The family reports that without their permission, the brain and heart of the deceased pro-democracy activist were taken. Relatives abroad accuse "the high wall of despotism" of the Chinese government.
Beijing (AsiaNews) - Chinese authorities are thought to have harvested the organs from the body of a prisoner who died in his cell, against the wishes of his family.
The family of Christian pro-democracy activist Peng Ming have accused the prison authorities of having removed his brain and heart and not allowing an independent autopsy.
Peng Ming died last November 29 in the prison of Xianning (Hubei), sentenced to life in prison for corruption and for having organized terrorist groups. According to the official account, he fell ill while watching television.
The autopsy carried out by the prison authorities states no cause of death. The world of dissidence and the same Peng family have expressed doubts about his abrupt end: Peng’s older brother had gone to visit him on November 24 and found him in good health.
On 10 December the Peng family (especially his sister Peng Xing, an exile in the US), issued a statement declaring "the relevant departments of the government have dissected the body of Peng Ming against the wishes of his family and have removed his brain and heart”.
Using other sources, ChinaAid, an organization based in the US that is interested in the persecution of Christians in China, gave an account of the affair. According to China Aid, before the official autopsy, the leaders questioned Peng’s brother for six hours, trying to force him to sign a document that would allow them to remove some abdominal tissues to conduct 'scientific experiments'. The brother refused, but the authorities violated this will and removed some vital organs including the brain and heart.
Following this Peng’s brother was taken to see the body, but could only his head, since the rest of the body was covered. He was then informed that Peng’s brain, heart and other organs had been removed.
Many of Peng Ming family members are exiles in the United States, in Canada. In protest, none of the family members of Peng abroad - who succeeded in being allowed to be present at the funeral - took part in the funeral, denouncing "the high wall of despotism" put in place by the Chinese government.