The Phone Calls That Helped Expose Organ Harvesting in China

Dr. Zhiyuan Wang has spent more than 10 years investigating how other doctors in China have killed massive numbers of people for their bodily organs. A lot of that time has been spent on the phone.

Dr. Zhiyuan first heard of forced organ harvesting in March 2006 when allegations were made that thousands of Falun Gong practitioners were being killed for their organs at a hospital in northern China.

But the former Chinese military doctor, who has lived in the U.S. since 1995, was not entirely convinced such a crime was being committed.

“It was beyond my common sense as a human being; this was too serious and the scale was too big,” says Dr. Zhiyuan in the above video.

As a member of the NGO the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG), Dr. Zhiyuan joined efforts to investigate the allegations.  

What the researchers discovered stunned him.

In the preliminary investigation, Dr. Zhiyuan and his team phoned the hospital in question, Sujiatun Thrombosis Hospital in Shenyan, Liaoning Province.

They didn’t get much information from the hospital’s doctors and nurses, but they did from workers in the boiler room.

“The workers in the boiler room said they burnt corpses there and there were quite a few. Males and females. They said they picked earrings and jewelry, watches, etc. from them. We were deeply shocked,” says Dr. Zhiyuan.

It indicated that the boiler room may have been involved in cleaning up the evidence that organ harvesting was being committed, the medical doctor says.

“In my experience, I have never heard of any hospital burning corpses in boiler rooms; usually, there are morgues in hospitals and corpses would be sent to funeral homes for cremation,” explains Dr. Zhiyuan.

“This really served as a wakeup call to me that this organ harvesting might be real; however, we were still not completely sure,” he says.

For more than ten years, Dr. Zhiyuan Wang has been a part of a team of investigating organ harvesting in China. (Image: WOIPFG via Vimeo/Screenshot)

For more than 10 years, Dr. Zhiyuan Wang has been part of a team investigating organ harvesting in China. (Image: WOIPFG via Vimeo/Screenshot)

The WOIPFG researchers then began investigating other Chinese hospitals that conduct organ transplants.

During 2006-2007, his team phoned into China posing as family members of ill people needing an organ transplant. To their shock, they spoke with doctors who readily admitted the source of their organs was from practitioners of Falun Gong, a spiritual-discipline based on meditation and slow moving exercises, and three main principles: Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance.

The communist state has viciously persecuted Falun Gong since 1999.

As you can see in the featured video, one Shanghai doctor in 2006 told them that his hospital’s waiting time for a liver was only a week. In the West, which has a voluntary organ donation system, it takes years to get a liver or most other organs. That same doctor told the investigator on the phone that the livers came from Falun Gong practitioners.

Dr. Zhiyuan communicated with another doctor from a military hospital offering transplants who told him how the system operates and how organ harvesting is orchestrated at the highest levels of the Chinese Communist Party.

As explored in the video, investigators found that in the early investigations, many of medical staff in China were very direct and open about what they were doing. After the issue gained traction in the media, however, it became harder to get people to be as open over the phone. But the WOIPFG team went on to record police and high level officials talking about organ harvesting.

One former police officer told investigators how he witnessed a woman being killed while having her heart and kidneys extracted. The phone recording was later used in the award-winning film Human Harvest: China’s Illegal Organ Trade.

Watch Leon Lee, Human Harvest director, receive an award for his film in this video from Peabody Awards’ YouTube channel.

Dr. Zhiyuan’s team also researched how the transplant industry functions in China. They discovered that in 1999, there were only 19 hospitals that could perform transplants in the country. In 2005, they learned there were 500.

“The number of hospitals had increased by 20 times by 2005,” Dr. Zhiyuan said.

They also learned that since 1999 — when the persecution of Falun Gong began — there was a sharp rise in the number of liver transplants conducted.

“For the eight years between 1991 and 1998, there were a total of 78 cases of liver transplants; however, from 1999 to 2006, it is 14,085,” he said. That is an increase of 180 times. China did not have a voluntary organ donation system at that time.

Through the hour-long video, Dr. Zhiyuan further explains other aspects of their investigation and the amount of evidence uncovered that joins research done by others to prove this crime is real and ongoing in China.

In June last year, David Kilgour, a former Canadian Secretary of State (Asia-Pacific), David Matas, a respected human rights lawyer, and investigative journalist Ethan Gutmann, based in London, released a report titled Bloody Harvest/The Slaughter: An Update, where they found that 60,000 to 100,000 transplants are performed each year in China.

The main target for organ harvesting, the report said, are Chinese who practice Falun Gong. To a lesser extent, Uyghurs, Tibetans, and select House Christians have also been killed in order to obtain organs for transplants, the report says.

In June last year, a U.S. House of Representatives resolution was unanimously passed that urged the Chinese government to stop harvesting the organs of prisoners of conscience, and end the persecution against Falun Gong.

The European Parliament passed a similar resolution in 2013.

See more about Bloody Harvest/The Slaughter: An Update in this video from China Uncensored:

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