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Virginia State House Passes Resolution to Condemn Forced Organ Harvesting in China

Leo Timm covers China-related news, culture, and history. Follow him on Twitter at @kunlunpeaks
Published: February 21, 2022
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Virginia state delegate John Avoli poses in Richmond for a photo with local practitioners of Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that is banned in China. (Image: Provided to Vision Times)

The bipartisan bill copatroned by 31 state delegates was passed unanimously 82–0 on Feb. 11 after discussions on Feb. 8. It condemns the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) persecution of the Falun Gong spiritual practice, as well as the mass murder of political prisoners for their organs

Following dozens of local resolutions passed last year by Virginia communities, the Commonwealth’s House of Delegates has voted unanimously to censure the Chinese regime’s longstanding practice of murdering prisoners of conscience — chiefly Falun Gong practitioners — to extract and sell their organs. 

Introduced Jan. 17 by Republican John Avoli and Democrat Kaye Kory, the bill, titled Condemning the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners by the Chinese Communist Party, highlights the 22 years of persecution suffered by the spiritual practice since its banning in 1999 by then-CCP head Jiang Zemin, including “an extensive system of slave labor in which Falun Gong practitioners, members of religious and ethnic minorities, and other prisoners of conscience are routinely forced, under inhumane working conditions, to manufacture goods for export to Western countries.”

The bill, voted on by the House’s Committee on Rules and adopted by the legislature, notes that “in June 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed House Resolution 343, condemning systematic, state-sanctioned organ harvesting from practitioners of Falun Gong and other prisoners of conscience in China.”

It also describes how CCP-controlled media “dehumanize Falun Gong practitioners to justify these brutal forms of persecution.”

However, “despite little media coverage of the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong, more than 5,000 Virginia residents have signed petitions to their local governments, and more than 20 Virginia localities have adopted related resolutions condemning the CCP’s atrocities against Falun Gong practitioners in China.”

“A few people have done an excellent job in the past few years bringing these crimes to light,” Avoli said in statements made at the deliberations on Feb. 8. 

‘Many people don’t know’

Practitioners of Falun Gong in Virginia thanked the legislators for passing the resolution.

“Many people don’t know about the persecution of Falun Gong or that forced organ harvesting is taking place in China,” Tiny Tang, a Fairfax County resident and Falun Gong practitioner, told Vision Times. 

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a Chinese meditative discipline that incorporates a set of qigong exercises with traditional moral teachings. According to human rights organization Freedom House, millions of people continue to practice Falun Gong in China and around the world despite the CCP’s severe persecution and defamation of the group. 

Independent researchers have determined that the CCP carries out tens of thousands of organ transplants a year, mostly sourced from unwilling donors. In addition to Falun Gong practitioners, the Party has also turned to house Christians, Uyghur Muslims, and other unjustly incarcerated prisoners for organs in recent years.

Tang and other Falun Gong adherents in Virginia described their grassroots work and its importance for residents of the state and the U.S. generally.

“Any Virgianian who travels to China for an organ transplant is unknowingly aiding this crime against humanity,” she said. “So they need to know about this.” 

“While this has been widely underreported, grassroots support has been very strong locally, throughout the state,” said Dr. Tatiana Denning, a family physician in Virginia, in statements made in the House.

“We see House Resolution 9 as an expression of our collective conscience. It will prevent Virginia residents from becoming unwitting accomplices to the murder of innocent people. It will also help educate our citizens that the Chinese people and the Chinese Communist Party are not one and the same.”