Killed for Organs and Bodies: China’s Deadly Transplant and Plastination Businesses

German anatomist Gunther von Hagens, nicknamed “Dr Death,” developed a method for injecting plastic into corpses, a process known as plastination, in 1977. He created the Body World exhibition, and toured the world for years, making a substantial amount of money.

After much controversy and several court cases in Germany, von Hagens moved his body plastination business to China, and opened a business in 1999 in Dalian.

Dalian was chosen for several reasons. There was the support of the local government headed by Bo Xilai at the time, cheap labor, and an abundance of bodies. Von Hagens plastination plant also had several Labor camps around it, which were potential sources of many bodies.

In China, von Hagens worked with Sui Hongjin, his apprentice and manager until 2002. In 2002, Sui left von Hagens and started up his own company.

Sui went into business with von Hagens’s rival, Premier Exhibitions in the United States, whose plastination exhibition is called Bodies: The Exhibition.

The Body World exhibition has been on a world tour for decades, but claims have been made that the bodies of executed Chinese prisoners, including prisoners of conscience like Falon Gong, are put on display for the paying public, including many school groups.


Bodies from prisoners of conscience

Investigative journalist Ethan Gutmann is an expert on the topic of forced organ harvesting in China, where prisoners of conscience, mostly Falun Dafa practitioners, a peaceful spiritual discipline, are killed for their organs. He challenges von Hagen to allow the dead bodies in the exhibition to be DNA tested.”

“We now have a show which is travelling around which may have the DNA of murdered prisoners of conscience,” Gutmann said in an interview with NTD Television. “I’m not an expert, but these look Chinese.”

“There is another Body show going around the world. It’s actually bigger, and is run by Von Hagens’ former manager Sui Hongjin,” Gutmann said in a statement, which was read out to the press and public.

“His bodies come from the PSB [Public Security Bureau]. His sponsor, Premier Exhibitions admits it. Sui has plastinated an estimated thousand bodies. We have a saying in English: every criminal makes one mistake. Could shipping murder victims loaded with DNA around the free world qualify as a mistake? It sounds crazy that someone would take that chance. But let’s find out.”

Gutmann continued: “If any samples are Chinese, we can match them with DNA from Chinese families who lost a loved one because they were Falun Gong. That will take years. But it’s worth it, because the families have the moral authority in this case.”

While von Hagens denies using executed Chinese prisoners any longer, Bodies: The Exhibition carries a disclaimer saying that some of its bodies came from the Chinese police.

Gutmann said his approach to calling on DNA samples from von Hagens is two-pronged: Firstly, it will establish whether Chinese bodies were used in his exhibits, which allows for the next step, collecting the DNA of family members of Falun Gong practitioners who were killed in China, so as to test for any relationship.

Secondly, it will put pressure on the exhibition that Sui is associated with to also provide DNA about the bodies that it has. The rivalry between von Hagens and Sui should propel him to cooperate, Gutmann said.


Organ harvesting, a ‘crime against humanity’

It’s being called “abhorrent” and a “crime against humanity.” Allegations of forced organ harvesting in China started to surface in 2006. Since then, mounting evidence suggests these allegations are true—and even worse than originally suspected.

Prisoners of conscience—especially Falun Gong—are being killed for their organs. Starting in 1999, the number of transplant centers in China increased by 300% in just 8 years, even though China has no effective national organ donation system. 1999 was the year the Chinese regime began persecuting adherents of the Falun Gong spiritual practice, sending millions to labor camps. Many of them were never seen again.

Transplant medicine was developed to save lives. But in China, innocent people are being killed for their organs—so they can be sold for profit. There are witnesses who have stated that some of these bodies, after having their organs removed, have been used for plastination.

Increasingly, doctors, congressmen, international politicians, human rights lawyers, journalists, and people around the world are raising awareness about forced organ harvesting.

The following video, Killed for Organs: China’s Secret State Transplant Business, will give you a good background about the illegal organ harvesting industry in China:

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