China acknowledges death row organ trafficking
According the the Chinese government newspaper China Daily, two out of three organs transplanted in the country are taken from executed death row inmates – “definitely not a proper source for organ transplants”, Huang Jiefu, the vice-minister for health, told the paper on August 26.
He added that some people just ignore legal procedures regarding organ donations from executed prisoners and make a fat profit.
The official admission comes as the Chinese government and the Red Cross are launching an organ donation system to address the problem. The authorities estimate that only 1% of those Chinese patients who need a transplant receive it.
“His body was cremated and never returned”
For more than one year, the World Coalition has been denouncing the large-scale organ trafficking network that feeds on China’s death row. In the lead up to the Beijing Olympics in 2008, the World Coalition printed in a public information leaflet: “Chinese citizens and foreigners alike allegedly pay large sums for these transplants. Although it cannot not be proved, organ removal probably occurs without the consent of families. For the past three years, Meng Shaoping has been fighting to find out what happened to the body of her son, executed in January 2005. After the execution, his body was cremated and never returned to his family. She believes that his organs might have been removed without her authorisation.”
This year, the French organization Together Against the Death Penalty, a member of the World Coalition, filed a successful lawsuit against an anatomic exhibition in Paris. The event showcased actual human bodies, some of which were probably those of Chinese death row inmates.