July 5, 2022

Are Nigerian prisoners in China being killed for their organs?

Although it has produced no hard evidence, a Nigerian NGO fears that some Nigerians in Chinese jails have been killed for their organs.

The head of the Patriotic Citizen Initiative (PCI), Osemene Osita, told local media that there were rumours based on reports from inmates that some people would “often disappear in manners suspicious that they were being taken out and killed extrajudicially by Chinese prison officials for the purposes of harvesting and trading in their organs.” PCI estimates that about 40 Nigerians are killed every year in Chinese jails for their organs.

Organ trafficking in Africa has seldom surfaced in the Western media. However, an Interpol report warned last year that:

Information suggests a wide spectrum of actors are involved in organ trafficking in North and West Africa with connections to the medical sector in countries from Africa and beyond, notably in Asia and the Middle East.

Trafficking in human organs can be done only in the framework of complex networks, due to the required skills (medical specialists, surgeons, nurses), logistics (matching compatible patients and donors), and healthcare facilities (analytical laboratories, clinics, operating rooms).

The report shows probable links between transplant tourism – where a patient travels abroad to buy an organ for illegal transplant – and THBOR [trafficking in human beings for organ removal] in North and West Africa. Either in the context of transplants performed in North Africa with organs illegally sourced in the region, or transplants done elsewhere with illegally sourced organs from nationals from North and West Africa.