Majority of China's Transplants Come from Prisoner's Organs

January 30, 2006 Updated: January 30, 2006

Increasing numbers of patients with liver cirrhosis or renal failure from regions including South East Asia, North America, Europe and Australia are flying to China for organ transplants. China has become the world's center for organ trade and transplants. But, what China may not be revealing to the world, is that the main source for organ transplants come from executed convicts.

According to the U.S.-based China Information Center, due to higher survival rates of liver and kidney transplants, China's hospitals are experiencing a boom in this business. As such, recently, there have been moves to expand facilities and make liver treatment and transplant more accessible to patients.

According to Laogai Research Foundation and the international media, the main source for organ transplants in China comes from executed convicts. Each year, there are at least several thousands of such cases. Last month, the CCP's Public Health Deputy Minister Huang Jiefu admitted for the first time that currently in China, the majority of the organs used in transplants come from executed convicts.

For a long time, the Chinese Communist regime had resorted to unethical means to remove organs from executed convicts and sell them to foreigners at high prices. Some of the organs belong to Falun Gong practitioners who have been persecuted to death. The acts of the Communist regime have raised serious concerns among the international community, including overseas medical establishments and human rights organizations.

Turning Hotel Rooms into Wards

According to Korea's newspaper, Chosun Ilbo , there have been strict regulation in place regarding organ transplant since 2000, and it is not easy to secure organs from brain-dead persons. Recently, there is a surge in the number of Koreans turning to China for organ transplants.

According to this report, Tianjin First Central Hospital is China's largest organ transplant center, performing nearly 900 liver and kidney transplants every year. The medical professionals in Korea estimate that up to 1,000 Koreans visit China including cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou every year for organ transplants.

Last year, Tianjin First Central Hospital had 360-plus patients from Korea. That was about 40 percent of the total number of transplant patients. In order to cater to this group, the hospital expanded its facilities and recruited surgeons and nurses who were ethnic minorities conversant in the Korean language.

Due to the lack of wards for transplant patients, the hospital converted the 24th and 25th floor of nearby Tianda Tiancai Hotel into wards, in which Koreans and other foreigners await their transplants. The 8th floor of Tianjin International Cardiovascular Hospital was also converted into a ward for the hospitalization of Korean patients.

Along with the increase in foreign patients, the cost for organ transplant in China has also gradually increased. In the beginning of last year, the cost for a liver transplant was about US$32,000. However, with the increase of Korean patients, the treatment fees have exceeded US$40,000. The Tianjin First Central Hospital charges W60-70 million (approximately US$60,000 to US$70,000) per liver transplant and W20-25 million (approximately US$20,000 to US$25,000) per kidney transplant.

Where Do the Organs Come From?

According to Chosun Ilbo , while it is extremely difficult to secure the organs of brain-dead persons in Korea, it is not the case in Tianjin. Dr. Zheng Hong, Head of Transplant Surgery in Tianjin First Central Hospital said, “The organs are contributed to the hospital by brain-dead cases across China.”

However, there is evidence to show that the brain-dead organ donors, many belong to the executed convicts. Before the operation can be performed, the respective courts will assess the degree of compatibility of the donor's organ. Majority of the donors are between the ages of 20-30. On the death certificate the reason given for the death is “acute brain damage.”

Regarding this point, the medical team would not admit nor make any denial; rather they were evasive in their response. The hospital indicated that in cases of brain dead persons, family members must consent to the donation. The trading of organs is strictly prohibited, and all donations are carried out within legal boundaries.

Medical personnel, as quoted by the U.S.-based China Information Center, reveal that the practice of transplanting kidney and liver organs of executed convicts to patients has been in existence for a long time and it is no secret in hospitals. Although China's law prohibits the removal of organs from executed convicts, hospitals can still get permission from the local judicial department to remove the organs.

Chinese Communist Authorities Admit for the First Time

According to Radio Free Asia, Hong Kong business man Tsang Hin-chi, Committee Member of the National Peoples' Congress of China, received a kidney transplant operation in the No. 1 Affiliated Hospital to Guangzhou Sun Yat-sen University six years ago. The kidney he received was extracted from an executed prisoner. However, because of the political sensitivity, no one dared to talk about this matter openly.

It was also reported that the famous Chinese actor Fu Biao received a successful liver transplant operation last September. The liver he received was extracted from an executed prisoner in Shangdong Provice. The America-based Laogai Research Foundation expressed concern about whether anyone had questioned the legitimacy of the organ source for his successful liver transplant surgery.

According to Tsingtao Daily, Deputy Minister of Public Health of China, Huang Jiefu, openly admitted last month that most of the transplanted organs in China were extracted from the executed prisoners. He promised to tighten related regulations. This was the first time ever that the Communist authorities admitted that executed prisoners' organs were sold to foreigners for transplant purposes. The report stated that only less than 5 percent of the transplanted organs in China came from living human beings; while more than 95 percent came from executed prisoners.

Dead Falun Gong Practitioners' Organs Removed

According to an incomplete survey, within the past six years beginning from July 20, 1999, more than 2,808 Falun Gong practitioners have been verified as being tortured to death. A human rights report about Falun Gong revealed that organs of some Falun Gong practitioners who had been tortured to death were extracted. Organs which could be used for transplant were stolen from their bodies and sold illegally.

A Falun Gong practitioner, Hao Runjuan, was killed after 22 days of torture in Baiyu Detention Center in Guangzhou. Her body was anatomised without her family's knowledge. When the family went to obtain the body on notification, they found that the body was beyond recognition. Based on inside information, doctors from the Baiyu Detoxification Center in Guangzhou openly instructed the policemen who are responsible for torturing Falun Gong practitioners, “Don't hit their waists. The kidneys are very useful.” Some Falun Gong practitioners in the center who come from other regions of the country have been missing ever since.

Falun Gong practitioner, Zuo Zhigang, used to work in an IT company at Zhongshan Road in Shijiazhuang City, Hebei Province. On May 30, 2001, he was taken to the sub-division of the public security bureau of Qiaoxi District, Shijiazhuang City by police and the “610” staff. He was tortured to death on the same day, with wounds all over his body. There were two huge holes in his waist at the back.

A Falun Gong practitioner, Yang Ruiyu, was an employee of the Housing Department of Taijiang District in Fuzhou City, Fujian province. She was arrested illegally at her workplace by the police on July 19, 2001, and tortured to death three days later. Her body was sent to the crematorium in a police van and instantly cremated. Her husband and daughter were not allowed to approach the body. Eyewitness stated that two holes, the size of a fist, could be seen at the waist of Yang's body.

On February 16, 2001, a Harbin Falun Gong practitioner, Ren Pengwu, was arrested for distributing information about the truth of the “Tiananmen Self-immolation” staged by Chinese authorities to defame Falun Gong. He was detained in the No. 2 Detention Center of Hulan County in Heilongjiang Province and was tortured to death five days later. The police extracted all the organs inside his body without the agreement of his family, claiming that the organs were taken for legal authentication purposes. The rest of the body was cremated.

International Community Condemns the CCP for Selling Executed Convicts' Organs

Last month, the U. S. House of Representatives passed a resolution condemning China's forced labor prison camp system, the “laogai,” with a vote of 413 to 1. The “Laogai” system is used by the Communist authorities as a tool for political suppression of pro-democracy activists, and religious and spiritual believers. The resolution also calls on the Government of the United States to fully implement United States laws that prohibit the importation of forced labor products made in the Laogai.

Harry Wu, Founder and Executive Director of Laogai Research Foundation said, “The biggest significance about this resolution is that it will help people to realize that China is a communist totalitarian country, with a Laogai system as its core. Economic development does not necessarily lead to democracy.” He pointed out that as long as a Laogai system still existed in China, there wouldn't be any democracy there.

Dr. Wang Guoqi from the Department of Burns Treatment of the General Hospital of Armed Police of Tianjin once gave his testimony to the U.S Congress, stating that he had been to the execution ground and crematorium for no less than 100 times. He confirmed the inside-story of extracting the skin and cornea from the executed convicts. He witnessed the skin and cornea being stripped from a convict while his heart was still pumping. Spokesperson Zhang Qiyue of the Foreign Ministry of China denied this allegation as an “astonishing and a malicious lie.” However, the communist authorities openly admitted recently, that most of the transplanted organs did come from executed prisoners.

Harry Wu and U. S. Nephrology doctor, Thomas Diflo, also gave their eyewitness account to congress. Dr. Diflo who worked at the Medicine Center of New York University, stated that six of his American Chinese patients had gone back to China to receive kidney transplants. These patients went to him for follow-up treatment after coming back from China. They openly admitted that all the organs came from executed convicts.

The European Parliament also passed a resolution in 1998, strongly condemning China for extracting organs from executed convicts.