China is known for its booming industries and bountiful resources. But hiding beneath is a bloody reality for thousands.
News.com.au reports that China's Communist Party repeatedly commits human rights atrocities on political prisoners. One of those atrocities is forced organ harvesting.
One of the main targets of the regime are followers of Falun Gong, a spiritual belief system that has been outlawed in the communist country.
Followers are reportedly sought out and placed into prison with a sentence that often costs them their own organs.
Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH) is an organization that aims to stop this unethical practice.
DAFOH places special emphasis on China because "unlike anywhere else in the world, it is the only place where systematic forced organ harvesting continues to occur on a mass, state-sanctioned level," DAFOH spokeswoman Sophia Bryskine said.
The regime has no formal laws banning the practice.
"In fact, a '1984 Provision' still remains in place, which allows for executed prisoners to be used as donors — in direct violation of all international guidelines," Bryskine added.
Often times political prisoners do not even get a proper legal sitting. Jinato Liu, a Falun Gong practitioner, knows all too well about the horrors of imprisonment under the communist regime.
"I was placed in a room where the rest of the occupants were all drug offenders," Mr. Liu told news.com.au. "Once when they were beating me — they have all sorts of methods — they were pinning me down and striking my back, with fists and legs... when an old drug offender walked inside the room and warned them not to damage my organs when they were beating me."
Liu suddenly realized his organs mattered more than his own life.
"Why wouldn't they say 'don't hurt this person.' Not 'don't hurt his organ.' I just felt it was strange they care about my organ rather than my person," he said.
Researchers say this kind of scenario happens all the time in the communist country.
The American Journal of Transplantation said there was an "implausible discrepancy" between China's officially reported number of transplants, and the "steep expansion of China's transplant infrastructure."
"The ultimate conclusion is that the Chinese Communist Party has engaged the state in the mass killings of innocents, primarily practitioners of the spiritually based set of exercises, Falun Gong, but also Uyghurs, Tibetans, and select House Christians, in order to obtain organs for transplants," the report says.
Activists are urging the West to put pressure on the Chinese government to stop its human rights abuses and illegal organ transplanting.