The Current

China accused of harvesting the organs of political prisoners, researchers say it's time Canada take action

Stories have trickled out for years of organs taken from Chinese prisoners for transplant. Eight years ago, China admitted it took organs from those facing execution. Now, researcher and analyst Ethan Guttman says political prisoners, including members of Falon Gong and Uyghurs, are dying in Chinese prisons at the hands of surgeons harvesting their organs....

Stories have trickled out for years of organs taken from Chinese prisoners for transplant. Eight years ago, China admitted it took organs from those facing execution. Now, researcher and analyst Ethan Guttman says political prisoners, including members of Falon Gong and Uyghurs, are dying in Chinese prisons at the hands of surgeons harvesting their organs.

"So if a falun gong practitioner is killed and their organs are sold, now the organs don't last very long they have to be transplanted quickly, but if they can transplant all the organs including the skin the lungs, everything, corneas, if they can transplant all of those quickly before they become unusable, I think it adds up to about a half a million dollars." -  David Kilgour , Retired Edmonton MP

Half a million dollars per body, multiplied by tens of thousands. That's the allegation. Retired Edmonton MP David Kilgour says that's what China is after when it executes prisoners of conscience and harvests their organs.

Mr. Kilgour, along with Winnipeg human rights lawyer, David Matas, published a report on the alleged harvest in 2006. There was some outcry; there was skepticism. And not much action.

Now, another researcher backs up the 2006 report with new research of his own. Ethan Gutmann believes members of Falun Gong, Uyghurs, Tibetans and Christians face the surgeon's fatal knife. And he says it's time countries like Canada take action.

Ethan Gutmann documents his findings in his book, The Slaughter: Mass Killings, Organ Harvesting, and China's Secret Solution to Its Dissident Problem. This week, he is in Canada to address a parliamentary subcommittee on human rights. We reached him in Ottawa.

We contacted the Chinese Embassy for a comment to Mr. Gutmann's allegations, but have not received a response.

While some say the claims are incredible, others believe Ethan Guttman's research is a wake up call. Kelly Currie is a Senior Fellow with Project 2049 Institute - a policy think-tank looking at the Asia-Pacific. She was in Washington.
 

This segment was produced by The Current's Marc Apollonio and Sarah Grant. 

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