China’s Own Unit 731?

If true, this report removes China’s human rights issue to a whole new depth of depravity.

There is a horrifying story going around the world: In the northeast of China, thousands of prisoners are being held, so that they can be killed for their organs. The prisoners are practitioners of Falun Gong, the meditation-and-exercise system. The facility at which they are being held — called a “concentration camp” or a “death camp” — is at Sujiatun. Chinese human-rights activists believe that this name should cause the same shudders as Treblinka and the others.

Whether China will immediately permit the ICRC to inspect Sujiatun and investigate these allegations is a real test of its commitment to becoming a member of the civilized world. It would also convict China of rank hypocrisy, thus cheapening some very legit grievances about Japan’s debt to history.

This statement from the article also struck me; it could just as well have been written about North Korea:

And I recall what Robert Conquest, the great analyst of totalitarianism, once told me: The world has seldom wanted to believe witnesses. Ten, 20, or 30 years later, maybe, but rarely sooner.

Testimony out of the early Soviet Union was scoffed at; these were “rumors in Riga.” Tales of the Holocaust were Jewish whining. When escapees from Mao spilled into Hong Kong, they were “embittered warlords.” When Cubans landed in Florida, they were “Batista stooges.” And so on.

I wonder if Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch will be as vocal about this as they were about Gitmo. Or whether they’ll give it the “footnote” treatment they’ve given to North Korea.


  1. Selling organs from executed prisoners in China has been happening for many years. A doctor who left China testified before Congress a few years ago that he was ordered to remove the skin of a prisoner who was shot in the head but wasn’t completely dead. The skin is used for skin grafts for burn victims. The executions of prisoners are supposedly timed to the need for organs.

    I read in the news last year that an American who received a kidney transplant in China was prosecuted in the US for being involved in the illegal procurement of organs. China is the leading exporter of human organs in Asia, with many customers in Japan, Taiwan, and elsewhere. This is very suspicious because most Chinese do not sign up to become donors in case a fatal accident happens, because traditional Chinese taboos forbid cutting up corpses.

    I also read somewhere that China is the only country that sells many organs from babies, and the source for that could be from the orphanages. There are also rumors that doctors tried to prolong the life of former President Deng Xiaoping by giving him transplants of young organs on several occasions, even though they weren’t necessary.


  2. I’m no fan of the CCP, but the FLG-linked Epoch Times is NOT a reliable source. Yes, China has a human rights record that is abominable. There’s a lot of ugliness here – property lawyers locked up in Shanghai, bloggers in Beijing, and much worse in the provinces.
    But the FLG should be trusted as a source about as much as the Scientologists or Moonies. If this was from Amnesty or HRIC, I may give it some credibility.


  3. Which is why everyone should simply demand that China allow a full investigation of these charges, which are very specific and very serious.


  4. Myrick is spot on here. The Epoch Times is almost a mirror image of the People’s Daily or China Daily in their mendacity and tendentiousness. And yes, investigate by all means.


  5. Amnesty and HRIC used to have credibility, before their leadership decided to downplay rights violations in North Korea, Cuba, etc. in favor of US and Israel-bashing.


  6. James, I wasn’t clear on who the HRIC are, but I was refering to Human Rights in China. Yes, HRIC do ignore abuses in North Korea and Cuba – the name may give you a clue why. But I don’t recall them ever bashing Israel or the US, could you provide an example? They have a pretty narrow focus and I would be surprised to see them comment on the Middle East.
    The other HRIC would also be a reasonable source.
    The reports in the Epoch Times look like complete nonesense – a 120,000-person concentration camp in Jilin, covert rail routes?!?
    Sometimes, when they have photos or concrete evidence like in the Dongzhou village shootings, the Epoch Times can be useful. But these anonymous claims of “genocide” are very regular and really just waste people’s time. I know several reporters here who are spammed by the FLG almost daily – the reasons such reports aren’t repeated by the NYT, AFP, WaPo, etc… is not because the media is ‘pro-China.’ It’s because the reports are generally either unverifiable crap or can be easily proven as outright lies.
    Further, calling for an investigation here would be futile as the Epoch Times itself says: “It is useless to enter Sujiatun trying to investigate the concentration camp because it is easy to transfer several thousand people.”
    In other words: don’t bother to check our unsubstantiated claims – they can’t be proven.
    And, again, I am not defending the CCP here and there may be a few grains of truth in the report (i.e., it’s well known that FLG activists are detained and abused and that prisoner’s organs are harvested).
    However, I would rather focus criticism of the party on real issues.


  7. As a China watcher, I happen to think that Epoch Times is a great source of information. Especially their ground reporters in China should be commended for taking such high risks to deliver news to us folks about the true situation in Communist China. First of all there are very few independant ground reporters in China. Most of its media is state-controlled and spews the party (CCP) line.

    On the other hand Epoch reporters get really close to the action and by their reports I’m guessing that not many know the CCP as well as they do, besides the fact that they seem to have an innate ability to smell blood! It is too bad that they are constantly harassed by the CCP who really fear them, basically because they fear the truth. Their criminal acts are out in the open thanks to Epoch.

    Nevertheless, the CCP doesn’t hesitate to throw the Epoch’s reporters in jail either. At least 5 are imprisoned and one of them received a Human Rights Medal last year (Zheng Yichun). And for those reasons I have much respect for that crew.

    Enough said about that…I too welcome an inspection of Sujiatun especially from the UN and I congratulate Epoch for reporting the stories from the witnesses. That in itself is helpful in lessening the CCP’s persecution of innocent people in China.

    Somehow these crimes against humanity must be stopped.


  8. Here’s a few media reports I came across. It is worth mentioning that National Review has interviewed Jin Zhong who is the first witness.

    U.N. envoy looks at Falun Gong torture allegations

    A place called Sujiatun

    Toronto Sun: For sale: $25,000 for a liver

    Washington Times: China harvesting inmates’ organs, journalist says

    News Max: Report: China Selling Prisoners’ Body Parts

    Directorio participates in Falung Gong press conference before the UN


  9. “As a China watcher, I happen to think that Epoch Times is a great source of information.”

    You must be another fool. Epoch Times is supported by Falun Gong. Falun Gong believes that all modern technology came from aliens from outer space. So if you believe Epoch Times, you are believing a bunch of reports written by nut heads.

    China does not have much issue with human rights according to Chinese people. In the west, human rights are narrowly define. When one mentions human rights, in the west, one thinks of:
    1) Freedom of speech
    2) Freedom of press

    But there are more important human rights. For example:
    1) Freedom of thought
    2) Freedom from debt
    3) Freedom to pursue hapiness
    4) Freedom to drive in a car
    5) Freedom of movement.

    In fact, a recent survey has shown that more Chinese population prefer freedom from debt over freedom of speech. So the priorities are different. One can rant all you want, but the fact remains, at this moment in time, the Communist Party has correctly prioritize the type of human rights that Chinese people want to see, which is freedom to pursue prosperity. Maybe when the majority have freedom of prosperity, they will want other forms of freedom. But at this moment in time, everything is good.


  10. So what, Roman catholics believe in miracles…are you going to hold it against them? To me the belief that stands out the most in Falun Gong is their motto: Truth, compassion and tolerance. I know a lot of practitioners and they are awsome people.


  11. Mahathir Fan: “… at this moment in time, everything is good?”
    Gaah! The FLG may be ‘nut heads,’ but anyone who thinks that “everything is good” in China is also a Kool-Aid drinker.
    Human rights, basic legal rights and freedom issues are real concerns for Chinese. If there is little public complaint it is more due to genuine fear of reprisals than it is a lack of concern.
    As for the freedoms you mention…
    The hukou system pretty much denies the bulk of mainland Chinese the “freedom of movement.” People do much better in terms of having “freedom from debt” though. State-owned companies suck up the bulk of bank credit so it’s near impossible for individuals or small and medium businesses to get credit. I think the bigger problem would be an absense of credit access.
    Of course the people I know are mostly relatively well-heeled Shanghai folk – I’m sure indentured labors would have different opinions.
    I don’t buy into the Epoch Times. But there is third-party evidence of torture and abuse of FLG practicioners – along with mainstream religious practioners, democrats, property rights activists and others.
    To suggest the Epoch Times is a reliable news source is risible – but to suggest everything is good in China is reprehensible.
    And to compare with rare events in America with events in China is insulting. Abuses in the US are dealt with transparently through the press, the police and the courts. None of those three institutions measure up in China.


  12. As a Falun Gong practitioner and an Epoch Times writer, I’d like to tell you nay-sayers that the ET is trying to do what no other paper even comes close to doing, and that is to expose the CCP for what it is: a brutal dictatorship that has zero respect for human life or human dignity. The majority of Chinese people are suffering terribly under the CCP’s iron rule, and they have no way at all to defend themselves because they have no rights. There’s no rule of law in China, it’s all a sham.

    When the Jews were trying to alert the world (in Jewish publications) to what was happening in places like Auschwitz, they were accused of “not being a credible source” and “whiners”. People should keep in mind that we’re up against the incredibly powerful CCP propaganda machine that spreads lies as easily as we breathe, so take their denials with a big grain of salt. Plus with trade being as lucrative as it is, western governments don’t even want to hear about Sujiatun let alone do anything about it. With rumours surfacing now of more and much bigger concentration camps operating in China, this story hasn’t ended by a long shot. Finding concrete proof will be hard because potential whistle-blowers are too terrified of the regime to reveal their identities, but I have no doubt that with time the truth will emerge–truth has a way of doing that sooner or later.

    Myrick, why wouldn’t you trust Falun Gong as a source? They’re right there, the very victims of the CCP’s most vicious abuses. I have Chinese friends (Falun Gong practitioners) whose entire families were destroyed by the persecution–whose missing siblings could well have ended their lives in the horror of Sujiatun. They know about the strocities going on in China more than anyone on the planet. Why shouldn’t the ET work to expose this?The Epoch Times actually began inside China, and because it reported on human rights abuses and government corruption it was soon shut down by the regime and the writers sent to jail. But contacts in the west kept the paper going and growing. As far as I’m concerned, the ET is doing a great service for humanity, because with many people around the world looking to China as the world’s next superpower, they need to be aware of the true nature of the beast they’re dealing with.


  13. “…the ET is trying to do what no other paper even comes close to doing, and that is to expose the CCP for what it is: a brutal dictatorship that has zero respect for human life or human dignity.”
    Thanks for the mission statement – I appreciate it when papers don’t try to hide their bias. Perhaps it could be put on the masthead?
    “When the Jews were trying to alert the world (in Jewish publications) to what was happening in places like Auschwitz, they were accused of “not being a credible source” and “whiners”.”
    Sources please. And a word of PR advice, if you are going to compare the FLG’s persecution to the Holocaust you are going to need evidence rather than polemics. Otherwise, PR advice again, you won’t impress the journos. After the 131st e-mail taking about genocide, without a lead or evidence, you get added to the spam filter.
    ” People should keep in mind that we’re up against the incredibly powerful CCP propaganda machine that spreads lies as easily as we breathe, so take their denials with a big grain of salt.”
    Actually, you’re up against an incredibly vacuous CPP propaganda machine that no one trusts either. The CCP has cured bird flu, FLG is a cure for AIDS. I wouldn’t mind if these are both credible sources. And if the Yogic Flyers were credible we’d have World Peace.
    I wish you were all right – then ‘Chinese-characteristic socalism,’ modified tai chi and bouncing up and down on your ass while in a lotus position could cure all ills. Sue me for being a skeptic.
    ” Plus with trade being as lucrative as it is, western governments don’t even want to hear about Sujiatun let alone do anything about it.”
    Plus, with protectionism being in the rise, congressmen are reviving the jihad against Hutchison — surely they’d leap at any chance to bash China. There may be another reason nobody in Congress is touching this perhaps? Maybe they have BS detection offices that advised them?
    Murphy, I don’t dispute that the FLG have been abused. But if you expect me to believe stories of 100,000-person concentration camps and 7,000-prisoner transport trains (where they are cuffed to the roof), something more than an single unnamed source is needed.
    Hardly anything happens here without being shot on a mobile phone camera – and I doubt the spy satellites would miss a city-sized concentration camp.
    I don’t agree with the CCP’s crusade against the FLG, but I put your paper alongside Watchtower and the thing handed out by the Larouche crowd at airports. It’s not a trustworthy source. The FLG are in my mind about the same as the Realians or Scientologists. Should they be rounded up and tortured? No! Should we believe everything that the victim says? No!
    That said, I regret stepping into this forum – or at least the way it has evolved. I really do not care to be in the crossfire in a debate between CCP trolls and FLG zealots.
    You guys can have fun with the Mahathir fan.


  14. So far I’ve seen one investigative report on Sujiatun from (NGO) WOIPFG. It is worth checking.

    And there is a positive reaction from Congress–

    Daily Press Briefing
    Adam Ereli, Deputy Spokesman
    Washington, DC
    March 31, 2006
    QUESTION: Okay. I would like to switch the topic a little bit. About the recent revealed Sujiatun concentration camp where it is said thousands of Falun Gong practitioners were killed for their organs, what is the State Department’s comment about that?
    MR. ERELI: Well, obviously, any such reports are taken very seriously by us. We haven’t been able to confirm them. We have contacted the Government of China about them. The Chinese have publicly denied the allegations. We’ve made the point that a further investigation would be helpful. We urge that it be done. So at this point, they are basically unconfirmed reports and we’ve raised them and we’ve urged a full investigation.
    QUESTION: Did you suggest any international investigation or a third party —
    MR. ERELI: No. We’ve raised it with the Chinese and urged them to investigate.
    QUESTION: Okay.


  15. So what if The Epoch Times is a Falun Gong newspaper. If it is – good for them. Ever heard of the Christian Science Monitor… Is the New York Times a Jewish Newspaper? Both are credible sources of information. Falun Gong probably started their own newspaper because mainstream media refuses to do any in-depth coverage of the issue. Because it is heavily influenced (should I say bought?) by business and politics. And China is big business. Actually now I think about it, every newspaper is backed by religious and/or financial syndication. Falun Gong is an ’emerging religion’ – what they believe is no wackier than what fundamental Catholics or Jewish people believe. And how about the religion of atheism who worship Master Darwin. There are certainly a few holes in his teachings. Live and let live and stop murdering good people who practice virtue. Mao was definitely a follower of Darwin, and thus believed in no consequences… never believed for a moment that Good and Evil would be returned. Thus he could freely kill between 50 and 80 million of his own people, and because of the beliefs of his religion, he thought he would bear no consequence. Who knows?


  16. Well, let me just meekly restate that I think this warrants further investigation, and I really don’t see the harm in China allowing that. We’ve allowed the Red Cross to make multiple visits to terrorists in Gitmo.


  17. Hi, here are more news on the authenticity of the concentration camp allegation:,20867,18669046-7583,00.html

    ”It appears the claims by Falun Gong have been at least substantially exaggerated. Initial investigations by researchers for a US congressional committee have identified the site at Sujiatun as a hospital, where it is suspected organ harvesting occurs but on nowhere near the scale claimed”

    Now, if there is no concentration camp, rather isolated cases of abuse and irregularity contrary to Chinese law, then there exists a very different reality than what’s alleged.

    While I agree China’s human rights abuse should be examined, as with all human rights abusers in
    the world including my own country USA – lifting data from websites and writing allegory of “Schindler’s List” is not the way.

    If we in the West can not be precise with our facts, only resort to nefarious indictment, who will take what we say seriousely?


  18. i wish China would start cracking down on dissenters, and foreigners (including hongers, and taiwanese) in China that are trying to cause trouble, because it seems like CHina is going to get accused of human rights violations, whether they did or didnt, so they might as well crack down. China is way too soft on foreigners (and foreign agents, ie “property lawyers”) in China creating problems. this is why communism is so much better