US Senators Call for Ending Persecution Against Falun Gong

U.S. senators working for a just society and rule-of-law for the people of China speak out on what they’re calling a ‘sad anniversary.’

It’s twenty years since the Chinese Communist Party began persecuting the peaceful spiritual practice Falun Gong. The U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), which monitors human rights and the development of rule-of-law in China, issued a statement, saying: “For the past twenty years, Falun Gong practitioners have experienced appalling and unacceptable human rights abuses in China. Banned by the Chinese government in July 1999, many Falun Gong practitioners have been subjected to arbitrary detention, torture, forced labor, and constant harassment.”

Marco Rubio, CECC Co-Chair and U.S. Senator said: “We’ve had a long pattern now, of abuses by the Chinese Communist Party and the government that it controls. And as we reach a twentieth anniversary, some of things have been going on—it’s just a reminder of the nature of of this government and their ideology, and how they pursued it against multiple groups, frankly.”

The statement says, “the Chinese government should end the persecution of Falun Gong and allow an independent and transparent U.N. investigation into the human rights abuses suffered by Falun Gong over the past two decades.”

“The more light we can shed on all these groups that are being persecuted internationally, the more progress we can hopefully make—and at minimum, in embarrassing the Chinese Communist Party to being less aggressive against those who are different from them and those who disagree with them,” Rubio said. “But we at least owe it to the people who are suffering to continue to voice our concerns and objections to this.”

On invitation from the State Department, Falun Gong practitioners recently submitted a list of names of perpetrators of human rights abuses. State Department officials said they will review the list and act in accordance with U.S. law.

Chris Coons, Co-Chair of the Senate Human Rights Caucus, said: “One of the tools the United States has used in order to promote human rights and to oppose those who abuse human rights globally, is to limit access to the United States through visa control or visa waiver programs. I would like to see our State Department continue to prioritize and focus on universal values and human rights, and in particular, to elevate opportunities around the world for us to work in partnership with our allies, to shine a light on places where people are being mistreated.”

Senator Thom Tillis said they have co-signed a bill introduced by Senator Marco Rubio, asking the State Department to collect the information needed to limit the export of U.S. high-tech products that may be used by the Chinese Communist Party in human rights abuses. “Any case where the United States can limit or halt any sort of activities for the use of US technologies or any sort of interest that we have control over—that we stop it, and make it more difficult for China to do what we think is an unacceptable action,” he said.