A top Republican who advises the president on foreign policy was implored to take tougher action to end the ‘horror’ victims experience every day at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
A total of 49 members of the Virginia General Assembly have signed a written order for Secretary of State Michael Pompeo to help end more than two decades of Beijing-sanctioned detention, torture, organ harvesting, and cremation against people who simply want to exercise in the park and behave truthfully, compassionately, and tolerantly.
“This July marks 21 years since the CCP launched an intensive, nationwide persecution to eradicate the spiritual practice of Falun Gong,” the statement said. “The undersigned members of the Virginia General Assembly write to request forceful, and sustained action by the United States to protect religious liberty and to bring an end to this inhumane practice.”
Virginian House and Senate members recalled the harrowing experiences of one torture survivor who sought refuge in Fairfax, Virginia.
“Left in death bed with four limbs tied, handcuffed and hung in painful position, violently force-fed, high-voltage electric shock, [and] not allowed to sleep for three days,” they said. “We cannot even imagine having to endure this torture and fortunately, from the safety of our own nation, we do not have to but our position affords us with an even greater responsibility to act.”
The members believe previous U.S. House and Senate resolutions, which showed bipartisan support for the peaceful group, should encourage the Trump administration to prioritize ending the persecution of Falun Gong and other religious or ethnic minority groups in mainland China.
“We recognize and appreciate the bipartisan efforts already taken to raise awareness of this tragedy, including House Resolution 343 (2016, Rep. [Ileana] Ros-Lehtinen) and Senate Resolution 274 (2019, Sen. [Bob] Menendez),” the statement said. “We also appreciate your statements that religious freedom is a top priority for the administration and that the United States ‘will not stand idly by while abusers of this first American freedom persecute, discriminate against, and revile people because of their beliefs.'”
They also urged the federal government to warn Americans not to participate in transplant tourism in mainland China because the organs are allegedly removed without permission.
“We ask that the Department of State take action here at home to help educate Americans about the practice of nonconsensual organ harvesting in China,” they wrote. “Organ transplants should never be conducted under force or duress. We are concerned that patients from the United States who go to China for organ transplants do not know that the organs they may receive are from political prisoners [and] increasing our own education efforts will help to reduce the demand for this immoral practice.”
Vienna, Virginia resident Kery Nunez applauded the effort, describing it as an important step in “defending human rights standards” and helping to prevent further CCP Virus outbreaks.
“Holding the CCP accountable for organ harvesting is not only the right thing to do, it safeguards public health for Virginia residents as well,” she said in a letter published by the Fairfax County Times. “If China had faced global pressure for transparency and accountability in its health system in dealing with organ transplant abuses, we would not have this coronavirus [CCP Virus] now and we are suffering the consequences now of turning a blind eye to organ transplant abuse.”
From 1992 to 1999, Falun Gong enjoyed immense popularity with an estimated 70 million to 100 million people practicing in mainland China alone. The practice has also spread to the United States and more than 70 countries across the world while Falun Gong books have been translated into over 40 different languages.
However, the CCP grew increasingly unsettled by the group’s rapid growth and the high number of influential party members who joined. In late 1999, Chinese dictator Jiang Zemin decided to arbitrarily arrest and torture adherents to death, confiscated and destroyed more than 2 million Falun Gong books, and ordered state-run media to publish hundreds of articles that defamed the practice.
The two decadeslong human rights crisis has caused at least 4,363 known Falun Gong adherents to be persecuted to death, with “tens of thousands more [cases] to be confirmed” according to the latest data collected by the Minghui website. The CCP’s policy to cremate the deceased bodies of victims without asking permission from family members has only added to the difficulty in ascertaining exactly how many Falun Gong adherents have been persecuted to death since 1999.