Text: H.Res.281 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (06/27/2013)


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[Congressional Bills 113th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H. Res. 281 Introduced in House (IH)]

113th CONGRESS
  1st Session
H. RES. 281

Expressing concern over persistent and credible reports of systematic, 
  state-sanctioned organ harvesting from non-consenting prisoners of 
  conscience, in the People's Republic of China, including from large 
  numbers of Falun Gong practitioners imprisoned for their religious 
  beliefs, and members of other religious and ethnic minority groups.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             June 27, 2013

Ms. Ros-Lehtinen (for herself and Mr. Andrews) submitted the following 
   resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs

_______________________________________________________________________

                               RESOLUTION


 
Expressing concern over persistent and credible reports of systematic, 
  state-sanctioned organ harvesting from non-consenting prisoners of 
  conscience, in the People's Republic of China, including from large 
  numbers of Falun Gong practitioners imprisoned for their religious 
  beliefs, and members of other religious and ethnic minority groups.

Whereas when performed in accordance with ethical standards, the medical 
        discipline of organ transplantation is one of the great achievements of 
        modern medicine;
Whereas the People's Republic of China performs more than 10,000 organ 
        transplantations per year, yet as of May 2013 it did not have an 
        organized or effective public system of organ donation or distribution;
Whereas the organ transplantation system in China does not comply with the World 
        Health Organization's requirement of transparency and traceability in 
        organ procurement pathways, and the Government of the People's Republic 
        of China has resisted independent scrutiny of the system;
Whereas the Department of State Country Report on Human Rights for China for 
        2011 stated, ``Overseas and domestic media and advocacy groups continued 
        to report instances of organ harvesting, particularly from Falun Gong 
        practitioners and Uighurs'';
Whereas due in part to traditional views on the importance of preserving the 
        body intact after death, China has very low rates of voluntary organ 
        donations;
Whereas the People's Republic of China implemented regulations in 1984 that 
        permitted the harvesting of organs from executed prisoners;
Whereas in June 2001, Chinese doctor Wang Guoqi testified before the House of 
        Representatives International Relations Subcommittee on International 
        Organizations and Human Rights that hospitals worked in collusion with 
        state security agencies to extract organs from executed prisoners 
        without written consent of the organ donors, and that these transplants 
        were a lucrative source of income;
Whereas former Vice-Minister of Health Huang Jiefu admitted publicly that more 
        than 90 percent of transplant organs extracted from deceased donors 
        stemmed from executed prisoners in China;
Whereas voluntary and informed consent is the precondition for ethical organ 
        donation and international medical organizations state that prisoners, 
        deprived of their freedom, are not in the position to give free consent 
        and that the practice of sourcing organs from prisoners is a violation 
        of ethical guidelines in medicine;
Whereas Falun Gong, a spiritual practice involving meditative ``qigong'' 
        exercises and centered on the values of truthfulness, compassion, and 
        tolerance, became immensely popular in the 1990s, with multiple 
        estimates placing the number of practitioners upwards of 70,000,000;
Whereas in July 1999, the Chinese Communist Party launched an intensive, 
        nationwide persecution designed to eradicate the spiritual practice of 
        Falun Gong, reflecting the party's long-standing intolerance of large 
        independent civil society groups;
Whereas since 1999, hundreds of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have been 
        detained extra-legally in reeducation-through-labor camps, detention 
        centers, and prisons, where torture and abuse are routine;
Whereas in many detention facilities and labor camps, Falun Gong prisoners of 
        conscience comprise the majority of the population, and have been said 
        to receive the longest sentences and the worst treatment;
Whereas in order to protect their families and associates, many Falun Gong 
        prisoners of conscience refuse to provide real names or other personally 
        identifying information to security agencies, thus making them more 
        vulnerable to abuses;
Whereas the number of organ transplant operations in China increased 
        significantly after 1999, corresponding with the onset of the 
        persecution of Falun Gong;
Whereas this increase does not appear to be attributable either to an overall 
        increase in the number of death row inmates or to an increase in 
        voluntary donations, and in fact, human rights groups and legal experts 
        believe there has been a decrease in the number of executions in China 
        in recent years;
Whereas the Government of the People's Republic of China has failed to 
        adequately account for the sources of the excess organs;
Whereas Chinese hospitals have advertised wait times of 2 to 4 weeks for kidney 
        and liver transplants, and documented cases of scheduled heart 
        transplantations with 3 weeks advanced notice;
Whereas because organs have a very limited survival period outside the body, 
        such short wait times are best explained by the existence of a large 
        pool of living donors whose organs can be harvested on demand;
Whereas interviews conducted with previously imprisoned Falun Gong practitioners 
        suggest that, while in custody, they were targeted for medical exams, 
        including blood and urine tests, x-rays, ultra-sounds, and selective 
        physical exams;
Whereas the targeted nature of these exams suggests they are intended to assess 
        the health of the practitioners' vital organs and their potential 
        candidacy for organ harvesting;
Whereas other prisoner groups are generally not subjected to such medical tests;
Whereas Canadian researchers David Matas, human rights attorney, and David 
        Kilgour, former Canadian Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific, conducted 
        an investigation into allegations of organ harvesting from Falun Gong 
        prisoners of conscience in 2006, based on extensive circumstantial 
        evidence, their report concluded that the allegations were true and that 
        tens of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners may have been killed for 
        their organs;
Whereas in 2006, doctors from 17 Chinese hospitals admitted in phone calls with 
        undercover investigators that they used or could obtain vital organs of 
        Falun Gong prisoners of conscience for transplant, with some of the 
        doctors implicating local courts and security agencies in the organ 
        procurement process;
Whereas researcher and journalist Ethan Gutmann estimates that approximately 
        65,000 Falun Gong adherents may have been killed for their organs from 
        2000 to 2008, and that a smaller number of other religious and ethnic 
        minorities may also have been targeted;
Whereas Gutmann published findings that Chinese security agencies began 
        harvesting organs from members of the predominantly Muslim Uyghur ethnic 
        minority group in the 1990s, including from Uyghur political prisoners;
Whereas in May 2012, the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of 
        Falun Gong (WOIPFG) released telephone transcripts and audio recordings 
        of conversations between undercover investigators and senior Chinese 
        Communist Party officials, in which several officials indicated that 
        central authorities were aware of or involved in organ harvesting from 
        Falun Gong prisoners;
Whereas among those implicated were former Politburo member Bo Xilai and his 
        deputy, Wang Lijun;
Whereas the United Nations Committee Against Torture and the Special Rapporteur 
        on Torture have expressed concern over the allegations of organ 
        harvesting from Falun Gong prisoners, and have called on the Government 
        of the People's Republic of China to increase accountability and 
        transparency in the organ transplant system and punish those responsible 
        for abuses;
Whereas the killing of religious or political prisoners for the purpose of 
        selling their organs for transplant is an egregious and intolerable 
        violation of the fundamental right to life;
Whereas the Department of Health in Taiwan urged doctors in Taiwan to discourage 
        patients from undergoing commercial organ transplants in China; and
Whereas in September 2012, experts testified before the House of Representatives 
        Foreign Affairs Committee that United States patients continue to travel 
        to China for organ transplants and that the medical community continues 
        cooperation and training with Chinese colleagues, creating the risk that 
        they may be indirectly aiding abusive practices: Now, therefore, be it
    Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
            (1) calls on the Government of the People's Republic of 
        China to immediately end the practice of organ harvesting from 
        all prisoners, and particularly from Falun Gong prisoners of 
        conscience and members of other religious and ethnic minority 
        groups;
            (2) calls for a full and transparent investigation by the 
        United States Department of State into organ transplant 
        practices in the People's Republic of China, and for the 
        prosecution of those found to have engaged in such unethical 
        practices;
            (3) demands an immediate end to the 14-year persecution of 
        the Falun Gong spiritual practice by the Communist Party of 
        China, and the immediate release of all Falun Gong 
        practitioners and other prisoners of conscience;
            (4) recommends that the United States State Department 
        issue a travel warning for United States citizens traveling to 
        China for organ transplants informing them that the organ 
        source for their operation may be a prisoner of conscience; and
            (5) recommends that the United States Government publicly 
        condemn organ transplantation abuses in China and ban the entry 
        of those who have participated in illegal removal of human 
        tissues and organs, prosecuting such individuals should they be 
        found on United States soil.
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