Obtaining organs for transplantation from political prisoners has been fundamental to maintain donor organ levels in China for a substantial period of time. Now, an independent British tribunal has claimed to have new evidence of these facts in a public session held from 8 to 10 December 2018 (see HERE).

Forced organ harvesting from political prisoners

The British Medical Jornal says “Forced harvesting of organs from prisoners of conscience in China has been “substantial,” says an interim judgment of an independent “people’s tribunal” set up to determine whether the country’s transplantation practices breached international criminal law.

The former English judge Geoffrey Nice QC, the tribunal’s chair, said after a three-day evidence gathering session, “We, the tribunal members, are all certain, unanimously, beyond a reasonable doubt, that in China forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience have been practiced for a substantial period of time, involving a very substantial number of victims. . . by state-organized or approved organizations or individuals.”

The tribunal found that the practices breached the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including articles 3 (right to life), 6 (recognition as a person before the law), 7 (equality before the law), 9 (not to be subject to arbitrary arrest), 10 (full equality to a fair and public hearing in the determination of rights), 11 (presumption of innocence), and 5 (torture).

The Chinese government and the Transplantation Society, which has “official relations” with the World Health Organization and offers “global leadership in transplantation . . . and guidance on ethical practice,” had not submitted evidence.

Implications for WHO, doctors and institutions worldwide

The Tribunal heard evidence in public in London on 8-10 December.  Seven strong panels questioned 30 witnesses, including refugees from China, doctors, and investigators. Its full judgment, due early next year, could have major implications for doctors and institutions worldwide that collaborate with China on transplantation-related activities.” (BMJ 11 December 2018).


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