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China’s forced organ harvesting constitutes crimes against humanity, informal London tribunal finds

BMJ 2019; 365 doi: (Published 18 June 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;365:l4287
  1. Richard Hurley
  1. The BMJ

Mass forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience in China over years constitutes crimes against humanity under international law, an informal, independent “people’s tribunal” has concluded.

In a final judgment in London on 17 June,1 the tribunal’s seven member panel said that it had found evidence beyond reasonable doubt of state sponsored or sanctioned murder, extermination, imprisonment, rape, and torture; ethnic, racial, or religious persecution; and enforced disappearance. The tribunal did not establish that the crimes amounted to genocide.

The panel’s chair, Geoffrey Nice QC, who previously led the prosecution of the former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic in the Hague, compared the “wicked” crimes to “the worst atrocities of the 20th century.”

In response, the International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China (ETAC), the pressure group that had convened the tribunal, called for doctors and organisations worldwide to stop all collaboration with China related to transplantation.

Susie Hughes, executive director and cofounder of ETAC, said, “It is horrendous to think that many of our hospitals and universities are, perhaps unknowingly, …

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