lørdag 27. april 2024

Whistleblowing Uyghur surgeon speaks truth to horror

When an armed police officer directed Uyghur surgeon Enver Tohti to remove organs from a not-quite-dead prisoner on an execution ground outside Urumqi, his first reaction was overwhelming relief: "I thought they were going to execute me," he recalled.

It was 1995 and Tohti was working as an oncological surgeon at the Railway Central Hospital in the northwestern city of Urumqi. He had been pressed into service at the last minute by his chief of surgery, who told him to assemble a surgical team and prepare for "something wild" the next morning.

When the driver turned onto a mountain road that led to the local execution ground, Tohti became "really, really scared" that he would be the target, as the only ethnic minority present. Instead, his team was directed to a man at the end of a row of executed prisoners and told to remove both kidneys and his liver.