Narrator: Anhuatodi｜Former Surgeon
Born in 1963 in Hami, Xinjiang, Anhuatodi is a Uighur whose father was one of the first ethnic minority cadres trained by the Chinese Communist Party.
He was educated in Chinese since he was a child and took the college entrance examination in 1980, being one of the early batch of “Min Kao Han” (non-Chinese ethnic groups taking the entrance examination in Chinese) in the region. From 1985 to 1997, he was a doctor of oncology surgery in the central hospital of Urumqi Railway Bureau.
One day in 1995, on the order of the department head, Anwatodi removed the organs of a condemned prisoner who had just been executed by firing squad. He remembered clearly that when he cut open the man’s belly, the man convulsed and the blood that seeped out stained his scalpel red. He knew that the man was still alive. However, at that time he did not question the director’s order – since he was on death row, he must be an enemy of the state. The red education he received from his childhood prevented him from thinking outside the confined framework. It was only after his exile abroad that he realized what a disdain and trampling on life what he had done back then.
Anwar Todi also tried to join the Chinese Communist Party and live a life of going with the flow. But he experienced the evil and horror of this party when the party secretary told him that when saving lives and helping the injured conflicted with party branch meetings, he had to choose the latter.
In 1998 he assisted a British film crew to travel deep into the Xinjiang hinterland to make the documentary “Death on the Silk Road,” which revealed that the nuclear tests conducted by the Chinese Communist Party in Xinjiang in the 1950s had left the locals, mostly Uighurs, with an alarming rate of cancer, 35 percent higher than the national average.
He made a gesture of firing a pistol at his head, telling VOA that making a documentary like that “is a surefire way to get shot in the head. After the documentary, he fled China and arrived in England via Turkey. He now works as a cab driver and travels the streets of London. He has also testified several times about the Chinese Communist Party’s live organ harvesting, exposing to the world the brutal atrocities of the Chinese authorities in oppressing ethnic minorities.
The instructor said, “I don’t care what kind of sick person you are, you have to remember one thing, the interests of the Party are above all. At that time, I was frozen, the interests of the Party are above everything, even if the Party wants you to die, you have to die, above your life. It was then that I realized how evil the Party was and had a sense of fear.
My parents were both born and raised in Hami, Xinjiang. When the railroad was built to Hami, my father was recruited into the railroad system and sent to Beijing to study at the Central League School. He was one of the first minority cadres specially trained by the Communist Party to work for them. At that time, the principal of the Central League School was still Hu Yaobang. My father’s graduation certificate from the school still had Hu Yaobang’s stamp on it.
After he returned from the league school, he worked in the Urumqi Railway Bureau. We became the people of the railroad. Basically, all the people on the railroad were Han Chinese, and there were very few ethnic minorities, and there were no Uyghur schools, so I was one of the early “Minqao Han” students. I learned Chinese from the nursery school, and later studied medicine, and in 1985 I became a doctor of oncology surgery in the Central Hospital of Urumqi Railway Bureau.
The first time I became suspicious of Communist propaganda was when the ban on Chaplin’s films was lifted just after the reform and opening up. At that time, some large shopping malls in Urumqi had installed escalators. That was something new to us, something very modern. But in “Modern Times”, Chaplin ran up and down the escalator. That movie was made in 1910! I said, “They had this thing when movies couldn’t talk.” My dad said, “The Communists have been lying to us for years.”
My father had a sister who ran away to the Soviet Union in 1966 during the Sino-Soviet border exodus, and after the reform and opening up of China in 1990, relations between China and the Soviet Union improved and family visits were allowed, and in 1990 my father and I went to the Soviet Union, which is now Uzbekistan, to visit her. At that time, there was already a debate on local TV about the survival of the Communist Party. On the way back, my dad told me, “If you want to develop your career in China, you have to join the Party.” I said, “Dad, you see, the Communist Party can’t even grow a rabbit’s tail.” He said, “It doesn’t matter if it grows or doesn’t grow, as long as it is in power, you have to be a member of the Party for one day.” I said, “All right, then you find me two applications to join the party, I copy.”
Before my father retired, he was the party secretary and later the principal of the Urumqi Railway Bureau Transport School. He had a lot of applications for joining the Party in his drawer. After I finished copying them and handed them in, the secretary of our party branch, we called her the instructor, was especially happy. She said I would call you the next time there was an expanded party branch meeting. The day of the meeting happened to be my shift, there was a patient with acute appendicitis, I was busy operating on him and forgot all about the meeting. The instructor was very upset and lectured me to pay attention next time. I didn’t forget the second meeting, but it just so happened that a patient with acute pancreatitis came in that day. The three-hour operation was done, and the meeting was over.
The next morning, the instructor came straight to me and said angrily, “I don’t care what kind of patient you have, you have to remember one thing, the interests of the party are above everything.” At that time, I froze, the interests of the party are above everything. Even the party wants you to die, you have to die, above your life. The instructor went on to say, “Your application to join the party, I’ll destroy it for you, you have to rewrite it.” I said, “Okay.” Then I never wrote it again. She asked me a few times later, “How come I haven’t seen your application for joining the Party?” I said, “I was too busy.” At that time I knew how evil the party was and had a sense of fear.
One Tuesday afternoon in 1995, the director of our department, Wang, called me into his office. He said, “Do you want to do something very wild?” I said, “Of course I want to.” Because I was a young man, and what kind of wild thing could a doctor do? He said, “You go to the operating room, ask the head nurse in the operating room for an oversized surgical bag, call two nurses, two anesthesiologists, bring your two assistants, call that ambulance from our hospital, and tomorrow morning at 9:30 a.m., you meet me in front of the hospital.” I said, “Okay.”
I was pretty excited at the time. We didn’t know what we were going to do. I just got everything ready. The next day at 9:30, they came. We had two directors, both named Wang, a man and a woman. They came over in a cart and said, “You guys follow us.” I said, “Okay,” and jumped in the car and followed.
From the direction is to go to the West Hill Hospital, the results to halfway, and then turn left, and began to go up the mountain. I asked, “Where is this going?” And the driver said, “Oh, this is the West Hill Penal Colony.” I said, “You’ve been here before?” He said that he had been here quite a few times and knew the road. It was my first time to come. The assistants and nurses who came with me were scared to death when they heard it was a torture chamber. What are we going to do in a torture chamber? You look at me, I look at you, and do not dare to speak.
As the name implies, there are mountains everywhere. Our two directors were waiting for us there and said, “Wait here. Come quickly when you hear the gunshots.” I said, “Okay.” Then I thought, “What are we doing here when we’re shooting people? You know, the railroad system used to be semi-military in nature, and every railroad worker had a big hat and uniform, and we as doctors also had them. So, you have to listen to the orders, no questions, no rebuttals, you must carry out the orders. We grew up in that environment, we are used to it, the sound of gunfire is an order.
After a while, you could hear the sound of car horns. There were cars coming, there were soldiers, someone was shouting: “Attention”, there was the sound of whistle blowing, and it started to get busy. After a while, I heard a gun going off, not a machine gun, but a platoon of many guns firing at the same time. Then someone said, “Go, go.” When I turned in, there were a dozen of them lying at the foot of the hill, all wearing prison uniforms. Their heads were shaved like mine (bald). The bullets went in from here (pointing to the back of the head), and the front of the skull flew away, all like that.
An armed policeman said, “Go to the one on the far right.” So we went there. Our two directors were waiting there, and then they said, “Now tell your assistants to carry this man’s body to the car, do the sterilization quickly, and prepare for surgery.” When he gave them the explanation, he called me aside. He said, “You remove the liver and the two kidneys as fast as you can.” That’s when I realized, oh, it’s here to do this.
As I was cutting, the scalpel went down so far, the man started to struggle a little bit, and then I said, oh, he’s not dead yet. Because the belly is pulled open, the incision is still bleeding, that indicates that the heart is still beating well. Soon, in about 30 or 40 minutes, the operation was done. Then our director said: “Well, you pack up your things, take your people back to the hospital. Remember, nothing happened today.” We knew exactly what that meant, and we all said, “Yes, I remember. Nothing happened today.” As for where the organ went, I don’t know.
Honestly, the incident didn’t affect me in any way at the time. As soon as we were born, the country was a great country, the Chinese nation was a great nation. We are the happiest people in the world. As for those who were sentenced to death, they must be bad people, they must be enemies of the country. We have been taught since childhood that everyone has the duty to defend the country and it is everyone’s duty to destroy the enemy. I thought it didn’t matter. When I came out, I saw things that I couldn’t see in China, and I thought, “Oh, this may be related to this (organ harvesting), and then I started to feel, “Oh my God, my heart is heavy.
In 1994, one day, the same director Wang said to me, “Look, in our oncology department, there are only 40 beds in total. Ten of them are occupied by you Uyghurs.” There are 160,000 workers’ families in Urumqi Railway Bureau, and only 5,000 of them are ethnic minorities. Think about it, we have 40 beds, 30 are allocated to 160,000 people and 10 are allocated to 5,000 people. If he hadn’t said that, I probably wouldn’t have known anything until now. It’s because he said it, and then I thought, yeah, why is this? This thing got stuck in my head and I thought about it every day.
Why do we have more cancer? Then in my spare time, I went to the archives and looked for the cases of those cancer patients, and I found more than 2000 of them. I found that the four types of cancer with the highest incidence are: blood cancer, lung cancer, lymphoma and thyroid cancer. I went back to our textbooks and found that these four types of cancer all have one thing in common – they are related to nuclear radiation.
It’s so clear that it’s related to nuclear radiation. All Xinjiang people know that it’s an open secret that the Chinese Communist Party experimented with atomic bombs in Lopbos. Then I came to this conclusion: China’s experiments with atomic bombs led to an exceptionally high number of cancers in our area. It took me two years, starting in ’94, and by ’96, I basically had my own conclusion.
At the end of 1997, I came to Turkey, and after two months, a British film crew arrived, and they wanted to learn about the health care health situation in Xinjiang. Someone introduced me to them and said this is a doctor, he should know. Talking to them, they found out that I knew very well about the patients who were tumor victims. Then they said, if we want to make a documentary, would you like to come with us. I said yes at that time, but after I finished, I was so scared that I couldn’t sleep at night. What if I get caught after I go back? But fear is fear, the time has come to go with them. And then finish this thing to shoot. I brought it back. The information we got at that time showed that the incidence of cancer in Xinjiang was 35% higher than that in the mainland, and higher than the national average.
That kind of film (“Death on the Silk Road”) is the only one in the world (a documentary on this kind of subject), and that’s something that will definitely definitely hit the head. When I got back to Turkey, I ran to the UNHCR to apply for asylum, knowing that I could never go back.