Organ Harvesting in China

What is forced organ harvesting? 

Forced organ harvesting is the process whereby authorities (in this case the Chinese Communist Government in collusion with Chinese militarized hospitals and doctors) remove organs from live unwilling participants thereby killing the victim in the process.

Over the past decade, reports have emerged that the Chinese Communist Party is killing prisoners of conscience to supply its vast, lucrative organ transplantation industry. Witnesses and Chinese physicians reveal that tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of persons affiliated with the Falun Gong are being killed for their organs, which are sold and transplanted at enormous profit.

“Organ transplantation in China is different than everywhere else in the world. Because everywhere else in the world you’re dealing either with live donors, who after the donation are still alive, or brain-dead donors who are obviously brain dead after the transplants as well. In China, you get people killed through the organ extraction, and that’s only in China.”

– David Matas, renowned human rights lawyer, and Nobel peace prize nominee. 

Key facts

  • In 2006, undercover phone calls recorded over 17 hospital locations in China including doctors and other medical personnel openly admitting that they were procuring organs from Falun Gong practitioners. A 2015 phone call to China recorded a doctor admitting that “countless” Falun Gong practitioners had been killed for their organs.
  • Through analysis of Chinese public websites of hospitals which advertised organ tourism, a series of phone calls with doctors in China, and interviews with a number of people abroad who have received transplants in China investigators uncovered quite unusual waiting times for organs in China.  The most alarming are transplants that most certainly would require a death of the donor. Such as liver transplants with waiting times were as little as 2 weeks in China  (vs. months to years in the United States). One foreign national was even told a month ahead of time exactly when they could expect a heart transplant. Such unusual and puzzling waiting times on such a large scale have led investigators to conclude that this would be impossible without having access to an enormous, pre-tested, and healthy population that could be called upon at any moment.
  • Experts estimate that between the year 2000 and 2016, anywhere between 41,000-200,000 (with some estimated being much larger) Falun Gong practitioners have been victims of forced organ harvesting at the hands of the Chinese regime.
  • As a result of the evidence of forced organ harvesting, Israel, Spain, and Taiwan have all passed laws banning organ tourism to China.
  • Although China has announced contradictory statements claiming to replace the organ sourcing from executed prisoners through organs from the newly founded public organ donation system, a scrutiny of the new system cannot deflect concerns about the source of organs. Experts and human rights organizations conclude that the practice of organ harvesting from live Falun Gong practitioners is still going on at a mass scale today.

How did these allegations come to light?

The story, almost too dreadful to believe, was first revealed in March 2006, when a woman claimed that as many as 4,000 Falun Gong had been killed for their organs at the hospital in which she had worked. She also said that her husband, a surgeon at the same hospital outside the northeastern city of Shenyang, had disclosed to her that he had removed cornea from the living bodies of 2,000 Falun Gong adherents (article, video).

One week later, a Chinese military doctor not only corroborated the woman’s account but claimed such atrocities were taking place in 36 different concentration camps throughout the country. The largest, he said, held 120,000 persons. He said he had also witnessed the Falun Gong being massively transported across the country in cattle trains, at night and under the cover of tight security (article).

Falun Gong supporters and human rights activists overseas immediately began investigating the allegations. They placed calls to Chinese hospitals pretending to be shopping for a kidney or a liver. To their horror, one doctor after another openly confirmed: “We’ve got Falun Gong in stock; just come in and we can get you the organ within a week.” (link to phone recordings and transcripts). But the evidence did not end there.


A number of third party investigations have been done since these allegations first came to light in the mid-2000s. Third party experts have determined that between 2000 and 2016, between 41,500 and 200,000 (with some estimates being much higher) Falun Gong practitioners have been victims of forced organ harvesting.

  • In 2006, former Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific David Kilgour and Nazi hunter David Matas, published their own 140-page report titled Bloody Harvest: An Independent Investigation Into Allegations of Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners in China. It drew “the regrettable conclusion that the allegations are true” (article). Their report alleged that between 2000 and 2005 that at least 41,500 organs were unaccounted for, and drew the conclusion that Falun Gong practitioners were the likely primary source of these unexplained transplants. View the entire report here.
  • In 2014, investigative journalist Ethan Gutmann was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work exposing forced organ harvesting of prisoners of conscience in China. His 2014 book, The Slaughter: Mass Killings, Organ Harvesting, and China’s Secret Solution to Its Dissident Problem concluded that between 2000 and 2008, 65,000 Falun Gong practitioners were victims of forced organ harvesting.
  • In 2015, the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG) concluded a 9-year investigation titled The Final Harvest: A Comprehensive Investigation into the Chinese Communist Party’s Live Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners. Drawing from a number of evidence sources including recorded phone conversations with hospitals and doctors in China admitting that organs were coming from Falun Gong practitioners, the report concludes that Falun Gong practitioners have had their organs harvested on an alarmingly large scale. View the entire report here.
  • In 2016, additional research done by Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH) in a medical abstract concluded that since 2000 between 100,000-200,000 Falun Gong practitioners have been subjected to forced organ harvesting in China.
  • In 2016, Gutmann, Matas, and Kilgour published a 680-page investigative report as a follow-up to The Bloody Harvest  (2006) and The Slaughter (2014). In both original works, investigators were basing much of their original calculations for the alleged number of Falun Gong practitioners who have had their organs harvested based on the assumption that China had been performing 10,000 transplants a year (a number provided by the Chinese Communist Party and later debunked as highly implausible). However, after more detailed analysis with a variety of first-hand information, the authors concluded that China was more likely doing 60,000 to 100,000 transplants per year which would put the estimated victim toll much higher than the 41,500-65,000 previously estimated. They conclude that “That increased discrepancy leads us to conclude that there has been a far larger slaughter of practitioners of Falun Gong for their organs than we had originally estimated.” View the entire report here.

How has the Chinese Communist Party responded to these reports?

CCP officials are reportedly hastening to destroy all evidence. They have provided monitored tours and removed websites that advertised organs for sale (though not in time, as investigators had already managed to save images of these web pages). One Chinese website had boasted that it can provide matching organs in 1-4 weeks, which medical experts say is impossible unless the Chinese hospitals have access to a huge stock of living organ “donors.”

In 2015, in an attempt to quell international pressure about the source of organs China set up its first alleged donation system (evidence indicates they have gotten very few if any public donations to date). Investigators allege that the “voluntary system” is simply a semantic change occurring by forcibly coercing prisoners to fill out paperwork which indicates they are now “volunteers.”

The Chinese Communist Party has changed their stance on a number of occasions first denying that they were using organs from prisoners, claiming that all organs were results from donations. The regime then later contradicted that statement in the face of overwhelming evidence openly admitting they are taking organs from death-row, capital crimes prisoners (though the Chinese party releases no public information on the exact number of prisoners executed each year calling it a “state secret”). In 2015, the regime announced that they banned organ harvesting from executed prisoners (since proven to be implausible) switching their stance to claim that the entire organ transplant business was again entirely donation based. A 2018 report refuted those claims, positing instead that China’s unconfirmed, artificial-looking data on their brand new organ donor system should be considered another piece of evidence that the cover up of murdered prisoners of conscience continues.

In conclusion, although China has made a number of statements in recent years the organ transplant industry in China has actually seemed to grow not shrink. This disturbing finding has lead investigators and human rights activists to conclude that prisoners of conscience largely made up of Falun Gong are still victims of organ harvesting on a mass scale.

What has the international response been?

Since learning about the mounting evidence of forced organ harvesting of prisoners of conscience in China the international community has widely condemned the practice. The United States, Britain, European Union, Canada, and Austrailia have all held federal level hearings to investigate the issue. In 2016, the United States unanimously passed House Resolution 343 calling upon China to end the “systematic, state-sanctioned organ harvesting from non-consenting prisoners of conscience in the People’s Republic of China, including from large numbers of Falun Gong practitioners.” The UK, Canada and other countries have sponsored motions and bills that acknowledge and condemn forced organ harvesting from Falun Gong in China.

As a result of the evidence Taiwan, Israel, and Spain have all banned organ tourism to China (the process whereby foreign nationals travel to China specifically for an organ transplant).

Related News Articles


  • Human Harvest (Flying Cloud Productions) Peabody Award-Winning documentary exploring the unspeakable Chinese practice of harvesting prisoners of conscience for their organs. Nobel Peace Prize nominees David Matas and David Kilgour use their wisdom and courage to fight against one of the world’s worst crimes against humanity.
  • Hard To Believe  (Swoop Films) A documentary that examines the issue of forced live organ harvesting from Chinese prisoners of conscience, and the response—or lack of it—around the world. 
  • Medical Genocide: Hidden Mass Murder in China’s Organ Transplant Industry (China Organ Harvest Research Center) Based on a decade of research, this documentary uncovers the true source of these organs: an ongoing crime against humanity with an estimated tens of thousands of innocent victims each year.
  • Harvested alive: 10 year investigation of Force Organ Harvesting (World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong) A former Chinese aviation military doctor narrated his 10-year investigation and findings and showed people the complete set of the core investigative results, which would shock the entire world.

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