Forced organ harvesting continues to target Christians and other religious minorities in China, according to investigators.
Between 60,000 and 100,000 organ transplants have been carried out in China since 2000, most of which were harvested from minority faith groups,according to two investigations by human rights lawyer David Matas and former Canadian Crown attorney David Kilgour. They say the practice is the largest source of revenue for Chinese hospitals and the government and health insitutions are both involved.
Matas and Kilgour presented their report in Ottawa earlier this month. The pair described organ harvesting as "the kernel at the centre of human rights violations in China".
The main victims were from those practising the Falun Gong religion and other prisoners of conscience including the Muslim Uyghurs, Tibetan Buddhists and Christians.
"Organ pillaging in China is a crime in which the Communist Party, state institutions, the health system, hospitals, and the transplant profession are all complicit", said Kilgour, according to Evangelical Focus.
Claims of forced organ harvesting have surfaced over the years but it is difficult to prove because of China's opaque legal system.
Bob Fu, founder and president of the Christian persecution charity China Aid, called for an independent inquiry into the allegations.
"This barbaric practice of organs harvesting continues in China. I applaud the enormous work to highlight this issue by the two Canadian friends," he told the Christian Post.
"Although I do not have systematic evidence showing this is massively practiced toward Christian prisoners of conscience yet, the fact one more high profile prisoner Mr Jia Jinglong's organs were bluntly harvested before he was executed unjustly without any consent from his lawyers nor any of his family members last week should certainly and absolutely warrant an independent investigation by a credible international panel," he added.
The US House of Representatives passed a resolution in June calling on the State Department to report annually to Congress on the implementation of an existing law barring visas to Chinese and other nationals engaged in coercive organ transplantation. The resolution also condemned persecution of Falun Gong, a spiritual group China calls a cult and has outlawed.
China accused Congress of making "groundless accusations."
The European Parliament passed a similar declaration in July calling for an independent investigation of "persistent, credible reports on systematic, state-sanctioned organ harvesting from non-consenting prisoners of conscience" in China.