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US Moves Closer to Holding CCP Accountable With House Passage of Anti-Forced Organ Harvesting Bill: Lawmakers

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US Moves Closer to Holding CCP Accountable With House Passage of Anti-Forced Organ Harvesting Bill: Lawmakers

By: Eva Fu

“Murderous,” “grotesque,” “immoral,” “barbaric.”

The Chinese Communist Party’s forced organ harvesting has appalled Washington and united lawmakers from both sides of the aisle.

As a bill seeking to end the atrocity continues to advance—having passed the House by a vote of 413-2—members of Congress cheered the development and reaffirmed their determination to hold the regime accountable.

“Forced organ harvesting is cruel and immoral, often targeting ethnic and religious minorities and some of the most vulnerable groups in the world,” said Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), who co-leads the Senate version of the Stop Forced Organ Harvesting Act.

As a co-chair of the Senate Human Rights Caucus, he expressed pride in seeing the bill pass the House and getting “closer to empowering the Biden administration to take action against those who practice this despicable crime.”

‘Mass Murder of Innocents’

As early as 2006, witnesses had been raising the alarm on Beijing’s state-sanctioned killing of detained practitioners of Falun Gong, a faith that Beijing has waged an all-out campaign to eradicate for nearly 24 years.

After rising in popularity in the 1990s, the spiritual practice, which features moral teachings centered on truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance, and meditative exercises, became a target of a brutal persecution campaign, resulting in millions of adherents being detained for their belief.

A 2019 investigation by the London-based China Tribunal found detained Falun Gong practitioners to be the primary victim group for forced organ harvesting. Other prisoners of conscience, including Uyghurs in Xinjiang concentration camps, Tibetans, and House Christians are also targets, the tribunal said.

Newly passed through the House, the bill is the first of its kind in the United States to combat the bloody act through legislative tools, a feat lauded by human rights groups.

“The Stop Forced Organ Harvesting Act of 2023 is one of the most significant international responses to the China Tribunal’s Judgment to date,” said Susie Hughes, executive director of the International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China. She expressed hope that more governments will be inspired to follow the U.S.’s footsteps “to ensure their own citizens are not caught up in the mass murder of innocents for their organs in China.”

Washington-based advocacy group Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation echoed this sentiment.

“The passage of this legislation sends a clear message to not only China, but the rest of the world that the United States will not turn a blind eye to this atrocity, one that has been shamefully ignored by institutions and governments influenced by China for far too long,” said the foundation’s president Andrew Bremberg, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. He urged the Senate to “quickly take up this bill, pass it, and send it to President [Joe] Biden so it can become law.”

‘A Moral Issue That Transcends Politics’

Rep. Greg Murphy (R-N.C.), a former transplant surgeon, found the idea of forced organ harvesting both “horrifying and repulsive.”

“This is a moral issue that transcends politics,” he told The Epoch Times. “It is a matter of good versus evil, and it is the responsibility of the United States to take the lead against this murderous practice, especially as it relates to the CCP.”

The House Democratic Caucus agreed that calling out the CCP’s human rights abuses is one issue that crosses party lines.

“We seek out—as we always do—to work with Republicans to find common ground on issues that help our communities, help our country, and send the right message on human rights, and this was one of those bills,” the caucus chair Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) told reporters in a press conference on Tuesday.

Rep. André Carson (D-Ind.), a member of the Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, similarly committed to “working across the aisle to examine the very real human rights abuses committed by the Chinese government.”

“Among the most disturbing is the tolerance and active support of illegal harvesting of organs from non-consenting individuals—including as a way to perpetuate the genocide of the Uyghur people, which our committee held a hearing on last week. HR 1154 is a step forward in ensuring U.S. government resources are not taken advantage of to support this heinous practice,” he told The Epoch Times.

Holding Perpetrators Accountable

Under the repressive environment in communist China, the targeted groups have largely been left feeling helpless under the persecution, even when the authorities tortured their loved ones to death and took their organs without their consent. Many, despite having escaped to the United States, continued to fear for their family in China, who face ever-present risks of harassment and arrests.

“China’s genocidal regime has subjected groups Beijing deems a threat, including Uyghurs and Falun Gong practitioners, to unimaginable human rights violations—including credible allegations of forced organ harvesting,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a co-signer of the Senate bill, told The Epoch Times. “The U.S. must hold the CCP accountable for these savage crimes.”

 

What the regime has done in its suppression of ethnic and religious groups is “beyond comprehension,” said Rep. Mark Green (R-Tenn.), who co-sponsored the House measure.

“The CCP is trampling on the rights of its own citizens in the most grotesque way imaginable–forced organ harvesting of political prisoners. This is beyond the pale,” he told The Epoch Times.

Aumua Amata Radewagen, a Republican representing American Samoa, said she has met with Uyghur refugees whose “devastating experiences and ongoing suffering” saddened her.

“They describe unthinkable, heartbreaking, horrifying crimes, and Congress must continue to do its part to ensure that these victims are not forgotten and have a strong voice in America,” she told The Epoch Times. (TheEpochTimes.com)

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