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An outlawed religious sect in China is charging the government with torturing prisoners, executing them and trafficking in their body parts.

The charge, by the banned Falun Gong group, is backed up by Chinese doctors and human rights experts who keep tabs on activities of the Beijing government.

The Chinese government has arrested hundreds of members of Falun Gong and some, according to the group and human rights activists, have been sent directly to labor camps without trials.

The U.S. Congress – both House and Senate – unanimously passed resolutions in 1999 criticizing the Chinese government for its crackdown of the Falun Gong. Both resolutions urged the Chinese government to honor the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that it has signed, to stop arresting, detaining and persecuting Falun Gong practitioners, to release all detained dissidents, and to respect the basic human rights such as freedom of belief and freedom of speech.”

Falung Gong members are now citing specific evidence of the systematic torture and execution of members who have been arrested. Here are some of the specific cases they cite:

  • Hao Runjuan of Guangzhou City was very healthy before the mother of a 2-year-old was arrested. After being continuously tortured for 22 days by police in the Baiyun Detention Center, she died. After she was tortured to death, the police authorities had the body autopsied without her family members knowing, even though the law requires the signature of a family member to approve an autopsy. When the family was told to identify the body, it had become completely unrecognizable, but there were still fresh, red bloodstains on it. Because the body was so disfigured, none of her family members believed it was Hao Runjuan, even after seeing the body twice. Then, the family had to take the 2-year-old son for a DNA blood test to confirm the body was truly his mother’s.
  • Ren Pengwu, 33, was distributing Falun Gong literature Feb. 16, 2001. He was arrested by the Hulan County police and then detained in the Hulan County Second Detention Center. Before dawn Feb. 21, only five days after his detention, he was tortured to death. Without obtaining the family’s permission, and under the guise of a “legal investigation,” they completely removed all of Ren Pengwu’s organs, from his pharynx and larynx to his penis, then hastily cremated his body.
  • Zuo Zhigang was 33 and worked at a computer store in Shijiazhuang, Hebei Province. On May 30, 2001, police from the Public Security Bureau of Shijiazhuang City abducted him from his work place and took him to the Qiaoxi District Police Station in Shijiazhuang. Later, the police interrogated Zuo Zhigang, using various torture methods, and he was beaten to death the same day. His corpse was full of scars. One of his ears was dark purple and there were two big square-shaped holes on the back of his torso. There was a mark on his neck showing that a string had been pulled tightly around it.
  • Yang Ruiyu of Fuzhou City was an employee at the Real Estate Bureau of Taijiang District. On July 19, 2001, Yang was taken away from her work. Only three days later, Yang died as a result of the abuse. After Yang’s death, the Fuzhou police threatened Yang’s family not to leak any information. In addition, Yang’s colleagues were not allowed to see her body or say goodbye, and no funeral was permitted. When the body was sent to be cremated, it was guarded by police cars, and cremated immediately upon arrival. Yang’s husband and daughter were not allowed to view the body. It was reported that there was a hole in Yang’s side as large as an adult’s fist.
  • Sun Ruijian was 29 and left home Nov. 7, 2000, to appeal for Falun Gong in Beijing. He was arrested by Beijing police. On Dec. 1, his family was told that he had died. They claimed that two Fujian police were sent to bring him back from Beijing and that he died after jumping out of the train at 4 p.m. on Nov. 29, someplace between the cities of Shunchang and Xiayang.

“According to insiders, some evil police officers in Mainland China are colluding with greedy doctors and looking to sell the organs of Falun Gong practitioners for large sums of money,” claims a Faun Gong statement. “Needless to say, their plans are cruel and heartless to the extreme. One source indicates that a certain hospital in the city of Shijiazhuang that specializes in Chinese medicine has received six such requests. Everyone, especially the families of the practitioners who are in jail, are asked to pay close attention to this development. The only way to prevent your loved ones from being persecuted in such a way is to expose the evil deeds of the authorities.”

The group also charges that some prison guards offered drug addicts narcotics if they beat up Falun Gong members.

The stories, as horrifying as they seem, are backed up by a Chinese doctor who defected to the United States.

On June 27, 2001, Wang Guoqi, a doctor specializing in the burn victims unit at the Paramilitary Tianjin General Hospital in Tianjin, testified before the Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights of the United States House of Representatives. He said in his testimony that he was sent by the hospital to remove skin and corneas from the corpses of over 100 executed prisoners at a crematorium.

Dr. Thomas Diflo also testified. Diflo, who is working in the NYU Medical Center, wrote in his article published in a May issue of the New York Village Voice that six of his patients who had kidney transplants in China came to him afterwards for medical care. These patients all told him that their new kidneys came from executed prisoners.

“We call on organizations, governments, people of conscience around the world, and the United Nations to please pay attention to this severe problem,” said a Falun Gong statement.

The number of death sentences passed, as the number of executions carried out, are classed as state secrets in China. But, according to international monitors, China is clearly the leader in the world.

In 2003, according to a judicial source, 5,000 people were executed in China. Chen Zhonglin, a member of the People?s National Congress in Beijing, said that China carries out 10,000 executions every year. His declaration was published on the China Youth Daily in March 2004. This was the first time that a similar declaration was published by a state-controlled newspaper.

China’s Attorney General Han Zubin has called for measures against “separatists, terrorists and adherents to evil cults” to be stepped up for the sake of “national security.” In the five years up to 2003, some 3,500 people had been charged with “crimes against the state,” including murder, bomb attacks and arson, but also non-violent political dissent. Han confirmed that the total included suspected practitioners of Falun Gong, a spiritual movement branded an “evil cult” by the communist authorities and outlawed in 1999.

It’s illegal to buy or sell organs in China. But a 1984 law allows organs to be transplanted from an executed prisoner if family members don’t claim the body right away. Amnesty International says Chinese media reported 1,060 judicial executions in 2002. But it says the actual figure may be as high as 15,000. Most harvested prisoner organs are sold to medical “visitors” from Hong Kong, Taiwan or Singapore.

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