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- As Delivered -

WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today delivered the following remarks in the United States House of Representatives in support of a resolution that expresses concern regarding reports of state-sanctioned organ harvesting from non-consenting prisoners of conscience in the People’s Republic of China, particularly from large numbers of Falun Gong practitioners (H.Res.343):

“Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this measure and yield myself as much time as I may consume.

“Again, I thank Chairman Royce and Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen, who introduced this legislation. Very important piece of legislation.

“We just finished debate on a bill that would help us to get a better handle on just how severe a problem organ trafficking is, and help us figure out what’s needed to confront this challenge.

“This resolution underscores troubling reports about the practice of organ trafficking, specifically in the People’s Republic of China.  I’ve heard directly from some of my constituents about this and what’s particularly unsettling is that this practice allegedly targets prisoners of conscience, including practitioners of Falun Gong and other religious and ethnic minorities.

“Non-consensual organ harvesting under any circumstance represents a gross violation of human rights.  But these allegations are particularly egregious: authorities at Chinese prisons targeting prisoners because of their religious beliefs and then making a profit by trafficking these victims’ organs.  I cannot think of hardly anything that’s more disgusting than that. 

“The accounts of these activities are gruesome and shocking.  And again, we need to get to the bottom of this issue to see exactly what’s going on. 

“This measure calls on the Chinese government to cease the practice of forced organ harvesting and to end the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners and other prisoners of conscience.  It also calls on the Chinese government to allow an investigation into this issue, and it urges the State Department to include an assessment of state-sanctioned, non-consensual organ harvesting in its annual human rights reports.

“So I again thank Ms. Ros-Lehtinen for her focus on this issue.  I’m pleased to support this measure.  And I reserve the balance of my time.”