Organ traffickers may get death penalty

0 CommentsPrint E-mail China Daily, February 24, 2011
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He said the black market in the trade has been booming "both inside and outside the country" in recent years.

"Some poor people sell their own organs for a small amount of money. Although it might be voluntary, they are not aware of the health risks," Liu said. "What's more, the illegal organ trade is harmful to society as a whole."

The amendment will help deter potential criminals, as it shows the government's determination to crack down on the illegal trade, Liu said.

Until recently, criminals convicted of forced organ removal were sentenced on a charge of illegal business operation, since there is no specific offence covering the act in the Criminal Law. Last August, the crime of forced organ removal was included in the first draft of an amendment to the Criminal Law for legislative review.

Last September, Beijing's Haidian district people's court heard the country's first case concerning illegal sales of human organs, in which two criminals were sentenced to four years in jail and were each fined 100,000 yuan ($15,200) for illegal business operation.

In Beijing earlier this month, 31-year-old Liu Yunlu from Hebei province and 25-year-old Dong Binggang from Shaanxi were charged with conducting an illegal business operation for trafficking in human organs.

About 10,000 organ transplants are carried out each year on the Chinese mainland. It is estimated that around 1.3 million people are waiting for a transplant.

The huge gap between supply and demand has led to the emergence of the illegal organ trade, the Beijing-based Procuratorial Daily reported.

To better manage organ donation and prevent illegal trafficking, Qin suggested punishing hospitals and doctors who deal with traffickers.

If the latest draft amendment to the Criminal Law is passed at the bimonthly meeting of the NPC Standing Committee, which will last until Friday, it will come into force on May 1.

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