University on September 28, 2005 to perform liver transplant for a local Communist Party official. Huang originally planned to conduct an allogeneic transplant on the patient [transplant of an organ from another person]. But upon inspecting the patient’s body cavity, Huang found that an autologous liver transplant would be suitable. As autologous transplant was risky and experimental (meaning that the patient’s liver is removed, the cancer excised, and the liver transplanted back into the body), Huang ordered two spare livers from the First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University of Medical Sciences in Guangzhou, Guangdong province and Third Military Medical University Affiliated Southwest Hospital in Chongqing, Sichuan province.
Within a few hours, each hospital had managed to find a donor with the ‘same blood type and genetic loci’ as the patient. Both spare livers arrived to Xinjiang from Chongqing and Guangzhou on the evening of the next day, September 29, 2005. Huang Jiefu began the operation at 7 p.m. on the same day and finished operating at 10 a.m. the following day. After 24 hours of observation, Huang announced that the operation was successful and that the two spare livers were no longer needed.
Livers typically have a cold ischemia time of between 6-10 hours. Cold ischemia time is the time between the chilling of organ after its blood supply has been cut off and the time it is warmed by having its blood supply restored in the recipient’s body. The shorter the ischemic time of the organ, the better is the success rate for organ transplant. Organs lose their eligibility for transplant if they are left too long without blood circulation.
It takes approximately six hours to fly the liver from Guangzhou to Xinjiang, and several more hours for Huang to perform the autologous liver transplant. If the livers were to be usable as back up for Huang Jiefu’s transplant operation, they must be harvested from donors right before they were sent to Huang. Otherwise, the livers would spend too long without blood circulation during transit and standby, losing their eligibility for transplant before they had the opportunity to be used.
The necessary implication is that two living donors were killed at calculated timing to satisfy Huang Jiefu’s order of two backup livers. Such calculated timing is impossible to achieve in voluntary organ donations. The livers could only be obtained through the extrajudicial killing of victims ….
This conclusion is corroborated by the fact that the two matching livers were found by the hospitals in a matter of hours, in contrast to wait times of more than two or more years in countries with organ donation programs.
As well, Huang Jiefu is an experienced transplant surgeon that must be aware of the difficulty, if not impossibility, in finding and obtaining two viable backup livers from Guangzhou and Chongqing city in normal circumstances. His confidence in issuing the order shows that he is privy to the method and manner in which the hospitals procured organs.
No one survives the removal of a whole liver. By ordering two livers from Guangzhou and Chongqing, Huang Jiefu knowingly ordered the extrajudicial killing of two prisoners … for his transplant surgery in Xinjiang.”
Mandarin speaking investigators called a number of hospitals and transplant doctors to ask about transplants. The callers presented themselves as potential recipients or relatives of potential recipients. Phone numbers were obtained from the internet. These calls resulted in a number of admissions that Falun Gong practitioners are the sources of organ transplants.
One of these calls was made to Nanning City Minzu Hospital in Guangxi Autonomous Region (22 May 2006). The exchange, in part, was this:
“Q: Didn’t you use Falun Gong practitioners’ organs before?
A: Now it has changed from before….
Q: Then they [the hospital in Guangzhou to which the caller was referred] use organs from Falun Gong practitioners?
A: Right, right, right….
Q: It is said that the organs from Falun Gong practitioners are relatively healthy and better. Do they use this kind as well?
A: Right, right, right. Usually the healthy ones are chosen.
Q: What I mean is that the organs from Falun Gong practitioner are better. Do they use this kind as well?
A: Right, right, right….
Q: …what you used before, were they from detention centres or prisons?
A: From prisons.
Q: Oh, prisons. And it was from healthy Falun Gong practitioners, the healthy Falun Gong right?
A: Right, right, right. We would choose the good ones, because we will assure the quality of our operations.
Q: That means you choose the organs yourself?
A: Right, right, right….
Q: …Usually how old is the age of the organ supplier?
A: Usually in their 30s.
Q: In their 30s. Then you will go to the prison to select yourself?
A: Right, right, right. We must select it.”
This particular call led to a stunning response from the Government of China. Phoenix TV, a Hong Kong media outlet, produced a Government of China documentary response to the report Bloody Harvest. In this documentary, Lu Guoping acknowledges having received the call. He confirms that he referred the caller to a hospital in Guangzhou. He acknowledges that the caller asked whether that hospital used organs from Falun Gong practitioners.
What changes in the documentary is the answer he said he gave. In the TV interview, he says:
“I told her I was not involved in the surgical operations and had no idea where the organs come from. I told her I could not answer her questions. She then asked me whether these organs come from prisons. I replied no to her in clear-cut terms”
On the video, Dr. Lu is presented with a partial transcript of the call made to him found. He reacts by saying:
“The record of the phone call does not conform to the truth. Many parts of it have been distorted or mutilated. The report says that when I was asked where the organs removed from Falun Gong people came from, prisons or detention, houses I said they came from the prisons. But this was not my answer…. The report also says that when the person who called me asked whether we have to go to the prison to select body organs I answered yes and added we have to go there to make the choice. This question was actually not raised at all then.”
There is no indication in the Phoenix TV documentary that there is a recording where Dr. Lu says in his own voice the words attributed to him. Nor does either the doctor or the interviewer make any attempt to explain how it would be possible to get the voice of the doctor on a recording saying what he denies saying, interspersed seamlessly with what he admits saying, if he did not say what he denies saying. The suggestion left by the documentary is that the transcript of the conversation has been altered. Because there is no acknowledgement of a recording, there is no suggestion that the recording was altered.
So, here there is, on a recording, an admission from a doctor that he used to go to a prison to select Falun Gong practitioners for their organs. He does not just say that someone else did this. He says that he used to do this himself. Moreover, the doctor later acknowledges, on TV no less in a Chinese Communist Party propaganda documentary, that the voice on the recording is his voice.
See David Matas and David Kilgour, Bloody Harvest: The killing of Falun Gong for their organs, pages 84 to 86,
Chinese military transplant doctor Shi Bingyi has in the past been quoted in Chinese publications as providing statistical information on transplant volumes and then denied he has done so. An article posted on Health Paper Net in March 2006 contained this statement: ‘Professor Shi said that in the past 10 years, organ transplantation in China had grown rapidly; the types of transplant operations that can be performed were very wide, ranging from kidney, liver, heart, pancreas, lung, bone marrow, cornea; so far, there had been over 90,000 transplants completed country-wide;’
In an interview with Science Times in May 2007, Dr. Shi said:
‘The number of organ transplants in China reached a historic peak in 2006, in which nearly 20,000 cases of organ transplants were performed.’
Dr. Shi was interviewed for a TV documentary titled ‘Davids Report Re-examined’ produced by Phoenix TV and broadcast in October 2007.
Some of the questions asked of Dr. Shi in the TV interview and his answers are these:
‘Question: We recently saw a report produced by two Canadian independent investigators. It quotes your statement that by 2005 China had conducted some 90,000 transplants. They include 60,000 such operations from 2000 and [to] 2005 which is a period when the Falun Gong was suppressed. This shows a numerical increase. Under what conditions did you say this?
Answer: I didn’t make such a statement because I have no knowledge of these figures. I have not made [a] detailed investigation about the subject. Therefore I have no figures to show how many were carried out and in which year. So I could not have said this.
Question: Although you have not revealed concrete figures, do the figures in the report match the reality?
Answer: I don’t think that these figures are correct as the report shows they were calculated on the basis of phone calls to hospitals. They asked for figures from those hospitals in the names of families of patients.
Question: You have read the report. Have you ventured to clarify figures the report says you produced?
Answer: Yes I did. Because I am a soldier what I did was to lodge a protest through legal channels. I sent the protest to the Ministry of Health through the Department of Health of the PLA General Logistics Department. I made it clear in the protest that I never said what is attributed to me.’
Manfred Nowak, the then United Nations Rapporteur on Torture, asked the Government of China to explain the discrepancy between volume of organ transplants and volume of identified sources, relying, in part, in our report and its reference to the article of March 2006 quoting Dr. Shi. The Chinese government, in a response sent to the Rapporteurs by letter dated March 19, 2007 and published in the report of Professor Nowak to the UN Human Rights Council dated February 19, 2008, stated that
‘Professor Shi Bingyi expressly clarified that on no occasion had he made such a statement or given figures of this kind, and these allegations and the related figures are pure fabrication.’
See https://digitallibrary.un.org/record/621279?ln=en at paragraph 36 of the English report.
Dr. Shi, MD and Li-Ping Chen wrote in the issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association in November 2011:
‘Dr. Trey and colleagues mention that in 2005, transplant figures peaked with 20 000 transplants. However, as organ transplant specialists, we and our colleagues have never heard of this many transplants per year in China’ See November 2, 2011 Volume 306 number 17 page 1864
Dr. Shi then, in four instances, professed ignorance of something about which his earlier statements show that he knew – the 20,000 and 90,000 figures and the research on the mass killing through forced organ extraction of practitioners of the spiritually based set of exercises Falun Gong.
Neither the article in Health Paper Net nor the article in Science Times nor the Phoenix TV interview are available any more on the internet on their original websites. They are available only because they have been archived through a web crawler, the Wayback Machine.
The Wayback Machine captured the Health Paper Net March 2006 article first on August 26, 2006. The last capture was August 7, 2008. The next web crawler capture of the URL after that date, on June 20, 2009, reports that the page could not be found.
As noted, the Phoenix TV interview was October 2007. So, Dr. Shi was saying during this TV interview that he did not say something which, at the very moment of his denial, was posted on the internet as something he said.
If one looks at the translation of the original Chinese Health Paper Net of March 2006 article which the Google Chrome browser generates, the sentence which contains the 90,000 figure disappears, not just in the English translation, but in all of the many language translations. Yet, the number 9 appears in the original Chinese paragraph, as one can plainly see.
If one saves the original Chinese language article as PDF through a printing option, convert the PDF to Word, through an optical character recognition app which can recognize Chinese characters, and then put this Word text into Google translate, the sentence with the 90,000 figure appears in the translation. The phrase with the figure 90,000 in Google translate is this: ‘More than 90,000 cases were transplanted last year’.
Because of translations done of the original by persons proficient in Chinese, a better translation would be ‘More than 90,000 cases were transplanted so far’ or ‘More than 90,000 cases were transplanted up to last year’ or ‘More than 90,000 cases were transplanted last year to date’ or ‘More than 90,000 cases were transplanted by last year’. As for the 20,000 figure in the Science Times article, that remains in the translation of the original Chinese Science Times article of May 2007 which the Google Chrome browser generates.
See “Comment: Reform of Transplantation in China” by David Matas and David Kilgour, World Medical Journal, August 2020,
Uyghur Surgeon Enver Tohti made these statements:
“It was a hot day in the summer of 1995, when two of our chief surgeons told me to fully prepare the mobile surgery equipment and wait for them the next day at the hospital gate with an ambulance and three other assistants at 9 AM. So I did. The next morning, I saw our two chief surgeons appearing around 9AM in a car. They told me to follow them, so we did.
About 30-40 minutes later we arrived to Western Mountain (Xishan), an execution ground. It was quite famous; we had all heard of it but never been there before.
We had been told to wait behind a hill, and come into the field as soon as we’d hear the gun shot. So we waited.
A moment later there were gun shots. Not one, but many. We rushed into the field. An armed police officer approached us and told me where to go. He led us closer, then pointed to a corpse, saying ‘this is the one’.
By then our chief surgeon appeared from nowhere and told me to remove the liver and two kidneys. He urged me to hurry up, so we took the body into the van and removed his liver and kidneys.
I noticed that the gun wound was on his right chest, so I guess that was deliberately to make this prisoner not die immediately to allow some time for us to remove those organs when he is still alive. An operation to repair an organ is very difficult and takes a very long time to do, but this time it was totally different. It was an operation of extraction, so it was easy and quick.
Then our chief surgeons put those organs in a special box, and got into the car. They told me to take my team back to the hospital, and left. I have no idea where they went.
I, on the other hand, led my team back to where we came from.”
The quote is an amalgam of the statements from the two sources.
A Military Doctor in Shenyang
On March 31, 2006, a person who identified himself as a senior military doctor who belonged to the General Logistics Department of the Shenyang Military Command wrote to the Epoch Times:
“Sujiatun is one of 36 similar secret detention facilities. From the information I can access, Jilin has the largest camp that detains Falun Gong practitioners, with the code of 672-S. There are more than 120,000 people detained there, including Falun Gong people from throughout the country, serious offenders, and political prisoners. Just the Jilin Jiutai region, which has the fifth-largest secret detention facilities holding Falun Gong practitioners, detained more than 14,000 of them.”
According to this military doctor, who indicated that he has chosen to remain anonymous for his safety:
“the Chinese Communist Party Central Military Commission had documentation since 1962, and has followed through to today, that all death row and serious offenders can be treated according to the needs of national and socialist development and can be dealt with according to the ‘revolutionary protocol.’
The seizure of organs from serious offenders was legalized by a supplementary regulation enacted in 1984. Many local public security departments deal with this either by directly transplanting from these people and cremating them afterwards, or by wounding them, forming death rituals, directly transplanting, and then cremating. After 1992, with the rising costs of industrial raw materials as a result of the development of many industries, human bodies became a valuable raw material. Both living bodies and corpses became raw materials.
At present, the Chinese Communist Party Central defines Falun Gong members as a class enemy. This means that there is no need to report if they are treated in line with the needs of economic development. In other words, like serious offenders, Falun Gong people are no longer seen as human beings, but raw materials for products, and they became a commodity.”
He wrote again to the Epoch Times in April 2006 to give more details of the process:
“Anyone targeted for organ transplantation would be taken away from prisons, forced labour camps, detention centres, secret camps, etc. At that point, their real name would be replaced with a code corresponding to a forged voluntary organ’s name — the next step would be to undergo the live organ transplant – this person is no longer seen as a human being, but an animal. [Doctors] who have performed one or two cases may still have some lingering fear, but after tens of thousands of live transplants and destroying the bodies, one becomes numb.
All organ sources targeted are said to be voluntary. Falun Gong and other inmates use their real names during custody. However, a forged name is used during organ transplantation. They become a fictitious person, but this person’s information is complete. There was also a signature on the voluntary organ donation form, but of course it was signed by someone else.
I have seen more than 60,000 such counterfeit forms. Basically, it says that the person voluntarily donates the organ and bears all the consequences. Many signatures were from same person’s handwriting.
These materials will be kept for 18 months and be destroyed afterwards. They are kept at the provincial level of military commands and can be accessed only with approval from the commissioner(s) of the Central Military Commission.
In fact, the number of underground, unofficial organ transplants in China is several times higher than the official figures. With an abundant source of living organs, many hospitals with military backgrounds also engage in large-scale organ transplantation in private, in addition to the official reports they submit to their superiors.
China is the center of international live organ trading, and has accounted for more than 85% of the total number of live organ transplants in the world since 2000. According to the data reported to the Central Military Commission, a few people have been promoted and became Generals due to their ‘achievements’ in this field.
The military acts as the organ transplantation management system. This type of management and organizational core belongs to the military system. This is something that the local government cannot match, because once it becomes a military secret, no one can acquire the information. We all understand how the military system works. There is a huge source of living organs, and many military hospitals report their transplants to their supervising authorities. At the same time, they also carry out organ transplants on a large scale in private. This leads to the fact that actual numbers are much higher than the official statistics.
The Central Military Commission authorizes relevant military personnel and units to manage military affairs. All related information is regarded as military secrets. Personnel responsible for military control have the authority to arrest, detain or execute any doctors, police, armed police, and researchers who leak information.”
See Bloody Harvest / The Slaughter An Update by David Kilgour, Ethan Gutmann and David Matas, June 22, 2016 Revised April 30, 2017 pages 400 to 402
A Healthcare Worker in Jinan
On April 14, 2006, a healthcare worker who worked in Jinan healthcare system for more than 20 years wrote to the Falun Gong information website Minghui.org:
“the Shandong Qianfoshan Hospital and the Police General Hospital of Shandong Province colluded with the prisons and forced labour camps in a large-scale operation to conduct live organ harvesting for transplants. The bodies of Falun Gong practitioners were used for hospitals’ interns to conduct experiments. The hospital obtained directives from the Central and was fully involved.
Both the Shandong Qianfoshan Hospital and the Shandong Police General Hospital (commonly known as Laogai Hospital, since such hospitals belong to the labour camp system) directly participated in organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners. These hospitals received and fully cooperated with instructions directly from the central level of the Communist Party. Many transplants using organs from living practitioners were performed by these two hospitals, which partnered with Shandong Provincial Prison, Shandong Province Women’s Prison, and other prisons and forced labour camps. These institutions streamlined the supply of organs, including surgeons, extraction of organs, transplantation, distribution of profit, etc. Qianfoshan Hospital partnered with the Tianjin Oriental Organ Transplant Centre to establish the Shandong Liver Transplant Institute. It boasted the largest transplant volume and the most advanced technology in liver transplantation in the province. The centre also performed kidney, testicular, lung, and cornea transplants.
The hospital has a capacity of 800 beds. It has over 300 senior technical personnel, 44 doctoral and graduate advisors, and more than 90 part-time professors from Shandong University. These faculty members have clinical teaching responsibilities in not only Shandong University’s clinical medical school, but also Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Weifang Medical College, Taishan Medical College, Binzhou Medical College, Shandong Province Nursing School, and other institutions.”
See Bloody Harvest / The Slaughter An Update by David Kilgour, Ethan Gutmann and David Matas, June 22, 2016 Revised April 30, 2017 page 402
An Armed Police Officer in Jinzhou
On December 10, 2009, an armed police officer in Jinzhou, Liaoning Province reported and testified via phone to the World Organization to Investigate Persecution of Falun Gong that he had guarded one of the organ harvesting sites and personally witnessed the entire scene of two military doctors excising organs from a female Falun Gong practitioner.
The armed guard was an eyewitness to a surgery on April 9, 2002, in an operating room on the 15th floor of the General Hospital of Shenyang Military Command, People’s Liberation Army. He observed two military doctors extract organs from a female Falun Gong practitioner. The Military Identification No. of one of the doctors is 0106069. The victim was a middle school teacher in her thirties. Before the doctors killed her, she had been subjected to a month of severe torture, molestation and rape.
He stated: “No anesthetic was given. The knife dug straight into the chest. Their hands didn’t even shake. If it were me, my hands would definitely shake”.
In 2002, this witness worked in the Liaoning Province Public Security system and participated in the arrest and torture of Falun Gong practitioners, including this female practitioner. She was covered in wounds from the ordeal. On April 9, 2002, the Liaoning Public Security department sent two military doctors to the scene — one from the Shenyang Military Command General Hospital and another who had graduated from the Second Military Medical University. This female practitioner was fully conscious when her heart, kidney, and other organs were removed without anesthesia.
The witness, armed with gun, guarded the scene throughout the whole process. He also stated that Wang Lijun, head of Jinzhou City Public Security, gave an order that they “must destroy Falun Gong practitioners completely.”
See Bloody Harvest / The Slaughter An Update by David Kilgour, Ethan Gutmann and David Matas, June 22, 2016 Revised April 30, 2017 page 403
A Vice President of a Medical University and Official of the Ministry of Public Security
In 2014 and 2015, Yang Guang, a China expert who resides in Denmark, reported to the Epoch Times and New Tang Dynasty Television about two of his friends. One of his friends was a vice president of a medical university in northeastern China, in charge of logistics for its two affiliated hospitals. Before 2009, he was put in charge of the two hospitals, each of which conducted 2,000 to 3,000 organ transplants every year. The real name and former workplaces of Mr. Yang’s first friend were verifiable online. There was no attempt to contact the witness, because of the dangers to which the contact would expose him. The hospitals’ and witness’s names are redacted for safety concerns.
Excerpts from the account of the first friend are these:
“The two affiliated hospitals of our university conducted 2,000 to 3,000 organ transplantation surgeries each year. Due to a pool of living organ sources, tissue matching took less than a month, sometimes as short as 48 hours. The 610 Office (the Communist Party bureaucracy charged with eradication of Falun Gong) transported organ sources to the hospitals in prisoner transport vehicles. Once the tissue matching was verified, the transplants were performed. After the surgeries, the bodies were cremated, We only get serial numbers [of the ‘organ sources’] and knew only that they were Falun Gong practitioners. Such cases accounted for 90% of transplants in the hospitals. The whole process was monitored by the members of 610 Office. We were strictly required to keep secret. All the serial numbers and data of organ transplants were reported to the supervising Chinese Communist Party Committee at the end of each year, and then were removed from our computers under the supervision of 610 Office personnel.
Since 2000, the 610 Office started to supply us such kind of organs of Falun Gong practitioners. There were no names and addresses, just their gender, age, and a serial number. Whenever our hospitals sent medical teams to collect blood samples from the prisons, labour camps, and brainwashing centres, I had to prepare the tools, drugs, coolers and provide transportation. I have the complete records in hand. The military and police hospitals usually conduct more transplants than civilian hospitals.”
The vice president added, the actual death row prisoners, criminals who had been sentenced to death account for only a small number of the organs procured. Even in the ten biggest cities in China, no more than fifty prisoners were executed annually. Senior Chinese Communist Party officials and their relatives refuse to accept organs from executed prisoners. Those organs were usually reserved for foreigners who come to China for organ transplants. Prices for foreigners are not fixed – in some cases, those with money, desperate for an organ, have been charged up to $2 million for a transplantation and hospital stay.
Yang’s other friend worked at the Ministry of Public Security and was in charge of informant stations of a major city on the coast of mainland China. During the New Year holidays in 2012, he told Yang that as far as he knew, over the past decade, at least 500,000 Falun Gong practitioners’ organs were harvested for transplants in civilian hospitals in China. This number did not include the portion from the hospitals affiliated with the armed police, military, and public security. The statistics of these hospitals were top secret and even the personnel in the Ministry of Public Security could not obtain them.
See Bloody Harvest/ The Slaughter – An Update by David Kilgour, Ethan Gutmann and David Matas, June 22, 2016 Revised April 30, 2017 pages 403 and 404
On May 20, 2006, David Kilgour interviewed a woman with the pseudonym Annie. Below are excerpts from the transcript edited to protect those who would otherwise be in danger due to publication of the interview and abridged.
Kilgour: In 2001, when did the procurement of food supplies for [Sujiatun Hospital] go up?
Annie: About July, in the summer.
Kilgour: July 2001. You were in the accounting department?
Annie: Statistics and Logistics Department.
Kilgour: Statistics and Logistics Department. What happened? The procurement of food went up first and then the surgical equipment?
Annie: In July 2001, there were many people working in the Statistics and Logistics Department. Some of them from procurement brought the receipts to me for signature after they made the purchase. On the receipts I noted sharp increases in the food supplies. Also, the people in charge of the logistics were delivering meals to the facilities where Falun Gong practitioners were detained. Other medical staff came to our department to report the purchase of the medical equipment. From the receipts, the medical equipment supplies also sharply increased.
Kilgour: By the way, the facilities to detain Falun Gong practitioners, was it the underground facilities?
Annie: In the backyard of the hospital, there were some one storey houses typically built for construction workers. After several months, the consumption of food and other supplies gradually decreased. At that time people guessed that maybe the detainees
were sent to an underground facility.
Kilgour: When did the supply decrease? September? October?
Annie: After about 4 or 5 months.
Kilgour: End of 2001?
Kilgour: How much of an increase did you estimate it was from the food [receipts you saw]? How many people you estimated were there?
Annie: The person in charge of getting the food and in charge of sending food to Falun Gong practitioners detained told me that there were about 5,000 to 6,000 practitioners. At the time, a lot of public security bureaus and hospitals in many areas were detaining many Falun Gong practitioners. A lot of people working at the hospital, including me, were not Falun Gong practitioners. So we didn’t pay attention. If it were not for what happened in 2003, when I found my ex-husband was directly involved in it, I probably wouldn’t be interested in this at all. A lot of the staffers working in our department are family members of the officials in the government health care system. For some matters, we knew it in our hearts but none of us would discuss these things.
Kilgour: When they decreased the procurement, where did you think the practitioners went?
Annie: We thought they were released.
Kilgour: At the end of 2001, you thought they were released?
Kilgour: All 5,000 had been released?
Annie: No, there were still Falun Gong practitioners detained in the hospital, but the number was gradually decreasing. Later, in 2003, I learned that Falun Gong practitioners had been transferred to the underground complex and other hospitals, because our hospital couldn’t hold so many people.
Kilgour: They left the houses or cabins in the backyard to go to underground?
Annie: Yes, I later got to know this in 2002.
Kilgour: Did you say that you were not the person to send food to them when practitioners were detained in the houses or cabins in the backyard?
Annie: No, I was not.
Kilgour: Did you know who supplied their meals after they left your jurisdiction?
Annie: I didn’t know.
Kilgour: I heard a lot of these people were killed for their organs. 2001 and 2002. Was it the correct understanding?
Annie: During the years of 2001-2002, I didn’t know anything about organ harvesting. I only knew the detention of these people.
Kilgour: So you didn’t discover this until you husband told you in 2003.
Kilgour: Did he tell you that in 2001-2002 he had already started doing these operations?
Annie: Yes, he started in 2002.
Kilgour: Your former husband began in 2002?
Kilgour: Did you roughly know if there were [organ removal] operations since 2001?
Annie: The operations started in 2001. Some were done in our hospital, and some were done at other hospitals in the region. I found out in 2003. At the beginning, he also did the operations, but he did not know they were Falun Gong practitioners. He was a neurosurgeon. He removed corneas. Starting from 2002 he got to know those he operated on were Falun Gong practitioners. Because our hospital was not an organ transplant hospital – it was only in charge of removal – how these organs were transplanted, he didn’t know.
Kilgour: Your ex-husband started to take organs from Falun Gong practitioners starting from when?
Annie: At the end of 2001, he started to operate, but he didn’t know these live bodies were Falun Gong practitioners. He got to know that in 2002.
Kilgour: What kind of organs did he take out?
Kilgour: Just corneas?
Kilgour: Were these people alive or dead?
Annie: Usually these Falun Gong practitioners were injected with a shot to cause heart failure. During the process these people would be pushed into operation rooms to have their organs removed. On the surface the heart stopped beating, but the brain was still functioning, because of that shot.
Kilgour: What was the injection called?
Annie: I don’t know the name of it but it caused heart failure. I was not a nurse or a doctor. I don’t know the names of the injections.
Kilgour: Causing heart failure, most, or all, or some cases?
Annie: For most people.
Kilgour: So he would take corneas of these people, then what happened to these people?
Annie: These people were pushed to other operation rooms for removals of heart, liver, kidneys, etc. During one operation when he collaborated with other doctors, he learned they were Falun Gong practitioners, that their organs were removed while alive, and that it was not just cornea removal. They were removing many organs.
Kilgour: They did it in different rooms, didn’t they?
Annie: In the later period of time, when these doctors cooperated together, they started doing the operations together. At the beginning, fearing information could leak out, different organs were removed by different doctors in different rooms. Later on, when they got money, they were no longer afraid anymore. They started to remove the organs together. For other practitioners who were operated on in other hospitals, my ex-husband didn’t know what happened to them afterwards. For the practitioners in our hospital, after their kidneys, liver, etc. and skin were removed, there were only bones and flesh, etc. left. The bodies were thrown into the boiler room at the hospital. In the beginning, I did not fully believe this had happened. For some doctors who had operation accidents, they may form some illusions. So I checked with other doctors and other officials from the government health care system.
Kilgour: In 2003 or 2002?
Kilgour: Your husband only did corneas?
Kilgour: How many cornea operations did your ex-husband perform?
Annie: He said about 2,000.
Kilgour: Corneas of 2,000 people, or 2,000 corneas?
Annie: Corneas of around 2,000 people.
Kilgour: This is from 2001 to 2003?
Annie: From the end of 2001 to October 2003.
Kilgour: That was when he left?
Annie: It was the time that I got to know this and he stopped doing it.
Kilgour: Where did these corneas go?
Annie: They were usually collected by other hospitals. There was an existing system handling such business of the removal and sales of the organs to other hospitals or other areas.
Kilgour: Nearby or far away?
Annie: I don’t know.
Kilgour: All the heart, liver, kidneys, and corneas go off to other hospitals?
Kilgour: Did you know what prices they sold them for?
Annie: I don’t know at the time. However, in the year 2002, a neighbour had a liver transplant. It cost 200,000 yuan. The hospital charged a little bit less for Chinese than foreigners.
Kilgour: Which year, 2001 or 2002?
Kilgour: What was your husband told? How did they justify? These were perfectly healthy people?
Annie: In the beginning, he wasn’t told anything. He was asked to help out in other hospitals. However, every time when he did such a favour, or provided this kind of help, he got lots of money, and cash awards – several dozen times his normal salary.
Kilgour: What was the total amount of money he got out of the 2,000 cornea removals?
Annie: Hundreds of thousands of US dollars.
Kilgour: Were they paid in US dollars?
Annie: Paid in Chinese yuan. Equivalent to hundreds of thousands of US dollars.
Kilgour: How many doctors were working on these organ removals in the hospital, and in which area? Are we talking about 100 doctors, or dozens, or 10?
Annie: I don’t know how many people were doing it specifically. But I know that about four or five doctors who were acquaintances of us at our hospital were doing it. And in other hospitals, doctors of general practice were also doing this.
Kilgour: Are there any records in the statistics department regarding how many people were operated upon?
Annie: There was no proper procedure or paperwork for this kind of operation. So there was no way to count the number of operations in the normal way.
Kilgour: After practitioners transferred underground at the end of 2001, did you know where their food supplies were from?
Annie: Food still came from our department; just the amount gradually decreased. At the end of 2001 we thought they were released. In 2003, I learned that they were not released but were transferred underground or to other hospitals.
Kilgour: Was the underground facility run by the military army or by the hospital? You said food was still from the hospital.
Annie: We weren’t responsible for the procurement of the food for the people detained and kept underground. That is why there was so much difference in the procurement of food when people were transferred to the underground complex. But the food of some of the detainees was provided by the hospital, and for others it was not. The decrease in food was not proportional to the decrease in the number of detainees.
Kilgour: What did your husband tell you about the underground facility? 5,000 people killed, or more than 5,000?
Annie: He didn’t know how many people were detained underground. He only heard from some others that people were detained underground. If three operations were done every day, after several years of operation, for the 5,000 – 6,000 people, not many people would be left. This whole scheme and the trading of organs were organized by the government health care system. The doctors’ responsibility was simply to do what they were told to do.
Kilgour: He didn’t go down to the underground facility himself?
Annie: He didn’t.
Kilgour: Rudimentary operation in the underground facility?
Annie: He had never been there.
Kilgour: All of those people, were they dead when they were operated on? Or their hearts stopped? Did he know that they were killed afterwards? They weren’t yet dead.
Annie: At the beginning, he didn’t know these were Falun Gong practitioners. As time went by, he knew they were Falun Gong practitioners. When they did more of these removals of organs and became bold, these doctors started to do the removals together; this doctor extracted the cornea, another doctor removed the kidney, the third doctor took out the liver. At that time, this patient, or this Falun Gong practitioner, he knew what was the next step to treat the body. The heart stopped beating, but they were still living. If the victim’s skin was not peeled off and only internal organs were removed, the openings of the bodies would be sealed and an agent would sign the paperwork. The bodies would be sent to the crematorium near the Sujiatun area.
Kilgour: Only if the skin was removed, they would be sent to the boiler room?
Kilgour: Usually what was the “supposed” cause of death given?
Annie: Usually no specific reason when the bodies were sent to the crematorium. Usually the reasons were “The heart stopped beating”, “heart failure”. When these people were rounded up and detained, nobody knew their names or where they were from. So when they were sent to the crematorium, nobody could claim their bodies.
Kilgour: Who administered the drug to cause the heart to stop beating?
Kilgour: Nurse working for the hospital?
Annie: Nurses brought over by these doctors. Doctors, including my ex-husband, came to this hospital in 1999 or 2000. He brought his nurse over. When organ harvesting first started, nurses were assigned to the doctors. Wherever the doctors go, their nurses go with them as far as the organ removal operations were concerned.
Kilgour: How many did you think were still alive?
Annie: Initially I estimated there were about 2,000 people left at the time I left China in 2004. But I cannot give a figure anymore, because China is still arresting Falun Gong practitioners and there have been people coming in and going out. So I cannot give a figure now anymore.
Kilgour: How did you come to this number 2,000 in 2004?
Annie: According to how many my ex-husband did and how many other doctors did. And how many sent to other hospitals. Good doctors are well connected within the health care system. Many of them used to be classmates in medical schools. The number was estimated by the few doctors involved. When we were together in private, they discussed how many people in total. At that time, these doctors did not want to continue. They wanted to go to other countries or transfer to other fields. So the total number of deaths was calculated and derived by these doctors involved.
Kilgour: What is their estimate of how many people were killed?
Annie: They estimated 3,000-4,000 people.
Kilgour: This is the estimate by all of the doctors?
Annie: No. By three doctors we were familiar with.
Kilgour: Do you have anything else you want to say?
Annie: Chinese or non-Chinese, they think it is impossible Sujiatun detained so many Falun Gong practitioners. They focused on just this Sujiatun hospital. Because most people do not know there are underground facilities. I want to say, even if things were over for Sujiatun, in other hospitals this issue continues. Because I worked in Sujiatun, I know about Sujiatun. Other hospitals and detention centres’ inspecting and putting control on these facilities will help reduce the deaths. For Chinese people, one person comes out, there are still family members in China. They still dare not come out to speak the truth. They are afraid it could put their family members in danger. It doesn’t mean that they don’t know about it.
A: Does your mother know about what you are doing?
A: Does she still work in the government health care system?
Annie: No. She retired a long time ago. She is almost 70 years old.
See David Matas and David Kilgour, Bloody Harvest: The killing of Falun Gong for their organs, pages 113 to 122,
A former prisoner in China tells this story:
While in prison, the prisoner, with the pseudonym Lanny, was kept in various prison cells averaging twenty persons per cell. In over ten instances, one of his cell mates was a prisoner sentenced to death. He became familiar with the pattern of execution of these prisoners.
A few days before execution, a man in a white coat would come and extract a blood sample from the prisoner. The day of execution, four or five men in white coats with white gloves would arrive. The prisoner would be escorted away by the men in white. Outside waiting, visible through the prison windows, was an ambulance hospital van in white with a red cross.
In one case, when Lanny was in interrogation, he saw one of these death penalty inmates in an adjoining room with a needle with a syringe sticking out of his neck. The syringe was half full of liquid. An hour later the prisoner was still there, but the syringe was empty.
What Lanny learned from cell leaders was that prisoners sentenced to death were being organ harvested for transplants. Their date of execution was set by arrangement with a nearby hospital, arranged for when organs were needed. The money paid for the transplant was split fifty fifty between the hospital and the prison guards. About the man with the needle in his neck, his cell leader, when he returned from interrogation, told him that the prisoner was being injected with an anaesthetic to make him numb and preserve his organs until they were harvested.
In November 2006, Lanny was transferred to cell 311 in Wu Xi Number 1, prison, Wu Xi City, Jiangsu province, near Shanghai from another cell in that same prison. Shortly after his arrival, the guards asked Lanny to sign a statement that prisoner Chen Qi Dong had died of illness. The guards wanted the statement to show the family.
Chen Qi Dong had been in cell 311 before Lanny arrived but died a few days before Lanny was transferred to that cell. Lanny never met him and refused to sign the statement about his cause of death. The others in the cell signed.
Cell 311 leader Wang Yao Hu as well as seven or other eight cell members, including Wang Shi Cun from Wu Xi and Shai Hai, told Lanny what had happened to Chen Qi Dong. Chen was a Falun Gong practitioner who refused to recant and insisted on continuing the meditation and Falun Gong exercises while in prison. Guards beat and tortured him for doing so.
In reaction to his mistreatment, Chen Qi Dong went on a hunger strike. The guards in turn force fed him by pouring congee down a tube jammed into his throat. But the congee was too hot and scalded his digestive system. Chen Qi Dong got a fever.
At this point, the man in white arrived and took a blood sample, a few days before Chen was taken from his cell. The day Chen left the cell for good, four men with white coats and white gloves came to fetch him. One of the prisoners in the cell, that day in interrogation, saw Chen in the next room, with a needle in his neck. Through a window, the prisoners in cell 311 could see waiting a white hospital ambulance van with a red cross. The cell leader told Lanny that Chen had been organ harvested.
During his stay in prison, Lanny heard of 2 or 3 other such cases, but without the detail he heard in the case of Chen. There was a similar pattern in these cases. A Falun Gong practitioner refused to recant and continued his meditation and exercises in prison. The guards beat and tortured the practitioner in response. The beating and torture got out of hand to the point where the practitioner was permanently injured. The guards, in order to remove any trace of their own misdeeds, arranged for the tell-tale evidence to disappear through organ harvesting of the practitioner.
See David Matas and David Kilgour, Bloody Harvest: The killing of Falun Gong for their organs, pages 77 to 79,
Journalist Ethan Gutmann reports this July 2008 interview with Taiwanese doctor Ko Wen-je
“Dr. Ko began with a rather generic story: A clinic with aging patients who need organ transplants. A surgeon who visits mainland China to scout out the quality of the care. The surgeon inquires at a hospital about transplant procedures and prices. After getting to know the Mainland doctors, they respond that his clinic’s patients will receive the discounted Chinese price.
… the surgeon was told that the Taiwanese patients, should they come to this hospital, would receive particularly healthy organs. Why? Because the organ ‘donors’ were Falun Gong – that is, prisoners of conscience.
This occurred in 2004-2005, before any allegations of systematic organ harvesting from Falun Gong had surfaced. So the scale was a mystery.”
Yuzhi Wang, Vancouver, Canada made this statement:
“Between 2000 and the end of 2001, the Chinese communist regime abducted me three times. I spent most of that time in labour camps. In the labour camps 20 to 50 people were squeezed into a room of about 15 square metres. It was very crowded. We could sleep only on our sides, pressed together like sardines.
I went on a hunger strike after my request to be released unconditionally was refused. For this, I was brutally force-fed many times.
After more than 100 days of hunger striking and force-feeding, I felt dizzy even when lying down. I was tormented both mentally and physically and my eyesight was failing.
People from the ‘610 Office’ – the government institution established on June 10, 1999, specifically to persecute Falun Gong practitioners – took me to four hospitals in Harbin City for comprehensive physical examinations between October 2001 and April 2002. The four hospitals were: Harbin Public Security Hospital, No. 2 Hospital of Heilongjiang Province, No. 1 Hospital of Harbin City, and No. 2 Hospital of Harbin City.
At each hospital, blood samples were taken. They told me my blood type was AB, which is quite rare. I was beaten severely because I resisted the examinations.
The police ordered the doctors to inject unknown substances into me, which caused me to lose consciousness. I waited for the final health exam results at Harbin No.1 College Hospital.
The doctor said all hospitals suspected that my organs had problems. It was decided that my body was ‘useless.’
In order to treat my illness, the hospital demanded about 50,000 yuan from my family. However, the ‘610 Office’ suddenly lost interest in me when the doctor said I would be a ‘walking dead person’ even if I recovered. Finally, I managed to escape from the hospital.”
See David Matas and David Kilgour, Bloody Harvest: The killing of Falun Gong for their organs, pages 52 to 53,
Home Address: Daqing City, Heilongjiang Province
Location of Detention: Dongfeng Xinchun Labor Camp, Daqing City
Date of Death: October 4, 2000
At the end of May 2000, Mr. Wang Bin went to Beijing to appeal to the Chinese government for the right to practise Falun Gong. He was arrested and taken to the Dongfeng Xinchun Labour Camp. He died in detention.
After Mr. Wang died, two doctors removed his heart and brain without consent of his family. A picture shows the rough stitches he received after his body was cut open to remove his organs. As of late 2000, Wang Bin’s corpse was stored at the morgue of the Daqing City’s People’s Hospital, but his heart and brain were missing.
Organs may be removed for autopsies in order to determine the cause of death. A corpse which has been autopsied may well have stitches similar to those shown in the photo. Outside of China, except for organ donors, that is likely the reason why organs would be removed from a corpse. However, the suggestion that Falun Gong practitioners who are tortured to death are autopsied to determine the cause of death belies the torture experience.
Beatings caused the artery in Mr. Wang’s neck and major blood vessels to break. As a result, his tonsils were injured, his lymph nodes were crushed, and several bones were fractured. He had cigarette burns on the backs of his hands and inside his nostrils. There were bruises all over his body. Even though he was already close to death, he was tortured again at night. He finally lost consciousness. On the night of October 4, 2000, Mr. Wang died from his injuries.
The purpose of an autopsy report is to determine the cause of death when the cause is otherwise unknown. But in the case of Wang Bin, the cause of death was known before his organs were removed. The suggestion that Wang bin would be autopsied to determine the cause of death after he was tortured to death is not plausible. His family was not asked for consent before the organs of the victim were removed nor provided an autopsy report afterwards. The suggestion of an autopsy is not a tenable explanation for the stitches on Wang Bin’s body.
See David Matas and David Kilgour, Bloody Harvest: The killing of Falun Gong for their organs, page 54 and 55,
Home Address: Lalin Town, Wuchang City, Heilongjiang Province
Location of Detention: Division 7 of the Harbin City Police Department
Date of Death: April 30, 2002
In early April of 2002, Mr. Zhang Yanchao, a Falun Gong practitioner from Lalin Town, Wuchang City, Heilongjiang Province, was arrested and detained by agents from the Hongqi Township Police Station. Several days later, officers from Harbin City Police Department took Mr. Zhang away.
On April 30, 2002, Mr. Zhang’s family was notified that he had died in police custody. Police did not ask for any consent from the family regarding Zhang’s body.
At the Huangshanzuizi Crematory in Harbin City, Mr. Zhang’s family members saw his body, which had been brutalized beyond recognition and was appallingly disfigured. One of his legs was broken. One of his eyeballs was missing and the socket was caved in, leaving a gaping hole. There was virtually no skin on his head, face, and most parts of his body, and there was not a single tooth left in his lower jaw, which was shattered. His clothes were also gone. Bruises and wounds could be seen everywhere on his body. There was a long cut on his chest, which had obviously been sewn up later. His chest was also caved in, his skull was opened, and a part of his brain was removed. His internal organs were missing.
More than 60 armed policemen were present in the crematorium during the visit of Zhang’s family. They declared that whoever appealed for Zhang Yanchao would be arrested immediately and handled as a “counterrevolutionary.”
According to insiders, Zhang Yanchao was held in a torture chamber at Division 7 of the Harbin City Police Department where more than 40 torture tools were present. He died after one day and one night.
See David Matas and David Kilgour, Bloody Harvest: The killing of Falun Gong for their organs, page 56 and 57,
Home Address: Harbin City, Heilongjiang Province
Location of Detention: Hulan County Second Detention Centre
Date of Death: February 21, 2001
On February 16, 2001, Ren Pengwu was illegally arrested by the Hulan County police for giving out factual information about the alleged Falun Gong self – immolation incident.
After his arrest he was detained in the Hulan County Second Detention Centre. Before dawn on February 21, he was tortured to death. The officials declared that Ren Pengwu died due to heart disease. Eyewitnesses confirmed that during his imprisonment, Ren Pengwu endured long, brutal beatings and cruel force-feeding by the police on many occasions. After suffering brutal, unrestrained beatings by the police, it became obvious before dawn on February 21, 2001 that Ren Pengwu’s life was in danger. His cellmate saw that he was near death and immediately reported this to the police. The police didn’t send Ren Pengwu to the hospital until four hours after receiving the report; as a result, he was dead on arrival at the hospital.
Police did not permit Ren Pengwu’s family members to take photographs of the disfigured body. Without obtaining the family’s permission, at the order of the authorities all of Ren Pengwu’s organs were removed, from his pharynx and larynx to his penis. His body was then hastily cremated.
See David Matas and David Kilgour, Bloody Harvest: The killing of Falun Gong for their organs, page 57,
Airport signs and air shipments
The Kashgar airport in Xinjiang, an airport near a mass Uyghur detention camp, has a dedicated lane with signage in Chinese, English and Arabic. The sign, in green, pasted on the floor, states “Special passenger Human organ transport channel” meaning presumably that the lane is both for special passengers and human organ transports. The reference to special passengers would explain the signage in English and Arabic. Pictures of the signs are pasted below.
According to a Radio Free Asia report from January 2017, there are similar signs throughout Xinjiang at its various airports. The same media report states that China Southern Airlines has reported more than 500 air shipments of living organs out of Xinjiang to the rest of China up to the date of the news story.
Why are organs being shipped from Xinjiang to the rest of China? The Falun Gong population arbitrarily detained, despite its massive numbers, has been eventually through mass killings by organ extraction, substantially depleted. A new source became necessary. The gap was filled by Uyghurs, another prisoner of conscience population.
Despite all we know from the history books about human depravity, each new wave of mass killings is hard to believe, particularly where it takes a form not seen in the past. This is especially true when human technology, like organ transplantation, developed for human betterment, is perverted to perform atrocities. Individual instances, though they tell us nothing about numbers, allow us to make the imaginative leap, to see how it can happen, because it has happened.
The Chinese Communist Party/ Government of China is caught between boasting and greed on the one hand and hiding and denying on the other. The Party/ State, on the one hand, likes to boast about its technological progress in transplants and wants to make money from it. That same Party/ State on the other hand does not want to admit mass atrocities and does everything to cover up evidence of it.
We see consequently the spectacle these instances display – the Party/ State denying its own self and sales promotion when that self and sales promotion is turned against them as evidence of mass killings. There are different ways to punch a hole in the Party/ State hot air balloon. Surely one of them is this, showing in grim detail in individual cases, that what they say is not true, presenting them with their own smoking guns, one after the other.
David Matas is an international human rights lawyer based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.