CHINA has strongly denied harvesting organs from prisoners of conscience after the U.S. Congress passed a resolution calling on the country to end the alleged practice.
The resolution passed Monday calls on the State Department to report annually to Congress on the implementation of an existing law barring visas to Chinese and other nationals engaged in coercive organ transplantation. China says the move is based on a “groundless accusation”.
The resolution also condemns persecution of the Falun Gong spiritual group which is outlawed in China.
Chinese Embassy spokesman Zhu Haiquan said Tuesday that the allegations of organ harvesting were fabricated. He said Falun Gong is anti-China and urged Congress to refrain from supporting it.
In 2014, the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee endorsed a resolution calling on China to immediately end the state-sanctioned harvesting of human organs from prisoners.
Human rights groups have long criticized China for taking organs for transplant from executed prisoners. China said in 2012 it plans to abolish the practice in three to five years. Activists contend that the practice continues.
As a spiritual practice rooted in ancient Chinese culture, Falun Gong (Falun Dafa) consists of meditative exercises and moral philosophy.
Falun Gong was practiced by over 70 million people in China in the 1990s. At the time it was openly promoted by Chinese authorities.
The clampdown occurred over fears that Falun Gong was ideological competition to communism due to its widespread appeal.
According to the Falun Dafa Association of Washington D.C., the Communist Party in 1999 launched a campaign to eradicate Falun Gong through extensive propaganda, mass imprisonment, torture, and organ harvesting. It said the ‘atrocities’ were still being committed by the Chinese government.
The association claimed multiple independent investigations estimate that 40,000-65,000 Falun Gong practitioners have been killed to fuel China’s lucrative organ transplant industry.
Additional reporting by Associated Press