Swedish National TV: Organs for Sale

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Aktuellt, September 6th, 2006

This is a brief transcript from a five minute TV news item from “Aktuellt” on September 6th, 2006. It has been translated from Swedish.

“Aktuellt” is one of the main two TV news programmes on Swedish National TV. This means this channel is available for anyone who has a TV in Sweden. It was broadcast at 9 PM.

Headline:
Organs from imprisoned Falun Gong adherents make China the biggest operator in the body organ trade.

Background image: Organs for Sale

Anyone who needs a new body organ and does not want to wait in the usual line can find plenty on the net. Lungs, hearts, and corneas all offered via the internet and most of it comes from China. The reason why China has so many organs to sell is due to that the country takes organs from political prisoners and now it has been revealed from Falun Gong adherents. Yes, this is claimed in a Canadian report.

Reporter:
Since a while back it is known that China is selling organs taken from prisoners sentenced to death. Annika Tibell is head of the transplantation clinic at the Karolinska University Hospital.

Annika Tibell:

This has been discussed by the Chinese Vice Minister of Health at a WHO meeting in Manila; that the absolute main organ source in China is executed prisoners.

Reporter:

However, it is now claimed in a report published recently that the organs that are for sale on the internet also come from Falun Gong practitioners.

David Matas: They are treated as, as less than human beings and the rhetoric suggests this whole evil cult propaganda that China makes it easier for people caught up in the system to kill these people without having the qualms of conscience they might have in killing others.

Reporter:

Dai Ying is on of hundreds of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners who were arrested and jailed. In May 2004, in the women's prison in Foshan City she was examined in a bus by a doctor.

Dai Ying:

They took blood tests and examined my kidneys. The bus was equipped with the latest technology. Earlier they never showed this kind of care for us and never examined us so carefully.

Reporter:

But Dai Ying had previous heart failure. She was later released and managed to escape to Thailand. According to the authors of the report, the Canadian and the lawyer David Matas and the former state secretary in the Canadian foreign department David Kilgour, the examination of Dai Ying was nothing but a preparation for organ theft.

On a Web-site, a hospital in Shanghai offers the following prices for organ transplants:

Kidney - 470 00 SEK
Liver - 940 000 SEK Liver-Kidney 1 160 000 - 1 300 000 SEK
Lung - 1 160 000 SEK Heart 940 000 -1 160 000 SEK
Cornea - 220 000 SEK

How can then the authors of the report know that the offered organs are coming from Falun Gong practitioners? Yes, they write, the imprisonment of hundreds of thousands Falun Gong practitioners are coinciding with a massive increase in the number of transplants in China; between 1994 and 1999 18,500 transplants were made; between 2000 and 2005 it was 60 000. There are testimonies from defected doctors that describe the organ thefts as a profitable and on a large scale, but concrete evidence is difficult to get. Usually there are only two parties present at the operation, the victim and the perpetrator.

David Matas: We had callers calling from North America claiming to be relatives of customers that wanted transplants and we got admissions throughout China, which are in our report shown on a map, from doctors, distributors and hospitals saying: Yes we have these sources.

Reporter:

On June 8th, a call was made to the head of Mishan prison in Heilongjiang province.

Female voice (in Swedish)
Do you have Falun Gong prisoners that you take organs from?

Male voice (in Swedish)
We have had that.

Do you have it now?

Yes now as well

Can we come and choose prisoners ourselves or are you the ones who are doing that?

It is we who do that.

How many available Falun Gong prisoners do you have right now?

Many

Are they female or male?

Male

Reporter:

Falun Gong practitioners are considered healthy and because of that, in great demand as organ donors and the large quantity of transplanted organs can not only come from prisoners sentenced to death. Between 2000 and 2005, ten thousand prisoners were executed in China according to Amnesty and organs from brain dead and donations are very rare.

Erping Zhang: In China, we do not have a donor culture, because the Chinese tradition, we believe in body and soul, you know, as one. When someone dies, you know, they go together to heaven, and that is why they have to get fresh live organs from prisoners.

Annika Tibell:

The report about Falun Gong adherents is deeply disturbing and we have from our international cooperative organisation written to the UN and asked that the human rights section will take this further and investigate this.

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