U.S. State Department may bar entry to Chinese officials involved in Falun Gong persecution
In accordance with the Immigration and Nationality Act which bars entry of any foreign officials who violate religious freedoms, the U.S. State Department may bar the entry of Chinese officials who have violated Falun Gong adherents’ right to religious freedom. U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback commented “[The] Chinese government is at war with faith. It is a war they will not win”.
U.S. Speaker of the House urges use of trade tariffs to leverage human rights issues in China
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has shown support of tariffs raised against China by President Donald Trump. Pelosi says “If we don’t speak about human rights in China because of economic concerns, we lose all moral authority to talk about human rights in any other place in the world”.
U.S. Congress passes Resolution condemning China’s persecution of faith groups
By passing H.Res.393, Congress has expressed solidarity with the victims of China’s human rights violations, condemns China’s persecution of any who hold religious beliefs and the Chinese government’s 20 year-long attempt to eradicate Falun Gong. The House of Representatives “condemns the ongoing restrictions on universally recognized human rights by the Government of the People’s Republic of China and its efforts to quell peaceful political dissent, censor the internet, brutally suppress ethnic and religious minorities, and detain and torture lawyers and rights advocates seeking the Government’s commitment, in law and practice, to international human rights treaties and covenants to which it is a party and that are reflected in the Chinese constitution.”
Maine passes Joint Resolution S.P. 574 condemning China’s illegal organ harvesting
The Maine House and Senate passed a Joint Resolution on May 7, 2019 that pledges to condemn China for its illegal organ harvesting activities. Maine’s elected officials resolved, “that medical community in the State of Maine is encouraged to educate our citizens about the risks of traveling to China for organ transplants so as to prevent them from unwittingly becoming involved in murder in the form of forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience and members of religious and ethnic minority groups.”
Canadian government urged to end complicity in China’s brutal organ-trafficking regime
Prof. Maria Cheung, Chair of the Canadian Committee of the International Coalition To End Transplant Abuse in China (ETAC), wrote in both the Vancouver Sun and The Conversation, “Bill S-240 seeks to put a stop to Canadian complicity by criminalizing organ tourism. The bill has received unanimous consent from both the Senate and the House of Commons, and is awaiting final Senate approval before the end of the parliamentary session before it can be passed. This is a critical moment of decision for Canada.”
Belgium bans medical tourism for organ transplants
On April 25, 2019, Belgium’s primary legislative body passed a new bill that criminalizes all activities involved in buying and selling of human organs for commercial uses. According to the new bill, violators will face up to 20 years in jail with a fine of up to 1.2 million euros ($1.35 million USD). All 134 members of the Chamber of Representatives, the upper house of the Belgian Federal Parliament voted to add the bill to the penal code. The bill will subsequently be moved to the Senate, then to the King, who will sign the bill into law.
Germany issues statement about the persecution and organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners
Germany’s Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Assistance at the Federal Foreign Office, issued a statement on the 20th anniversary of the start of the persecution of Falun Gong in China: “The Chinese Government has been conducting a brutal campaign against the spiritual meditation movement Falun Gong for the past 20 years. Falun Gong practitioners are persecuted and detained without trial. There are many reports of torture and even of people not surviving prison. … I also appeal to the Chinese Government to comment on the serious and long-standing allegation that the organs of detained Falun Gong followers are systematically harvested. The Chinese Government should urgently increase transparency on the procurement of organs and grant independent observers free access to prisons and internment centres in order to counter these allegations.”
Taiwan deserves world support for standing up to big brother China on religious freedom
British human rights activist and journalist Benedict Rogers wrote about Taiwan’s recent efforts “not only to defend its own freedoms but also to promote democracy and human rights, including religious freedom, around the world.” In March, President Tsai addressed a conference alongside U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback. The President appointed Pusin Tali as Taiwan’s first Special Ambassador for International Religious Freedom and committed to donate US$1 million over five years to the U.S. State Department’s International Religious Freedom Fund. Rogers concluded, “for a small island nation already vulnerable to pressure and intimidation from China, this is a bold move. It deserves support and encouragement in this quest.”