On Monday, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would punish China for executing prisoners of conscience and harvesting their organs - a practice known as forced organ harvesting. The measure would sanction anyone involved in harvesting and would require annual reporting from the government regarding forced organ harvesting taking place around the globe.
The Stop Forced Organ Harvesting Act of 2023, or H.R. 1154, was introduced by Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Chris Coons (D-DE), with over a dozen other lawmakers supporting the bill.
"There is growing evidence that the Chinese Communist Party has and continues to harvest organs from persecuted religious groups, prisoners of conscience, and inmates," Sen. Tom Cotton said. "This bill will identify and punish CCP members involved in forced organ harvesting. It's past time to hold Beijing accountable for these heinous acts," Cotton added.
Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) added, "It's got real teeth. We're not kidding. This is an atrocity, this is a crime against humanity, and it's a war crime, because this is a war on innocent people in China, and [Chinese leader} Xi Jinping is directly responsible, but those who willingly engage in this will be held responsible."
Rep. Susan Wild (D-PA) noted that the annual reporting requirement in the legislation would make sure the U.S. makes "an informed assessment regarding the magnitude and prevalence of this problem."
"Given the ongoing genocide, we cannot take Beijing at its word about what it is and is not doing," Wild added. "We need to investigate and we need to verify," she continued.
"We should never look away from injustice and repression wherever it takes place," Wild concluded.
Two lawmakers, Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Thomas Massie (R-KY) did not vote for the bill claiming that it amounts to the overreach of the U.S. government.
"The bill gives the President unilateral broad authority to sanction individuals and politicians without any adjudication or due process," Massie said. "Furthermore, according to language in this bill, anyone who receives or offers compensation for an organ donation could be defined as an organ trafficker eligible for punitive actions from the U.S. President," he added.
"American politicians are elected by American citizens to protect American interests," Greene continued. "This bill, by promoting 'the establishment of voluntary organ donation systems... in bilateral diplomatic meetings and in international forums,' calls for non-American politicians, not elected by American citizens, to protect non-American interests. This is nothing more than another piece of legislation from the swamp that fails to put America First."
The bill would require the president to provide Congress with a list of suspected individuals who participated in forced organ harvesting or human trafficking with the intent of organ harvesting. The measure also requires that the president impose property and visa-blocking sanctions on each suspect.
Identical legislation has also been introduced in the Senate, although it is unclear when it will be brought up for a vote.
It should also be noted that according to a study in the American Journal of Transplantation, Chinese transplant surgeons have been conducting organ harvesting prior to donors being declared brain-dead.
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