(Minghui.org) New Zealand's largest newspaper, The New Zealand Herald ran a feature story on June 28, 2016 about China's organ harvesting crimes.

The article titled “'A bloody harvest': Thousands of people slaughtered for their organs, new report claims', reports on the recent investigation by former Canadian secretary of State David Kilgour, human rights lawyer David Matas, and journalist Ethan Gutman.

Their findings, released at a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington DC on June 22, 2016, estimates that 60,000 to 100,000 organs are transplanted each year in Chinese hospitals. However, the total number of legal transplants is reported to be about 10,000 per year, according to Chinese official annual statistics.

A US congressional joint subcommittee convened a hearing on the illicit organ transfers, only two weeks after the House passed a resolution urging Beijing to stop harvesting organs from prisoners of conscience.

The report claimed that tens of thousands of organ transplants that were not reported by the (Chinese) government used organs from executed prisoners of conscience who were jailed for their religious or political beliefs.

"The ultimate conclusion is that the Chinese Communist Party has engaged the state in the mass killings of innocents, primarily practitioners of the spiritually based set of exercises, Falun Gong, but also Uyghurs, Tibetans, and select House Christians, in order to obtain organs for transplants," stated the report.

The Herald article reports that Falun Gong practitioners are forced to undergo medical tests, with the results entered into a database – essentially creating a living donor bank.

“Mr Gutmann said organ harvesting in China dated back almost 20 years when Falun Gong - a spiritual movement based on Chinese traditions - gained momentum.”

"The Chinese Communist Party, alarmed at the growth of the (Falun Gong) movement and fearing for its own ideological supremacy banned the movement in 1999," Mr Gutmann said.

"Falun Gong practitioners were arrested in the hundreds of thousands and asked to recant. If they did not, they were tortured.

"If they still did not recant, they disappeared. Allegations surfaced in 2006 that the disappeared were being killed for their organs which were sold for large sums mostly to foreign transplant tourists. It is generally accepted that China kills prisoners for organs."

The report further discussed that the Chinese government said it had plans to stop using organs from executed prisoners and move to a voluntary donation-based system.

“But according to several reports, the controversial practice is far from abolished.The Chinese Government has repeatedly refused to reveal how many people it executes each year.

“China was named the world's biggest executioner in Amnesty International's Death Sentences and Executions 2015 report."