WASHINGTON—More than 1,500 Falun Gong practitioners gathered on the National Mall on July 21 to call for an end to the Chinese communist regime’s persecution of the faith group.
With the U.S. Capitol in the background, speakers at a rally highlighted the growing awareness of the forced organ harvesting of detained Falun Gong practitioners and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s threat to the United States.
“Forced organ harvesting is one of the most barbaric practices in human history. And it’s past time for real accountability,” Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) said, noting that Congress must take “aggressive actions” against the crime. “America is finally waking up to the threat posed by China. And we all need to hear your story, understand how brutal the CCP has been to you, and learn from your experience.”
July 20 marked 23 years since the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) launched its sweeping campaign to eradicate Falun Gong, a spiritual practice involving meditative exercises and a set of moral teachings based on the tenets of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. The practice’s popularity, with an estimated 70 million to 100 million adherents in China by 1999, was perceived by the Party as a threat to its authoritarian control over society.
‘Congress Absolutely Must Act’
Speakers at the rally also urged support for the Stop Forced Organ Harvesting Act of 2021, legislation that would sanction those responsible for forced organ harvesting and prohibit the export of medical devices used in the grisly practice.
An independent tribunal in 2019 found that the Chinese regime had, for years, been killing detained prisoners of conscience—primarily Falun Gong practitioners—for their organs to supply the organ transplant market on a “significant scale,” a practice that continues today.
Ambassador Andrew Bremberg, president of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC), a Washington-based advocacy group, urged Congress to take the lead in passing the legislation.
By Terri Wu