House Speaker Condemns Organ Harvesting, Indictments for Social Media Posts

US Speaker of the House Mike Johnson addressing the International Religious Freedom Summit on January 31, 2024. (Screenshot: NTDTV)

US Speaker of the House Mike Johnson addressing the International Religious Freedom Summit on January 31, 2024. (Screenshot: NTDTV)

House Speaker Condemns Organ Harvesting, Indictments for Social Media Posts


Dear Reader,


Last week, U.S. Speaker of the House of Representatives Mike Johnson called out the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) forced organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners in China and emphasized the need for action to combat the regime’s crimes.


In other news:

  • A new report from the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation discusses the increasingly hostile environment that Falun Gong practitioners and other religious believers face in the city

  • Falun Dafa Information Center staff participate in the International Religious Freedom Summit

  • Falun Gong practitioners stand trial in Jilin Province for Kwai and Douyin posts

And as the Chinese New Year approaches, family members of Falun Gong practitioners detained in China as well as human rights experts and advocates send greetings.

FEATURED ITEM

Newsweek: U.S. Speaker of the House Mike Johnson Calls Out the CCP’s Forced Organ Harvesting
US Speaker of the House Mike Johnson addressing the International Religious Freedom Summit on January 31, 2024. (Screenshot: NTDTV)

What’s new?

In an address to the International Religious Freedom Summit on January 31, Johnson underscored the significance of religious freedom and called out a particularly egregious violation of it: forced organ harvesting of prisoners of conscience. 


“Tibetan Buddhists and Falun Gong practitioners are placed in forced labor camps, and they have their organs harvested by the Chinese Communist Party,” the speaker said. “At this moment, the U.S. has an opportunity and an obligation to prevent genocide and punish those who commit it.”


Why does it matter?

As gross human rights abuses against Falun Gong practitioners and others in China continue, it is critical that government officials around the world and at all levels clearly and explicitly condemn the CCP. The House speaker’s words demonstrate a clear stance and reinforce the call for concrete action to combat the CCP’s crimes and save the lives of innocent prisoners in China.


What else do you need to know?

In March 2023, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Stop Forced Organ Harvesting Act with a nearly unanimous vote. Meanwhile, its Senate companion was referred to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on March 9, where it is awaiting a mark-up. 

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HONG KONG

The Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation Publishes Report on Declining Religious Freedom

On January 30, the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong published a report outlining increasingly systematic attacks on religious freedom in Hong Kong following the implementation of the National Security Law (NSL) in 2020. According to the report, the sweeping legislation that has been used to target dissent in also targeting religious communities with accusations of involvement in “violent protests” or “collusion with foreign forces”. Among the concerning developments detailed in the report are routine physical attacks and harassment of Falun Gong practitioners as well as multiple attempts by the Legislative Council to ban Falun Gong.


On January 30, the Hong Kong government introduced new draft security legislation under Article 23 of the territory’s Basic Law, which many observers fear could further worsen conditions for religious freedom in Hong Kong.

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EVENTS

Falun Info Team Attends International Religious Freedom Summit

On January 30 and 31, the Falun Dafa Information Center team attended the International Religious Freedom Summit in Washington, DC. The conference hosted conversations and interactive sessions on topics such as corporate responsibility to promote religious inclusion, prevention tools and reporting mechanisms for genocide, and the stories of survivors of religious persecution like the Holocaust.

At the event, researchers from the Center shared their recent reports and experiences in raising awareness with fellow summit attendees. Government officials, UN special rapporteurs, religious freedom advocates, journalists, and other summit attendees showed their support for persecuted Falun Gong practitioners.

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PERSECUTION IN CHINA

Four Falun Gong Practitioners Tried for Kwai and Douyin Posts

On January 18, 2024, four Falun Gong practitioners in Jilin Province stood trial for posting videos containing Falun Gong texts on the short video platforms Kwai and Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok. According to a report from Minghui, police monitored the practitioners for months before carrying out the arrests. 


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HAVE YOU READ THIS? “The Falun Gong Factor” by Arthur Waldron

Since the persecution began in 1999, Falun Gong practitioners have faced a major obstacle in their plight for support from the international community: unfamiliarity. In this piece by Arthur Waldron, Lauder Professor of International Relations at the University of Pennsylvania, he speaks to the importance of overcoming this unfamiliarity and hearing Falun Gong voices, as they offer a rare window into the state of human rights and dissent in China.

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How far will the Chinese Communist Party Go in Its Propaganda? False Fire
5 minutes

As Chinese New Year celebrations begin this weekend, family members of Falun Gong practitioners send heartfelt greetings to their loved ones unjustly detained in China. Joining these family members with messages encouraging hope and resilience, human rights experts and advocates send greetings to the Falun Gong community.

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