They were in robust health when they were put on the operating table for doctors to carve out their organs. Many of them were still breathing. When the job was done, the bodies were tossed into the incinerator and burned, leaving no trace behind.
The spine-chilling scene had been a lived reality for prisoners of conscience in China under the regime’s state-sanctioned forced organ harvesting, recounted by two investigators at a Feb. 17 virtual webinar hosted by Washington-based think tank Hudson Institute.
“There was no charge, no hearing, no appeal,” said David Kilgour, Canada’s former secretary of state for Asia-Pacific who, together with Canadian human rights lawyer David Matas, spent years investigating the issue.
“A policeman just simply said: ‘you’re going to this work camp over here.’ … you waited working 16 hours a day,” he said. “Then one day somebody would come in, seize them, give them a little potassium, and then their organs would be taken out and your bodies would be burned.”
“That’s how the rule of law works in China in terms of getting organs.”
It’s a “perfect crime, because there actually aren’t any survivors” of the operation, added moderator Nina Shea, a human rights lawyer and former commissioner of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, now a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute.
The billion-dollar organ harvesting industry, which boomed at the same time as the regime escalated a brutal eradication campaign targeting the spiritual group Falun Gong in the early 2000s, has for decades been covered up in China.
Even in the West, officials and the medical bodies have been reluctant to confront the issue until 2019, when an independent people’s tribunal in London concluded, “beyond a reasonable doubt,” that organ harvesting sourcing from Falun Gong inmates has taken place for years “on a significant scale.”
Annie (alias), a former worker at a Chinese hospital in northeastern China, was the first to shed light on the horrific abuse in 2006. In testimonies to The Epoch Times later corroborated by others, she revealed how her ex-husband, a military surgeon at the same hospital, forcibly removed corneas from Falun Gong practitioners.
Her account was what brought the two Davids together to investigate the issue. They later released a report titled Bloody Harvest, where they examined hundreds of hospitals in China, drawing from media reports, medical journals, and archives. Their findings was that the Chinese regime has been using Falun Gong adherents as a living organ bank while significantly undercounting the number of transplants done each year.
By Eva Fu