Text: S.Res.220 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (07/13/2017)

 
[Congressional Bills 115th Congress]
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[S. Res. 220 Introduced in Senate (IS)]

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115th CONGRESS
  1st Session
S. RES. 220

   Expressing solidarity with Falun Gong practitioners who have lost 
lives, freedoms, and rights for adhering to their beliefs and practices 
and condemning the practice of non-consenting organ harvesting, and for 
                            other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                             July 13, 2017

  Mr. Menendez (for himself, Mr. Moran, Mr. Cassidy, Mr. Boozman, Mr. 
  Markey, Mr. Brown, Mr. Leahy, Mr. Rubio, Mr. Tillis, and Mr. Coons) 
submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee 
                          on Foreign Relations

_______________________________________________________________________

                               RESOLUTION


 
   Expressing solidarity with Falun Gong practitioners who have lost 
lives, freedoms, and rights for adhering to their beliefs and practices 
and condemning the practice of non-consenting organ harvesting, and for 
                            other purposes.

Whereas Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa) is a Chinese spiritual discipline 
        founded by Li Hongzhi in 1992 that consists of spiritual and moral 
        teachings, meditation, and exercise, and is based upon the universal 
        principles of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance;
Whereas, during the mid-1990s, Falun Gong acquired a large and diverse 
        following, with as many as 70,000,000 practitioners at its peak;
Whereas, on April 25, 1999, an estimated 10,000 to 30,000 Falun Gong 
        practitioners gathered in Beijing to protest growing restrictions by the 
        Government of the People's Republic of China on the activities of Falun 
        Gong practitioners, and the Government of the People's Republic of China 
        responded with an intensive, comprehensive, and unforgiving campaign 
        against the movement that began on July 20, 1999, with the banning of 
        Falun Gong;
Whereas the Constitution of the People's Republic of China guarantees basic 
        rights, including the freedoms of speech, association, demonstration, 
        and religion;
Whereas, in 1993, the Government of the People's Republic of China praised Li 
        Hongzhi for his contributions in ``safeguarding social order and 
        security'' and ``promoting rectitude in society'';
Whereas, in many detention facilities and labor camps, Falun Gong prisoners of 
        conscience have at times comprised the majority of the population, and 
        have been said to receive the longest sentences and the worst treatment, 
        including torture;
Whereas, according to overseas Falun Gong and human rights organizations, since 
        1999, from several hundred to a few thousand Falun Gong adherents have 
        died in custody from torture, abuse, and neglect;
Whereas a review of the Government of the People's Republic of China by the 
        United Nations Human Rights Council's Working Group on the Universal 
        Periodic Review in October 2013 recommended that China ``[s]top the 
        prosecution and persecution of people for the practice of their religion 
        or belief including Catholics, other Christians, Tibetans, Uyghurs, and 
        Falun Gong'';
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 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 the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Communist Party 
        of China continue to deny reports that many organs are taken without the 
        consent of prisoners, yet at the same time prevent independent 
        verification of its transplant system;
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;
Whereas the United States Department of State Country Report on Human Rights for 
        China for 2014 stated, ``Advocacy groups continued to report instances 
        of organ harvesting from prisoners.'';
Whereas Huang Jiefu, director of the China Organ Donation Committee, announced 
        in December 2014 that China would end the practice of organ harvesting 
        from executed prisoners by January 1, 2015, but did not directly address 
        organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience;
Whereas Freedom House reported in 2015 that Falun Gong practitioners comprise 
        the largest portion of prisoners of conscience in China, and face an 
        elevated risk of dying or being killed in custody;
Whereas the Department of State Country Report on Human Rights for China for 
        2016 reported that ``some international medical professionals and human 
        rights researchers questioned the voluntary nature of the 
        (transplantation) system, the accuracy of official statistics, and 
        official claims about the source of organs'';
Whereas the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) stated in 2016 
        that ``international observers, including the U.S. House of 
        Representatives and the European Parliament, expressed concern over 
        reports that numerous organ transplantations have used the organs of 
        detained prisoners, including Falun Gong practitioners'' and also noted 
        that international medical professionals ``expressed skepticism of 
        reforms raised by discrepancies in official data''; and
Whereas a 2017 report by Freedom House concluded that there was ``credible 
        evidence suggesting that beginning in the early 2000s, Falun Gong 
        detainees were killed for their organs on a large scale'': Now, 
        therefore, be it
    Resolved, That the Senate--
            (1) expresses solidarity with Falun Gong practitioners and 
        their families for the lives, freedoms, and rights they lost 
        for adhering to their beliefs and practices;
            (2) emphasizes to the Government of the People's Republic 
        of China that freedom of religion includes the right of Falun 
        Gong practitioners to freely practice Falun Gong in China;
            (3) calls upon the Communist Party of China to immediately 
        cease and desist from its campaign to persecute Falun Gong 
        practitioners and promptly release all Falun Gong practitioners 
        who have been confined, detained, or imprisoned for pursuing 
        their right to hold and exercise their spiritual beliefs;
            (4) condemns the practice of non-consenting organ 
        harvesting in the People's Republic of China;
            (5) calls on the Government of the People's Republic of 
        China and the Communist Party of China to immediately end the 
        practice of organ harvesting from all prisoners of conscience; 
        and
            (6) calls on the People's Republic of China to allow an 
        independent and transparent investigation into organ transplant 
        abuses.
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