Is China selling the organs of Uyghur Muslims?
China is allegedly making billions of dollars on the black market by forcibly removing and selling the organs of people belonging to religious and ethnic minorities, especially the long-persecuted Uyghur Muslims. The illegal business is worth at least $1 billion, according to a report by the Australian tabloid Herald Sun. Reports of abuses against Uyghurs and other minority groups in China have often surfaced.
Why does this story matter?
The fresh allegations against China could lead to further calls for action and boycott against it from the international community. Besides the alleged organ harvesting, Uyghurs in the country have had to face detention, rapes, torture, and forced sterilizations, according to the BBC and other publications. In June, independent experts at the United Nations had expressed concerns over the allegations.
A healthy liver goes for $1,60,000
According to the Herald Sun report, a healthy liver sells for $1,60,000 (Rs. 1.20 crore) in the black market, and the business brings an annual turnover of "at least $1 billion." The hospitals that carry out the organ transplants are reportedly found near the detention camps, the report added. Forced organ harvesting has been ongoing for a long time and on a large scale.
Nearly 80,000 Uyghurs trafficked during 2017-2019
Further, nearly 80,000 Uyghurs were trafficked to factories across the country between 2017 and 2019, the paper reported citing a report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI). "In factories far away from home, they typically live in segregated dormitories, undergo organized Mandarin and ideological training outside working hours, are subject to constant surveillance, and are forbidden from participating in religious observances," it stated.
$84 billion seized from Uyghurs
The report, citing an investigation published in the Taiwan News, said that assets worth $84 billion were seized from Uyghur Muslims in recent years with the majority of the assets being real estate.
'Extremely alarmed': UN on such reports
Earlier this year, the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) said its experts were "extremely alarmed" by reports of organ harvesting targeting minorities, including Uyghurs, Tibetans, and Christians, in detention in China. "According to the allegations received, the most common organs removed from the prisoners are reportedly hearts, kidneys, livers, corneas and, less commonly, parts of livers," according to a UN statement.