Tom Cotton, Republican U.S. Senator from Arkansas, announced on December 16 that he and two Congress members, Congressmen Chris Smith (R-New Jersey) and Tom Suozzi (D-New York), had introduced a bipartisan bill to curb forced organ harvesting in China.
Known as the Stop Forced Organ Harvesting Act, this legislation “aims to prevent the Chinese Communist Party from harvesting organs from prisoners of conscience,” explained Cotton in a press release on the Senate website, “According to an international tribunal in London, Chinese doctors harvest organs from detainees in Chinese prison camps—sometimes while patients are still alive—for sale in a market worth $1 billion a year.”
This is the latest bill introduced to address organ harvesting from live Falun Gong practitioners in China since House Resolution 343 was passed in June 2016. Initiated by representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, and Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-VA), as well as six other members of Congress, H.Res. 343 garnered strong bipartisan support with 185 co-sponsors.
With a title of “Expressing concern regarding persistent and credible reports of systematic, state-sanctioned organ harvesting from non-consenting prisoners of conscience in the People’s Republic of China, including from large numbers of Falun Gong practitioners and members of other religious and ethnic minority groups,” the resolution condemned forced organ harvesting in China and called to bring it to an end.
The latest bill introduced by Cotton, Smith, and Suozzi proposed action items to achieve the goal of H.Res. 343. “There is growing evidence that the Chinese Communist Party has and continues to harvest organs from prisoners and members of Chinese religious groups. This bill will identify and punish CCP members involved in forced organ harvesting. It’s past time to hold Beijing accountable for these heinous acts,” wrote Cotton’s announcement.
“Organ harvesting is a barbaric, inhumane and egregious act of global significance as transnational human trafficking gangs, terrorist organisations, profiteers and even governments – China’s Communist regime in particular – kill innocent people and sell their organs for profit,” said Smith. “A global problem requires a global response. Under our bill, organ harvesters and traffickers, who often prey on vulnerable populations like political prisoners or minorities, will be identified and exposed by the State Department with the goal of punishing perpetrators and promoting effective sanctions and restrictions on travel.”
This illegal practice has lasted a long time. “For years, the Chinese Communist Party has continued to take advantage of prisoners and members of ethnic minority and religious groups. Today, we are still witnessing them take further advantage of these groups through organ harvesting,” said Suozzi. “Members of the Chinese Communist Party must be held accountable for these unspeakable actions. Forced organ harvesting has no place in our world.”
More specifically, this bill will implement plans in five areas to stop the atrocity:
1) Denying or revoking passports of illegal organ purchasers.
2) Mandating annual reporting on forced organ harvesting in foreign countries.
3) Mandating an annual report on U.S. medical and educational institutions that train organ transplant surgeons from countries with a high level of forced organ harvesting.
4) Prohibiting the export of organ transplant surgery devices to certain entities.
5) Sanctioning foreign citizens and entities that engage in or otherwise support forced organ harvesting.
Full text of the bill can be found at: https://www.cotton.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/CAN20880.pdf