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Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 10th September 2013.

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Photo of Tom Clarke Tom Clarke Labour, Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he has taken to encourage the Chinese Government to take stronger action to prevent organ harvesting from Chinese prisoners.

Photo of Hugo Swire Hugo Swire The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office

I refer the right hon. Member to my previous answer dated 22 April 2013 to Mr Campbell, Hansard, column 633W. Our position has not changed.

We continue to have serious concerns about reports of torture and mistreatment of detainees in China. Criminal justice reform and the rule of law, including torture prevention and treatment of detainees, has been a consistent focus of our human rights engagement with the Chinese authorities, both at ministerial level and in project work on the ground. Our embassy in Beijing has raised these allegations with the Chinese Government. We also highlighted our concerns in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's 2012 Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy, which was published on 15 April 2013. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has repeatedly denied the allegations.

The Chinese Government has assured us that organs from executed prisoners will only be used for transplantation with their consent. We will continue to raise our concerns with the Chinese Government bilaterally and alongside international partners, and to urge the Chinese authorities to grant permission for UN Special Procedures independent experts to visit China.

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