A newly released study conducted by Australian National University (ANU) claims to have unearthed evidence showing Chinese surgeons at state-run civilian and military hospitals are executing death-row prisoners by removing their hearts before they are clinically dead. China has industrialized this criminal practice for profit since it first removed the still-beating heart and kidneys from a Uyghur detainee in 1994.
China first removed the still-beating heart and kidneys from a Uyghur detainee in 1994.
The researchers say that data collected and analyzed from 35 hospitals –– spread across 33 cities and 35 years –– suggests that the state enlisted surgeons to execute prisoners of conscience using organ transplant surgery.
“While we don’t know exactly how these prisoners end up on the operating table, we can speculate there are multiple troubling scenarios as to how this happens,” said Matthew Robertson, the study’s co-author, in an interview published on April 5.
“These include a bullet to the prisoner’s head before being immediately rushed to hospital, or a drug injection that paralyses the prisoner . . . . These surgeries are highly profitable for the doctors and hospitals that engage in them.”
These revelations have been called a “smoking gun” because the data was collected from Chinese government authorized documents, written in the Chinese language, and they come at the same time as governments in the Middle East, namely Saudi Arabia and UAE, continue to assist Beijing in rounding up and deporting Uyghur migrants to China, where they face certain imprisonment or execution.
Uyghur deportees also face the real possibility of their DNA being matched to a waiting Chinese organ recipient and then being murdered for their organs.
Last Sunday, Saudi authorities transferred Buheliqiemu Abula, a Uyghur mother, and her 13-year-old daughter to a deportation center in the south of the capital Riyadh ahead of their planned deportation to China. Her ex-husband, Neurmaimaiti Ruze, and religious scholar Amidoula Waili are also expected to suffer a similar fate.
Saudi authorities transferred a Uyghur mother and her 13-year-old daughter to a deportation center in Riyadh ahead of their deportation to China.
Amnesty International has strongly condemned the Saudi government, while calling on it to halt the deportation of Uyghur migrants, “The Kingdom has an obligation [under international law] to not forcibly return Uyghurs to China,” itstated.
“Deporting these four people –– including a child –– to China, where Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities are facing a horrific campaign of mass internment, persecution, and torture, would be an outrageous violation of international law,” said Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
“With time seemingly running out to save the four Uyghurs from this catastrophic extradition, it is crucial that other governments with diplomatic ties to Saudi Arabia step in now to urge the Riyadh authorities to uphold their obligations and stop the deportations.”
Maalouf also called on Saudi Arabia’s strategic allies, including the US and UK, not to stand idly by while the Kingdom willfully ignores human rights law. However, as others have noted, the Arab country’s relationship with the US has cooled in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with Riyadh seeking deepening ties with Moscow, which has put the Uyghur diaspora in the “crosshairs.”
Earlier this year, a Time investigation found that at least 1,327 Uyghur migrants had been detained or deported from 20 countries since 2014, –– the year China launched its crackdown on the Uyghur population in Xinjiang Autonomous Zone. Notably, an overwhelming majority of these arrests and deportations have been from Muslim majority countries, particularly those in the Middle East and North Africa.
“The Arab world isn’t just silent on China’s crackdown on Uyghurs. It’s complicit,” argues Bradley Jardine, a global fellow at the Wilson Center’s Kissinger Institute.
Last month, a new report by the Uyghur Human Rights Project and the Oxus Society for Central Asian Affairs exposed collaboration between Arab states and China in the transnational repression of Uyghurs.
The authors described a stunning example from July 2017, when Egyptian security forces broke into apartments and raided mosques and restaurants to “hunt” for Uyghurs on behalf of the Chinese government. More than 200 Uyghurs were arrested, most of whom were students at al-Azhar University in Cairo. At least 45 of them were deported to China. Most have not been heard from again.
Beijing has shown increasing “willingness to intervene in the internal affairs of partner countries.”
Tellingly, Chinese police were present during the interrogations in Egypt, showing Beijing’s increasing “willingness to intervene in the internal affairs of partner countries,” observe the authors of the report.
China uses five primary mechanisms to target, track, and repress Uyghurs in the Middle East and North Africa region, including transnational digital surveillance; global “war on terror” narratives, which serve to justify the detention and deportation of Uyghurs; monitoring institutions of Islamic education for Uyghur students; monitoring the Hajj for Uyghur pilgrims; and denying travel documents to Uyghurs, rendering them stateless and vulnerable to deportation.
China’s increasing willingness to intervene in the internal affairs of its partner and client states was revealed last year, when a bombshell report by the Associated Press (AP) found that China is operating a covert “black site” in the UAE to round up, interrogate, and deport Uyghurs.
“Black sites” are essentially clandestine prisons, where detainees are stripped of their legal rights and subjected to measures beyond the reach of the criminal justice system, including torture and other forms of abuse, as reported by Inside Arabia eight months ago.
“Black sites” are essentially clandestine prisons.
For this reason, former Uyghur residents of Dubai have called the UAE a “hub for Chinese intelligence on Uyghurs in the Middle East.”
Sumeyee Hamdullah, the daughter of religious scholar Amidoula Waili, who faces deportation from Riyadh to China, said in a recent interview that if Arab states “desperately needed to deport” Uyghurs, then they should be sent to countries where they are safe from persecution.
“Last time I talked with my father was at night before the detention. Since that, I didn’t have any chance to see him or talk to him. This is always torturing me,” Hamdullah said. “I fear to imagine that if my dad will be deported and I couldn’t hear his voice or meet with him. I am fearing from this all the time.”
To send Uyghurs back to China, knowing they face an array of human rights violations, including imprisonment, torture, systematic rape, and forced sterilizations is morally unconscionable. But doing so knowing they are not only likely to suffer all the aforementioned horrors, but also the real potential of being executed by having their hearts removed on the operating table to meet China’s demand for organ transplants, is the dictionary definition of evil.