House Lawmaker Applauds State Department for Addressing Organ Harvesting in China

A senior lawmaker on the House Foreign Affairs Committee welcomed the decision by the State Department to add the issue of communist China’s practice of forced organ harvesting in its annual report.

Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), who also is the chairman of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), chaired a congressional hearing on July 9 on the 2024 Trafficking in Persons Report, which the State Department released on June 24.

“I was pleased to see, under the topics of special interest, the mention of trafficking for the purchase of organ removal and forced organ harvesting,” Mr. Smith said during the hearing.

The 2024 report called out China’s communist regime for its crimes targeting certain individuals.

“Forced organ harvesting in China appears to be targeting specific ethnic, linguistic, or religious minorities held in detention, often without being explained the reasons for arrest or given arrest warrants, at different locations,” the report reads. “We are deeply concerned by reports of discriminatory treatment of the prisoners or detainees based on their ethnicity and religion or belief.”

Many victims of the Chinese regime’s state-sanctioned practice of forced organ harvesting are Falun Gong adherents. The China Tribunal, an independent people’s tribunal in London, concluded in 2019 that the regime had been forcibly harvesting organs from prisoners of conscience for years “on a substantial scale,” with Falun Gong practitioners being the “principal source” of organs.

Falun Gong

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline introduced to the Chinese public in 1992. It encourages its adherents to live by moral teachings that are based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. By 1999, according to official estimates, at least 70 million people had taken up the practice.

The practice’s enormous popularity was deemed a threat by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). It has used its public security, legal, judicial, and military apparatus, as well as its network of state-run media and social media, to advance propaganda and disinformation in a campaign to crush the practice.

The persecution continues today, and millions have been detained inside prisons, labor camps, and other facilities, with hundreds of thousands tortured while incarcerated and untold numbers killed, according to the Falun Dafa Information Center.

U.S.-based advocacy group Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH) has criticized the CCP for turning Chinese surgeons into “executioners” for the state.

A 2022 study published in the American Journal of Transplantation found that 348 medical professionals or researchers had been involved in sustaining the Chinese regime’s lucrative organ transplant industry. Those individuals were co-authors of 71 Chinese-language papers revealing that doctors had carved out hearts and lungs from people for transplant without first conducting a test to establish brain death.


During the hearing, Mr. Smith also discussed the legislation he introduced last year and how he “cannot get that out of the Senate.”

“I have a bill H.R.1154, the Forced Organ Harvesting Act of 2023. It passed the House 413 to 2 in March, not this year, of last year,” he said. “This bill imposes property, passport, and visa-blocking sanctions on persons, individuals, and entities involved in forced organ harvesting, or trafficking in persons for the purpose of organ removal.”

The Senate version (S.761) of the House bill hasn’t been advanced after being introduced in March last year.

“Ethnic groups targeted for mass harvesting include Uyghurs—who suffer from [CCP leader] Xi Jinping’s ongoing genocide—and the Falun Gong, whose peaceful meditation and exercise practices—and exceptional good health—make their organs highly desirable,” Mr. Smith said, according to a statement from his office issued after his bill was passed.

“State-sponsored forced organ harvesting is big business for Xi and the Chinese Communist Party and shows absolutely no signs of abating,” Mr. Smith added. “We must act—decisively.”

Last month, the House approved the bipartisan Falun Gong Protection Act (H.R. 4132) on a voice vote. The legislation would require the United States to impose sanctions on foreign individuals who “are knowingly responsible for, are complicit in, or have engaged in” the CCP’s practice of forced organ harvesting.

Levi Browde, executive director of the Falun Dafa Information Center, said it’s important for the Senate to follow in the House’s footsteps.

“This crucial bill will save lives, provide hope to Falun Gong practitioners still suffering in China, curtail forced organ harvesting there, and help American medical centers and patients avoid complicity in this heinous crime,” Mr. Browde stated in a statement.

“We urge the Senate to introduce and pass a companion bill as soon as possible, and for President [Joe] Biden to sign the bill into law.”

From The Epoch Times