U.S. lawmakers propose bills to sanction Chinese officials involved in forced organ harvesting
12/27/2020 // Cassie B. // Views

A bipartisan group of American lawmakers has introduced the Stop Organ Harvesting Act of 2020 in response to the Chinese state-sanctioned practice of harvesting the organs of religious prisoners and marginalized groups.

The new legislation would impose sanctions on those involved in forced organ harvesting as well as organ trafficking. The industry is said to be worth at least $1 billion.

China is one of the top destinations in the world for transplant tourism, and although Beijing insists that the organs come from voluntary donations, it is well-known that organs are forcefully harvested from marginalized groups that are detained in Chinese prison camps, often while those prisoners are still alive. Members of the religious group Falun Gong are one of their biggest targets, along with Uyghur Muslims, Tibetans and some Christian sects.

A London people's tribunal released a report in June 2019 outlining a year-long investigation that found forced organ harvesting was still occurring in China on a “significant scale," with practitioners of Falun Gong being the main source. Adherents of this spiritual group have been targeted for persecution by the CCP since 1999. Millions of Falun Gong practitioners have been placed in prisons, psychiatric wards, labor camps and other facilities, where they are subjected to torture and other horrific acts.

The new bill was introduced by Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark) in the Senate and Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Tom Suozzi (D-NY) in the House.

In a statement, Sen. Cotton said :“There is growing evidence that the Chinese Communist Party has and continues to harvest organs from prisoners and members of Chinese religious groups. 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.“


Rep. Smith added: “Organ harvesting is a barbaric, inhumane, and egregious act of global significance as transnational human trafficking gangs, terrorist organizations, profiteers, and even governments – China’s Communist regime in particular – kill innocent people and sell their organs for profit.”

The new bill would give the Secretary of State power to revoke or deny passports for those who have been convicted under Section 301 of the National Organ Transplant Act, which bans the private sale and commercialism of human organs. The bill also mandates that the State Department include information about forced organ harvesting as well as organ trafficking in foreign countries as part of its annual country reports on human rights.

Within 30 days of the release of these reports, officials would be required to submit a report to the Foreign Affairs committees of the Senate and House identifying the foreign officials and other entities behind the practice.

The Secretary of State would also have to consult with the Health and Human Services Secretary to identify the educational and medical institutions in the country that are training organ transplant surgeons who are affiliated with traffickers. In addition, it would prohibit the U.S. export of devices used for organ transplant surgery to these entities.

It would also allow the president to place sanctions on those involved in the practice, including denying entry to the U.S., revoking existing visas and blocking property transactions within the country.

The world needs to hold China accountable

A November 2019 study published in the BMC Medical Ethics scientific journal found that Beijing was likely systematically falsifying organ donation data, and an investigative report by the Epoch Times found that at least one Chinese hospital known for organ transplant surgery carried out more transplants than could be supported by a supply of organs from executed prisoners.

Experts like Canadian human rights lawyer and forced organ harvesting researcher David Matas welcomed the proposal, saying that exposing these acts is one way of putting an end to them.

This act is long overdue, and it’s about time that China be held accountable for the horrors it has subjected its own people to through forced organ harvesting and torture. The next step, hopefully, will be to hold them accountable for the destruction they have unleashed on the world with COVID-19.

Sources for this article include:




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