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China Pays Compensation for Organ Harvest Without Consent - Watchdog

From, June 26, 2008

Text of report in English by Japan's largest news agency Kyodo

Hong Kong, June 26 Kyodo - Families of two death row convicts received cash compensation for organs harvested from the convicts without prior consent of the families in northwestern China's Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, a human rights watchdog said Thursday.

The Hong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy said the compensation was released after the families filed complaints at the Complaint Letters and Visits Bureau, and officials have promised to give the families more cash rewards if they stop complaining.

The centre quoted Tan Kaizhi, a relative of death row convict Tan Haotian, as saying that Tan Haotian and three other men were convicted of robbing and killing a taxi driver in 2003.

Tan, Zheng Guoyi and Ma Ming were sentenced to death but only Ma was sent for execution, while Tan and Zheng were transferred to hospital instead and had their organs harvested without their families' consent.

The Tan family filed a complaint and in 2006 received 50,000 yuan (about $6,450) as a "Tan Haotian body handling payment" from the Changji Intermediate People's Court.

The Tan family has been demanding a full explanation over the organ harvest and planning to file a subsequent complaint recently. However, a government official warned them against filing a complaint ahead of the Olympic Games and told them more compensation is possible if they let it rest.

The centre said it has confirmed that Tan and Zhang were transferred to hospital for organ harvest.

The number of death penalties and executions remains a state secret in China, despite a recent decision that all death sentences must be reviewed by the Supreme People's Court.

Falun Gong, a spiritual group that the Chinese government has banned and denounced as a cult, has maintained that China has been systematically capturing its followers and harvesting their organs for sale.

Beijing has denied all allegations.

Originally published by Kyodo News Service, Tokyo, in English 1159 26 Jun 08.

(c) 2008 BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.

Source: BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific

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