A Chinese website has published a video report offering a rare look into China’s illegal organ trade. It follows several impoverished men living in grim conditions as they wait to have their kidneys removed and sold.
This report was posted on the news portal of the popular instant messaging site QQ.com
. It created quite a stir on the Chinese Internet, and subsequently disappeared from the site. (QQ.com has left up a photo slideshow
that tells the same story.) However, the video report has not entirely disappeared from the Internet; it was uploaded onto YouTube and subtitled by Sui, one of our Observers in China.
According to Chinese news agency Xinhua, about 1.5 million people in China need organ transplants, but only about 10,000 are performed each year. This leads many people to turn to the black market. In April, Chinese authorities indicted five people after a 17-year-old sold a kidney to buy an iPhone and an iPad. In the video report above, one young man says he plans to buy his girlfriend a mobile phone with the money he will make from selling his kidney. Others explain they’re doing it to put a roof over their heads and to support their parents.