Uyghurs Suffering Horrific Healthcare Violations
Human rights activists have been shocked down to their core as they received proof of the Chinese government’s horrific removal and trafficking of detained Uyghur Muslims’ organs. The investigation conducted by the China Tribunal stated that the most common organs removed from Uyghur Muslim prisoners are the hearts, kidneys, livers, corneas, and even skin.
Organ trafficking is the process of illegally obtaining organs from an individual without his or her consent. In September 2019, the United Nations accused China of engaging in organ trafficking from Uyghur Muslims.
The Chinese government has subjected Uyghur Muslims to undergo organ examinations and forced blood tests. The results of the organ examinations for each Uyghur detainee are recorded in an online database.
The UN reports, “Forced organ harvesting in China appears to be targeting specific ethnic, linguistic or religious minorities held in detention, often without being explained the reasons for arrest or given arrest warrants, at different locations. We are deeply concerned by reports of discriminatory treatment of the prisoners or detainees based on their ethnicity and religion or belief.”
The UN has acknowledged the fact that Uyghur Muslims are deprived of their healthcare rights as they are imprisoned in the concentration camps. In addition, forced organ examinations, blood tests, and organ harvesting are administered without the consent of the patient.
The China Tribunal is an independent international tribunal composed of lawyers and healthcare professionals. Hamid Sabi, a lawyer from the China Tribunal, investigated the matter and stated that China was committing “crimes against humanity”.
Sabi also mentioned in his report that China has forcefully harvested organs from prisoners, a practice that has long been continued. The prisoners were alive when the incisions were placed on their body. The harvested organs were used for organ transplants and were prized black market commodities.
Unlike in the U.S., there is a short wait time for organ transplants in China because the organs have already been harvested through the mass killing of Uyghur prisoners. After hearing the report from China Tribunal, the Chinese government denied these findings and claimed that it only harvests organs from prisoners facing capital punishment.
Sabi concluded the report by making a distinction, “Organ transplantation to save life is a scientific and social triumph, but killing the donor is criminal.”
In the eyes of the Chinese government, Uyghur Muslims are viewed as a plague that they wish to eradicate. In an effort to accomplish this, the Chinese government has imposed a child policy in which Uyghur Muslims can only have two children whereas the rest of the population is allowed to have three children.
If Uyghur parents have more than two children, then they are placed in concentration camps. At the camps, Uyghur Muslim women experience many violations to their healthcare rights. Uyghur Muslim women are subjected to rape, STDs, intravenous injections, and forced implantations of IUDs.
In addition to organ trafficking, the Chinese government has permitted forced sterilization techniques upon Uyghur Muslims. The forced sterilization techniques are part of the demographic genocide carried out by the Chinese government.
According to the AP, the birth rate of Uyghurs dropped almost 60% from 2015-2018. Many Uyghur Muslim women have recounted their traumatizing experiences in the concentration camps on how they witnessed other prisoners being raped and undergoing abortions when they became pregnant.
One of these women, Mihrigul Tursun, spoke up against the cruel treatment of Uyghur Muslims and the several violations of ethical and healthcare rights by the Chinese government. In 2018, Tursun spoke at the Congressional Executive Commission on China in Washington D.C. She was imprisoned and her triplet children were taken away from her.
She experienced multiple beatings, electric shocks, forced injections, and was forced to take other medications. One of her children died at the camp and the other two survived, but have scars on their necks due to the feeding tube that was inserted.
“I would rather die than go through this torture. I begged them to kill me,” Tursun said.
She experienced the loss of her child and has been told that she can’t conceive again due to the pills and intravenous injections that she was forced to take at the Uyghur concentration camp.
The issues of organ trafficking and forced sterilization techniques are just a few of the human rights violations that China is charged with.
The United Nations plans to hold the Chinese government accountable for its healthcare violations and demographic genocide against Uyghur Muslims. These are important issues in global healthcare because Uyghur Muslims and their bodies are imprisoned by the draconian laws of the Chinese government.
The United States should also take action and raise awareness about the plight of the Uyghur Muslims in ethics and healthcare rights. UN Human Rights Chief, Michelle Bachelet, stated that she will be visiting Xinjiang to examine the situation of Uyghur Muslims and demands “unfettered access”.
Unfortunately, she hasn’t been able to visit China yet, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hopefully, Bachelet will be able to visit Xinjiang soon so that China can once again be exposed for its unethical standards of the internment camps and healthcare violations against the Uyghur Muslims.