[JURIST] Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang [official website] has denied a BBC report [text] that human organs were being routinely taken from executed prisoners and sold to foreigners, saying that the donors must first give written consent [JURIST report] to the sale of their organs before any such transaction takes place. Gang said the use of prisoners' organs is "very cautious" since the provincial health department and the local provincial high court must approve each organ donation.
Earlier this year, the British Transplantation Society [organization website] also accused [JURIST report] China of harvesting and selling the organs of executed prisoners. The country has responded to such allegations by approving new regulations [JURIST report] governing the use and international transport of corpses. Amnesty International [advocacy website] has meanwhile criticized [JURIST report] China for leading the world in its number of executions. In 2005, the group counted 1,700 executions, while Chinese academics have asserted that the number may actually be closer to 10,000 per year since the Chinese government has previously declined to release execution numbers. AFP has more.