H.Res.343, 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, as amended

H.Res. 343

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, as amended

Date
June 13, 2016 (114th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Molly Newell

Floor Situation

On Monday, June 13, 2016, the House will consider H.Res.343, 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, as amended, under suspension of the rules. The resolution was introduced on June 25, 2015 by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and was referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs in addition to the House Judiciary Committee. The House Committee on Foreign Affairs ordered the resolution to be reported in the Nature of a Substitute by Unanimous Consent on March 16, 2016.

 

Bill Summary

H.Res. 343 is resolved that the House of Representatives:

  • condemns the practice of state-sanctioned forced organ harvesting in the People’s Republic of China (China);
  • calls on China’s government to end the practice of organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience;
  • demands an immediate end to the persecution of the Falun Gong spiritual practice and release of its practitioners;
  • encourages the U.S. medical community to raise awareness of unethical organ transplant practices in China;
  • calls on China to allow for a credible, transparent, and independent investigation into organ transplant abuses; and
  • calls on the Department of State to conduct a more detailed analysis on state-sanctioned organ harvesting from non-consenting prisoners of conscience in the annual Human Rights Report, and to report annually to Congress on implementation of a federal provision prohibiting visas to Chinese and other nationals engaged in coerced organ or bodily tissue transplantation.

Background

China has for decades perpetuated a form of human exploitation in which hundreds of executed prisoners’ organs are harvested each year. The prisoners are labeled as “citizens” and placed into a “citizen donation” system.[1]  These “donations”, although claimed by the Chinese government to be voluntary, are impossible to verify if they were coercively taken.

Ethnic minority groups are the most susceptible to this organ harvesting process as well as the Falun Gong, a Buddhist group that has been banned in China since 1999. Since the crackdown in 1999, thousands have been killed and have had their organs harvested. The Falun Gong has generally remained peaceful despite this brutality.[2]

According to the resolution’s sponsor, “The Chinese regime’s gruesome practice of organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners and other prisoners of conscience is a barbarous violation of human rights and must be stopped. All people have the inherent and fundamental human right to practice their spiritual beliefs without fear of harassment, including Falun Gong followers. China should immediately end its systematic campaign of propaganda, imprisonment, and abuse against those who practice Falun Gong, release all prisoners of conscience, and allow an independent investigation into its state-sanctioned organ harvesting.”[3]

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[1] See “China Bends Vow on Using Prisoners’ Organs for Transplants.” New York Times. Nov. 16, 2015
[2] See “Joint Hearing: Organ Harvesting of Religious and Political Dissidents by the Chinese Communist Party.” House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Sept. 12, 2012.
[3] See Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Press Release, “Ros-Lehtinen and Connolly Reintroduce Resolution Condemning China’s Persecution and Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners and Prisoners of Conscience.” June 25, 2015.

Cost

A Congressional Budget Office cost estimate is not available at this time.

Additional Information

For questions about amendments or further information on the bill, contact Molly Newell with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 2-1374.