U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) denounced the Chinese regime’s “barbaric and horrific” practice of forcibly harvesting organs from imprisoned Falun Gong practitioners at a conference on Sept. 26.
“The CCP not only tortures and murders Falun Gong practitioners. It also harvests their organs on massive scale,” Cruz said at a conference hosted by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation in Washington.
“The next time someone is celebrating our friends in the Chinese government, it may perhaps be worth asking, ‘are you often in the practice of palling around with organ harvesters?’”
Longstanding allegations that the Chinese regime has been killing prisoners of conscience for their organs were confirmed in June when an independent people’s tribunal concluded, beyond reasonable doubt, that the practice was occurring on a “substantial scale,” with Falun Gong practitioners being the main organ source.
Earlier this week, lawyer and counsel to the tribunal Hamid Sabi presented the tribunal’s findings before the United Nations Human Rights Council and U.N. member states, saying that the international body had a “legal obligation” to address the regime’s “criminal conduct.”
Practitioners of Falun Gong, a spiritual practice based on meditative exercises and moral teachings, have been persecuted by the regime for 20 years. The discipline exploded in popularity in the 1990s with an estimated 70 million to 100 million practicing by the end of the decade. The Chinese Communist Party thus deemed it a threat to its authoritarian control.
Since then, adherents have been subject to arbitrary detention, forced labor, brainwashing, torture, and even death.
Cruz noted while there were over 4,000 recorded cases of Falun Gong practitioners who died from the persecution, rights groups “believe that the [true] number is much much higher.”
At any given time, hundreds of thousands of adherents are held in prisons, labor camps, and brainwashing centers, where many have been tortured in an effort to force them to renounce their faith, the Falun Dafa Information Center estimates.
The senator also condemned the regime’s severe abuses on house Christians, Uyghur Muslims, and Tibetan Buddhists.
He said the United States has a duty to speak out against these human rights violations because “tyrannies fear truth. They fear sunlight.”
“America … has a responsibility to be a beacon for freedom … to isolate and shame tyrants and dictators.”