One of the world’s top experts on China’s forced organ harvesting industry told Congress on Thursday that the Communist Party “harvests” perhaps 50,000 concentration camp victims and kills them to sell their organs for a year.
Ethan Gutmann – a senior research fellow in China studies at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation and co-author of the landmark works on the topic “Bloody Harvest” and “The Slaughter” – noted that any healthy individual killed for his or her removing her organs could yield two or three organs, meaning China would sell as many as 150,000 organs from these victims.
Gutmann, along with several other experts — including Enver Tohti, an East Turkistan surgeon who claims to have been forced to harvest organs from a political prisoner in 1995 — testified at a hearing hosted Thursday by Congress’ Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. , entitled “Forced Organ Harvesting in China: Examining the Evidence.”
The hearing followed the publication of years of evidence that China was killing healthy people to sell their organs on the black market to wealthy buyers, most recently a study published by researchers at the Australian National University (ANU) in April accusing China of ” execution by heart removal.”
Over the past half decade, China has built a network of more than 1,000 concentration camps in occupied East Turkistan, the westernmost region and home to the majority of members of the Uyghur ethnic group. and killing Uyghurs and other members of religious and ethnic minorities. Chinese officials do not deny the existence of the camps, claiming that they are “vocational training centers” where indigenous peoples whom Beijing says learn backward trade skills to compete in the modern Chinese economy.
Citing interviews with concentration camp survivors, Gutmann told Congress that testimonies indicate that China screens concentration camp victims to see if their organs would be useful for transplants and those who pass the test disappear abruptly.
“There are two types of people who leave the camps early: the first are young people, about 18 years old. The announcement that they are ‘graduating’ is often made during lunch. Sometimes a light applause is encouraged’, Gutmann explains. “‘Graduation’ is a euphemism for forced labour, often in a factory in the east.”
“The average age of the second group is usually 28 or 29 — the exact stage of physical development that the Chinese medical community prefers for organ harvesting,” he continued. After medical tests, he noted, those chosen in this group “disappeared in the middle of the night.” Witness statements from about twenty camps are remarkably consistent: between 2.5% and 5% annual disappearances for the 28-year-old age group.”
“Assuming there are about a million Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz and Hui in the camps since 2017, I estimate that 25,000 to 50,000 prisoners are harvested each year,” Gutmann explains.
“Twenty-eight-year-olds from the Xinjiang [East Turkistan] camps can theoretically be harvested for two or three organs, which translates into a minimum of 50,000 organs or a maximum of 150,000 organs,” he concluded.
Gutmann and Tohti both noted in their testimonies that Chinese airports have express lanes for organ shipping and this phenomenon is most common at airports in East Turkistan. Gutmann stated he believes he has identified at least one “probable end user near Shanghai” connecting to an airport in Aksu, East Turkistan: “First Hospital Zhejiang Province.”
“In-hospital first liver transplants increased by 90 percent in 2017. The number of kidney transplants increased by 200 percent,” Gutmann noted.
Gutmann called on the free world to cut all ties with the Chinese transplant industry and ban Chinese doctors with industry ties from collaborating in any way with their Western counterparts.
“This catastrophe was caused by Beijing, but was continually made possible by a handful of Western doctors who thought they could ride the Chinese dragon and come back home as if everything was normal,” he testified. “I don’t know the policy mechanisms that can reverse that. But the precedent is clear. We must abolish all Western contacts with the transplant industry in mainland China. No Chinese transplant surgeons in our medical journals, our universities and our conferences. And an end to all sales of surgical equipment, pharmaceutical development and testing in China.”
Tohti recounted his experience as a young surgeon in 1995, dragged to an execution site and forced to quickly cut the heart out of a political prisoner who was murdered before his eyes. He referred to East Turkistan as “a giant open-topped human laboratory” that he accused the Chinese of using not only for harvesting living organs, but also for extensive nuclear weapons testing and, possibly, bioweapons research.
“A former Colonel Ken Alibek of the Russian Red Army laboratory in Kazakhstan reported in his book that Chinese may have tested bioweapons in Xinjiang in 1980,” Tohti noted. “I definitely remember that — that was the first year of my medical college, many students were late for registration because of the plague and typhus barricade in the southern part of Xinjiang.”
Tohti’s testimony ended with an ominous anecdote:
In October 2017, Taipei, after I gave a lecture on organ harvesting, a Taiwanese man approached me and said: My brother went to Tianjing for his kidney, as he was aware of the situation of Falungong, that he surgeon asked that he doesn’t want Falun. gong gurgles, his surgeon assured him that now all the organs come from Xinjiang!
Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ), chairman of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, at Thursday’s hearing called for an “immediate concerted effort to stop this barbaric practice — not just in China, but by global proponents.” . Smith introduced legislation last year to punish those guilty of forced organ harvesting or trafficking of organs stolen from political prisoners, called the Stop Forced Organ Harvesting Act of 2021. The bill would also require the State Department and Health and Human Services provide regular annual reports on the subject so lawmakers can know who to sanction and what further action to take.
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