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Landmark ‘Falun Gong Protection Act’ Clears House With Unanimous Approval

‘The significance of the bill says that the U.S. House of Representatives now recognizes that Falun Gong practitioners are being persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party in the worst way possible,' said Rep. Scott Perry in regards to the sinister practice of forced organ harvesting
Alina Wang
A native of New York, Alina has a Bachelors degree in Corporate Communications from Baruch College and writes about human rights, politics, tech, and society.
Published: June 26, 2024
Falun Gong practitioners take part in a parade through Washington, D.C. in July 2017 to protest the Chinese regime's persecution of their faith. The U.S. Department of State (state department) led by Trump administration official Mike Pompeo has imposed the first U.S. sanctions on a CCP official for persecuting Falun Gong.
Falun Gong practitioners take part in a parade through Washington, D.C. in July 2017 to protest the Chinese regime's persecution of their faith. (Image: Mark Zou / The Epoch Times)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a move applauded by the human rights community, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed H.R. 4132, also known as the Falun Gong Protection Act, on June 25. 

The passage of the bill, introduced by Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) alongside 18 bipartisan members, is the first federal law of its kind aimed specifically at combating the decades-long human rights abuses inflicted on millions of Falun Gong practitioners in China.

Though multiple congressional resolutions have been adopted since 1999 condemning the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) persecution of Falun Gong, this bill, if passed by the Senate signed by the President, would take definitive action.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a meditation discipline based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. After witnessing its rapid rise in popularity, the CCP launched a brutal campaign to eradicate the faith. Since 1999, Falun Gong adherents have faced all kinds of oppression, including imprisonment, torture, forced labor, and forced organ harvesting. Estimates suggest that up to 100 million people — including high-ranking Party members — had at one point taken up the practice.

“The significance of the bill says that the U.S. House of Representatives now recognizes that Falun Gong practitioners are being persecuted by the CCP in the worst way possible.” said Rep. Perry in an interview with senior Vision Times reporter Sean Lin. 

RELATED: ‘The CCP Does Not Represent China’: Falun Gong Practitioners Commemorate 25th Anniversary of Appeal in Beijing

A heinous practice

The issue of forced organ harvesting first gained attention circa 2006 when allegations that Chinese hospitals and underground facilities were involved in the sinister practices. The reports were later scrutinized by the London-based China Tribunal in 2019, which concluded that forced organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners and other prisoners in conscience was occurring on a significant scale. 

Among its key provisions, the bill recognizes that “credible evidence suggests that Falun Gong practitioners are subject to widespread forced organ harvesting and are specifically targeted for this barbaric practice.”

The China Tribunal in 2019 recognized forced organ harvesting as a crime against humanity — and numerous academics and researchers have denounced it as a form of genocide.

World Falun Dafa Day Parade May 10, 2024 (Image: Ila Bonczek/Vision Times)

The unanimous voice vote marks a crucial step forward in addressing the severe and ongoing persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China, particularly in regards to the abhorrent practice of forced organ harvesting. Evidence suggests that some of the victims were still been conscious at the time their organs were ripped out, indicating that Chinese doctors may have used organ harvesting as a method of execution.

“We need to acknowledge that this is happening so that we can do something to stop it,” said Perry, adding, “Falun Gong practitioners are not only subjected to torture and murder, they’re literally [having their organs] stolen from them and then sold in the open market.”

RELATED: Texas, Utah Lead Charge Against Forced Organ Harvesting in China, But Bill Needs Momentum

For years now, the CCP has come under fire for its involvement in forced organ harvesting. Evidence and testimonies have revealed that the CCP systematically targets groups such as Falun Gong practitioners, Uyghur Muslims, Tibetans, and other religious and ethnic minorities by detaining them in labor camps where they are subjected to invasive medical testing against their well.

“We have a moral obligation to stop this — especially because we have business and trade relationships with China,” said Perry. “But how can you have a relationship with someone by day when by night they’re killing people and selling their organs around the world?” 

Falun Gong demonstrators re-enact the illegal act of paying for human organs during a peaceful protest in Washington D.C. on April 19, 2006. (Image: JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

The CCP has also been accused of advertising live human organs for sale by listing available hearts, livers, and kidneys, along with their costs, as if they were items on a shopping list. This gruesome commodification of human lives for profit underscores the urgent need for international condemnation and legislative action to halt these atrocities.

“There is no waiting list for organs in China if you have money,” added Perry, “That means there’s a ready supply available — and that supply is practitioners of Falun Gong.”

Key provisions

Another key provision of the Falun Gong Protection Act instructs the Secretary of State to officially determine if the persecution qualifies as a crime against humanity or genocide under the Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act within one year of the law’s enactment. This determination is pivotal in shaping Washington’s response to human rights violations on the international stage, noted Perry. 

In addition, the bill mandates a comprehensive report on China’s organ transplant policies and practices, along with strict sanctions. This includes compiling a list of individuals found to be involved in the involuntary harvesting of organs, who would then be subject to asset blocking and visa restrictions. This provision aims to hold accountable those who have perpetrated or facilitated these atrocities.

A senior lawyer has said it’s the duty of the UN Human Rights Council to address state-sanctioned organ harvesting in China. (Image: Piron Guillaume / Unsplash)

The legislation also solidifies the U.S. policy of explicitly avoiding any cooperation in the organ transplantation field while the current Chinese regime remains in power. Moreover, it encourages the U.S. government to collaborate with its allies to highlight China’s persecution of Falun Gong and to impose targeted sanctions and visa restrictions to those who willingly purchase organs from Chinese entities.

The urgency of this legislation cannot be overstated, Perry told Vision Times.

He likened organ harvesting by the CCP it to the atrocities committed by the Nazi German regime during the Holocaust. He described the bill as the “first binding commitment by Congress to take strong legal action against the persecution and forced organ harvesting of Falun Gong, making Falun Gong the centerpiece of legislation — an action long overdue after 25 years.”

The CCP is persecuting elderly Falun Gong practitioners
Falun Gong practitioners of Thailand hold a candlelight vigil solemnly commemorating the 23rd Anniversary of Jiang Zemin and the CCP’s persecution of the practice in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand, on July 17. (Image: via

Rep. Greg Stanton (D-AZ), in his support of the bill, highlighted the “unimaginable suffering” that victims of organ harvesting endure as they have their most basic rights stripped away and their bodies violated in the most grotesque manner. Rep. Rich McCormick (R-GA) thanked Rep. Perry for spearheading the bill. He stressed that while the targeting and killing of religious minorities for their organs is reminiscent of a horror movie, it is a grim reality today.

Legislative path forward

The bill now awaits action in the Senate. Its provisions, if enacted, will mandate sanctions on Chinese officials, military leaders, or others who are “knowingly responsible for or complicit in, or have directly or indirectly engaged in, the involuntary harvesting of organs” in China. 

Those on the sanctions’ list would be barred from entering the U.S., engaging in U.S.-based transactions, and would have their current visas revoked. The bill also imposes a hefty civil penalty of up to $250,000 and a criminal penalty of $1 million and 20 years in prison for offenders.

“The significance of the bill says that the U.S. House of Representatives now recognizes that Falun Gong practitioners are being persecuted by the CCP in the worst way possible.” said Rep. Perry (L) in an interview with senior Vision Times reporter Sean Lin. (Image: Screenshot of interview/Vision Times)

Furthermore, the bill requires the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and the Director of the National Institutes of Health to determine whether the persecution of Falun Gong constitutes an “atrocity” under the Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act of 2018 (officially S.1158). It also mandates an investigation into how much U.S. grant money has supported organ transplantation in China.

Over the past two years, at least three U.S. states have enacted laws banning health insurers from funding organ transplant surgeries performed in China. In 2023, the House passed its first bill addressing forced organ harvesting in general, paving the way for the more targeted Falun Gong Protection Act.

If the bill passes the Senate, it will proceed to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law.

“No one in America agrees with forced organ harvesting, so if that’s the case, let’s agree to stop this — and let’s all agree to support the bill and get it signed by the president,” said Perry.

With reporting by Sean Lin.