[JURIST] Humans Right Watch [official website] urged the Chinese government Sunday to be more transparent about its practice of removing transplant organs from executed prisoners after Vice Minister of Health Huang Jiefu [China Vitae profile] admitted for the first time [UPI report] at a medical conference last week that most organs take from cadavers for transplants come from there "apart from a small portion of traffic victims". Nicholas Bequelin, a HRW researcher based in Hong Kong, told the Associated Press that "we call on China to disclose the number of people executed every year and the number of organ transplants that take place." Chinese authorities insist that all organ donations require informed consent [JURIST report] from the prisoners or their families.
In March, the Chinese Ministry of Health [official website, in Chinese] issued a general ban on the sale of human organs [JURIST report] that took effect on July 1. The Ministry also issued new regulations [JURIST report] in August intended to counter unauthorized international trade in organs. The policy changes followed international criticism [JURIST report] that human organs taken from executed prisoners were sold to foreigners. AP has more.