China faces allegations of trading ‘halal organs’ forcibly harvested from Uyghurs

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Members of the Uyghur Muslim minority and Falun Gong practitioners in Xinjiang, China, are being subjected to a real human tragedy, according to reports. There have been serious allegations that the Chinese government is involved in the forced harvesting of organs from patients who were not yet brain dead, presumably prisoners, and sold in the black market.

The organs of the Uyghurs are the most expensive, and are marketed under the name “halal organs” to Muslim medical tourists from Gulf countries, experts told a US congressional committee hearing in March 2024.

Medical tourists are willing to pay premiums for organs from Uyghur “donors” who abstain from pork and alcohol.

Ethan Gutmann, a research fellow at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, claims Uyghurs aged 20-30 are being taken from mass internment camps and killed for their organs.

China’s organ harvesting industry began using Falun Gong followers a decade ago, shifting to Uyghurs and Muslims interned in East Turkistan in 2017 for Middle Eastern medical tourists, he said.

“On the assumption that Gulf state organ tourists prefer Muslim donors who do not eat pork, [China] has attempted to capitalise on the switch from Falun Gong to Uyghur sources,” Gutmann added, noting that “transplant hospitals” marketed Muslim prayer rooms and halal restaurants.

According to the Minnesota-based non-profit organisation ‘World Without Genocide’, Uyghurs are reportedly being killed for their organs to meet the demands of a lucrative transplant industry valued at approximately one billion dollars annually.

This recently came to the fore after Salih Hudayar, a Uyghur-American politician, took to the X platform to voice his concerns on June 24.

He wrote, “China has inaugurated a ‘Children’s Organ Transplant Centre.’ As part of the Uyghur genocide, China has been harvesting Uyghurs’ organs and selling them as ‘halal organs.’”

Hudayar also noted that since 2014, nearly a million Uyghur children have reportedly been forcibly separated from their families.

Allegations of forced organ harvesting are based on testimony from former detainees, leaked documents, and investigations by human rights groups.

Multiple media reports suggest that Chinese authorities are collecting medical data and performing tests on Uyghurs, potentially identifying potential organ donors.

The China Tribunal’s 2020 report revealed that DNA samples of Uyghurs are taken under a free health check and and processed into an illegal organ bank, allowing Chinese-run concentration camp organs to be taken without their families’ knowledge.

“As a significant number of the Uyghurs in the camps do not smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol, their organs are marketed to Middle Eastern countries with the emphasis on ‘halal’.”

It added that the Chinese regime conceals atrocities by allowing families to only see deceased relatives’ faces and prohibiting the washing of the deceased’s body before Islamic burial.

The European Parliament has passed a resolution in May 2022, condemning the ongoing organ harvesting in China, particularly in the Xinjiang region.

What does China says?

China has repeatedly refuted allegations by human rights researchers and experts that it forcefully harvests organs from prisoners of conscience, claiming that it ceased using organs from killed inmates in 2015.

Its important to note that the forced harvesting of organs is a grave violation of human rights and ethical medical practices. The international community has urged for thorough investigations and action to address the allegations and uphold the rights and dignity of Uyghurs and other minority groups.

Who are the Uyghurs?

Uyghurs, a Muslim ethnic group from Central Asia, are estimated to be over 12 million people living in the Xinjiang region of northwestern China. They consider themselves to be closely related to countries in Central Asia, both ethnically and culturally, and their language is related to Turkish.

Before 1949, Uyghurs were the majority, but today they make up only 42 percent of Xinjiang’s population.

Uyghurs, who have long opposed Chinese rule, are accusing Beijing authorities of restricting their religious and cultural freedoms.

In recent years, Beijing has intensified security measures in Xinjiang, claiming to combat separatism and Islamic extremism.

Since 2017, the Chinese government has reportedly arbitrarily detained over a million Muslims, primarily Uyghurs, in reeducation camps.

China has committed significant repressive and racist acts against this ethnic minority. In addition to attempting to demographically transform the region by establishing the non-Muslim Han ethnic group, which currently accounts for more than 40 percent of the population, it has besieged the indigenous population, denying them the means of a good existence and forcing them to adapt its lifestyle.

It has demolished mosques, confiscated copies of the Quran, and fought all manifestations of religiosity. It has also banned fasting in Ramzan, forced them to drink alcohol, prohibited naming with Islamic names, and even forced Muslim girls to marry non-Muslims.

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