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Amnesty: Executions at their highest in more than 25 years
01:00 - Source: CNN

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Report claims tens of thousands of organ transplants carried out in China each year

That contrasts with official figures, which puts the number at 10,000

Gap, report claims, is filled by prisoners of conscience executed for their organs

CNN  — 

A new report claims that China is still engaged in the widespread and systematic harvesting of organs from prisoners, and says that people whose views conflict with the ruling Chinese Communist Party are being murdered for their organs.

The report – by former Canadian lawmaker David Kilgour, human rights lawyer David Matas, and journalist Ethan Gutmann – collates publicly reported figures from hospitals across China to show what they claim is a massive discrepancy between official figures for the number of transplants carried out throughout the country.

They blame the Chinese government, the Communist Party, the health system, doctors and hospitals for being complicit.

“The (Communist Party) says the total number of legal transplants is about 10,000 per year. But we can easily surpass the official Chinese figure just by looking at the two or three biggest hospitals,” Matas said in a statement.

The report estimates that 60,000 to 100,000 organs are transplanted each year in Chinese hospitals.

According to the report, that gap is made up of executed prisoners, many of them prisoners of conscience locked up for their religious or political beliefs. China does not report its total number of executions, which it regards as a secret.

The report’s findings stand in stark contrast to Beijing’s claim that, since the beginning of 2015, China has moved from almost completely relying on organs from prisoners to the “largest voluntary organ donation system in Asia.”

At a regular press conference Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China has “strict laws and regulations on this issue.”

“As for the testimony and the published report, I want to say that such stories about forced organ harvesting in China are imaginary and baseless – they don’t have any factual foundation,” she said.

The National Health and Family Planning Commission, which oversees organ donations in China, did not respond to a request for comment for this piece.

Patients queue at a hospital in China. More than 300,000 people require organ transplant operations every year.