Harrowing Reports of Chinese Organ Trafficking Spark Congressional Outcry

Harrowing Reports of Chinese Organ Trafficking Spark Congressional Outcry

Mateo Guillamont
Mateo Guillamont
May 11, 2024

A bipartisan group of lawmakers is demanding the Biden administration respond to investigative reports alleging China is engaging in a massive forced organ transplant scheme.

According to the American Journal of Transplantation, transplant surgeons in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) removed organs, including hearts and lungs, violating the internationally-accepted  “dead donor” rule, i.e., before donors have been (or could be) declared “brain dead.”

Such operations have been occurring since 1980.

In 2020, the Independent Tribunal into Forced Organ Harvesting from Prisoners of Conscience in China Tribunal concluded forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience is being routinely practiced in China.

The Tribunal defined China’s organ harvesting operations as crimes of Genocide, Crimes against Humanity, and Torture committed against minorities including Uyghurs, Tibetans, Muslims, Christians, and Falun Gong practitioners..

“Thousands of innocent people have been killed to order having their bodies-the physical integrity of their beings-cut open while still alive for their kidneys, livers, hearts, lungs, cornea and skin to be removed and turned into commodities for sale,” said the Tribunal.

The Tribunal estimated the PRC’s illegal organ trafficking industry is worth $1 billion.

US Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and U.S. Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ), Jennifer Wexton (D-VA), Michelle Steel (R-CA), Zach Nunn (R-IA) and Ryan Zinke (R-MT) sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken urging him to leverage federal resources to prioritize the disruption of the illegal organ transplants.

The legislators, who compose the bipartisan and bicameral Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), requested the Federal government increase pressure on China to address its forced organ transplant market.

“Getting the PRC to account and fully address evidence of forced organ harvesting will be critical in ending this horrific practice and promoting, long term, the establishment of a truly voluntary organ donation system,” reads the letter.

Specifically, the lawmakers suggested federal officers use Congressionally-appropriated funding for combating transnational crime to prosecute organ traffickers. 

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Mateo Guillamont

Mateo Guillamont

Mateo is a Miami-based political reporter covering national and local politics

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