(Minghui.org) Members of the European Parliament (MEP) passed the 2024/2504 (RSP) resolution with a majority vote on January 18, 2024 at the Parliament’s Headquarters in Strasbourg, France.
The procedure was initiated by members from different parties and Member States. The resolution condemns the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) ongoing persecution of Falun Gong, and calls for an immediate end to the persecution and the unconditional release of Mr. Ding Yuande, a practitioner whom the Chinese authorities arrested and sentenced to a three-year prison term in December 2023.
The contents of the resolution will be forwarded to the EU institutions, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, and the Chinese government.
The resolution urges the EU and its Member States to take immediate action to condemn the CCP’s organ transplant abuses and state-sanctioned forced organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners. It demands an “immediate and unconditional release of Mr. Ding Yuande and all other arrested practitioners.” It also calls for sanctions against all perpetrators and entities that have contributed to the persecution of Falun Gong.
A day before the vote, the MEPs held a debate on the content of the resolution draft at the European Parliament Hall in Strasbourg. Many condemned the fact that the CCP vilifies Falun Gong practitioners and uses extreme measures to torture them. They asked the EU to put substantial sanctions on the perpetrators of these human rights abuses.
German MEP: Practicing Falun Gong is Not a Threat
MEP Michael Gahler of the German Christian Democratic Union mentioned Falun Gong in his debate, “It’s a practice that doesn’t harm anyone, that is not a danger to the state, but apparently the (CCP) Party considers it – or has been considering it since 1999 – a threat to their ideology. The case we are focusing on is Mr. Ding Yuande, who has been arrested and was in December sentenced to more than three years’ imprisonment.” He said that practitioners “need to be released unconditionally and allowed to practice their faith or to practice their culture, as it is also enshrined in the Chinese Constitution.”
Italian MEP: Sanction Organ Trades
Italian MEP Fabio Massimo Castaldo said, “It’s been 25 years since Beijing began a veritable persecution against the followers of Falun Gong…
“(The persecution) is a real medieval-style witch hunt against minorities and ethnic groups. It is perpetrated, however, with the aid of increasingly oppressive futuristic technologies that seem to have come out of the famous novel “1984” by George Orwell.
“(The persecution is) a terrifying crime that led to the disappearance of tens of thousands of people. Faced with these crimes there should be no other option than a firm, clear, and unequivocal condemnation. We should all demand an international investigation into the criminal organ trade and harsh sanctions against the officials and authorities responsible.”
Portugal MEP: EU Can Not Become Accomplice
MEP Isabel Santos of Portugal’s Social Democratic Party said in her debate, “Ding Yuande’s case is one of many cases of Falun Gong practitioners others have hushed up over the years in China. Falun Gong is a completely harmless practice that in no way harms any type of interest. The European Union cannot be an accomplice, through silence or complacency, in the face of these types of cases.
“Therefore, we demand the unconditional and immediate release of (Ding Yuande), as well as all Falun Gong practitioners and other victims of arbitrary detention, …we cannot be tolerant of these types of practices.
“Furthermore, the European Union and Member States must support an international investigation into cases of organ harvesting and also cases of torture and inhuman and degrading treatment in China.”
Czech MEP: Do Not Sell Our Values
Czech MEP Markéta Gregorová of the Greens/EFA Group said, “Our huge trade relationship (between EU and China) must not become the reason to look away – away from forced organ harvesting, forced sterilisations, and mass concentration camps in the 21st century.
“The collective European Union has, for decades, done nothing to deter the CCP from these crimes. Instead, we send huge business delegations with our heads of state and accept China’s wishes to treat these crimes as a domestic issue, not to be interfered with.”
In the end, she emphasized, “Let us not fund our own demise and sell our values.”
Slovak MEP: It is Time to Take a Principled Approach Towards the CCP
Slovak lawmaker Miriam Lexmann said she learned how practitioners were tortured in the Chinese prisons. She said, “(They) were forced to endure wearing a straitjacket, being shocked with an electric baton, sprayed with chili pepper, having their feet burned, being force-fed with mustard oil, or deprived of food and sleep. Several women were sexually assaulted, and we shouldn’t forget about the sickening act of forced organ harvesting.
“It is time that the EU is more principled in its approach towards the CCP. It is the lack of principled policies that led us into this current security peril. A good start to addressing it is to hold the CCP and its henchmen accountable for crimes committed against humanity.”
Polish MEP: Another Case of Suppression
MEP Anna Fotyga is a Polish politician and secretary-general of the European Conservatives and Reformists Party. She said that the case of Mr. Ding Yuande is proof that China is curbing religious freedom and freedom of belief.
She reminded other members that Mr. Ding’s son was protesting in front of Parliament Hall, and encouraged them to show support.
After the debate ended, Nicolas Schmit, Member of the European Commission, spoke on behalf of the Commission’s Vice-President and EU’s High Representative Josep Borrell. He said, “The debate clearly reflects the European Parliament’s sustained and deep concerns about human rights violations in China.”
He said that the EU “continues to seize every opportunity, including multilaterally and at the highest political level, to raise its persistent concerns about the very serious human rights situation in China.”
Resolution to Sanction Perpetrators of Persecution
The resolution mentions that after the persecution started, “thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have been documented to have died from abuse during the CCP’s persecution since 1999, and many more have gone undocumented.”
It calls on the EU and its Member States to “publicly condemn organ transplant abuses in China, and use the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime and national human rights sanctions regimes against all perpetrators, their family members, as well as entities that have contributed to the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China and abroad, and stresses that the sanctions should include visa refusal, freezing of assets, expulsion from EU territories, criminal prosecution, or the initiation of international criminal charges.”
Son Asks for Help to Rescue Father
The authorities in Rizhao City, Shandong Province, China arrested approximately 70 Falun Gong practitioners, including Mr. Ding Yuande and his wife Mrs. Ma Ruimei, without an arrest warrant on May 12, 2023.
The couple’s son, Mr. Ding Lebin, is also a practitioner and lives in Germany. His mother was released about ten days after she was arrested, but his father is still detained. He’s been asking the international society for help to rescue his father. His father’s hearing was held in the Wulian County Court in November. After that none of the family members heard anything from the officials regarding the case. A month later on December 20, 2023, the family learned that he had been sentenced to three years in prison and fined 15 thousand yuan.
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