08/30/2013, 00.00
CHINA
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Reward for the arrest of organ trafficker who gouged out child's eyes

Police is offering a 100,000 yuan reward for information leading to the arrest of a woman who mutilated six-year-old Binbin in order to resell his corneas on the black market. Human trafficking and forced organ removal are a major problem across the country.

Beijing (AsiaNews) - Authorities in the northern province of Shanxi have offered a reward of 100,000 yuan (US$ 16,000) to find the woman who gouged out the eyes of Binbin, a six-year-old boy in the city of Linfen. The child is now recovering in a hospital, but has lost his sight permanently after his eyeballs were removed with unsterilised instruments.

According to what the boy (pictured) said, last Sunday, a woman took him as he was walking on a sidewalk alone. Initially described as an orphan, he was in fact walking some metres behind his parents.

"Don't cry. Don't cry and I won't gouge out your eyes," the kidnapper allegedly said before drugging him. After he "lost consciousness," the attacker removed his eyes.

Early reports said the attack might be linked to trafficking in human organs. Corneas are in high demand in China.

"In-demand corneas for corrective eyesight operations can be taken from any age and body type," Prof Arthur Caplan said. "Anyone who knows where the corneas are located in the eye can extract them, and I fear for the unsterile conditions and the barbaric methods used, and that infection may add to [Binbin's] suffering."

Two days ago, police in Linfen said that the boy's eyeballs were found at the scene and that the corneas had not been removed.

Some officers believe the woman responsible for this horrific violence was forced to throw them away for fear of being captured. Others believe the action to be the work of a mentally ill person.

The incident has sent shockwaves across China. Tens of thousands of people have posted comments in favour of the child and his family.

Some have launched a fundraising campaign to pay for his medical bills, which are set to be very high even if the child has no chance of seeing again.

Others accuse the police of being "too busy to quell the demonstrations to take care of the safety of children."

Binbin's case is the latest in a series of horror stories linked to trafficking in human beings.

The Chinese government has long been accused by the international community for involvement in harvesting and selling the organs of prisoners sentenced to death and, in some cases, common criminals (often political prisoners or religious leaders arrested without legal grounds and then made ​​to disappear).

In August, a massive raid against a group of organ traffickers uncovered a huge and terrible business. In Wuhan, dozens of teenagers apparently sold their own kidneys of their free will to buy iPhones and iPads.

Children's hospitals have also been caught up in this type of scandal. Earlier this month, Various doctors were arrested for taking infants to sell them to traffickers or childless couples.

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