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US Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Stop Forced Organ Harvesting in China

A Falun Gong practitioner holds up a banner saying ‘Truthfulness, Compassion, Tolerance’ during a one-person protest in China sometime after the persecution of the practice began in 1999.

Three American lawmakers are introducing a bill aimed at stopping state-sanctioned forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience in China.

Republicans Senator Tom Cotton and Congressmen Chris Smith, along with Democrat Tom Suozzi, announced the Stop Forced Organ Harvesting Act on Dec. 16.

In a statement, they said the bill is aimed at preventing the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) from harvesting organs from prisoners of conscience.

“There is growing evidence that the Chinese Communist Party has and continues to harvest organs from prisoners and members of Chinese religious groups,” said Cotton. “This bill will identify and punish CCP members involved in forced organ harvesting. It’s past time to hold Beijing accountable for these heinous acts.”

The lawmakers cited an international tribunal in London held mid-last year where it was recognised that Chinese doctors harvest organs from detainees in Chinese prison camps — sometimes while patients are still alive — for sale in a market worth over a billion dollars a year.

Chaired by war crimes prosecutor Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, the China Tribunal found it was proven beyond doubt that the Chinese state is killing large numbers of prisoners of conscience for their organs. Based on a year-long investigation, the judgement’s findings prompted further concerns over the outrage that first came to light in 2006 following claims that imprisoned Falun Gong practitioners were being killed for their organs in North-Eastern China.

In its conclusion, the tribunal called on governments and international bodies to do their duty and step up to address this atrocity.

Smith said their bill will help shed more light on what is occurring in China.

“Organ harvesting is a barbaric, inhumane, and egregious act of global significance as transnational human trafficking gangs, terrorist organisations, profiteers, and even governments — China’s communist regime in particular — kill innocent people and sell their organs for profit,” said Smith. “A global problem requires a global response.”

Smith said those involved in organ harvesting in China “will be identified and exposed by the State Department with the goal of punishing perpetrators and promoting effective sanctions and restrictions on travel.”

Suozzi said that CCP members involved in this must be held to account. “Forced organ harvesting has no place in our world,” he said.

“For years, the Chinese Communist Party has continued to take advantage of prisoners and members of ethnic minority and religious groups. Today, we are still witnessing them take further advantage of these groups through organ harvesting,” said Suozzi.

Details from The Stop Forced Organ Harvesting Act include:

  • Authorises the US government to deny or revoke passports for illegal organ purchasers.
  • Mandates annual reporting on forced organ harvesting in foreign countries. This State Department reporting would identify foreign officials and entities responsible for forced organ harvesting.
  • Mandates an annual report on US institutions that train organ transplant surgeons affiliated with foreign entities involved in forced organ harvesting.
  • Prohibits the export of organ transplant surgery devices to entities responsible for forced organ harvesting.
  • Sanctions foreign officials and entities that engage in or otherwise support forced organ harvesting.

A US House of Representatives resolution was unanimously passed in mid-2016 that urged the Chinese regime to stop harvesting the organs of prisoners of conscience and end the persecution against Falun Gong.
The European Parliament passed a similar resolution in 2013.

Taiwan, Israel, and Spain have all banned organ tourism to China.

Speaking at the release of the US 2018 Annual Report on International Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback — the Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom — singled out organ harvesting in China.

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