WOIPFG’s Alarming Report on Jiang Zemin’s Direct Order
to Harvest Organs from Falun Gong Practitioners
On September 30, 2014, the advocacy group World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG) published a startling excerpt of a phone conversation that was part of an ongoing investigation into evidence of forced organ harvesting crimes in China. Bai Shuzhong, the former Minister of Health for the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) General Logistics Department was interviewed about his role and insider knowledge of the organ procurement system in China. Bai Shuzhong held this position between 1998 and 2004. The role is equivalent to the Minister of Health, but related to military hospitals. His tenure in office coincided with the onset of the brutal persecution of the Falun Gong in 1999, and the exponential increase in transplant figures between 1999 and 2004 (from <3,000/year to ~20,000/year). WOIPFG reports that Bai Shuzhong admitted during a phone call that Jiang Zemin, former Chinese Communist Party Chief, had “instructed” the harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners’ organs for transplantation. “Back then it was Chairman Jiang … there was an order, a sort of instruction, that said to carry out such things, organ transplantation. … Because back then after Chairman Jiang issued the order, we all did a lot of anti-Falun Gong work,” said Bai.
DAFOH interviewed WOIPFG spokesman Dr. Wang Zhiyuan on the groups communication with Bai Shuzhong:
DAFOH: When did the phone call take place?
Dr. Wang: September 2014.
DAFOH: Does WOIPFG maintain phone records to verify communications with Mainland China?
Dr. Wang: We have the telephone company record and recording of the Chinese operator transferring the call. Once this report and recording are released, those who are familiar with Bai’s voice, and those in the CCP’s security organs can all listen to it and they can identify Bai’s voice. If the recording is not real, the CCP would not have been so quiet.
DAFOH: How can you be sure that the person that you attempted to call is the person that you actually talked to on the phone?
Dr. Wang: Before the phone call was made, we did some research on Bai’s work place, his activities, and his contact information. During the phone call, the investigator verified Bai’s identity.
DAFOH: What methods does WOIPFG use to ensure validity and reliability of investigations?
Dr. Wang: With some analysis, his answer seems to be the natural reaction. First, his answer was logical without any contradictions. Second, it matches the inner working style of the CCP; there was probably a report about captive Falun Gong practitioners’ organs being used for transplant surgeries. The report was pushed up the chain of command, and no one dares to approve it, until it reached Jiang. Thirdly, the language use is different from the everyday usage. It is something unique to the CCP, no one from outside can fake it.
DAFOH: Is his role similar to the civil Minister of Health with all the knowledge and insights? Was he in the position to know all the information that he shared on the phone, or was he not qualified enough to know this type of information?
Dr. Wang: The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) General Logistics Department controls 4 military medical universities (reduced to 3 military universities now), and all numbered military hospitals. The PLA General Logistics Department’s Ministry of Health is lower in ranking comparing to the non-military Ministry of Health. But it is the highest ranked health related office in the military system. Because of the military’s lack of transparency, it’s been playing a major role in organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners. Bai Shuzhong has probably more insider information than the non-military Minister of Health. Bai Shuzhong held the highest-ranking administrative position in Chinese military health system, which is the main entity to carry out orders from former CCP Chairman, Jiang Zemin. Bai Shuzhong’s position enabled him to have direct access to the directives from the CCP Central. He was the Minister of Health of the PLA General Logistics Department from 1998 to 2004, when the persecution of Falun Gong was most severe. Therefore, Bai Shuzhong has comprehensive knowledge of the situation.
DAFOH: Were you surprised that a former military health minister was so frank on the phone to an unknown person?
Dr. Wang: Bai Shuzhong was not talking to a stranger, but to someone he must respect and obey. Bai felt that he must answer the questions to the best of his knowledge. We will not release the key information how WOIPFG conducts investigations to the public. If necessary, we are ready to present the evidence to the international court.
DAFOH: Did Bai Shuzhong realize who you were, or did he assume you were an investigator from China ?
Dr. Wang: Bai was very clear who he was talking to. It was someone inside China. Bai knew that he must treat the questions seriously.
DAFOH: Taking into consideration the Chinese tendency to be vague and guarded over the phone, is it your impression that he spoke the truth? Or, was he nervous or afraid?
Dr. Wang: Bai treats the investigator as someone whose questions must be answered seriously and immediately.
DAFOH: Which part of the interview is most surprising and important to you?
Dr. Wang: The important part is Jiang’s directive.
DAFOH: What is Bai Shuzhong doing now?
Dr. Wang: Bai Shuzhong (born 1944) is currently the deputy chairman of the Chinese Medical Association.
DAFOH: Thank you.
This phone conversation contributes to the body of evidence supporting the assertion that for the past 30 years the Chinese government has directed the systematic extraction of organs from its own citizens, primarily executed prisoners and prisoners of conscience.
In this context, WOIPFG has also looked into 300 Chinese medical research papers from over 200 hospitals in China published between 2000 and 2012. After research, WOIPFG compiled an in-depth report on these papers with a focus on the evidence of live organ harvesting. The reported evidence is mostly of circumstantial character, and the strength of its statement will be obvious when the evidence is seen in its entirety.
As of September 2014, China continues to lack official brain death regulations, and the harvesting of organs from brain dead persons remains illegal in China. The three medical criteria for brain death determination are deep (irreversible) coma, absence of brain stem reflexes and absence of spontaneous breathing. An apnea test must be performed to determine the existence of spontaneous breathing. The apnea test requires turning off the ventilator for 8 to 10 minutes. Thus, to be diagnosed as brain dead, one would be connected to a ventilator through intubation. But, in many Chinese medical research papers, the procedure of organ removal starts with intubation procedures, after the diagnosis of brain death.
Director of Zhejiang Province Ningbo City Transplant Center, Lu Caide, was quoted in a recent article saying, “Our country’s definition of death is cardiac death. But when the heart fails, the lung(s) will follow. These two organs require very short warm ischemia time, and the transplantation surgery itself is very complicated.”
Director of the Kidney Transplant Center at Beijing Chaoyang Hospital, Zhang Xiaodong stated, “When the heart stops beating, the circulation stops. This causes organs to fail. Even if people agree to donate organs after death, the organs would not be useful because of prolonged warm ischemia time. The tolerable warm ischemia time for different organs are as follows: heart: 3-4 minutes; liver: 5-8minutes; kidney: 30 minutes; cornea: 24 hours.” Taking organs from living donors results in short warm ischemia times.
China’s transplant medicine faces the dilemma that organs taken after cardiac death are not ideal for transplantation, and that there is no legally binding regulation for the diagnosis of brain death. And, according to China’s former vice Minister of Health, Huang Jiefu, the number of executed prisoners—the admitted source of organs—has been decreasing every year since 2001.
What follows are excerpts from the WOIPFG report:
- The number of research papers with descriptions of organ extraction coincides with the statements of Bai Shuzhong. There was an official order to use organs from the Falun Gong. Beginning in 1999, the persecution worsened dramatically until 2004, the year when Chinese media reported about 20,000 transplants performed in China per year, and the number of medical dissertations discussing organ extraction procedures peaked at 130 papers.
- According to these publications, emergency liver transplants in the Shanghai Changzheng Hospital were not rare, with the shortest wait time of four hours after a patient was admitted to the hospital.
- During the time frame of the research period about 103 papers mentioned organ donor numbers, bringing the total number of dubbed “donors” to 8,710. The majority of these “donors” were 20 to 40 years old.
- In the 100 liver transplants performed by the Second Artillery General Hospital of The Chinese People’s Liberation Army in Beijing between July 2004 and 2007, the “donors” were “all healthy young persons.” Another paper reported that, “One liver was from a brain-dead donor and standard extraction was performed, the rest were from cadavers and used fast extraction. The cadavers and the recipients have the same blood types. The warm ischemia time was 0-5 minutes.”…… “The livers were of good quality, from brain-dead healthy young men.” And “The warm ischemia time of the five livers was almost zero.” The warm ischemia time of almost “zero minutes” suggests that the “healthy young men” were alive when their livers were extracted, because the apnea test would make such a short warm ischemia time impossible.
- One research paper describes five liver transplants performed by Wuxi No. 2 People’s Hospital in Jiangsu Province on Dec. 25, 2000; Jan. 30, 2002; March 13, 2002; Sept. 28, 2002 and March 24, 2003. The paper states, “Five livers were from fresh cadavers whose hearts just stopped beating.”
- “Brain death” and “traumatic brain injury” make up approximately 51% of the “donors” discussed in the medical papers. However, without brain death regulation over half of the “donors” reportedly died of brain death. Further analysis indicates that the erroneously labeled “brain dead” persons were not intubated, were not on ventilators and apnea testing was not performed. Either the “donors” were not really “brain dead”, or they were arbitrarily put into an unresponsive state.
In conclusion the WOIPFG report suggests:
- Almost all organs used for transplantation in mainland China are removed from “brain-dead patients” or patients with “traumatic brain injuries” or persons whose “hearts just stopped beating.” These organs are all considered illegally harvested from living people.
- Of the so-called “donors”, who had their organs harvested, more than 90% were healthy young adult men of 20 to 40 years old. During their life time, they were physically fit with properly functioning internal organs; they had no hepatitis B, HIV, syphilis or any other infectious diseases, and no history of alcohol and tobacco use. This group of people supplied organs to the tens of thousands of transplants taking place in mainland China every year. It is statistically impossible that all of these organs came from prisoners condemned to death.
- The data suggests that there is a large living “organ donor” bank in China. When a “donor’s” profile matches that of a recipient, the “donor” would be put to death in the process of organ harvesting at a predetermined time. This is the logical explanation for the ultra-short wait time for transplant operations, the emergency transplants, and the transplants with preselected dates and matching organs.
- The analysis results suggest that a large proportion of the organ “donors” were still alive when their organs were being removed. The research papers’ descriptions of the organ harvesting processes and the numbers of “donors” can at least partially exclude the alternative explanation that some “donors” were executed prisoners. However, given the synchronicity of the increasing number of transplant surgeries in China with the illegal abduction and detention of Falun Gong practitioners points towards a possible source for readily available living “donors”.