TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- The Taiwanese publisher of the Chinese version of a book about the harvesting of human organs from dissidents in China has posted a full-page advertisement claiming Taipei's Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) organ transplant team used organs from jailed dissident members of the banned Chinese spiritual movement Falung Gong (法輪功), reported Liberty Times.
Butterfly Orchid Cultural Creativity (蝴蝶蘭文創), the pro-Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) publisher of the Chinese version of the Ethan Gutmann book "The Slaughter: Mass Killings, Organ Harvesting, and China's Secret Solution to Its Dissident Problem" has taken out a full-page ad in newspapers in Taiwan claiming that the organs Ko's team collected from China for patients in Taiwan all came from Falun Gong prisoners.
In the ad, it claims that Ko brought Taiwanese patients to China for organ transplants, knowing that all the organs had come from imprisoned Falung Gong dissents. When the English version of the book was published four years ago during the mayoral election, it caused heated debate in Taiwan's political circles.
At the time that the original book was published in 2014, Ko vehemently denied that any of the characters mentioned in the book are him. As for the latest claims about Ko's role in the organ transplants mentioned in the Butterfly Orchid Cultural Creativity, the mayor's office has yet to release an official comment.
When the book was originally published in Aug. 2014, Ko was running for mayor for the first time and his camp solemnly denied the accusation and sent a letter to the author Gutmann. Ko emphasized that he was not responsible for organ transplantation at National Taiwan University Hospital, but rather post-transplantation care.
Ko denied going to China to "buy and sell organs." Ko also denied going to China to discuss any organ sales and said that Gutmann had "played with fire too much," "gave a forced interpretation," and "bragged too much."
At the time, Gutmann issued a statement through physician Huang Shih-wei (黃士維) saying that he did not claim Ko had acted as an intermediary in the buying and selling of organs and the "English understanding was different."
The full-page advertisement includes the signature of the head of Butterfly Orchid Cultural Creativity Brian Wu (吳祥輝) and purports to be authorized by Gutmann. The ad includes excerpts from the first half of Chapter 9 of the book and highlights four key points from Gutmann's interview with Ko.
The ad purports that based on the interview, Gutmann claims Ko took patients from Taiwan to China to undergo organ transplant procedures, and though the author did not know whether the transplants were for NTU Hospital patients or his private patients, he pointed out, "Ko Wen-je ascertained: all of the organs had come from Falun Gong." However, Gutmann has denied that he made this assertion about Ko in his book.
In addition, the advertisement claimed that organs were harvested from living Falun Gong practitioners and that they were sold at a special "Cross-Strait close family" rate of half price. The ad also mentioned Ko's attempt to sell his standard organ transplant system to China, but it claims the Chinese government did not want to leave behind any records and refused.
(Photo of Liberty Times ad)