Doe v. Zhonghua Klaus Chen et al.
In 2006, HRLF filed a criminal complaint with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston Massachusetts against two Chinese doctors accused of participating in a forced organ removal program. Hospitals in China have allegedly administered a policy of forced organ removal from prisoners of conscience, in particular Falun Gong practitioners detained on the basis of their religious belief. These practitioners are detained in prisons and forced labor centers, where they are routinely and brutally tortured and forcibly subjected to medial procedures that chart their blood and tissue type. When a practioner’s type is needed by a donor recipient, he or she is sent to a hospital for organ removal. Practitioners are forcibly strapped to operating tables in shackles, and they are frequently given insufficient amounts of anesthesia during the organ removal process. On at least some occasions, following the operations, they have even been disposed of in incinerators while still alive.
The complainants in the case composed the designated class of Falun Gong practitioners who survived forcible organ removal procedures, and the family members of those practitioners who were killed during organ removal procedures. The defendants, Zhonghua Klaus Chen and Tongyu Zhu, were the directors of the organ transplant departments in Chinese Communist Party-administered hospitals in Wuhan and Shanghai, respectively. Doctors at each hospital have admitted in recorded phone conversations that organs available for transplants at their hospitals were taken from Falun Gong practitioners. In one of the recorded conversations, when asked if any of the organs used for transplants at the hospital come from the Falun Gong population, a doctor answers, “All of ours are of that type.”
The forced removal of organs harvested from prisoners of conscience violates the United Nations Convention Against Torture, which both China and the United States have ratified. HRLF’s complaint is based on a United States statute that grants jurisdiction to U.S. courts for the prosecution of perpetrators of torture present in the United States, irrespective of their nationality or the nationality of their victims. The complaint sought a criminal investigation of the matter and a warrant for the defendants’ arrests. In addition to the criminal complaint, over fifty legal notices were served on other Chinese officials, warning them of potential civil and criminal liability.
© Human Rights Law Foundation 2010-2017
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