Arizona State Congress Passes Legislation Against Organ Harvesting Atrocities in China

In Arizona, both the State Senate and the State House of Representatives passed House Memorial HCM2004 condemning the persecution of the Falun Gong and the forced organ harvesting of non-consenting prisoners of conscience in China, primarily the Falun Gong. The legislation was passed on April 3, 2018.

The legislation calls for the following key points:

1. That the United States Congress immediately conduct a full and transparent investigation into organ transplant and procurement practices in the People’s Republic of China.
2.  That the United States Congress prohibit the entry into the United States of doctors involved in unethical organ procurement or transplant surgery using organs harvested from prisoners in China.
3.  That the United States Congress enact legislation to prohibit United States citizens from receiving organ transplants abroad if the organ sourcing is neither transparent nor traceable according to international ethical guidelines.
4.  That Arizona’s medical community caution patients against traveling to China for organs and strive to raise awareness among health care providers, students, patients and the public of the unethical organ transplant practices in the People’s Republic of China.
5.  That the Secretary of State of the State of Arizona transmit copies of this Memorial to the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the Executive Director of the Arizona Medical Board and the Dean of the University of Arizona College of Medicine.

The passage of the Memorial was a process that began on April 25, 2017.

Local Falun Gong practitioners held an event commemorating the 1999 illegal ban of the practice by the Chinese Communist Party.

The practitioners met with Arizona state legislators to raise awareness of the brutal persecution of the Falun Gong, and discuss the investigations into forced Organ Harvesting that has primarily targeted Falun Gong, along with Tibetans, House Christians and Uyghurs.

Tony Rivero (State representative – D) was one of the legislators they met with. Rivero said, “I felt a strong sense to act…”

Rivero was critical in helping the local Falun Gong practitioners to understand the Arizona legislative process and navigate the process.

In January 2018 an event was held with around half of Arizona’s state house representatives, state Senators, and former U.S. House representative Matt Salmon, who was the keynote speaker.

A local Arizona State University student from China who practices Falun Gong attended the event and shared her story of constant threat and fear while living in China. She described how in middle school while her mother was imprisoned numerous times (for practicing Falun Gong) she feared that other students and teachers would alienate her.

A representative from Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH) was also in attendance and presented the overwhelming evidence of China’s illegal organ transplantation trade. This included a re-cap of the more than 1000 pages of evidence showing un-refuted evidence, primarily from Chinese sources, that China has been killing large numbers of Falun Gong practitioners for organ transplantation.

“The issue affects Arizona because we have no process in place to protect Arizona citizens from going to China, receiving an unethically sourced organ for transplantation, and being involved in a crime against humanity,” stated one lawmaker. “Further, there is no way to know how many Chinese physicians we have trained in Arizona’s prestigious transplant centers to return to their country and carrying out these crimes, likely against their own consciences and wills.”

Matt Salmon, now vice president of Arizona State University, lived in Taiwan for 2 years in the late 1970s and has worked extensively on Chinese and Taiwanese issues. He spoke of the importance of Arizona and the U.S. acting in solidarity to defend human rights. He also spoke of the thinly veiled threats that are often made by Chinese diplomats and CCP members.

Arizona is now the thirteenth state to pass state legislation condemning the persecution of the Falun Gong and organ harvesting atrocities. Along with H.Res 343 being passed, this shows the commitment by the U.S. and state governments to stand as beacons of hope in protecting human rights abuses around the globe.

 

Background

In Arizona a memorial petitions a recipient to act on an issue that the Arizona Legislature does not have jurisdiction to act upon itself. A resolution is a declaration of legislative opinion, will, intent, or resolve in matters within the legislature’s legal purview.

On February 22rd, after passing through the local and International Affairs Committee, Arizona House of Representatives unanimously passed House Memorial HCM2004. Representative Tony Rivero introduced the resolution in January and has been the sole sponsor.

The reason for a Memorial and not a Resolution? In the State of Arizona a memorial petitions a recipient to act on an issue that the Arizona Legislature does not have jurisdiction to act upon itself. A resolution is a declaration of legislative opinion, will, intent, or resolve in matters within the legislature’s legal purview.

With it being a memorial, there is a request for action. This is a concurrent (both House and Senate have to pass) memorial.

 

Complete text of Arizona House Memorial HCM2004:

To the Congress of the United States of America and the leaders of Arizona’s medical community:


Your memorialist respectfully represents:


Whereas, since July 1999, the People’s Republic of China has persecuted practitioners of Falun Gong a spiritual practice with key values of truthfulness, compassion and forbearance for achieving physical and spiritual well-being through exercise and meditation as documented by the United States Department of State, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Freedom House and many other governmental and third-party organizations; and


Whereas, the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners involves the widespread use of torture, forced labor work, illegal detention centers and prisons, and these illegally detained prisoners of conscience experience forced medical examinations, including blood and urine testing, x-rays, ultrasounds and CT scans; and

Whereas, the official reported transplant numbers in China increased threefold nationwide between 1999 and 2004, parallel to the onset of the persecution of Falun Gong; and


Whereas, the organ transplant system in China does not comply with the World Health Organization’s requirement for transparent and traceable accessibility of organ procurement practices, and the People’s Republic of China has prevented any independent or impartial inspection and verification of its transplant system; and


Whereas, the current chairman of China’s Human Organ and Transplant Committee, Dr. Huang Jiefu, claimed that China would stop sourcing organs from executed prisoners on January 1, 2015, yet no official agency of the People’s Republic of China has made such a declaration nor has this claim been verified by any independent researcher. In May 2016, Dr. Jiefu announced via state-run media that China would increase the number of transplant centers from 169 to 300 over the next five years; and


Whereas, the People’s Republic of China has not officially repealed provisions implemented in 1984 that allow the harvesting of organs from executed prisoners, and the use of organs from executed prisoners therefore remains legal; and


Whereas, large discrepancies exist between the People’s Republic of China’s officially reported transplant numbers and those estimated by independent researchers; and


Whereas, updated evidence estimates that between 30,000 and 100,000 transplants occur annually in China without identified organ sources; and


Whereas, updated evidence suggests that a significant number of Falun Gong practitioners may have been killed for their organs since 1999; and


Whereas, recipients for these transplants are Chinese citizens and individuals from abroad, including the United States; and


Whereas, in 2015, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom’s annual report again listed China as a “country of particular concern” due to severe human rights violations and illegal organ harvesting practices, stating that “imprisoned Falun Gong practitioners are particularly targeted”; and


Whereas, in 2015 and 2016, the Congressional-Executive Commission on China condemned
ongoing, unethical forced organ harvesting practices in China; and


Whereas, in March 2015, the Council of Europe passed a Convention against Trafficking in Human Organs that stated “trafficking in human organs violates human dignity and the right to life and constitutes a serious threat to public health”; and


Whereas, in May 2016, the Minnesota Legislature passed Resolution S.F. No. 2090, “expressing concern over persistent and credible reports of systematic, state-sanctioned, forced organ harvesting from nonconsenting prisoners of conscience, primarily from Falun Gong practitioners imprisoned for their spiritual beliefs, and members of other religious and ethnic minority groups in the People’s Republic of China”; and


Whereas, in June 2016, the United States House of Representatives passed House Resolution 343 expressing concern over China’s organ procurement from nonconsenting prisoners of conscience, including “large numbers of Falun Gong practitioners and members of other religious and ethnic minority groups”; and


Whereas, in September 2016, the European Parliament passed Written Declaration 0048, which states that “the international community has strongly condemned organ harvesting in China and actions should be taken to end it”; and


Whereas, the charitable medical ethics advocacy association Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting, which has monitored and objectively reported on the transplant situation in China for the last decade, was nominated for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize; and


Whereas, the killing of prisoners, including religious or political prisoners, to sell their organs for transplant is an egregious and intolerable violation of the fundamental right to life.


Wherefore your memorialist, the House of Representatives of the State of Arizona, the Senate concurring, prays:


1.  That the United States Congress immediately conduct a full and transparent investigation into organ transplant and procurement practices in the People’s Republic of China.
2.  That the United States Congress prohibit the entry into the United States of doctors involved in unethical organ procurement or transplant surgery using organs harvested from prisoners in China.
3.  That the United States Congress enact legislation to prohibit United States citizens from receiving organ transplants abroad if the organ sourcing is neither transparent nor traceable according to international ethical guidelines.
4.  That Arizona’s medical community caution patients against traveling to China for organs and strive to raise awareness among health care providers, students, patients and the public of the unethical organ transplant practices in the People’s Republic of China.
5.  That the Secretary of State of the State of Arizona transmit copies of this Memorial to the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the Executive Director of the Arizona Medical Board and the Dean of the University of Arizona College of Medicine.

(Clearwisdom)

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