Tube Fed Porridge Mixed With Urine: Inside An Organ Harvesting Prison
Tony Liu escaped being killed for his organs while in prison for his religious beliefs and has spoken out against the 'evil practices'.
Liu recalls the day he was locked inside a solitary cell at Beijing Tuanhe Labour Re-Education Camp 10 years ago.
He'd been "frequently" abused and beaten by an inmate before another ran in to pass on a guard's order: "don't damage his organs!"
"I was shocked and surprised," Liu told 10 daily.
"I remember wondering, 'how come they care about my organs when they don't care about my health or my well being'?"
At the time, Liu said he'd "read a little" online about the practice of forced organ harvesting in China -- where prisoners of conscience were allegedly killed for the purpose of removing their organs for transplants -- but "couldn't believe it".
"I chose not to believe it," he said. "But it's very clear now. There is mounting evidence proving this has happened in China on a large scale."
Last month, Liu testified before an independent tribunal in London that found it was "beyond doubt" the practice has taken place over at least 20 years -- and continues.
A panel of lawyers and experts, set up by a campaign group to examine allegations of the practice, was unanimous, and concluded members of the Falun Gong spiritual group were "probably the principal source".
'I Refused To Give Up On My Faith'
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual "self-cultivation practise" based on meditation and principles of truthfulness, compassion and forbearance.
China outlawed the practice 20 years ago after 10,000 members staged a silent protest outside the headquarters of the ruling Communist Party -- and the campaign to persecute Falun Gong continues today.
Liu took up the practice in 1997, when he was in high school and struggling with his health.
Nine years later, while Liu was studying a Masters degree, he said seven police officers stormed his university and arrested him.
"They pushed me into a chair and started searching my computer, where they found some Falun Gong material," he said.
Liu was taken to a police station across the street. That afternoon, he found himself at Beijing Changping Brainwashing centre where he claims he was forced to watch videos that "demonised Falun Gong".
"I was told if I wrote three statements guaranteeing I wouldn't practice, and that I felt regretful, I would be sent back to study," he said.
"But I refused to give up on my faith."
Liu spent two years at Beijing Tuanhe Labour Re-education Camp where he suffered horrific torture at the hands of both guards and other inmates.
"At one point, I was locked in a solitary cell without food. After three days, they pushed a tube through my nose into my stomach several times, and force-fed me porridge that was sometimes mixed with urine from inmates," he said.
Liu said he was also subjected to blood tests and X-rays, but was offered no reason why. The China Tribunal heard evidence from other Falun Gong torture victims who had ultrasound exams on their organs.
"One day, they came to the labour camp and took two large tubes of blood from every inmate. That's a very large dose," he said.
"They took that and left."
'Indescribably Hideous Deaths'
Liu considers himself lucky to be alive. He was released and moved to Australia in 2013 after the federal government granted him a protection visa.
But he said many others received a different fate.
In his judgement, tribunal chairman Sir Geoffrey Nice concluded: "very many people have died indescribably hideous deaths for no reason".
It was less clear if the Uighur Muslim minority group has been victims, the tribunal found, but said they were vulnerable to "being used as a bank of organs".
A 'Jigsaw' Of Evidence
Beijing has repeatedly denied accusations by human rights researchers and scholars that it forcibly takes organs from prisoners of conscience and said it stopped using organs from executed prisoners in 2015.
But Wendy Rogers, Professor of Clinical Ethics at Macquarie University who appeared as an expert witness, said there is a mounting "jigsaw" of evidence, including the rapid rise of transplants in China -- when other countries were struggling to find donors -- and extraordinarily low waiting times.
"People try to undermine it because they say it's circumstantial, but a lot of evidence is circumstantial that we accept," she told 10 daily.
"All of these pieces of a jigsaw make a picture, and there's no counter-veiling evidence to explain why they are doing so many transplants; how you can have a transplant on demand."
Rogers, who is also Chair of the International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China's International Advisory Committee, is calling on governments to take the alleged practice seriously.
"Governments don't want to acknowledge it because of China's economic power, but I think we have to hold China to account and let the public know this horrendous event is actually happening," she said.
Today, Liu lives in Sydney with his wife and three children where he is free to practice his faith.
"I'm happy here, and I'm telling my story so the international community can stand up and do something," he said.
Featured image: Supplied
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