North Korea is hailed as the shadiest country of the world. No one knows for sure what happens there and how many rumors about the place are actually true. On the list of shady countries you will also find China not ranked far below. One of the reasons for that has just hit the news.
Chinese prisons were being investigated for ‘forced organ transplanting’ by an independent tribunal which recently passed its verdict.
Let us first understand what is organ harvesting and organ trade. Organ harvesting or organ procurement is the procedure which removes organs (or tissues) from the body of one human to be reused and transplanted into other human who needs the organ. The list of patients needing organ transplant is long, and that of organ donors, really short. As a result there is an illegal trade of organs around the world.
The tribunal that carried out the said investigation described forced organ harvesting as a ‘form of organ trafficking. It is alleged that in China, prisoners of conscience are killed for the purpose of removing one or more of their organs. The recipients of these harvested organs are Chinese citizens or international transplant tourists who travel to China and pay substantial sums to receive trafficked organs.’
Prisoners of conscience are those people who are put in prison for adhering to certain political or religious beliefs which are not tolerated by the state they are residents of.
The website further reads, ‘Within the Chinese transplant system, waiting times are said to be ‘extremely short by international standards and at times, transplants of vital organs (hearts, full livers) can be ‘booked’ in advance.’
The China Tribunal is an 'independent tribunal into forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience in China'. According to the tribunal’s findings some organ extraction surgeries were carried out on live victims who died in the process or after the procedure.
A part of the final judgement read, "the tribunal’s members are certain—unanimously, and sure beyond a reasonable doubt—that in China forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience has been practiced for a substantial period of time involving a very substantial number of victims." Other independent reports claim that the industry of illegal trade organ in China is worth billions of dollars.
The tribunal was chaired by Sir Geoffrey Nice QC who said that, “there is no evidence of the practice [of prisoner organ harvesting] having been stopped and the tribunal is satisfied that it is continuing."
He further said, “The conclusion shows that very many people have died indescribably hideous deaths for no reason, that more may suffer in similar ways and that all of us live on a planet where extreme wickedness may be found in the power of those, for the time being, running a country with one of the oldest civilizations known to modern man.”
The Chinese government had announced in 2014, that it would stop surgically removing organs from executed prisoners and the move was welcomed by human rights people at the time. The practice however has not stopped and as per the tribunal, even living prisoners are killed for the same.
Needless to mention that the practice is abhorrent. However, given that it is China, which went on practicing what it clearly said it would not, there is no saying whether things will change anytime soon.