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China is harvesting and selling the organs of minorities, the UN Human Rights Council has been told.
Lawyer Hamid Sabi presented the findings of the China Tribunal in Geneva on Tuesday, claiming the harvesting of organs from religious and ethnic minorities on an industrial scale had been 'proved beyond reasonable doubt'.
The China Tribunal was chaired by Sir Geoffrey Nice QC and concluded that the Chinese government had been extracting organs from living members of the Falun Gong spiritual group for at least 20 years. The tribunal also found evidence of organ harvesting on a smaller scale from the Uighur Muslim minority, as well as Tibetans and some Christian sects.
The tribunal's final judgement said detainees have been "killed to order... cut open while still alive for their kidneys, livers, hearts, lungs, cornea and skin to be removed and turned into commodities for sale".
Mr Sabi said it was UN member states' 'legal obligation' to take urgent action against the crimes, which amount to a 'possible charge of genocide'.
According the Independent, he said: "Victim for victim and death for death, the gassing of the Jews by the Nazis, the massacre by the Khmer Rouge or the butchery to death of the Rwanda Tutsis may not be worse than cutting out the hearts and other organs from living, blameless, harmless, peaceable people.
"Organ transplantation to save life is a scientific and social triumph. But killing the donor is criminal.
"It is the legal obligation of UN Member States to address this criminal conduct."
Sir Nice also called for decisive action to be taken against China.
He said: "The time of convenient 'uncertainty', when all these entities could say the case against (China) was not proved, is past."
According to the tribunal, the organ transplant industry could earn China more than £801.4m ($1bn) a year. However, China has repeatedly denied taking part in any form of unethical organ transplants, claiming it stopped using the organs of executed prisoners in 2015. The country has also previously accused the tribunal of perpetuating 'rumours'.
A spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in London told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that government regulations stipulated that human organ donation must be voluntary and without payment.
The Falun Gong spiritual group was banned in China 20 years ago after members staged a silent protest in Beijing against state persecution, while more than a million members of the Uighur Muslim minority in the northwestern Xinjiang province have been interned in a detention and 're-education' programme.