China harvests organs from persecuted minorities, human rights group claims
Heinous, if proved accurate.
- The NGO China Tribunal accused China of killing persecuted minorities and harvesting thousands of organs from them.
- They recently presented their findings to the U.N. Human Rights Council.
- China has denied the large-scale harvesting of organs.
China has been accused of murdering and harvesting the organs of ethnic and other persecuted groups in the country.
Members of the NGO China Tribunal spoke before the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday, September 24, claiming that the Chinese government was responsible for purloining thousands of essential organs — hearts, kidneys, and lungs — from members of the Falun Gong religious sect and Uighur Muslims.
China Tribunal accusations to UN Human Rights Council
A senior lawyer of the group, Hamid Sabi, called on the U.N. human rights body to investigate their evidence that implicates China in the murdering of Falun Gong spiritual group members for the harvesting of their organs for transplant.
Before the council, Sabi said:
"For years throughout China on a significant scale [the harvesting of organs]. . . and it continues today. . . Victim for victim and death for death, cutting out the hearts and other organs from living, blameless, harmless, peaceable people constitutes one of the worst mass atrocities of this century."
Sabi also mentioned that detainees from the ethnic Uighur minority were also targeted. "Here is a duty on those who have the power to institute investigations for, and proceedings at, international courts or at the U.N. to test whether Genocide has been committed," China Tribunal's final report reads.
Beijing has denied the accusations that it is rounding up persecuted groups and forcibly taking their organs. It also stated that it stopped using organs from executed prisoners back in 2015. However, China Tribunal's higher-ups claim that there was a substantial number of prisoners killed by the Chinese government:
"The Tribunal's members are certain — unanimously, and sure beyond reasonable doubt — that in China forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience has been practiced for a substantial period of time involving a very substantial number of victims."
The tribunal and report was led by Sir Geoffrey Nice, a British lawyer that was the lead lead prosecutor in the trial of former Yugoslavian president, Slobodan Milosevic."
Currently, the group's members are calling for further investigations and proceedings.
Persecuted ethnic groups and minorities
The Falun Gong is a spiritual meditation group that was banned in China over 20 years ago after 10,000 of their members led a silent protest in a leadership compound in Beijing. Since then, thousands of members have been imprisoned.
Sir Geoffrey Nice, the tribunal's chairman, spoke at a separate U.N. event stating that those involved in the transplant surgery foreign market could no longer discredit this "inconvenient evidence."
Transplant recipients usually include Chinese nationals and overseas patients who come to China so that they can receive an organ with a reduced waiting time, although at a much higher cost.
The tribunal concluded their findings by saying that:
"Governments and any who interact in any substantial way with the PRC [...] should now recognize that they are, to the extent revealed above, interacting with a criminal state."
China has been successfully squashing any international investigations into their systematic surveillance and rounding up of Uighurs into re-education camps. Diplomats, and even journalists, have allegedly been reluctant to go public after witnessing the problems firsthand.
China contends that its detention camps are there to fight Islamist extremism. Beijing calls these places boarding schools and explains that all of the detainees are voluntarily there.
If what the China Tribunal has found is, indeed, true, then this is could be one of the worst atrocities imaginable being committed by a nation state in this day and age.
- What You Need to Know about Illegal Human Organ Trafficking - Big ... ›
- Chinese organ harvesting: 400 studies accused of unethical conduct ... ›
Dominique Crenn, the only female chef in America with three Michelin stars, joins Big Think Live this Thursday at 1pm ET.
Scientists discover the inner workings of an effect that will lead to a new generation of devices.
- Researchers discover a method of extracting previously unavailable information from superconductors.
- The study builds on a 19th-century discovery by physicist Edward Hall.
- The research promises to lead to a new generation of semiconductor materials and devices.
Credit: Gunawan/Nature magazine
Students who think the world is just cheat less, but they need to experience justice to feel that way.
- Students in German and Turkish universities who believed the world is just cheated less than their pessimistic peers.
- The tendency to think the world is just is related to the occurence of experiences of justice.
- The findings may prove useful in helping students adjust to college life.
The world is just? That’s news to a lot of people.<p>The study is the most recent addition to a long line of work focusing on the belief in justice, our behavior, and our reactions to evidence that might suggest injustice occasionally occurs. This study focuses on a personal belief in a just world, (PBJW) rather than a general belief in a just world (GBJW). The difference between them must be highlighted.</p><p>GBJW is the stance that justice prevails all over the world and that people tend to get what they deserve. PBJW is more focused on the individual's social environment and their belief that they tend to be treated justly. While several studies show PBJW correlates with a higher sense of well-being and a variety of other positive effects, a high GBJW is associated with less life satisfaction, negative behavior, and callousness towards the suffering of <a href="https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007%2F978-1-4939-3216-0" target="_blank">others</a>. This study controlled for GBJW, and focused on PBJW as much as possible. </p><p>To assure that culture was not a factor, the study included students at universities in both Germany and Turkey. </p><p>The researchers gave students at the four participating universities a series of questionnaires that asked if they ever cheated in class, if they perceived the world to be just, if they though that justice always prevailed everywhere, their tendencies towards socially appropriate behavior, their life satisfaction, and if they felt like they were treated justly by their teachers and fellow students. </p><p>The answers were statistically analyzed for relationships. While some of the connections seem trivially true, others were surprising. <strong></strong></p><p>PBJW turned out to only be an indirect predictor of if a student was likely to cheat. Both a belief in a just world and a lower likelihood of cheating were mediated by the justice experiences of the students, with more of these positive experiences lowering the rate of cheating and improving their belief in justice. This was also associated with higher levels of life satisfaction. </p><p>These effects existed across all demographics in both countries. </p>
What does this mean? Is a belief in justice a self-fulfilling prophecy?<iframe width="730" height="430" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/6oMv-azHNCA" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe><p>In a way, it seems to be. People who have reason to think the world is just to them tend to interpret events in a way to sustain that belief and behave in a just manner. In a larger sense, the take away from this study is that experiences of justice, both from peers and instructors, is vital to student's wellbeing and understanding that the rules that exist about cheating are part of a larger, legitimate, system. </p><p>The researchers, citing previous studies on the perception of justice, note that "justice experiences (1) signal that university students are esteemed members of their social group, which in turn conveys feelings of belonging and social inclusion and (2) motivate them to accept and observe university rules and norms. These cognitive processes may thus strengthen their well-being and decrease the likelihood that they cheat."</p><p>The authors also suggest that if you want people (not only students) to act justly; consider treating them with "civility, respect, and dignity."</p><p>Sometimes, all it can take to help somebody act virtuously is to treat them well. Likewise, people treated harshly can rarely find reason to play by rules that don't protect them. The findings of this study will certainly add to the literature on how we perceive justice in the world around us, but might also help us remember that there are real consequences to our actions which can be much larger than we imagine. <strong></strong></p>
This could change how researchers approach vaccine development.
- The reason children suffer less from the novel coronavirus has remained mysterious.
- Researchers identified a cytokine, IL-17A, which appears to protect children from the ravages of COVID-19.
- This cytokine response could change how researchers approach vaccine development.
A member of staff wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) takes a child's temperature at the Harris Academy's Shortland's school on June 04, 2020 in London, England.
Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images<p>Experts don't want to place kids at the back of the line, regardless of how strong their immune systems appear. At least one company, Moderna, <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/coronavirus-vaccine-for-kids-moderna-plans-pediatric-trial-2020-9" target="_blank">hopes to begin testing</a> vaccines in pediatric volunteers by year's end.</p><p>Innate immune response is especially high during childhood (compared to adaptive immunity). This makes evolutionary sense: nature wants an animal to survive until its ready to procreate. Turns out the children in the study possessed high levels of cytokines that boost their immune response. The biggest impact is made by IL-17A, which appears to protect the youngest cohort from the ravages of the coronavirus. </p><p>While both age groups produced antibodies to fight off the infamous spike protein, adults that produce neutralizing antibodies actually suffer a <em>worse</em> fate. Herold says this "over-vigorous adaptive immune response" might promote inflammation, triggering acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). </p><p>This matters for vaccine development. As Herold says, </p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Our adult COVID-19 patients who fared poorly had high levels of neutralizing antibodies, suggesting that convalescent plasma—which is rich in neutralizing antibodies—may not help adults who have already developed signs of ARDS. By contrast, therapies that boost innate immune responses early in the course of the disease may be especially beneficial."</p><p>Herold says current vaccine trials are focused on boosting neutralizing-antibody levels. With this new information, researchers may want to work on vaccines that boost the innate immune response instead. </p><p>With <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/science/coronavirus-vaccine-tracker.html" target="_blank">at least 55 vaccine trials</a> underway, every piece of data matters. </p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>
Researchers from the University of Toronto published a new map of cancer cells' genetic defenses against treatment.