Falun Gong Practitioners Systematically Murdered for Their Organs: Refuting the Chinese Regime's "Death Row" Explanation, Preface and Table of Contents

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This article was first published on December 26th, 2009.

In 2006, The Epoch Times newspaper broke a stunning story about what is undoubtedly one of the most horrible atrocities to be committed by any government, not only in modern times, but in all of recorded history. As documented in the investigative report, "Bloody Harvest," by noted human rights lawyer David Matas and former Canadian Secretary of State for the Asia-Pacific region David Kilgour, there is overwhelming evidence of the Chinese Communist regime's chilling role in systematically murdering Falun Gong practitioners, harvesting their organs while they are alive, and making huge profits from doing so. In response to the international outcry, the Chinese regime has attempted to explain away one of the main pieces of circumstantial evidence--the meteoric rise in the number of organ transplantations in recent years and the extremely short wait times in a culture notoriously averse to organ donation--by stating that it has harvested organs from executed criminals after their deaths. Faced with undeniable evidence, it has attempted to escape culpability for a monstrous atrocity by admitting to a lesser crime. In this report, we will show evidence that directly contradicts this claim and lends further credence to the serious charges levelled against the Chinese regime.

Table of Contents

Preface

How many organs can be accounted for by death row inmates?
Reference to historical data
Numbers based on an "estimation formula"
Organ matching issues
Tissue matching
Probability of Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) matching
Probability of blood type matching
Match requirements for liver transplants
Number of death row executions
Number of annual executions of death row inmates in China
No large-scale Strike-Hard campaigns from 2003 to the present
Estimating the upper limit on suitable organs that can be derived from death row "donors"
Tissue matching - a bottleneck with death row "donors"
Critical time window dictated by cold ischemia
Death row inmates' organs, a one-time resource
Factors limiting death row inmate organs
Harvesting of death row inmate organs follows the "court-driven model"
Legal requirements for an "uncollected bodies" classification
China's organ transplant market skyrocketed in 2003
Unprecedented market conditions for organ transplants between 2003 and 2006
Extraordinarily short waiting periods previously unseen
Expensive fees make organ transplants tremendously profitable
China turns into a centre for global organ transplant tourism
A niche market within China's limited organ market takes off
High quality organs used for overseas recipients
Sudden disappearance of the abundant donor resources after 2006
Sources of extra organs
Features that likely characterise the new source of organs
Unjustly detained Falun Gong practitioners - a new source of organs
Uncertain whereabouts of many Falun Gong practitioners
Blood testing of detained Falun Gong practitioners
Detained Falun Gong practitioners - a reservoir for large-scale matching and live organ harvesting
Bypassing "the courts" in handling of Falun Gong practitioners to facilitate organ harvesting
Live organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners follows the "military driven model"
Additional open questions
Evolution of live organ harvesting
Isolated cases
Large-scale live organ harvesting
A small step from "using death row organs" to "live organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners"
Broadened definition of death row inmates
Vulnerable groups broadening the definition of death row inmates
Contrasting the tragedy of live organ harvesting contrasts with a "joyful moment" on the White House lawn
Revelation of Gresham's Law - demonising propaganda drives indifference to life
The killing of a beggar and a homeless person reveals lack of bottom line in Chinese doctors' ethics
Organ deal behind the death of a beggar
Homeless person killed for his organs
Additional evidence
Whistleblowers expose live organ harvesting
Recordings from telephone investigations
Testimony from intermediaries
Testimony from Falun Gong practitioners and other inmates
Investigative report by David Matas and David Kilgour
The Chinese Communist government's reactions to allegations of organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners
Sujiatun cover-up
Third party investigators denied visas
Denying the validity of the evidence so far collected
Suddenly expediting the overhaul of the organ market
Use of death row organs: from outright denial to a high profile admission
Another peak in organ transplants?
What you can do?
An excerpt from Karski: How One Man Tried to Stop the Holocaust
Even a single case of live organ harvesting amounts to a monumental crime
So-called "economic miracles" are no excuse for persecution
What can you do?
Appendices

Technical difficulties in organ transplants
Liver transplant charts from two hospitals with close ties to the Chinese military
Published organ transplant statistics by Chinese experts
Organ transplants in underground hospitals
Organ transplant statistics provided by Huang Jiefu and Shi Bingyi
Organ transplants in other countries
Average waiting period for organs in Chinese hospitals
Cost of organ transplants
Guarantee of donor quality
Disappearance of Organ Transplant Chapter from the China Medical Association website
"Organ deal behind the death of a beggar" - South Wind Window magazine
"Where did the organs come from?" - cover story from Caijing magazine revealing a case of killing for organs
Preface

Between 1999 and 2007, China's organ transplant market experienced rapid growth. In 2003, the number of organ transplants in China mushroomed. From 2003 to 2006, a record number of overseas "organ transplant tourists" rushed to China, attracted by the incredibly short average waiting periods of only one to two weeks, compared to waiting periods ranging from two to three years in other countries. This begs the question: Where did all these transplant-ready organs come from?

The Chinese Communist regime used to deny harvesting organs from executed death row inmates. Now they say that most of these organs came from death row inmates.

The question is, was the number of death row prisoners alone able to sustain the drastically growing demand in China's organ market between 2003 and 2006?

In March 2006, when a whistleblower alerted the world to the possibility of live organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners in China, a potentially new source of organs emerged.

"The explanation that most of these organs come from death row inmates is inconclusive. If so, the number of executed felons must then be much higher as so far assumed," said Manfred Nowak, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, in an interview with the Epoch Times. [1]

In a report published in November 2008, the United Nations Committee Against Torture stated that it "takes cognisance of the allegations presented to the Special Rapporteur on Torture who has noted that an increase in organ transplant operations coincides with the beginning of the persecution of [Falun Gong practitioners]." [2]

The Congressional-Executive Commission on China stated in its 2009 annual report that "In the past year, allegations of organ harvesting from non-consenting Falun Gong prisoners have emerged again, further raising concerns about possible abuses in China's organ transplant industry." [3]

The official Chinese response was to deny these allegations, as they had consistently done previously when allegations of the use of death row organs had arisen in the past. Moreover, the Chinese government rejected numerous requests for third party independent investigations. Meanwhile, China's organ transplant market peaked between 2003 and 2006, the period during which the alleged live organ harvesting from imprisoned Falun Gong practitioners occurred.

Starting in 2007, the Chinese government began to reorganise its unregulated organ transplant market and introduced several acts to regulate transplants. During that time, the number of organ transplant hospitals was reduced from over 600 to 160. The international organ transplant community welcomed these changes. As the world focused on the allegations of live organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners, the Chinese government for the first time in history openly stated that most of the organs came from death row inmates. One has to question the motivation behind this high profile admission and whether the Chinese government was attempting to cover up an unimaginable evil by confessing to a lesser crime.

In November 2009, Seraphim Editions, a Canadian book publisher, published Bloody Harvest, The Killing of Falun Gong forTheir Organs. Its coauthors, David Matas, a human rights lawyer who received the Order of Canada for his human rights work, and David Kilgour, a former crown prosecutor and former Member of Parliament, produced a damning body of evidence and used deductive reasoning to conclude that the allegations were indeed true.

This report focuses on the Chinese Communist government's attempt to cover up the allegations of the harvesting of organs from living Falun Gong practitioners, taking into consideration that Chinese officials consistently denied the use of death-row organs in the past but later admitted to this practice. Using publicly available data and materials, we are providing a gross estimate of the annual number of death row executions and eligible death row "donors" to calculate the total quantity of organs available if death row inmates were the only source. Our estimates closely parallel historical data and indicate that the increase in death row organs has kept pace with the increase in death row executions at a relatively steady rate. We further conclude that, based on the massive increase in the number of organ transplants between 2003 and 2006, death row organs alone could not possibly have met market demands. In China, voluntary organ donations have traditionally been rare. This raises concerns about the source of the additional organs, and allegations of organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners suggests a plausible explanation.

This report also looks at the limited number of death row donors, provides circumstantial evidence of live organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners, and delves into the reasons behind the shift from using death row donors to live Falun Gong practitioners. In particular, the report points out several extraordinary occurrences in China's organ market during its peak activity between 2003 and 2006

It is our hope that this report will cause other whistleblowers to come forward with information. We urge those who have participated in live organ harvesting not to keep silent and to follow their conscience wisely to reveal the truth so they can atone for the crimes they may have committed, knowingly or unknowingly. We hope that the international community will put pressure on the Chinese government to stop its persecution of Falun Gong, and allow third party independent investigations into the allegations of live organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners.

Authors' note: The reason this report focuses on the period between 2003 and 2006 is because data published by the Chinese government showed a sudden, massive growth in the number of organ transplants during that time. It by no means suggests that live organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners did not exist at other times since the start of the persecution of Falun Gong in 1999. As long as the persecution continues, we have no reason to believe that this atrocity has stopped.

References

[1] The Epoch Times, "Unsolved: Organ Harvesting in China, Interview with Manfred Nowak," http://theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/20596/

[2] United Nations Committee Against Torture, Forty-first session, Geneva,3-21 November 2008, "CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES UNDER ARTICLE 19OF THE CONVENTION: Concluding observations of the Committee against Torture," http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cat/docs/CAT.C.CHN.CO.4.pdf

[3] The Epoch Times, "A large number of Falun Gong practitioners arrested and persecuted according to 2009 annual report by the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China," http://www.epochtimes.com/gb/9/10/24/n2699251.htm


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