US

State Department Receives List of Chinese Officials to Blacklist as Human Right Abusers

By Kitty Wang

A U.S.-based organization has aggregated the names of Chinese officials documented as personally taking part in persecuting Falun Gong in China, and delivered it to the U.S. State Department.

According to new U.S. rules, these individuals should be blacklisted from entering the country.

Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa), is a spiritual discipline from in China; it is also one of the most persecuted groups in the world.

Representatives from this faith have submitted to the U.S. State Department a list of the Chinese regime’s worst human rights abusers. Department officials say the list will be reviewed, and that sanctions against those on their blacklist will apply to their spouse and children as well.

At the second annual Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom in Washington on July 16-18, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told 1,000 attendees, including foreign delegates, “I want you to know that America’s commitment to religious freedom will never waver. We stand with you and for you in each stage of this fight.”

The list relates to an initiative that started in May, when the State Department told some religious and faith-based groups that the U.S. would start to review visa applications more rigorously and deny entry to human rights violators, including those who already have visas or Greencards.

Frank Wolf, former U.S. Congressman said, “I think what the administration has done is very, very positive. No one connected with that activity ought to be ever allowed to come into the United States.”

The website Minghui.org, which has been rigorously documenting the persecution against Falun Gong for the past 20 years, compiled the names. It published on its website a partial list of the people included, along with a description of their crimes.

Nadine Maenza, Vice Chair, United States Commission on International Religious Freedom said, “We have to sanction them all, so that they can’t send their  kids to colleges in the UK and the United States and in [other] Western countries; where they have trouble flying and getting visas. If we can impact [them] with the sanctions individually, without hurting the people of China, that would be ideal.”

“This is not something that we can continue to close our eyes to,” said Gayle Manchin, Vice Chair, United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. “It is happening and they should be held accountable for it in whatever ways we can sanction them that makes them know that the rest of the world is serious, and how we feel about their atrocities.”

State Department officials revealed that in the last few years, some Chinese visas applicants have already been denied due to their persecution of Falun Gong practitioners.

Steve Chabot, U.S. Congressman said, “And whether it’s sanctions or whether it’s pulling back on visas of the top leadership of the PRC [People’s Republic of China], there’s a lot of things that ought to be looked at.”

Pompeo announced on July 18 that the United States will create the International Religious Freedom Alliance, bringing together likeminded countries to confront the challenges of international religious freedom.

Experts believe now is the time to work together, internationally, to investigate and punish perpetrators.

Carl Gershman, President of the National Endowment for Democracy said, “I think that’s very, very important, and we have to get other countries to join in. We have to get Canada, we have to the European countries, we have to get Australia and other countries to join in, to have targeted sanctions against Chinese officials who are guilty of gross human rights violations.”