“I survived a labor camp where prisoners had their organs harvested” – World News

A woman recalled the harrowing psychological torture she suffered in a labor camp in China where detainees had their organs harvested.

Annie Yang, 56, was held in three different camps in China between March 2005 and September 2006 before fleeing to the UK.

The Chinese Communist Party jailed her because she is a practitioner of Falun Gong, a belief system that combines moral philosophy, and she refused to renounce it.

Before her arrest, Annie was an international antiques dealer, traveling between London and Beijing for work.

Annie said she was starved, forced to sit in stressful positions, deprived of sleep and not allowed to move without asking permission.







Annie was detained because she refused to disclose her belief as a Falun Gong practitioner
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Picture:

Annie Yang)

Annie told The Mirror how she was taken to a police hospital for routine full body exams – which she later learned were for organ harvesting purposes.

She said: “After I arrived at the labor camp, we had regular body tests, including liver scans and ultrasounds.

“I had a kidney test, a urine test, a blood test and also a blood pressure test. Top to bottom and all over my body – that was regularly every three or four months but these felt very strange.

“Because on the one hand they tried to torture me and on the other hand they regularly examined me

“Next to the camp was a police hospital and we were forced to sit in a big bus with the curtains closed so we couldn’t see out. We weren’t allowed to look up, we had to put both hands on the seat and our heads had to be lowered so we couldn’t see others.

“Even when we left, he had to keep our heads down.

“I didn’t know what was happening at the time – it wasn’t until I came from China and read the news about the organ harvesting that I realized what they were doing and that’s why they did our body tests.







Annie managed to escape to the UK in 2006
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Annie Yang)

“The moment I found out that, my body broke down – it was really scary. I could have been one of them.”

The trade in forced organ harvesting in China is estimated at £810 million ($1 billion) a year, investigative groups have found.

Part of Annie’s harrowing testimony was heard during the inquest China tribunal – a non-governmental tribunal dealing with the complaints about forced organ harvesting in China.

The tribunal found, based on testimonies and the gap in reporting between the number of available organ donors and the number of transplants performed, that organ harvesting is taking place across the country.







Falun Gong followers hold a silent demonstration near the UN in New York in 2007
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AFP via Getty Images)

In some evidence, people were heard paying £50,000 ($65,000) for a kidney, £104,000 ($130,000) for a liver, £120,000 ($150,000) for a heart and £136,000 ($170,000) for a lung.

In one case, the tribunal heard a liver cost £4million ($5million).

When Annie refused to give up her faith, she was starved and mentally tortured.

She said, “Each morning meal, they only gave me two tablespoons of Chinese porridge — it’s like rice and water cooked together.







In 2013, Annie joined other speakers to give the UK government an expert testimony on organ harvesting
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Annie Yang)

“And about half a slice of bread — like a Chinese bun — that’s very small and very sour and hard.”

She was locked up during the summer months when temperatures reached 40°C and were only given 500ml to drink.

She said: “I was forced to sit on a high stool – there was a rule about sitting there. My feet had to be closed and my knees had to be closed and my back had to be very straight. I wasn’t allowed to close my eyes or move.”

She continued: “I was never allowed to go to the toilet if I wanted to – I had to report it. I had to wait two hours and lost feeling in my bladder.”







Falun Gong members hold up a banner protesting organ harvesting in China in 2019
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Photo only via Getty Images)

Annie said that when she was arrested, her friends in London put international pressure on the Chinese government to avoid the brutal beatings that her fellow inmates did.

She said, “I could hear other practitioners being beaten – they used drug addicts to beat them. Sometimes I hear their screams and screams.

“A drug addict told me I wasn’t beaten because of international support.”

When Annie was released, she booked a flight to the UK and has not returned.

She left home at 3am for fear of being arrested again, and it wasn’t until she landed in the UK in 2006 that she felt any relief.







Falun Gong members protect 2013 in China
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In pictures via Getty Images)

She is now free to practice Falun Gong, but she cannot return to China – where her family still lives.

Her father died two years ago and her mother is in her 80s, but she cannot return until the persecution stops.

She said, “I know another practitioner who went to China to see her parents and she was arrested at the airport and they asked her about Annie Yang.

“There is still a danger – I would be arrested again in an instant. I want more people to know what is happening in China and pay attention to the Chinese Union Party – they cannot be trusted.

“I have to speak up and be a voice for other practitioners in China – that’s my duty.”

Professor Martin Elliott, a heart transplant surgeon and a member of the China Tribunal, told The Mirror that the practice is “state-sponsored” by the government.

He said: “We have found no evidence that it has stopped. What we heard in the evidence is that hospitals advertised online and they were these transplant agents.

“You pay to fly to China yourself, you get your transplant, and you recover, and then return to your country of origin.”

He added: “They worry about where it’s coming from. With an ethical transplant, you wouldn’t get one anytime soon. They would need a list of potential donors and they would need to be matched.

“You have to get the size and the fabric to fit, if you can get one in a short amount of time it’s highly unlikely it’s ethical.

“If the wait is short, there’s a high chance it’s coming from things like these camps.”

During the tribunal, he described how it was impossible to know if the organ came from someone who was healthy, noting that the survival rate of those who received these organs was lower than if it were ethical.

He said, “We have hundreds of thousands in camps in China and they are being severely mistreated, they are being tortured, they are being transformed. You will be subjected to violence and many blood tests and medical tests will be inappropriate in the circumstances.

“Organ harvesting occurs on a spectrum, the evil spectrum – hundreds of thousands of people are used as a resource to provide organs to those who need them.

“It’s state-sponsored and it’s appalling.” We see the equivalent of concentration camps in countries we trade with, and government needs to deal with this when trade trumps human rights.

“I think it’s important that we figure out where our moral red lines are.”

Last month, Global Rights Compliance, an international human rights law firm, released a report advising complicity in organ trafficking — with a particular focus on China.

dr Julian Sheather, Special Advisor on Ethics and Human Rights, British Medical Association, said: “Health care institutions, including hospitals, research institutions, professional societies, funding agencies, businesses and journals, have an international responsibility to respect the human rights of all and must work to improve them identify and remedy any harm they cause or contribute to through their practice or with which they are associated through professional partnerships.

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/i-survived-labour-detention-camp-26996864 "I survived a labor camp where prisoners had their organs harvested" - World News

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