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Asian Prison News

Indonesia: The warden at the Kedungpane prison in Semrang announced that new good time releases would be offered to prisoners who donated blood and organs. Each blood donation by a prisoner would result in a six month time reduction per year. Donation of an organ would bring an immediate time cut of six months. The warden claimed the program is voluntary and not open to prisoners serving life times.

Thailand: Thai prisons are faced with an AIDS crisis according to prison doctors. Thailand holds almost 100,000 prisoners in 108 prisons across the country with hundreds of seriously ill prisoners overburdening the prison system medical facilities. An average of one prisoner a day dies of AIDS according to Chon Lerwitvorapong, a prison doctor in Bangkok. Chon said the AIDS epidemic had reached a crisis point with 400 prisoners suffering from AIDS in Klong Prem's 320 bed hospital. The remaining AIDS patients have to sleep on the floor. Thai health officials estimate that more than 600,000 people in Thailand are infected with AIDS/HIV. It is not known how many prisoners are infected because prison officials cannot force prisoners to take blood tests and lack the resources to do so even if they so desired.

China: Human Rights Watch/Asia has issued a report accusing the Chinese government of using executed prisoners as that country's primary source of transplanted organs, in some cases deliberately botching executions to allow doctors to harvest the organs. The group called on foreign governments to bar citizens from traveling to China to obtain organ transplants. The report states "Chinese doctors participate in pre execution medical tests, matching the donors with recipients and surgeons are commonly present at execution grounds to perform on site removal of vital organs."

The transplant program was started in the 1960's and includes the harvest of livers, hearts, lungs, kidneys and corneas. In some cases, kidneys are removed from prisoners prior to executing them. One surgeon was quoted as saying that at least 90 percent of China's transplanted kidneys come from executed prisoners, including some transplanted to foreigners for a $30,000 fee. The report states that unless families agree to organ harvesting, government officials threaten to bill them for the prisoner's upkeep in jail, cost of the executioner's bullet and cremation. China conducts between 2,000 to 3,000 executions a year.

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