A California resident said his relatives in China were involved in state-sanctioned forced organ harvesting and had asked him for patient referrals from the United States, a recent human rights report revealed.
Lu Shuping, a U.S. permanent resident originally from Shanghai who is now past 70 years old, gave his full name in making the revelation to the New York-based nonprofit, World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG), in October 2016. The human rights group did not release the interview details for four years out of concern for Lu’s safety.
The older sister of Lu’s sister-in-law, Zhou Qing, worked as the director of the Shanghai Wanping Hospital in Xuhui district, according to Lu. During a trip to China in 2002, Lu recalled that Zhou, upon learning that he knew many doctors through his home renovation business in the United States, asked if he could connect her with anyone who needs an organ transplant, especially cornea, kidney, or liver.
While Lu, Zhou, and her husband were sitting together one day, “her husband told me in person that she went to a military hospital to do [organ transplant surgery]. He also said that it’s quick money and the sum is quite large,” Lu told WOIPFG in an interview. “He said, ‘you should get people over from outside,’ and that ‘this is in really good quality, all fresh and alive,’” Lu said.
The word “alive” had puzzled Lu at the time, he said. But over the years, as he began to hear more about “live organ harvesting” in the media, he began to piece the information together.
The information from Lu adds to a growing pile of evidence pointing to a massive “on-demand” organ industry, where prisoners of conscience, such as practitioners of the faith group Falun Gong, are killed for their organs, which are sold for profit for use in transplant surgery.
Adherents of Falun Gong have been a target for severe persecution since 1999, when the Chinese Communist Party mobilized its entire security apparatus to eradicate the discipline. Millions of adherents were arrested and thrown into labor camps, prisons, psychiatric wards, and other detention facilities.
In 2019, a London-based people’s tribunal concluded a year-long investigation that there was clear evidence of forced organ harvesting having taken place “on a significant scale,” and that imprisoned Falun Gong practitioners are likely “the principal source.”
Zhou, the Shanghai doctor, had performed several organ removal surgeries but later stopped due to fear, Lu said.
“She said that she was having nightmares for doing this,” Lu said. Lu prodded his sister-in-law, Zhou Yu, to reveal more details about what she knew of her sister’s work. She relayed that when Zhou Qing performed the operations, people who were not sedated “would scream with all their might in sheer agony.”
“She said anesthesia cannot be used in every place, and the area where it [the organ] is needed cannot be anesthetized,” Zhou said. “The fresher and the less anesthetized, the better. The quality is guaranteed, you can be rest assured,” he recalled his sister-in-law telling him. These people “kept saying ‘Falun Dafa is Good’ when they first went in [for surgery],” the sister-in-law told him.
A total of three to five people, including armed police and military doctors, were usually present in the operation room.
“She said that money is not that easy to make,” Lu said, adding that Zhou Yu repeatedly told him not to ever mention this information to others.
Zhou’s account is eerily similar to information from whistleblowers such as Annie and Peter, who first approached The Epoch Times in 2006 with information about organ harvesting in China, drawing international attention over the issue.
Annie, whose ex-husband was a neurosurgeon in Liaoning Province of northeastern China, said her husband removed corneas from Falun Gong practitioners who were still alive at the time of surgery. The victims’ bodies were then thrown into incinerators after surgery.
In 2009, a man who was working at the police bureau in Liaoning at the time recounted in vivid detail how he witnessed two military surgeons cut open a middle-aged Falun Gong practitioner who was still alive to extract her organs.
While China claims that it has been sourcing all organs through voluntary donations since 2015, WOIPFG, in an investigation from 2015 to 2020, has gotten doctors, including those from Shanghai, to admit on record to using Falun Gong practitioners’ organs in transplant surgeries.
Eight doctors from various Shanghai hospitals promised in phone calls short waiting times, from “immediate” to “one to two months.” While according to official data, Shanghai received a total of 400 organ donations from August 2013 to August 2017, the city’s Renji Hospital alone boasted that it conducted over 800 liver transplant surgeries in the year 2017, which Chinese media said has “created the world’s highest annual liver transplant record for one institution.”
In Shanghai’s Pudong area, around a dozen practitioners recently reported that police officers have arrived at their homes and forcibly entered to draw samples of their blood, at times threatening arrest if they don’t cooperate. Experts said these could potentially be used for organ matching.