Communist China’s decades-long persecution of faith group Falun Gong is among the “most debased demonstrations of evil,” and it must end, according to Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.).
“Within the unsurpassed cruelty of China’s Communist regime, the treatment of Falun Gong practitioners must rank among the worst, most debased demonstrations of evil to ever be coordinated by a government against a particular group of people,” Perry told The Epoch Times in an email.
“This particularly shocking lack of regard for the human person must be confronted. It must end,” he added.
In mid-December, Perry introduced the Falun Gong Protection Act (H.R.6319) in a bid to impose sanctions on Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials who are complicit in the persecution of the spiritual group. If passed, the bill would mark the first legislative measure in the United States to hold human rights abusers accountable.
The congressman described the bill as “vital toward standing up for the intrinsic worth and dignity of all Falun Gong practitioners being persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party.”
Released before the Beijing Winter Olympics, the legislation also serves to shine a light on the “callousness and cruelty” of the authoritarian regime and help stop Beijing from exporting its abuses to the rest of the world, Perry said.
One of the largest spiritual communities in China, the meditation discipline Falun Gong has been subject to a brutal campaign by the atheist communist regime aimed at eradicating the practice and its adherents.
Since 1999, millions of adherents have been thrown into labor camps or other detention facilities, and hundreds of thousands suffered torture, according to estimates from Falun Dafa Information Center.
Detained adherents have also been victims of the state-sanctioned forced organ harvesting, described by Perry as an “unimaginably horrific and barbaric” act.
China has been a top destination for transplant tourists owing to hospitals’ ability to procure organs much faster than developed countries with established organ donation systems. Vital organs can be sourced in days in China—even when patients typically expect months or years of waiting elsewhere. The Epoch Times previously reported on a 24-year-old patient who received donor matches for four hearts in 10 days in 2020.
“Now you wonder how they can be? Is it because they have such a huge population?” Perry said on The Epoch Times’ affiliate NTD’s “Capitol Report” program. “But see, there’s an unlimited supply.”
For this “supply” to be maintained, an uncountable number of prisoners of conscience—primarily imprisoned Falun Gong practitioners—have been killed alive for their organs, an independent people’s tribunal determined in 2019.
“It’s just unimaginable,” Perry wrote in an email, noting that in some cases, the victims were not sedated during the forced organ removal.
Concerns about forced organ harvesting, which first surfaced in 2006 when several whistleblowers approached The Epoch Times providing accounts of the practice, have been growing louder in recent years.
Both the U.S. Congress and the European Parliament have adopted resolutions opposing the practice, so has a growing list of other countries, most recently Belgium and Austria. Over a dozen U.S. counties and states have passed resolutions in a bid to curb organ tourism to China.
But Perry wants more than just statements.
The perpetrators need to be brought to account, and training and cooperation with Chinese transplant doctors should cease, he said.
The lawmaker pointed to the silence on this issue by international rights bodies. The United Nations’ “problematic Human Rights Council” has yet to formally make a stance on the treatment of Falun Gong, he said, even though a dozen experts and special rapporteurs released a statement last June saying they were “extremely alarmed.”
The Chinese regime has largely evaded scrutiny over its campaign by muzzling critical voices, leaving only “what the Communist Party wants you to see,” Perry said.
“This is daily warfare for the Communist Party of China against the West,” he added.
Pressed on its human rights abuses, the regime’s responses have typically alternated between retaliatory sanctions, threats, and propaganda talking points. Last May, Beijing blacklisted a former U.S. religious freedom official following the State Department’s move to sanction a former Chinese security chief who oversaw the persecution of Falun Gong.
Defending the International Order
The persecution of Falun Gong has not lessened ahead of the impending Beijing Olympics.
On Jan. 14, a Beijing court sentenced 11 Falun Gong practitioners to up to eight years in prison, citing the materials they provided to The Epoch Times to shed light on the regime’s pandemic response in early 2020.
Beijing’s heavy-handed campaign against Falun Gong fits into its broader pattern of suppression, said Rep. Mary Miller (R-Ill.), a co-sponsor of the bill.
“The Chinese Communist Party persecutes anyone who does not worship the Communist Party and tyrannical government as the supreme power in their life,” she told The Epoch Times in an email.
“The international community should not be embracing China’s oppressive government while China refuses an investigation into the origins of the Wuhan coronavirus and imprisons Christian and minority communities like the Uyghurs and Falun Gong.”
So far the bill has four co-sponsors, all from the Republican side. Perry said that he has talked to the Democratic lawmakers and tried to add accountability measures about organ harvesting into the America COMPETES Act, a sweeping House bill originally intended to promote U.S. competitiveness with China, but his Democratic colleagues “wouldn’t even allow the amendment to be heard.”
“Do we stand with humanity?” he said in the NTD interview. “This should be an easy one in a divided nation where there’s not a lot of things we agree on. Certainly, I can’t imagine we don’t agree on that.”
Perry sees standing up for China’s persecuted as more than doing a “right and decent thing.”
It’s about defending the international order that the regime “intends to do away with … one that is completely incompatible with China’s abuses,” he wrote in the email.
“The CCP’s alternative for a broadly accepted international order is a ‘might makes right’ system in which anything may be justified—even egregious violations of human dignity—if the perpetrator is strong enough to physically stamp out any dissent,” he said. “This is why we must continue to confront the PRC’s [People’s Republic of China] human rights abuses and isolate them on the world stage wherever we can.”
“What affects China’s persecuted groups today could affect other people around the world tomorrow—and we cannot let that happen,” Perry added.