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China Strip Mines Political Prisoners for Their Organs

A paramilitary policeman stands guard at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, in 2013. (Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters)

China has long been credibly accused of allowing a black market in organ sales, the kidneys, livers, etc. coming from murdered political prisoners such as the Falon Gong.

Several years ago, China promised it would eliminate this dark harvest, but according to the China Tribunal — an independent investigative tribunal into forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience — the tyranny continues to permit the murder and strip mining of political prisoners to continue without interruption. From the NBC story:

The organs of members of marginalized groups detained in Chinese prison camps are being forcefully harvested — sometimes when patients are still alive, an international tribunal sitting in London has concluded.

Forced organ harvesting has been committed for years throughout China on a significant scale,” the tribunal concluded in its final judgment Monday. The practice is “of unmatched wickedness — on a death for death basis — with the killings by mass crimes committed in the last century,” it added.

There is great concern that the Uyghurs are also potential victims. From the China Tribunal’s Final Report:

Forced organ harvesting has been committed for years throughout China on a significant scale and that Falun Gong practitioners have been one – and probably the main – source of organ supply.

The concerted persecution and medical testing of the Uyghurs is more recent and it may be that evidence of forced organ harvesting of this group may emerge in due course.

This is unspeakably evil. But the vaunted international community doesn’t have the fortitude to pressure China into actually stopping this horror, nor do countries and large companies want to lose the money that would result from taking such action. These faults and weaknesses being a given, we certainly shouldn’t expect China to do the moral thing any time soon.

Still, there has been too much reporting for too long about this profound human-rights abuse to ethically continue to look the other way. The question thus becomes: Will the U.S. specifically outlaw traveling to China for the purpose of buying an organ — just as we do participating in pedophilia tourism overseas? (Spain, Israel, Italy, and Taiwan have passed such laws already.) I can’t think of one argument against pursuing such a course.

If we don’t at least do what we can, it seems to me that we make ourselves complicit in allowing the demand for black-market organs forcibly harvested from murdered prisoners to continue unimpeded — and the blood of the slaughtered victims will also be on us.

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