U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China Releases Annual Report
(Minghui.org) On January 8, 2020, the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) released its 2019 report, which stated that the human rights and rule of law conditions in China continued to worsen.
The report referred to Minghui.org, that at least 69 Falun Gong practitioners died as a result of persecution by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and at least 931 Falun Gong practitioners were unlawfully sentenced to prison in 2018.
Based on this report, CECC made several legislative and policy recommendations to the U.S. Congress and government, including sanctions on officials involved in human rights persecution.
The CECC is a U.S. Congressional committee that is mandated to monitor human rights and the development of the rule of law in China. It submits an annual report to the President and Congress.
With National Religious Freedom Day on January 16, the CECC's annual report and recommendations represent a renewed attention on human rights in China.
CECC co-chairman and Senator Marco Rubio said that despite the CCP's claim that the Chinese people enjoy freedom of belief, this is not the case. Rubio said that arrested Falun Gong practitioners still face harsh conditions including torture, violence, administration of toxic drugs and sleep deprivation.
The CECC report also recommended that the United States hold accountable the individual CCP officials who have severely violated human rights such as freedom of belief, by financial sanctions or visa refusal. The U.S. government should clearly distinguish between “Chinese people and culture” and “Chinese government and the Communist Party.”
The U.S. Department of State issued a press statement titled “United States Takes Action Against Violators of Religious Freedom” by Secretary Michael Pompeo on December 20, 2019.
The Department re-designated China and several other countries as Countries of Particular Concern under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 for their having engaged in or tolerated systematic, ongoing and egregious violations of religious freedom.
The U.S. government announced designations of 68 individuals and entities in nine countries for corruption and human rights abuses under the Global Magnitsky Act.
Visa restrictions were placed on Chinese government and CCP officials for human rights violations. For 20 consecutive years since the CCP initiated the persecution of Falun Gong in 1999, China has been designated as a Country of Particular Concern.
Freedom of belief is a basic right for every one. According to the press statement, “No country, entity, or individual should be able to persecute people of faith without accountability.” “The protection of religious freedom is a top Trump Administration foreign policy priority.”
US President Trump proclaimed December 10 as Human Rights Day and December 15 as Bill of Rights Day and the week of December 8 as Human Rights Week at the end of 2019.
In a statement on International Human Rights Day, Secretary Pompeo said that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights specifies the common rights and freedoms that human beings should enjoy, and he is committed to protecting and promoting these basic, universal and fundamental freedoms.
Minghui.org stated in an announcement issued at the end of May 2019 that the U.S. government would more strictly review visa applications, refuse visas to human rights and religious persecutors, and potentially deny entry of those with valid visas (including green card holders).
A U.S. State Department official revealed that 28 countries have enacted or are preparing to enact the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act similar to the United States, refusing visas and freezing assets for human rights violators.
The official made it clear that in recent years, several Chinese people were refused visas for their participation in the persecution of Falun Gong.
In November 2019, The Five Eyes, an anglophone intelligence alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States, received the latest list of perpetrators who were involved in the persecution of Falun Gong.
According to Minghui.org the updated list includes over 100,000 perpetrators. The U.S. government states that even if a perpetrator or his family has already entered the country, their visas can be revoked and they can be deported.
The CCP’s persecution has gone on for more than 20 years. The deaths of at least 4300 Falun Gong practitioners due to the persecution have been documented.