Gerard Miles is a political speechwriter and a Conservative activist.

Murder as control.

Murder to order.

Murder as an industry.

This is the true nature of the organ transplantation business in China, according to credible allegations. It is claimed that the Chinese government extracts tens of thousands of organs from their own citizens every year to allow hospitals to perform lucrative operations for wealthy local and international clients.

The system works as follows: a patient (who, for the sake of argument, needs a liver transplant) comes into a hospital which boasts of being able to source vital organs within a very short time (say 24 hours for emergencies, a couple of weeks for non-emergencies). The hospital contacts the local prison or detention facility to notify them of the blood type they are looking for. The jailers identify a prisoner who matches the blood type, and brings in the doctors to harvest the organs, in the process killing the victim. The “donor” is likely to be given only a light anaesthetic. If the prisoner has any family on the outside, they are told that death was the result of natural causes and are presented with an urn of ashes.

To a patient who is unaware of the source of their new organ, it feels like a miracle that they are able to be operated upon so quickly. In our own NHS system, it takes on average 145 days to find a viable liver donor. Unsurprisingly, patients are willing to pay good money for such timely, life-saving work.

The reality of this miracle is that the Chinese government is using organ transplants to dispose of members of certain groups to which they object, while also generating a healthy revenue stream.

It is a macabre way of killing two birds with one stone.

The Conservative Party Human Rights Commission, chaired by Fiona Bruce, has investigated the matter. Their report, published yesterday, makes disturbing reading. It explores both the scale and the brazenness of how China mixes commerce with murder. Research and academic reports (in particular those by David Kilgour, David Matas and Ethan Gutmann) have been building up for over a decade; they illuminate powerful evidence that the Chinese government is targeting practitioners of Falun Gong (a Buddhist-like religion), Tibetans, Uyghurs (a Turkic, Muslim minority group) and potentially House Christians, though further investigation into the evidence for the latter group is required. These are individuals who have committed no crime: they simply belong to one of these groups.

MPs yesterday debated this matter in the Commons, and it is vital that this issue remains on the agenda. In a post-Brexit world we see China as a vital trade partner, but we must also have our eyes wide open to the vile, deceitful way in which its government abuses human rights on this issue.

The UK government, the US Congress, the Canadian Senate and the European Parliament have all raised it either internally or directly with the Chinese government, which maintains a wall of denial and distortion. A UN investigation into this issue is required in order to fully understand what is going on in Chinese hospitals and to bring real clarity to the scale of what is happening. The appointment of a UN special rapporteur is owed to the many families of those left wondering how their young, healthy sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, died in Chinese custody.