Background on Testimony from Police Officer Who Witnessed Organ Harvesting

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On December 12th, 2009, the World Organisation to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG) published testimony of an eyewitness to organ harvesting from a living Falun Gong practitioner. The witness at the time worked in the public security system of Liaoning Province in northeastern China. On April 9th, 2002, he was on duty as an armed guard in the operating room of the General Hospital of the Shenyang Military Region, and he witnessed the entire process of two military surgeons harvesting organs from a living female Falun Gong practitioner. (See http://www.zhuichaguoji.org/en/index2.php?option=content&task=view&id=192&pop=1&page=0)

This testimony is a new development in exposing live organ harvesting. Prior to this, a large number of indirect evidence had surfaced, including testimonies from the ex-wife of a military surgeon, an investigative reporter, and a military physician in Shenyang City, Liaoning Province. Those testimonies pointed to a chain of events consistent with the existence of organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners. This eyewitness account by a guard on duty at the site is the first direct evidence in this investigation and validates numerous pieces of indirect evidence discovered since 2006.

Direct evidence of live organ harvesting can be provided only by those who were at the scene. Obviously the Falun Gong practitioners whose organs have been harvested were all killed in the process. The organ recipients would not be present during the harvesting, and the surgeons doing the harvesting are unlikely to voluntarily provide testimony to incriminate themselves. This witness mentioned in his testimony that in this operation anaesthesia was not used, and the two surgeons did not use any nurses during the procedure. This particular guard was a part of the public security system, not part of the military itself.

Timeline for Live Organ Harvesting Cases

This case took place on April 9th, 2002. Around that time, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) had started a new wave of suppression of Falun Gong practitioners. In late 2001, orders were issued to various levels of CCP and government officials, that an early 2002 plan was in place "to further increase the forcefulness in cracking down on Falun Gong." On February 9th, 2002, the Jiang Zemin, [former leader of China and instigator of the persecution] regime launched a coordinated campaign to persecute Falun Gong practitioners in China. The campaign was to last two to three months.

These instructions were issued by China's Ministry of Public Security to public security bureaus in all cities, to be further relayed to local police departments. The title read, "Urgent notice regarding concretely strengthening the crackdown on and preventing cult activities." The campaign was coordinated by the Ministry of Public Security, provincial Public Security Bureaus, and the 610 Office (an organisation of special agents just for persecuting Falun Gong) affiliated with each city's Party committee. Police officers participated in raids of rental properties, hotels, and Internet cafes. The police also set up checkpoints in various locations. Security and supervisory departments also planned on monitoring Internet traffic to escalate the persecution.

On March 5th, 2002, signals for eight closed-circuit television channels in Changchun City, Jilin Province were intercepted and replaced with Falun Gong content. The programmes lasted forty to fifty minutes, and included titles such as "Falun Gong spreads across the world" and "Is it self-immolation or lies?" The broadcast reached an audience of nearly a million and drew international attention. After the broadcast of these programmes, Jiang Zemin issued the order to "kill without exception." A large wave of arrests ensued in Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning provinces in northeastern China. Several thousand practitioners were arrested, and many were secretly killed. The Falun Dafa Information Centre has confirmed and reported other orders received in various regions in China:

Luo Gan, in charge of the national 610 Office, issued orders personally to arrest 6,000 Falun Gong practitioners in the three months of April, May and June in Heilongjiang Province alone.

A "Dedicated Struggle Committee Against Falun Gong" was formed in Changchun City in April to escalate the persecution on Falun Gong to an "offensive, dedicated struggle."

The public security system in Liaoning Province held meetings in April to deploy measures for further persecution of Falun Gong, including orders for police officers to arrest practitioners without following procedure and without requiring cause.

In early May 2002, a secret CCP document, which was leaked to the overseas media, included orders that "any Falun Gong practitioner, upon discovery, should be placed under immediate arrest, and the necessary paperwork can be made up afterwards," and it was explicitly stated that the police were granted this power until the end of 2007.

Prior to the lunar Chinese New Year in 2002, Liu Jing, head of the national 610 Office, called a meeting in the Nanhu Hotel in Changchun City, to deploy further measures in suppressing Falun Gong. Liu raged at the incompetence of those in Jilin Province and issued the order that officials in the system "must eradicate all." The order that the police could "open fire and kill" Falun Gong practitioners was given in this meeting.

As a result, the Changchun City Police Department carried out an all-out campaign to arrest Falun Gong practitioners for several nights in a row. The order received was that the police could open fire and kill Falun Gong activists upon seeing them putting up posters or hanging banners.

On February 16th, 2002, which is the fifth day of the Chinese New Year, the Anshan City police in Liaoning Province fired shots from handguns while chasing three Falun Gong practitioners. One officer fired four shots and hit the leg of a practitioner. Du Yongshan, a police officer in Mishan City, Heilongjiang Province opened fire on Mr. Jiang Honglu and broke his leg at around 2:00 a.m. on February 12th, 2002, when Mr. Jiang was spotted posting Falun Gong leaflets.

The live organ harvesting witness revealed, "Wang Lijun, who is now chief of the Chongqing Public Security Bureau, gave us orders then [in 2002], and issued the order that we 'must drive out and kill all of them'."

These events correlated well with the overall situation of the persecution at that time. Wang Lijun is now chief of the Chongqing Public Security Bureau. In cooperating with Bo Xilai, secretary of the Chongqing CCP Committee, Wang is escalating the persecution of Falun Gong in the name of cracking down on organised crime. Bo became deputy governor and acting governor of Liaoning Province in January 2001. He then became governor of Jilin Province in February 2001. In October 2002, he was appointed as a member of the standing committee and deputy secretary of the CCP's Liaoning Province Committee. In January 2003, he started another term as governor of Liaoning Province. In 2002, when live organ harvesting started taking place, Bo was governor of Liaoning Province. Bo and Wang Lijun had strong ties to each other as far back as then in northeastern China.

During this time frame, the Sujiatun Concentration Camp in Shenyang City started its operations in 2001, and reached its peak in 2002. The Organ Transplant Section of the No. 1 Hospital in Shenyang City, Liaoning Province affiliated with China Medical University suddenly became the Organ Transplant Research Institute, which was accredited as the Shenyang City Multi-Organ Technical Research Centre, as well as Liaoning Province Key Laboratory for Organ Transplantation. At the website of the China International Organ Transplant Centre, a commitment was advertised in Japanese, Chinese, and English which stated "Waiting period for kidney transplantation is from one week to one month. Waiting period for liver transplantation is no more than two months at most." This organ transplant centre is located right in the Organ Transplant Research Institute in the No. 1 Hospital affiliated with China Medical University.

Specific Time Range of Live Organ Harvesting Cases

The organ harvesting procedure started at 5:00 p.m. on April 9th, 2002, and lasted three hours. Typically, the day shift change for nursing staff is between 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. and the night shift change is from 4:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The live organ harvesting was scheduled to take place after the shift change, and no personnel from other sections were allowed in the room. In addition to the customary security guards on the operating floor, additional guards carrying handguns were posted at the door of the organ harvesting operating room.

The witness mentioned that "the anatomy started at 5:00 p.m. on April 9th, 2002, and lasted three hours." It takes cardiology experts only 15 to 20 minutes to remove a heart. A transplant surgeon can normally perform the removal of kidneys in less than 20 minutes in a non-laparoscopic surgery. Even if the time doubles for the lack of assistants, it should not have taken three hours. The key in the duration of three hours lies in the word "anatomy." This operation had a teaching purpose. The older military surgeon was directing the younger surgeon in practising the sequential removal of various organs from a living person.

In November 2003, Chinese Journal of Medicine, Issue No. 11, Volume 3, published an article by Fu Shaojie and Yu Lixin, two surgeons in the Kidney Transplant Section of the Southern Hospital affiliated with Guangzhou No. 1 Military Medicine University. The title of the article was "Experiences Based on Guiding Graduate Students in Clinical Kidney Transplant Work." It opined that the key to improving young surgeons lies in "nurturing operational skills of diagnosis and treatment."

The authors stated in the article, "At the beginning, the instructing teacher taught by performing operations. Toward the end of practical training, the graduate students should operate while the instructing teacher acted as the assistant. The harvesting technique of supplying kidneys is a key step in kidney transplantation. It requires understanding of layers of anatomy. One has to operate quickly, so as to reduce the warm ischemia time, and to guarantee that the supplying kidney is not damaged during the harvesting under various complicated environments. This has placed an extremely strict requirement on the operating surgeon. First these trainees should be exposed to the operation and perform tasks within their capabilities. Before each operation, the instructing teacher explains the key points of the operation. After the operation, the instructing teacher reviews how practical issues that came up during the operation were resolved. With the increase in graduate students' participation in kidney harvesting, they are gradually given more opportunities to participate in the operations. Based on each person's mastery of technical skills, toward the later phase of the practical training, some can act as the first assistant to help instructing teachers to complete kidney harvesting. Regarding the transplantation to recipients, a gradual process is followed to offer graduate students participation in concrete operations. They could gradually digest, and try to perfect after their graduation." It's not too hard to imagine what "various complicated environments" might refer to, such as a military hospital where secrecy precluded the use of nursing staff and anaesthesiologists.


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