Blogger in China Mentions Organ Harvesting and Is Arrested
Blogger in China Mentions Organ Harvesting and Is Arrested

A blogger from Shanxi Province in north-central China was recently arrested for warning on Weibo (a twitter-like platform popular in China) that forced organ harvesting has been occurring in the area in which he lives.

Mr. Han, 41 years old, is from Wenshui County. He used his cellphone to blog the information of several cases of people being killed for their organs recently in Wenshui and Qingxu counties.

The information had been posted 253 times when he was apprehended. When police arrested Mr. Han, they claimed the blog could cause people to panic.

In September China’s top judicial authorities issued new regulations according to which someone may be jailed if a blog post is forwarded more than 500 times. The broadly worded regulations criminalize “rumor mongering” in the name of preventing harm “to the social order or the national interests.”

In 2006, independent investigators outside of China reported that prisoners of conscience detained in China, particularly adherents of the spiritual practice of Falun Gong, were in effect being used as a live organ bank. When someone needing an organ presented him or herself, the needed organs would be harvested from a detainee, killing him or her.

Discussion of forced organ harvesting has been censored in China, but in recent years on scattered occasions China’s state-run media have reported instances of gangs engaging in a black market organ trade independent of the detention system.

Chinese netizens have been discussing the arrest of Mr. Han at great length, pointing out that according to the new regulations a blog post needed to be forwarded more than 500 times before an arrest could be made.

“Sadly, I could post something insignificant in the morning, and be arrested in the afternoon. The content was about highlighting corruption,” a netizen said.

“Was it [Han’s post about organ harvesting] really spreading rumors?” another netizen said. “Did it really result in disrupting public order, such as suspension of classes or production? Did it cause chaos or an event involving large group of people? How could you tell that locals were unsettled by the panic? Were there really 200 people who said they got frightened by the news?”

And another netizen said: “Because of “spreading rumors,” regardless of how many times a blog is forwarded, maintaining social stability is considered of the utmost importance. How much fear would this arrest instill in the hearts of the netizens?”

Recently efforts to stop illegal organ harvesting have increased around the world. On Dec. 9 Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting presented a petition calling for an end to forced organ harvesting in China to the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights that was signed by nearly 1.5 million people in 53 countries.

On Dec. 12, the European Union passed a resolution condemning forced organ harvesting in China, and legislation to curb the practice has recently been introduced in Canada and Australia.

Translated by Frank Fang. Written in English by Christine Ford.

Read the original Chinese report.

  • HeyJude

    It is very humbling to hear of the sacrifices some people will make, endangering their lives and liberty (little though it may be), when trying to speak out in such circumstances. Social outcry will have no effect on the Chinese government’s harsh treatment of those speaking, or changing the policies that are so inhumane and dastardly. The grip of the power is so tightly held around the necks of the citizens, I have so much admiration for all those that try so hard in the face of that, knowing how personally painful it will be.

    • AskandTell

      I agree Jude. This is why it is vital that the internet remain uncensored by governments. It has the power of immense change; to bring sunlight onto darkness, expose government propaganda before entering into unjust wars, and exposing human rights violations such as mainland China concentration camps.

      Practitioners of religion can be placed in prison as the communist party believes it is an act of treason against the party.

      • HeyJude

        Exactly. There are governments and there are private industry that all feel they have a stake in controlling all of the information. Profit and Power, if they can hold onto it, they will. He who controls the internet controls the world. So far it’s mostly us, but it will be fought for, and fair rules of engagement will never be honored.

        • AskandTell

          And as more of our government is privatized, the profit and power motive melds them into one frightening creature.

          • HeyJude

            What you just said there, says it all! Privatization will be our biggest downfall, as we become the United States of Koch.

    • RF_Dude

      The absolute power of the state combined with a commercial aspect and enabling technology is opening all kinds of ‘new markets’…

      Unless a concerned citizenry is able to speak out, to organize, to push for change, these practices will not be stopped.

      Governments are supposed to answer to the people, yet in no case in the world today does any government really represent ‘the people’.

      The differences are only a matter of degree.

      • HeyJude

        I agree Dude, 100%.

  • geezer 56

    Absolutely mind boggling, for the government to imprison this man just because others reposted his message too many times. People in the U.S. really have no idea how different things are elsewhere in the world.

    • RF_Dude

      As terrible as his imprisonment is, and it is terrible, the even more horrific thing in my mind is that he himself may be subjected to the very same organ-harvesting that he blogged about.

      Words cannot express how I feel about this – it is horrifying beyond belief.


      • geezer 56

        “Horrifying” is the exact word that came to my mind, too.

  • OnyxE

    Sad, this is one of Canada’s favorite trading partners.

  • bluskiff

    If you get the chance there is a documentary on netflix called Death by china. Its worth a look.

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