Thursday, December 15, 2005

Murky underbelly of Transplant Tourism

The latest in the long string of human rights violations in China relates to "suspicions that death row prisoners in China have their organs removed - with or without their permission - before being shot, to ensure they are in prime condition".

These horrific findings came to light Sunday. Quoted in the Daily Mail, Prof. Nadey Hakim, head of transplantation surgery at Hammersmith Hospital, said: "I suspect that to get decent organs they most probably operate on the prisoners before they get a bullet in the head. I can't see any other way of doing it."

The kidney operations, whose beneficiaries are mostly British nationals, are being offered by an Internet company - transplantsinternational.com - which charges £23,000 for the procedure. The price includes a month-long stay in hospital with a friend or relative.

In a gruesome reminder of Chinese lackadaisicality on its wretched human rights record, January is likely to be a 'bumper month' for organs as it is the usual practice to execute prisoners en masse in the run-up to the Chinese New Year on January 29.
China uses the death penalty for a wide range of crimes, from murder to economic crimes such as corruption. A Beijing court today sentenced to death a senior official of a securities company for graft and embezzling public funds worth over eight million US dollars.

These reports appear within a week of police violently suppressing a protest against the construction of a power plant in the southern town of Dongzhou, an incident that killed 20 people and which is being dubbed Tiananmen II. It received little media coverage inside China because of the communist regime's "ambitions to control the flow of information to its citizens, and of the increasingly sophisticated techniques - a combination of authoritarian methods and the latest technologies - that it uses to keep people in the dark".
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