In the spring of 2017 reports began to emerge that large numbers of Uighurs were being rounded up and detained in China’s Xinjiang province. Last month, the US Congressional Executive Commission on China estimated that 500,000-1,000,000 Uighurs are currently in detention. This surge of mass detention, coupled with reports of widespread DNA profiling and blood testing, mirrors what millions of Falun Gong practitioners have endured for nearly two decades, suggesting that the Chinese Communist Party has added Uighur prisoners of conscience to the captive living organ donor bank that fuels its profitable transplantation industry.
Xinjiang, China’s largest province, is home to 19 million Uighurs. This predominately Muslim ethnic minority, along with other faith-based groups such as the Falun Gong, Tibetans and House Christians, has long been targeted for persecution by the Chinese Communist Party. Dr. Enver Tohti, now head of the Uyghur Association in England, has testified before multiple international governmental bodies about his own involvement in removing organs from executed prisoners in as a surgeon in Xinjiang during the 1980s. As one of the most ostracized groups at that time, Uighurs were an easy target for medical experimentation and exploitation. Three decades later, after building a thriving transplant industry using organs taken from the living bodies of Falun Gong practitioners, all evidence would suggest that the Chinese government’s current mass detainment of Uighurs is for the specific purpose of profiting from the utilization of their organs for transplant surgeries, killing them in the process.
In June of 2016, in advance of these large-scale arrests, the Chinese government began wide spread forced DNA and blood testing of the Uighur community that has included at least 90% of all ethnic Uighurs. Recent visitors to Xinjiang report seeing mostly women and children because of the high volume of men who have been detained. ABC in Australia interviewed a Uighur man whose family in Xinjiang has had all but one adult detained, leaving 21 children to be cared for by the solitary remaining adult. In a briefing to the Prague Senat in July, investigative journalist Ethan Gutmann explained that Chinese authorities are “building nine crematoriums in Xinjiang. The first one, near Urumqi, just became operational. And the Chinese are not hiring two or three security guards, as most crematoriums would. They are hiring 50.”
From what we know about the 19 year-long persecution of Falun Gong practitioners including forced blood and medical testing, large scale organ harvesting, and immediate cremation without allowing families to view the bodies of their loved ones, it would appear that the millions of Uighurs now in detention have joined the ranks of Falun Gong and other prisoners of conscience as a valuable commodity with which to fuel China’s booming international transplant industry.