(Minghui.org) The Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) hosted a hearing on March 20, 2024: “Stopping the Crime of Organ Harvesting—What More Must Be Done?” Four witnesses testified during the hearing and provided detailed action that can be taken to end forced organ harvesting by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

The Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) held a hearing on March 20, 2024 to stop forced organ harvesting in China.

CECC Chair: “An Atrocity Unmatched in Its Wickedness”

Chris Smith, U.S. Representative and Chair of CECC, started the hearing by highlighting its significance, “It is an important hearing, one which addresses one of the most persistent, horrific human rights abuses of our time, but sadly, one which has not received the widespread attention and condemnation it deserves.” He’s previously held two hearings in the U.S. Congress and said organ harvesting is unimaginable and unacceptable. 

U.S. Representative and CECC Chair Chris Smith hosted the hearing on March 20, 2024.

Citing previous findings in 2019 from the China Tribunal by Sir Geoffry Nice, Smith said the tribunal concluded “unanimously and sure beyond a reasonable doubt—that in China forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience has been practiced for a substantial period of time, involving a substantial amount of victims.” More specifically, the main victims were Falun Gong practitioners and Uyghurs. 

“Forced organ harvesting on an industrial scale in China is an atrocity unmatched in its wickedness,” Smith explained, adding, “The numbers of those executed for their organs—some even before they are brain dead—is staggering.” That is why the China Tribunal considered the state sanctioned forced organ harvesting in China “Crimes Against Humanity.” 

About a year ago, the House of Representatives passed the Stop Forced Organ Harvesting Act by an overwhelming 413-2 vote, and Smith called for the “Senate to bring the bill across the finish line. That landmark and bipartisan legislation authorizes the Secretary of State to deny passports and visas to any individuals involved in illegal organ trafficking—in China and globally.” Furthermore, the bill mandates annual reporting by the State Department on forced organ harvesting globally, and authorizes sanctions for individuals and entities that facilitate organ harvesting. 

“Silence is unacceptable—particularly from medical associations and corporations. If they remain silent, they are the most at risk of complicity in a crime against humanity,” concluded Smith, adding, “If we don’t act now, many more lives will be lost.”

CECC Co-chair Looks Forward to Bill in the Senate

Senator and CECC co-chair Jeff Merkley addressed the hearing. 

CECC co-chair and U.S. Senator from Oregon Jeff Merkley said human rights abuses and forced organ harvesting in China has been a long-standing concern of the Commission. He said the system in China is not transparent since, “The Chinese government has refused to agree to independent or international investigations.” 

Merkley added that Chairman Smith is the author of the Stop Forced Organ Harvesting Act, which passed the House a year ago. “I am a cosponsor of the Senate version and hope we can move it soon on our side,” he continued. 

A Horrible Crime That Needs to End

U.S. Representative Michelle Steel.

Michelle Steel, U.S. Representative from California, said it is critical to expose the CCP’s crime of forced organ harvesting in the Congress. She said the U.S. Government should try all means to find relevant evidences and stop this from happening again. A large number of Uyghurs and Falun Gong practitioners could become victims of this crime. 

Steel wrote to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in June 2023, urging action to stop those involved in the CCP’s organ harvesting from immigrating to the U.S. She said organ harvesting is a horrible crime that needs to end. Not only the CECC, the entire world needs to take concrete actions so that innocent people will not be killed for their organs. 

U.S. Representative Zach Nunn.

Zach Nunn, U.S. Representative from Idaho, pointed to a photo behind him during his speech. It was taken during a parade of Falun Gong practitioners and one of the banners exposed the ongoing organ harvesting from practitioners by the CCP. 

“This is not a science fiction movie and this is not a horror novel; it is happening in this populous country (China) today,” Nunn added. In 2006, an independent report alleged that tens of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners had their organs harvested in forced labor camps or detention facilities in China, resulting in their deaths. The atrocity of killing people on a large scale must stop, especially under the guise of scientific research.” 

Representative Nunn is concerned about whether U.S. taxpayer money may go to thousands of hospitals in China for organ harvesting. 

Legislation in Texas to Stop Unknowingly Participating in Organ Harvesting

Tom Oliverson, M.D. is Texas State Representative.

Tom Oliverson, M.D. is Texas State Representative and Chair of the Insurance Committee, Texas House of Representatives. He first heard about forced organ harvesting through the Southern USA Falun Dafa Association. “There are a large number of Falun Gong practitioners in the Houston area where I live and represent, many of whom had been persecuted by the CCP. 

“I have worked with both of these groups for several years to honor the victims of communism and recognize the horrors of forced organ harvesting, but our most significant victory came during the most recent Texas legislative session, when we passed SB 1040,” he explained. “Senate Bill 1040 is an attempt to prevent Texans from becoming unknowingly complicit in the act of forced organ harvesting. Senate Bill 1040 prohibits health benefit plan issuers from covering human organ transplants that are performed in China or in another country known to participate in forced organ harvesting and allows the commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services to designate additional countries who are known to participate in organ harvesting.”

Oliverson said Bills modeled after Senate Bill 1040 have already been heard in the Arizona House, Utah Senate, Missouri House as well as Idaho and Illinois. 

Establishing Archive Records for Criminals

Matthew Robertson is a Doctoral candidate

Matthew Robertson is a Doctoral candidate from the Australian National University (Canberra) and co-authored, “Execution by Organ Procurement: Breaching the Dead Donor Rule in China” in American Journal of Transplantation. He testified at hearings via video link and offered advice to lawmakers in the U.S. Congress.

Robertson suggested that Congress ask the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health to audit their grants over the past two decades to find out whether they have provided funds to Chinese medical entities involved in the transplant industry.

He also recommended that the U.S. government deny visas to individuals involved in organ trafficking in China. The lists of thousands of surgeons and hundreds of hospitals from Chinese medical databases could be used to build offender profiles, he added.