Senator ANTHONY R. BUCCO
District 25 (Morris and Somerset)
Senators Thompson, Doherty, Greenstein, Oroho and Singer
Denounces organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners and political prisoners in People’s Republic of China.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
A Senate Resolution denouncing the practice of organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners and political prisoners in the People’s Republic of China.
Whereas, In saving the lives of once hopeless patients, the practice of organ transplantation is a miracle of modern medicine when preformed in accordance with established ethical standards; and
Whereas, While the People’s Republic of China (PRC) performs up to 100,000 organ transplants per year, China does not comply with the World Health Organization’s organ procurement transparency requirements; and
Whereas, As a result, much of China’s organ supply are unaccounted for, and credible reports indicate that prisoners of conscience are regularly killed to supply China’s growing organ transplant market; and
Whereas, The PRC officially sanctioned the harvesting of organs from executed prisoners in 1984 after enacting the “Temporary Rules Concerning the Utilization of Corpses or Organs from the Corpses of Executed Criminals,” which stated that “the use of the corpses or organs of executed criminals must be kept strictly secret, and attention must be paid to avoiding negative repercussions”; and
Whereas, This policy remained in use for decades, as former Vice-Minister of Health Huang Jiefu said in 2005 that more than 90 percent of deceased organ donations were obtained from executed prisoners; and
Whereas, Some reports also estimated that roughly 50 percent of organ transplantations performed in China in 2013 were sourced from executed prisoners; and
Whereas, Voluntary and informed consent is a prerequisite for ethical organ donation, the international community maintains that prisoners, many of whom are deprived of their freedoms and imprisoned for their beliefs, are unable to provide consent for organ donation; and
Whereas, Falun Gong practitioners, who comprise the largest percentage of PRC prisoners of conscience, are believed to be the primary victims of organ harvesting since the early 2000s; and
Whereas, Founded in 1992 by Li Hongzhi, Falun Gong is a spiritual practice that engages in meditative exercises and emphasizes the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance; and
Whereas, By offering practitioners a sense of personal fulfillment and reconnection with traditional Chinese culture after decades of state-sponsored Maoism, nationalism, and materialism, Falun Gong quickly became popular, gaining over 70 million followers by 1999; and
Whereas, Fearing the movement’s growing societal influence, the PRC President and Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Jiang Zemin launched a nationwide campaign in July 1999 to eliminate the alleged “evil cult”; and
Whereas, Since 1999, hundreds of thousands of practitioners have been coerced into recanting Falun Gong beliefs and subjected to physical and psychological abuses while detained in “legal education centers,” “black jails,” and reeducation labor camps; and
Whereas, When Falun Gong practitioners refused to renounce their beliefs, evidence shows that they were targeted for forced organ donations; and
Whereas, Independent reports estimate that approximately 65,000 Falun Gong practitioners were killed for their organs between 2000 and 2008, and human rights organizations such as Freedom House have declared that “there are reasons to believe that such abuses continue” today; and
Whereas, The Chinese government also reportedly targeted ethnic minorities and political dissidents for organ harvesting, most notably Muslim Uyghurs from the Xinjiang Province; and
Whereas, The killing of religious or political prisoners for the purpose of harvesting their organs violates established medical ethical standards, infringes on the universal rights of humanity, and reduces the promise of organ transplantation into a nightmare for countless innocent victims; now, therefore,
Be It Resolved by the Senate of the State of New Jersey:
1. This House denounces the practice of organ harvesting from non-consenting prisoners of conscience, including Falun Gong practitioners and political prisoners, in the People’s Republic of China.
2. Copies of this resolution, as filed with the Secretary of State, shall be transmitted by the Secretary of the Senate to the United States Secretary of State, the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the United States, and the Permanent Representative of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations.
This resolution denounces the practice of organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners, political dissidents, and ethnic minorities in the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
The harvesting of organs from executed prisoners is well-documented in the PRC. The practice was officially sanctioned in 1984 upon the enactment of the “Temporary Rules Concerning the Utilization of Corpses or organs from the Corpses of Executed Criminals,” which explicitly stated that “the use of the corpses or organs of executed criminals must be kept strictly secret, and attention must be paid to avoiding negative repercussions.” According the former PRC Vice-Minister of Health Huang Jiefu, more than 90 percent of China’s deceased organ donations in 2005 were obtained from executed prisoners. By 2013, approximately 50 percent of the country’s estimated 100,000 annual organ transplantations were reportedly supplied by executed prisoners.
Credible reports indicate that the PRC heavily targeted imprisoned Falun Gong practitioners for organ harvesting beginning in the early 2000s. Founded in 1992 by Li Hongzhi, Falun Gong is a spiritual practice that uses meditative exercises and emphasizes the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. By 1999 the movement gained over 70 million practitioners throughout China. However, fearing Falun Gong’s growing societal influence, the PRC President Jiang Zemin launched a nationwide campaign in July 1999 to eliminate the practice. Since then, Falun Gong practitioners throughout China were imprisoned, tortured, and coerced into renouncing their beliefs.
Practitioners who refused to recant became prime targets of organ harvesting. An estimated 65,000 Falun Gong practitioners were killed for their organs between 2000 and 2008 alone. Ethnic minorities and political prisoners, most notably Muslim Uyghurs in Xinjiang Province, were also reportedly targeted for organ harvesting. According to human rights organizations such as Freedom House, “there is reason to believe that such abuses continue” in 2017.
Harvesting organs from religious or political prisoners violates not only ethical medical standards but also the universal rights of the Chinese people. The State of New Jersey stands in solidarity with the Falun Gong, its practitioners, and every other victim of Chinese organ harvesting.