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MEPs call for transparency in scientific cooperation with China

In the opaque and cruel web of the Chinese repressive system, many gray areas remain. Among them, the issue of organ harvesting, without the prior consent of detained persons. Since 2015, China has formally banned these levies on prisoners sentenced to death. But many questions surround the extent of transplants carried out in Chinese private and public establishments, which are breaking all records of availability and speed for transplants.

NGOs working on human rights in China have always remained cautious on this subject, which is very difficult to document. “Amnesty has long talked about the existence of a transparency problem in the organ transplant industry in China, with a long history of using prisoners, especially executed, explains Joshua Rosenzweig, China specialist within the NGO. But the official statements of the authorities are hard to verify. “

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The fact that China keeps secret the number of executions carried out in the country – they are estimated at around a thousand per year by NGOs, based on public judicial data – is fueling speculation. For example, suspicions of organ harvesting from imprisoned members of Falun Gong, the religious movement banned in China, have been brandished for years by lobbyists emanating from it in the West. Likewise, the extent of the persecution carried out against the Uighurs, imprisoned en masse in internment camps but also in prisons, raises fears that members of this ethnic group are the prey of this kind of practice.

“The precautionary principle must play”

Despite the uncertainties, vigilance should be stepped up, estimate around sixty French deputies. On September 15, the latter tabled a bill aimed at obtaining more transparency in scientific cooperation between French and Chinese establishments. Questioned by the deputy Frédérique Dumas (Liberties and territories group), who took the head of the campaign, the Elysée answered, by the voice of the chief of staff of the president Patrick Strzoda. In a letter of August 24, the latter assured “Attention” brought to this bill, reported to Olivier Véran, the Minister of Health.

Asked by The world, Mr. Véran’s cabinet signified that the minister shared ” the intention ” the approach of the deputies, while noting immediately that there was no need for new legislation. A presentation that exasperates MP Frédérique Dumas. “What tools do we put in place to assess and sanction? There is no clear path, only good intentions. The precautionary principle must play, if the establishments do not have the means to check what Chinese hospitals are doing. Otherwise, what are ethical principles for? “

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