(NEWSER) – The Islamic State may be harvesting organs from living prisoners for profit, according to a Reuters exclusive. The news company obtained a copy of Fatwa Number 68, which provides a religious justification for organ harvesting. “The apostate’s life and organs don’t have to be respected and may be taken with impunity,” the document states. “Organs that end the captive’s life if removed: The removal of that type is also not prohibited.” “Apostates” could refer to anyone from captive Christians to Sunni or Shiite Muslims, Reuters reports. The document opens up the possibility the Islamic State is taking organs from prisoners—fatally if need be—and selling them.
The fatwa comes from the terrorist group’s Islamic scholars. Reuters notes their interpretation of Islam does not match that of the majority of Muslims. The document—which was created last January—was obtained by the US government in a special forces raid in May. This is the first time any of the documents from the raid have been made public. While there is currently no proof the Islamic State is trafficking human organs, Iraq has accused them of doing it in the past. An Iraqi ambassador is pressuring the UN to use the document as evidence against the Islamic State. Read the full story here. (Read more Islamic State stories.)
In recent, horrifying news, top investigators on the matter reported that Chinese prison officials are, in fact, harvesting organs from prisoners, most of which are guilty of only committing the crime of following a certain religion.
Known for its unaccountability in reporting prison populations, organ donations, and general treatment of prisoners, these Chinese prisons have the means to get away with this crime. Though the Chinese government claims to have stopped taking organs from prisoners who have been executed, Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting states that new information shows that the amount of organ donations has increased. If the government did indeed stop taking these prisoner donations, how could the organ count go up? Investigators state that the increase in organs is likely from the unofficial harvesting of live prisoner organs.
As though it weren’t cruel enough that the prisons are taking organs from unwilling donors, it’s reported that these victims are still alive and not under any anesthesia when undergoing this painful process. An exposé titled Human Harvest: China’s Organ Trafficking found that around 11,000 organs came from prisoners without anesthetic each year during the eight year long investigation they conducted. Researcher Katrina Bramstedt told Newsweek,
“It is known that Chinese surgeons perform the removal procedure [on political prisoners] and sometimes the ‘donor’ has still been alive during this process — the organ removal process is what actually kills them.”
“It is reported that employees of several transplant centers [in China] have indicated that they have used organs from live Falun Gong practitioners for transplants.”
Falun Gong is a religion secretly practiced in China and worldwide that promotes meditation and physical exercise as a way to be mentally and physically sound. Though their religion is peaceful and does not harm anyone or the government, the crime of belonging to any religion at all is what is illegal in China. It is these peaceful people that are so brutally mistreated and killed.
Despite overwhelming evidence stemming from such investigations, China still maintains that they have never been involved these inhumane practices and that any organs received from prisoners are voluntary donations. Since there is no official donor program in China, these organs go undocumented and can be sold on the black market for a hefty price.