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International Investigation Finds More Evidence of Human Organ Harvesting

One year after publishing an investigative report of China’s practice of organ harvesting from living Falun Gong members, the authors release a second report that bolsters their initial conclusion.

In the March/April issue of 2006, Chinascope published a special feature article titled "China’s Organ Trade: Crime Under the Surgical Light." It may appear unimaginable that such an extreme human atrocity is happening on large scale while considerable increase in economic growth has taken place in China. The report below updates the new development in the latest international investigation of the organ harvest allegation.

Breaking News—Organ Harvest of Live Falun Gong Practitioners

On March 9, 2006, The Epoch Times, a Chinese language newspaper with global circulation, broke the news of a journalist of a Japan media that to his personal knowledge Chinese communist government maintains a concentration camp in Sujiatun, China, holding only Falun Gong practitioners.[1] On March 24, 2006, a second witness corroborated his statement and stated that the concentration camp was attached to a hospital harvesting detainees’ organs for transplants—while the victims were still alive—and cremating the bodies in an onsite furnace.[2]

In April 2006 Falun Dafa Associations and Minghui website founded the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong in China (CIPFG) in Washington D.C. The Coalition invited two investigators, David Kilgour, former MP and Secretary of State for Asian Affairs from Canada, and David Matas, international human right lawyer, to investigate the allegations.

In July 2006, Kilgour and Matas published the results of a two-month investigation in which they implicated dozens of hospitals and jails throughout China in the transplant scandal, affirming large-scale organ seizures from unwilling Falun Gong practitioners in China for profit. Although 60,000 organ transplants were recorded in China from 2000 to 2005, sources for only 18,500 organs could be identified. The authors question where the rest of the organs came from and how that many organs could be found so readily in a country that traditionally prefers to bury its dead with the body intact.

Military Harvesting Organs

After interviewing organ recipients in 30 countries, Canada’s former Secretary of State for the Asia Pacific region David Kilgour and human rights lawyer David Matas published the second report on January 31, 2007, entitled Bloody Harvest.[3]

China’s military has been harvesting organs from imprisoned Falun Gong practitioners, for large-scale transplants including for foreign recipients, said the Kilgour-Matas second report.

"Recipients often tell us that even when they receive transplants at civilian hospitals, those conducting the operations are military personnel," the report states.

China International Transplantation Network Assistance Center website quotes a kidney transplant as US$65,000, a liver transplant US$130,000, a heart transplant US$130,000 to US$160,000 and a cornea transplant US$30,000.[4] {mospagebreak}
"The Organ Transplant Center of the Armed Police General Hospital in Beijing boldly states: ‘Our Organ Transplant Center is our main department for making money. This year (2004) there is a chance to break through 30 million yuan (about US$3.8 million),’ " said the Kilgour-Matas report.

Special Treatment to Class Enemies

Some question that organ harvest of Falun Gong practitioners are acts of state, believing it is the act of certain corrupted individuals.

Chinese communist government’s organ harvest of unwilling "class enemies" dated back to the notorious "Great Culture Revolution" in mid 60s of last century. As long as "revolution" needed, organs were taken, without consent.

Yu Luoke, male, 27, an apprentice at Beijing People’s Machinery, was arrested as "counter-revolutionary" because of his articles disagreeing with the Party line. He was executed on March 5, 1970. His corneas were removed before he was sent to be executed.

Li Lian, female, 18, a high school student was arrested and executed in 1970 as "counter-revolutionary" because of her doubts of the Party theories. On her way to execution she was pinned on the inside of the prison van, and her kidneys were removed without anesthesia. A high-ranking communist official was on the operation table waiting for the kidney.

This is how the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) treats its people whom it deemed a threat. Organ harvest of Falun Gong practitioners that CCP vowed to eliminate came no surprise. The transaction of organs harvested from Falun Gong practitioners is a merely an efficient and profitable use of a human resource that CCP would not want to see otherwise waste.

Eight Kidneys for One Patient

While conducting research in Asia, Kilgour interviewed a now 35 year-old man (name and nationality withheld) who received a kidney transplant at Shanghai No. 1 People’s Hospital in 2003. The man said that his surgeon was Dr. Tan Jianming, Secretary General of the Chinese Research Society of Dialysis and Transplantation. Dr. Tan also holds top posts in a number of Chinese military and civilian hospitals.

The patient suffered from a severe transplant rejection condition that made it difficult to find a suitable kidney. Over an eight-day period, four separate kidneys were brought to him and tested, said Kilgour. When none of those worked, three months later he tried another four—the last of which was a fit. The man was later transferred to No. 85 Hospital of the People’s Liberation Army to convalesce.
Dr. Tan told the man explicitly that these organs came from executed Chinese prisoners, and that at least some of the organs had been harvested secretly, against the donors’ will.[5]

The Organ Harvest Continues

Belgian Senator Patrik Vankrunkelsven from the Flemish Liberal Party carried out his own investigation into organ transplants in China in mid- November 2006. He called two hospitals in Beijing and presented himself as a patient in need of a kidney transplant.

"Now is a good time to come," the hospital staff said, according to Vankrunkelsven. "At the time of Chinese New Year we like our prisons to be emptied. After the New Year we startup again, but then of course the waiting time will be a bit longer." Both hospitals offered him a kidney on the spot for 50,000 euros.[6]

BBC broadcast a news piece on September 27, 2006, of an undercover investigation of the organ transplantation practice in China. The report disclosed that the sale of organs from executed prisoners appears "to be thriving." At a hospital in Tianjin, the BBC correspondent, Rupert Wingfield-Hayes, posed as someone in need of a liver for his sick father. He was told he could obtain one in three weeks. The hospital spokesperson said the organs from the executed prisoners were donated freely, but the BBC correspondent wrote, "…whether prisoners really are free to make up their own minds on organ donation just before they are executed is not at all clear."[7]

Mixed Bag—Denials and Admissions

Since early March 2006 when the live organ harvest issue was brought to light, the Chinese communist government has been unusually quiet. The first response came toward the end of March denying the allegations and extending invites to international communities for a guided tour of the Sujiatun facilities. However, application from Kilgour/Matas or members from CIPFG to enter China for an independent investigation has been repeatedly denied.

On February 1, 2007, after the second Kilgour-Matas report, Chinese Foreign Affairs Spokesman Jiang Yu stated at a press conference in response to a questions on the report that "the removal of organs are carried out with written consent of the executed prisoners." [8]

On February 2, 2007, Global Times, an official Chinese communist government newspaper, published a more elaborate article denying the involvement of Chinese military. It quoted an unknown surgeon in Beijing. The surgeon allegedly said that those overseas patients who received transplants in China are "unconscionable" when they expressed concerns of the sources of the organs used in the transplant.[9] {mospagebreak}
Here are some examples of conflicts in Chinese communist government reactions:

On November 7, 2005, China Deputy Minister of Public Health, Huang Jiefu, admitted at a WHO conference held in Manila, Philippines, that organs are indeed taken from executed prisoners.[10]

However, on March 26. 2006, Qin Gang, Spokesman of China Ministry of Foreign Affairs, denied at a press conference, "Information on China’s organ harvest from prisoners is a total lie." "It is a complete fabrication… to say that China forcibly takes organs from the people given the death penalty for the purpose of transplanting," said Qin Gang.[11]

On October 10, 2006, unnamed spokesperson from Ministry of Health commented via Xinhua, Chinese official news agency, on the September 27, 2006 BBC report on organ harvest, stating, "Certain overseas media are fabricating stories and are attacking maliciously Chinese legal system."[12]

Interesting enough, a month later in November 2006, China Deputy Minister of Health, Huang Jiefu, admitted one more time at a conference in Guangzhou that most organs for transplants are from executed prisoners.[13]

The latest statement came on January 11, 2007, from the China Health Ministry Spokesman Mao Qunan, who admitted, despite previous and repeated denials, that organs are being "harvested" from prisoners.[14] Mao managed to skirt the issue that this practice is extended specifically to Falun Gong practitioners.

United Nations’ Response

The numbers of organ transplants performed in China and the speed with which organs become available has also raised international concern about the source of organs.

In an interview with Profil Magazine (Austria), the United Nations Commission on Human Rights’ Special Rapporteur on Torture, a Vienna human rights lawyer, Mr. Nowak said, "It is a fact that Falun Gong has been subjected to severe persecution since 1999. Equally indisputable is the quantity of organ transplants increased substantially at the same time when Falun Gong was first cracked down on July 20, 1999. Chinese medical institution also published data indicating 60,000 total transplant operations from 2000 to 2005." [15] Nowak thought the statement that organs came from voluntary donors worth investigating. "For religious and cultural reasons, rarely anyone in the Chinese society is willing to donate organs." To Huang’s argument that organs came from willing donation of executed prisoners, Nowak replied, "According to estimates by non-governmental organizations such as Amnesty International, there are 1,500-4,000 executions each year."

Amnesty International is carrying out its own investigation on the Falun Gong organ harvesting.[16] {mospagebreak}
Voices of Doctors

What, then, are the human rights responsibilities of the international medical and research community?

Over 20 transplant specialists at Auckland Hospital, New Zealand, issued a letter addressed to the New Zealand government. Among their recommendations is a ban on training Chinese doctors in transplant surgery until they can be assured that the skills will not be used to harvest organs from unwilling donors.[17] The recommendation appears to gain support in the U.S. transplant community.

According to a survey conducted by Dr. Scott Biggins at University of California, San Franscisco, over half of the liver transplant specialists surveyed would not participate in the training of physicians who intend to practice in countries with unethical procurement practices.[18] In addition, over 67 percent would support an embargo on scientific reports coming from countries with unethical procurement practices.[19]

Dr. Kirk Allison, Program of Human Rights and Health at the School of Public Health, Medical School, University of Minnesota issued a call on July 24, 2006, for professional associations to place a moratorium on research support and collaboration with transplantation in China. He also urged academic journals and educational venues to reject papers and presentations relying on data derived from practices violating standards described in Helsinki Declaration of the World Medical Association Ethical Principles Regarding Medical Research Involving Human Subjects[20] and international instruments.[21]

On August 14, 2006, the New York based National Kidney Foundation issued a statement regarding Kilgour/Matas July report. If these allegations prove true, it said, "they represent a systematic and widespread violation of human rights against thousands, or potentially tens of thousands, of innocent persons." "The National Kidney Foundation is opposed to any persecution of individuals because of their religious or political beliefs."[22]

On November 6, 2006, The Transplantation Society (TTS), a global body dedicated to the development of transplantation science, education and ethics based in Britain, issued a statement on the use of organs from Chinese executed prisoners. TTS is opposed to the recovery of organs and tissues from executed prisoners and from any other individual where an autonomous consent for the procurement is lacking," said the statement.[23]

Two major organ transplant hospitals in Queens land, Australia banned training

Chinese surgeons because of concerns raised by the Falun Gong group in late 2006.[24] {mospagebreak}

In the 1930s the first steps on the road to the holocaust were taken with the complicity of doctors.[25] For example, Nazi doctors provided supervision of Auschwitz mass murder starting from the notorious "selections" of arriving Jews, determining which were to go directly to the gas chamber and which were to live temporarily and work in the concentration camp. After the horrors of the Holocaust, one cannot simply brush off reports of heinous crimes against humanity. How can we guard against it happening again?

The investigation of organ-harvesting allegations has been very difficult. There is little direct evidence left of organ harvest of unwilling Falun Gong practitioners, because the bodies of victims are cremated and no word is given to family members of their disposal. The operating rooms where the killings and transplants occur look like any others. Yet, the picture that the Kilgour/Matas report pieces together bears the mark of veracity.

In an effort to expand the investigation and to stop the human atrocity, a coalition of Falun Gong supporters is calling for a boycott of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing unless the Chinese government meets an August 8, 2007 deadline to allow an independent investigation of organ-harvesting allegations.


[3] Available at
[4] See price list at
[5] See F(a)(3) of the Report.
[7] Video at;
[10] Page 44
[13] See;; and;

[14] See
[15] Original at; English summary at
[19] Id.
[21] Expert Opinion: Mounting Evidence of Falun Gong Practitioners used as Organ Sources in China and Related Ethical Responsibilities.
[23] Transplant News, Dec, 2006
[25] Lifton R. J. The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing And The Psychology Of Genocide, 2000