At that time, Dr. Zheng was a resident physician at one of China’s largest military hospitals. His knowledge extended only as far as being part of a “secret military mission” near a military prison situated close to the northeastern Chinese city of Dalian.
Enveloped in light blue fabric, the vehicle’s four sides were concealed from prying eyes.
Upon the door’s opening, a quartet of sturdy soldiers transported a man whose extremities were bound with slender ropes that had deeply gouged into his flesh. The young man, not yet 18, possessed organs described by the surgical team as “healthy and fresh.”
A directive from a fellow doctor led Dr. Zheng to “step on” the man’s legs and “don’t let him move.” Complying, he secured the man’s legs with his hands, and to his astonishment, they emitted warmth. Blood now streamed from the man’s throat.
He observed as a surgeon incised the man’s abdomen while two others reached inside to extract a kidney each. Although the man’s legs spasmed and his throat exhibited movement, no audible sound emerged.
“Cut his artery and veins, quick!” urged a doctor to Dr. Zheng. As he carried out the task, an immense surge of blood sprayed onto Dr. Zheng’s gown and gloves. It was at this juncture that he received the command to remove the man’s eyes.
Gazing at the man’s countenance, Dr. Zheng met the gaze of a pair of wide-open eyes.
“It was horrifying beyond words. He was looking right at me. His eyelids were moving. He was alive,” Dr. Zheng recounted to The Epoch Times in July, marking the first instance he consented to divulge his narrative using his true identity.
However, inside the van in 1994, he had no inkling that he was about to participate in what would swiftly evolve into an industrialized killing mechanism designed to harvest organs from prisoners of conscience, catering to orders as they came.
Within the confines of the van, he confided in the other physicians, stating, “I can’t do this.” A sense of vacancy invaded his mind as he sat there, trembling, perspiring, and immobilized.
The doctor situated across from him promptly pushed the man’s head down onto the van’s floor. Skillfully maneuvering, the doctor applied pressure to the eyelids using two fingers while employing a hemostat in the other hand to extract each of the man’s eyes.
Once lifeless, the body was deposited into a black plastic bag and handed over to awaiting soldiers. The van raced back to the General Hospital of Shenyang Military Region, where Dr. Zheng underwent his residency. Swiftly, the nursing staff gathered the equipment, now stained with blood.
Upon arrival at the hospital, two operating rooms were illuminated. Another team of doctors stood by, poised to commence organ transplant procedures.
Dr. Zheng found himself too disturbed to be of utility, despite the department director’s desire for him to participate at the operating table. Positioned a few yards away, he observed the surgical process unfold. Following the conclusion of the transplant surgeries, the medical personnel adjourned to an upscale restaurant and dined in silence, though Dr. Zheng asserted he couldn’t manage a single bite. Subsequently, he excused himself, concurrently succumbing to a high fever.
Those set of eyes—brimming with desperation, trepidation, and agony—have incessantly plagued Dr. Zheng’s thoughts, both day and night.
“Under the light lay a young life, a fellow human being, whose organs were being harvested while he was alive,” he said.
The distressing events that Dr. Zheng bore witness to inside the van and subsequently at the hospital transpired back in 1994, during a time when the Chinese regime was just beginning to establish its massive, officially endorsed forced organ harvesting initiative.
This enterprise swiftly expanded into a lucrative industry worth billions, profiting from the exploitation of prisoners of conscience, particularly those who adhered to the persecuted spiritual group Falun Gong. Adjacent to the hospital was the Sujiatun concentration camp, which multiple insiders disclosed as a site where imprisoned Falun Gong practitioners were systematically killed for their organs since the commencement of the persecution in 1999. Although the Sujiatun subterranean facility was abandoned after gaining international exposure, numerous similar facilities persist across China.
Since 2006, Dr. Zheng is among various individuals who have stepped forward to The Epoch Times to divulge details about the regime’s gruesome practices.
Subsequent to these revelations, a plethora of independent reports have emerged, outlining the extent and gravity of these practices.
In 2019, an impartial tribunal based in London concluded that the Chinese ruling authorities were responsible for killing prisoners of conscience to obtain organs “on a significant scale,” with Falun Gong adherents constituting the primary targets.
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U.S. legislators have taken measures to deter Americans from participating in “transplant tourism” to China, which would implicate them in these activities.
Representative Scott Perry (R-Pa.) is advocating for the approval of the Falun Gong Protection Act, aimed at imposing sanctions on persecutors of Falun Gong practitioners. The legislation would also prohibit collaboration with communist China in the realm of organ transplantation.
In June, Texas introduced the nation’s inaugural law to combat this issue, prohibiting health insurers from funding organ transplant procedures connected to China.
‘A Fresh One’
Still gripped by fear, Dr. Zheng cautiously unveiled his narrative for the first time in 2015, using an alias. Throughout the lengthy interview, he grappled with articulating complete sentences; at moments, his hands clung tightly to the table’s edge before him, while at other times he fidgeted, stood, and sat. His facial expression contorted, and he frequently reiterated how “horrifying” the experience was. Tearfully, Dr. Zheng described, in a quivering voice, the extraction of the young man’s eyes.
During his tenure at the hospital as a resident, Dr. Zheng enjoyed favor from his superiors due to his father’s influence within the local communist power circle. His father, proficient in traditional Chinese medicine, commanded the attention of local officials, even hosting high-ranking military figures at family dinners. This knowledge led fellow doctors to treat Dr. Zheng with deference, often affording him participation in surgeries denied to other interns.
Shortly after the organ extraction incident within the van, Dr. Zheng departed the hospital to become a pediatrician and internist in Liaoyang, a city located about four hours north of Dalian. However, the sense of horror he felt only deepened over time as he gained more insights from behind the scenes.
In 2002, Dr. Zheng accompanied a military official for a medical examination at the hospital where he had once interned. The official conveyed his need for a new kidney to survive.
“[We’ll] pick a top-quality one for you,” another military officer assured his superior in the corridor. “A fresh one, from Falun Gong practitioners.”
This marked Dr. Zheng’s initial exposure to the concept of Falun Gong adherents serving as a source for organs.
During their journey home, the official inquired whether he should proceed with a kidney transplant.
“Don’t do it,” Dr. Zheng replied. “Isn’t that committing murder?”
Through this official, Dr. Zheng uncovered the widespread prevalence of forced organ harvesting in China.
“Armed police and officials above division ranks all know about it, and it’s pretty much known throughout the military. It’s nothing novel,” Dr. Zheng conveyed.
He revealed that the military had established numerous “green passages” at airports to expedite the transport of freshly harvested human organs across the country, all aimed at generating greater profits. He asserted that military hospital infectious disease units had transformed into hubs for forced organ harvesting.
“In about one to two weeks—a month at the longest—a match would be found.”
The official with failing kidneys ultimately declined a transplant. He endured three more years of relying on dialysis before passing away in 2005.
Another acquaintance, an aide to officials within the seven-member Politburo Standing Committee, the core of China’s elite leadership, divulged something even more astonishing to Dr. Zheng.
In conversation, Dr. Zheng remarked on the severity of the Falun Gong persecution in northeastern China.
The acquaintance initially offered no response, but before parting ways, he fixed a direct gaze on Dr. Zheng.
“In Hubei Province’s Wuhan City, under the back garden of the Hubei Province Public Security Bureau, it’s full of detained Falun Gong practitioners. Some are underage kids,” he disclosed, pausing between each word.
“I’ve been there,” he added after a pause. Although they didn’t delve further into the topic, the implication that this was a vast source of organs weighed heavily on Dr. Zheng.
This revelation marked a new layer of evidence in the context of the forced organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners.
Dr. Torsten Trey, the executive director of the medical ethics organization Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting, noted that this revelation indicated that “the practice was already widespread in China in 2002,” four years prior to the publication of the first investigative report on the subject.
“More than 20 years have passed. China’s transplant system has committed medical crimes against humanity that far exceed anything known in the 21st century. Where is the international response?” Dr. Trey emphasized this in a statement.
Making A Choice
The acquaintance’s words ignited within Dr. Zheng a profound “sense of mission,” compelling him to unveil the issue on the global stage, ultimately prompting his escape to Thailand in 2005.
While in Thailand, he secured refugee status before relocating to Canada in 2007.
In 2015, during his inaugural disclosure of the account to The Epoch Times, he confessed to feeling such helplessness that he contemplated whether to lean on the reporter or the table for support.
Recalling the previous interview in late July, he expressed, “I felt that I was giving out my life and everything that I have. There’s no way to describe how I felt at the time.”
“Every word, every sentence I spoke was no different from a choice of life and death. I didn’t know what I’d be bringing to myself.”
Over the span of eight years after his arrival in Canada, Dr. Zheng diligently sought an appropriate media platform to recount his narrative. He recognized that a misguided choice could not only jeopardize his own safety but also undermine the exposure this critical issue warranted.
Dr. Trey lauded Dr. Zheng’s bravery in raising his voice.
“It is the foundation for us to understand the cruelty and the extent of China’s barbaric transplant practices,” Dr. Trey said.
“What Dr. Zheng shared with the public is gruesome beyond words, and there is no explanation for why the international medical community is not acting on China’s horrific organ harvesting. Where is the WMA [World Medical Association]? Where is the WHO [World Health Organization]?”
Dr. Trey urged other Chinese physicians to emulate Dr. Zheng’s example.
“Silence is akin to complicity,” he underscored.
Acknowledging concerns about potential reprisals from Beijing, Dr. Zheng recognized that it was unrealistic for him to dismiss such worries. He emphasized, “Ordinary people can’t imagine how evil the CCP is,” yet underscored that the issue transcends his personal circumstances.
He disclosed, “Slaughtering Chinese people and stealing their organs for profit—this is a crime with no bounds.” As a resident of a liberated nation with a “basic conscience, I have no reason to stay silent,” he deemed silence unwarranted.
He meticulously preserved his documentation, stating that when the Chinese Communist Party eventually falls and faces accountability, he will take the witness stand. He expressed unwavering conviction that “justice will prevail over evil.”
In a similarly harrowing revelation, according to internal documents, the University of Pittsburgh harvested organs of live babies based on their race.