Desperate Chinese sell their kidneys to support families

A Chinese website is featuring a video that offers a look at China's illegal trade in human organs. The shocking video follows the stories of several impoverished men as they wait to have their kidneys removed and sold. One young men says that he could not face seeing his parents so tired from work. Sitting on a bed before surgery, he tells the camera "At least I will not be their burden. I can work myself, earn some money every month, to raise myself." In the video report, one young man says that he plans to buy his girlfriend a mobile phone with the proceeds of the sale of his kidney. Others says that they are taking the step in order to help their parents and keep a roof over their heads.
 
Posted at the news portal of the popular Chinese instant messaging site QQ.com, the video has caused quite a stir on the Chinese Internet. It has subsequently disappeared from the QQ.com website. However, QQ.com has left up a photo slideshow that tells the same story. The video report has not entirely disappeared from the Internet; it was uploaded onto YouTube and subtitled in English.

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.



Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. He is also a freelance translator.

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