A white-beaded melon seller, his knife chained to the stall. A long queue outside a rural hospital—inside, a throng of people of all ages in a sweltering hall: they have come for a mandatory blood test, but they are not told why. Arrow signs at airports marked ‘fast track organ transport channel.’
Linking these images at a meeting of the End Transplant Abuse in China pressure group in the Houses of Parliament this week, surgeon Enver Tohti described the tightening oppression of Uyghur Muslims in western China.
This is a people in chains: two million are incarcerated in labour camps, simply for practising their faith and thus offending official Marxist dogma. Mosques have been demolished, and basic liberties curtailed.
The blood test is not to screen for disease but for healthy bodily function. Having persecuted Falun Gong followers for twenty years, inevitably depleting the supply of healthy organs harvested from the prisoners of this group, the Chinese Communist Party is nurturing a new source for the lucrative transplant industry.
Two million are in labour camps, simply for practising Islam and thus offending official Marxist dogma.
A literally captive population, out of sight and out of mind. Poor they may be, but they don’t drink alcohol, and live disciplined lives. Moreover, their organs are classified as halal. Many a rich Arab may have benefited from a Uyghur kidney or cornea, which could explain the silence from the Saudi government.
An independent tribunal, chaired by Geoffrey Nice QC, concluded in June that the case for forced organ harvesting was proved. Evidence included extraordinarily short waiting times for transplants, a level of activity that the Chinese voluntary donor system could not possibly supply, and mass medical testing of Faun Gong, Christian and Muslim citizens.
Enver Tohti testified his experience of taking vital organs from a living man:
He was ordered – based on his availability and with two assistants, an anaesthetist and the ‘largest operation equipment’ – to go to the Western Mountain Execution Grounds. At the execution grounds there was the sound of multiple executions from multiple simultaneous gunshots.
Tohti then saw that all but one of the 10-20 executed people had been shot in the head. The victim he was ordered to operate on was ‘different’ from the others. His head had not been shaved, he was in civilian clothes and he had been shot through the right chest rather than the head.
Tohti supposed this was to keep the victim’s heart beating. The victim was brought, tied down on a trolley, to the vehicle in which Tohti and his team waited and Tohti was ordered to ‘cut deep and work fast’. According to Tohti, the victim was not anaesthetised. Tohti remove the liver and both kidneys. The skin bled when cut, from which fact Tohti deduced that the victim was still alive.
Why doesn’t the West intervene? Much fuss was made about the Sultan of Brunei when he imposed strict Sharia law for homosexuals. King’s College London stripped him of an honorary doctorate and gay activists boycotted his luxury hotel business.
Undoubtedly, political expedience prevails. Whereas Brunei is tiny and inconsequential, China is a superpower. Trade would be at risk, as would all the joint ventures involving British universities. Yet this is not simply about economic realities.
A woman in the audience at this week’s meeting in Westminster held up a 1960s Pelican book, titled The Cultural Revolution. Typical of the ‘useful idiot,’ Joan Robinson was doing for Mao what Sidney and Beatrice Webb did for Stalin in the 1930s. The Cultural Revolution was a brutal episode in modern Chinese history, as poignantly described by Jung Chang in Wild Swans.
But for much of the British intelligentsia, who regard our colonial past as shameful, China is beyond reproach. This phenomenon is seen with eco-crisis campaigners, who give the world’s heaviest polluter a free pass. Marxism remains fashionable, whatever the impoverishment and savagery it causes.
Many a rich Arab may have benefited from a Uyghur kidney or cornea, which could explain the silence from the Saudi government.
As organ harvesting investigator Ethan Gutmann observed, the Foreign Office is sceptical of the tribunal’s work, despite the mounting and fairly incontrovertible evidence. The World Health Organisation is no better, Gutmann stating that ‘the international medical community is complicit in a very serious crime.’
Karl Marx said that he would never be a Marxist. He was barbaric, but people cannot absolve themselves of responsibility for following his barbarism.
But will the supposedly civilised nations of the world and the 57 members states that constitute the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation do anything to stop China’s Muslim organ farm?
(Dr Niall McCrae is a lecturer in mental health, and a writer on social and political affairs. He regularly contributes to The Salisbury Review and Bruges Group website, and has written two books: The Moon and Madness, and Echoes from the Corridors: The Story of Nursing in British Mental Hospitals)