U.S. Congressional Resolutions
The House of Representatives has passed four resolutions since 1999 expressing support for Falun Gong and condemning the persecution.
Currently, two separate resolutions have been introduced in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives urging Chinese authorities to end the more than 12-year persecution of Falun Gong and expressing solidarity with those who are peacefully seeking change in China.
Resolutions 232 and 416 have been referred to the Senate Foreign Relations and House Foreign Affairs committees, respectively, and are currently seeking additional co-sponsors.
Senate Resolution 232
Senate Resolution 232 “calls upon the Chinese Communist Party to immediately cease and desist from its campaign to persecute Falun Gong practitioners and to promptly release all the Falun Gong practitioners who have been confined, detained, or imprisoned in retaliation for pursuing their right to hold and exercise spiritual beliefs.”
The resolution was introduced in July by Senators Menendez (D-NJ) and Coburn (R-OK) to mark the 12th year of Falun Gong’s suppression in China. Citing reports by the U.S. Department of State, the United Nations, and the Congressional Executive Commission on China, it calls attention to the hundreds of thousands of Falun Gong prisoners of conscience, the routine use of torture inflicted against them, the use of propaganda to dehumanize and vilify the practice, and the harassment of lawyers seeking to represent Falun Gong victims.
“I find it deplorable that [Chinese authorities] only protect citizens’ freedom of religion and spiritual practice if they submit to the authority of the Communist Party—and if they do not, as in the case of Falun Gong, they order an intensive and unforgiving campaign against them that includes abduction, detention and torture for refusing to recant their practice.” said Senator Menendez.
House Resolution 416
House Resolution 416 was introduced in September by a group of eight house representatives led by Rep. McCotter (R-MI), and calls on Chinese authorities to honor their commitments to human rights and religious freedom. In addition to documenting the suppression of underground“house” Christians, the resolution condemns the use of extra-legal security forces to harass, imprison, and torture Falun Gong practitioners for their spiritual beliefs.
It calls attention to the over 3,000 Falun Gong practitioners who have been killed as a result of torture and abuse in custody, and notes allegations that some were killed for the purpose of harvesting and selling their vital organs.
The House Resolution demands that Chinese authorities “cease harassment and discrimination against all unregistered religious organizations and individual practitioners” and release all prisoners of conscience. It also describes the plight of human rights attorneys in China, and notably GaoZhisheng, who has spent years suffering torture and detainment for representing Falun Gong practitioners.
Central to the resolutions is the assertion that it is in the best interest of the United States to actively promote religious freedom and democracy in China. To that end, they call on the President, Secretary of State, and members of congress to meet with Falun Gong practitioners and show solidarity with them.
Both Support the Tuidang Movement
Both resolutions express support for Chinese citizens who are peacefully seeking a more free, just, and humane country. Specifically, they note the impact of the Tuidang movement—a Chinese dissident phenomenon that began in 2004 when U.S.-based Chinese newspaper The Epoch Times published of an editorial series titled “Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party.”
Tuidang literally translates as “withdraw from the party,” and the movement has seen as many as 100 million citizens make symbolic, published statements renouncing their affiliations to the Communist Party, Youth League, or Young Pioneers.
Senate Resolution 232 “expresses support for volunteers and participants of the Tuidang movement for their peaceful efforts to reclaim Chinese history and culture, and for their pursuit of a fair and open government, a free people, and a society rooted in the practice of virtue.”
“The Tuidang movement does not itself call for an overthrow of the Communist Party, nor does it make explicit prescriptions for a future political system,” says Levi Browde, executive director of the Falun Dafa Information Center.
“Instead, it exhorts individual Chinese citizens to take a principled moral stand, reject the culture of violence, corruption and duplicity wrought by the Communist Party, and choose to uphold the virtues of honesty, justice, and courage in their daily lives.”