The UN Human Rights Council has been told by the independent China Tribunal that China is continuing its horrifying campaign of killing religious minorities for their organs, harvesting and selling these organs on an industrial scale. Lawyer Hamid Sabi presented these findings to the UN on Tuesday in Geneva, stating that UN member states have a “legal obligation” to act on these distressing reports, stressing that this might even amount to “a possible charge of genocide”:
The commission of crimes against humanity against the Falun Gong and Uyghur minorities had been proven beyond reasonable doubt. It is the legal obligation of UN Member States to address this criminal conduct.”
The China Tribunal was chaired by Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, who heard evidence from human rights investigators, medical experts, and witnesses who contributed to the report. Nice was a prosecutor at the international criminal tribunals for Yugoslavia as well, leading the case against Slobodan Milosevic.
The report’s findings have shown evidence that China has been extracting and killing members of imprisoned religious minorities in the country, most notably from the Falun Gong and Uyghur ethnic groups, who have long been at the receiving end of some of China’s most brutal tactics of repression and abuse.
Imprisoning more than one million Uyghurs in the horrifying detention camps sprawled across the northwestern province of Xinjiang, the tribunal found evidence that these detention camps, being called the largest mass incarceration of peoples since the Holocaust, are “being used as a bank of organs”, with the detainees subject to constant medical testing. In addition to the imprisonment of Uyghur Muslims, the China Tribunal found evidence of illegal organ harvesting on other minorities such as the Falun Gong, Tibetans, and Chinese Christians. The report states:
[Prisoners] were killed to order…cut open while still alive for their kidneys, livers, hearts, lungs, cornea, and skin to be removed and turned into commodities for sale.”
The organ transplant industry is said to give China more than $1 billion annually. A few countries, including Italy, Spain, and Taiwan, have already set in motion restrictions in place for those attempting to travel to China for organ transplant surgery based on the growing number of reports on China’s illegal organ harvesting.
Although China continues to deny these reports of illegal organ harvesting, the Chinese government has admitted that it has stopped using extracted organs from executed prisoners in 2015. Accusing the London-based China Tribunal of propagating “rumors”, China has repeatedly denied all reports of the horrifying evidence presented by groups such as the China Tribunal.
As China continues to move with impunity, persecuting religious minorities for simply being a minority, reports such as these that highlight the horrifying illegal trade in organ harvesting stands as yet another example of governments refusing to comply with internationally-binding laws on human rights, acting without any repercussions. Religious minorities within China continue to suffer under the country’s appalling lack of human rights, as governments around the world continue to turn a blind eye to mass atrocities such as this.