US ‘Will Continue to Focus’ on China’s Forced Organ Harvesting: State Department

US ‘Will Continue to Focus’ on China’s Forced Organ Harvesting: State Department
Falun Gong practitioners walk in a parade in Brooklyn, New York, highlighting the Chinese regime's persecution of their faith on Feb. 26, 2023. (Chung I Ho/The Epoch Times)

WASHINGTON—Beijing’s state-sponsored forced organ harvesting has remained a concern for the United States, a State Department official told reporters on March 20.

The communist regime’s systematic act of forcibly taking organs from prisoners of conscience for sale, which first came to light around 2006 after several whistleblowers came forward to The Epoch Times, has gained growing attention in recent years. The European Parliament as well as dozens of U.S. states and cities have issued resolutions condemning the abuse, and federal lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have recently introduced bills aiming to hold perpetrators accountable.

Erin Barclay, acting assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, said that she is aware of the congressional legislative proposal, and pointed to a section in the State Department’s newly-released human rights report highlighting the issue.

“We will continue to focus on that as an issue on a broad spectrum of human rights and trafficking issues going forward where it comes up,” she said in response to a question from The Epoch Times at a Monday press briefing accompanying the report’s launch.

Later in the briefing, Barclay said that the human rights situation is “the human rights situation in China is something that we are regularly raising with partner states bilaterally and in multilateral settings where China is present.”

The state department report cited a peer-reviewed research paper published in the American Journal of Transplantation last April indicating “China was violating the ‘dead donor rule’ that an organ donor must be formally declared dead before any organs are removed.”

“The authors analyzed 2,838 papers from Chinese-language transplant publications and found in 71 cases that the cause of death was the organ transplant itself, carried out before doctors had made a legitimate determination of brain death,” the report stated.

The research paper’s co-author, Jacob Lavee, who is the president of the Israel Society of Transplantation, told The Epoch Times at the time he believes the findings constitute an accidental admission from the Chinese doctors that they are engaging in forced organ harvesting.

“They have procured organs from people who are not proclaimed dead, meaning they became the executioners,” he said.

NTD Photo
Falun Dafa practitioners carry banners raising awareness about the persecution in China, during a march through the center of Warsaw, Poland, on Sept. 9, 2022. (Mihut Savu/The Epoch Times)

According to findings from an independent tribunal, the principal victim of forced organ harvesting is Falun Gong, a spiritual group that practices meditative exercises and follows the values of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.

Falun Gong has been the target of a brutal suppression campaign by the regime since 1999, with adherents experiencing forced disappearances, arbitrary detention, slave labor, among other torture. Millions of detained Falun Gong adherents have thus become unconsenting victims of the regime’s forced organ harvesting.

Human rights defenders attempting to lend legal assistance to persecution victims have also faced increased retribution.

Chinese human rights lawyer Liang Xiaojun lost his license for defending Falun Gong practitioners, the State Department report noted.

Among the list of political prisoners named in the human rights report was Falun Gong adherent Bian Lichao, a former middle school teacher from northern China’s Hebei Province who was handed a 13-year sentence in 2012. His wife, who didn’t practice Falun Gong, was jailed for publicizing details of the authorities’ persecution of their family, and died in 2020 due to abdominal fluid buildup that she sustained in prison, according to, a U.S.-website that serves as a clearinghouse for the persecution cases.

Their daughter was sentenced to three and a half years in prison after unfurling a banner reading “I want to see my father,” Minghui reported. She was 23 at the time of arrest in March 2014.

Emel Akan contributed to this article. 

From The Epoch Times

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