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UNHRC ‘Extremely Alarmed’!

A healthy liver will cost USD 160,000, although one can get a good quality kidney at a cheaper rate in black markets. As per a report recently published in the Australian daily Herald Sun, the unfortunate Uyghur Muslims, detained in Chinese prisons, are the owners of these organs sold in the international black markets.

The daily has also claimed that apart from Uyghur Muslims living in China’s Xinjiang Province, the Chinese officials are forcefully collecting organs from Buddhist Tibetans and Falun Gong people. It may be noted that the persecution of Falun Gong is the anti-religious campaign initiated in 1999 by the Communist Party of China (CPC) to eliminate the spiritual practice of Falun Gong in the country, maintaining a Doctrine of State Atheism. Falun Gong or Falun Dafa, literally “Dharma Wheel Practice” or “Law Wheel Practice“, is a new religious movement triggered by its leader Li Hongzhi in China in the early 1990s. The broadsheet has reported that the Asian Giant is running an illegal trade of human organs worth at least USD 1 billion a year.

Uyghur victims in China

The Herald Sun further reported that the hospitals, which carry out the organ transplant, were situated near the detention centres. As per the daily, the number of performed operations in those hospitals and the short waiting lists indicate there has been “forced organ harvesting” on a large scale for a very long time.

In early 2021, several International Human Rights groups accused Beijing of mutilating and selling organs of Uyghur, Tibetan and Falun Gong prisoners. According to various Human Rights organisations, an estimated two million Turkish-speaking Uyghur Muslims are being held in Chinese detention camps. The Chinese prison authorities, reportedly, torture those prisoners, giving electric shock to their genitals, and forcing them to consume illicit drugs. There are also allegations of rape of female prisoners. In June 2021, the UN Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) issued a statement, saying that its Human Rights Experts were “extremely alarmed” by reports of alleged organ harvesting, targeting minorities, including Uyghurs, in detention in China.

According to the UNHCR, it received allegations earlier in 2021 that the most common organs removed from the prisoners were hearts, kidneys, livers, corneas and, less commonly, parts of livers. “This form of trafficking with a medical nature allegedly involves Health Sector professionals, including surgeons, anaesthetists and other medical specialists,” noted the Commission. It also received credible information that detainees from ethnic, linguistic or religious minorities were forcibly subjected to blood tests and organ examinations, such as ultrasound and X-rays, without their informed consent; while other prisoners were not required to undergo such examinations. The results of the examinations were reportedly registered in a database of living organ sources that facilitates organ allocation.

Uyghur protesters

Incidentally, China occupied the independent state of East Turkestan in the 1940s, and renamed it Xinjiang. Since then, a section of Uyghur Muslims living there started fighting against the Chinese occupation. Interestingly, China, which denied all the allegations in the past, has so far made no comments on the article published in the Australian daily. Experts are of the opinion that Beijing is maintaining silence, keeping in mind its Economic Relations with Canberra. It may be noted that Australia is a major supplier of raw materials for the Chinese industries. Hence, the top political leadership in Beijing does not want to trigger a fresh tension with Australia. The changing Global Geopolitical landscape has prompted China to remain tight-lipped.

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