(UnitedVoice.com) – The Chinese government has been accused of committing a number of atrocities over the years. It censors its citizens and locks up those who have the courage to speak out. For a long time, the country had a one-child rule that was strictly enforced. The government has also imprisoned more than one million Uyghur Muslims. The international community has accused the country of carrying out genocide.
Then there’s the business of organ harvesting. The country is a top destination for organ transplants, using body parts that were allegedly forcefully taken from vulnerable citizens. The US House recently united to pass legislation related to those practices.
Organ Harvesting Bill
On March 27, Democrats and Republicans in the House came together to pass the Stop Forced Organ Harvesting Act of 2023 (HR 1154). The legislation passed by an overwhelming margin of 413-2. Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) sponsored the bill that would impose civil and criminal penalties on anyone who is involved in organ harvesting. A person convicted of the criminal offense would face a penalty of up to 20 years in prison and $1 million. The civil penalty is up to $250,000. The government would also be required to issue annual reports on the topic.
Rep. Smith spoke to The Epoch Times before the bill passed and explained the legislation is not symbolic; it has “real teeth,” and lawmakers are “not kidding.” He said that China’s forced organ harvesting is a “crime against humanity” and there’s a “war on innocent people in China” for which Chinese President “Xi Jinping is directly responsible.”
Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Chris Coons (D-DE) sponsored a similar bill (S. 761) in the Senate. The legislation would allow the Secretary of State to deny visas and passports to people who are involved in organ trafficking. It also requires annual reporting on organ harvesting in other countries and would impose sanctions on those involved in the practice.
In a March 9 statement, Cotton said the Chinese government’s organ harvesting program is “cruel and immoral.” He pointed out that vulnerable groups, such as religious and ethnic minorities, are often the targets of the practice.
An independent tribunal in London issued a shocking report about the Chinese government’s organ harvesting initiative in 2019. For years the tribunal investigated the claims and found people were having their organs stolen from them “on a significant scale” in China, for years. Many of the victims of the harvesting were those who practiced Falun Gong, a religious practice.
Lawmakers in the UK are also trying to curtail organ tourism to China.
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