U.S. Senator Calls on China to End “Brutalization” and Forced Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont issued a formal statement on September 12th calling on the Chinese government to end its persecution of Falun Gong, including the practice of forced organ harvesting, saying, “Falun Gong practitioners recently marked the 20th anniversary of the beginning of China’s campaign of brutality against their community. In the years since that initial crackdown, the Chinese government has relentlessly continued its repression of Falun Gong.”

Leahy further stated that “Falun Gong practitioners have been arrested, interred at reeducation camps, beaten, sleep-deprived, starved, sexually assaulted, electrocuted, force-fed, shackled, and had their limbs slowly broken, until they have renounced their beliefs and practices. They have had their organs harvested against their will. They have been murdered.”

He pointed out that we have no way of knowing how many Falun Gong practitioners have been subjected to the government’s crimes as China “denies to the outside world that it is happening while justifying it to their own citizens.”

“The plight of these people in China, the horrors of torture and murder by the government, can seem very far away from Washington, D.C., and very far away from my state of Vermont. And yet Vermonters travel to Washington to meet with me and my staff, urging Congress to act on behalf of Falun Gong.”

Leahy wrote, “The Chinese government should immediately cease its arbitrary detention and brutalization of Falun Gong practitioners and other religious and ethnic minorities. It should release political prisoners from reeducation centers, decriminalize religious and spiritual practices, and allow international human rights groups and journalists to interview survivors. It should commit to ending the use of torture, organ harvesting of prisoners, and propaganda against minorities.”

Senator Leahy, a former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and President Pro Tempore, is the most senior Democratic Senator in the United States with 44 years in office. He said that the stories told by survivors and victim’s family members of the horrific religious persecution perpetrated by the Chinese regime “continue to shock me.”

He concluded, “The Falun Gong deserve to be remembered, and they deserve the international community’s collective action.”