Lu Shuheng, a U.S. permanent resident originally from Shanghai who is more than 70 years old, shared his full name in making the revelation in October 2016 to the nonprofit World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG). The New York-based human rights group didn’t release the interview details for four years, out of concern for Lu’s safety.
Zhou Qing, who is the older sister of Lu’s sister-in-law, worked as the director of the Shanghai Wanping Hospital in Xuhui district, according to Lu. During a trip to China in 2002, Lu recalled that Zhou—upon learning that he knew many doctors through his home renovation business in the United States—asked if he could connect her with anyone who needed an organ transplant, especially a cornea, kidney, or liver.
Lu said that when he, Zhou, and her husband were sitting together once, “her husband told me in person that she went to a military hospital to do [organ transplant surgery].”
“He also said that it’s quick money and the sum is quite large,” Lu told WOIPFG.
“He said, ‘You should get people over from outside,’ and that ‘this is in really good quality, all fresh and alive.’”
While the word “alive” puzzled Lu at the time, he began to piece the information together over the years, as he heard more about “live organ harvesting” in the media.
Zhou, the Shanghai doctor, performed several organ removal surgeries but eventually stopped due to fear, Lu said.
“She said that she was having nightmares for doing this,” Lu said. He prodded his sister-in-law, Zhou Yu, to reveal more details about what she knew of her sister’s work. She relayed that when Zhou Qing did the surgeries, people who weren’t sedated “would scream with all their might in sheer agony.”
“She said anesthesia cannot be used in every place, and the area where [the organ] is needed cannot be anesthetized. The fresher and the less anesthetized, the better. The quality is guaranteed, you can rest assured,” he recalled. The victims “kept saying ‘Falun Dafa Hao’” when they were brought in for the organ harvesting, the sister-in-law told him. The phrase “Falun Dafa Hao” is often said by practitioners as an affirmation of their faith as they face persecution. It translates to “Falun Dafa is good.”
A total of three to five people, including armed police and military doctors, were usually present in the operating rooms.
The job came with an emotional toll, Lu said. “She said that money is not that easy to make,” he recalled, adding that Zhou Yu repeatedly told him not to ever mention that to others.
Annie, whose ex-husband was a neurosurgeon in Liaoning Province in northeastern China, said her husband had removed corneas from Falun Gong practitioners who were alive during surgery. The victims’ bodies were then thrown into incinerators after the surgeries, she said.