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House Republicans Urge AG Garland to Charge CCP Operatives Repressing Dissidents Globally

Three House Republicans are urging the Justice Department to take forceful measures to protect Chinese political and religious dissidents amid the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) systematic persecution campaign in China and abroad, according to a copy of the letter shared with The Epoch Times.

In a letter dated May 23, Reps. Tom Tiffany (R-Wis.), Andy Ogles (R-Tenn.), and Lance Gooden (R-Texas) asked Attorney General Merrick Garland to bring charges against any CCP operatives who have committed human rights abuses and detain abusers upon their arrival in the United States.

“The Biden administration has repeatedly acknowledged that the CCP is carrying out a campaign of torture—both inside China and around the world. It’s time they used the tools Congress has provided to turn that talk into action and bring the perpetrators to justice,” Mr. Tiffany told The Epoch Times.

China’s communist regime has for years persecuted different religious groups, subjecting their followers to imprisonment, torture, forced labor, and other inhuman treatment. The CCP has extended its repressive policies abroad, targeting political and religious dissidents through intimidation, harassment, surveillance, and other tactics in what is known as transnational repression.The letter referenced the State Department’s human rights reports on China, pointing out how the CCP is carrying out a genocide against Uyghurs in China’s far-western region of Xinjiang. The Chinese regime has locked up more than 1 million Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in concentration camps in Xinjiang, subjecting them to sexual abuse, political indoctrination, forced abortion, and forced sterilization.

“These heinous activities are criminal offenses under U.S. law,” the letter reads. “With respect to torture, the law is applicable regardless of where the acts are committed and irrespective of the nationality of the alleged offender or victims.”

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In addition to people directly participating in the repression, the lawmakers said such charges should also apply to their “political bosses—up to and including dictator Xi Jinping.”

The lawmakers also requested that the Justice Department “work closely with our allies who have extradition treaties with the U.S. to help ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice.” They said they’d be “happy to work with” Mr. Garland if he needs additional statutory authority from Congress to accomplish this goal.

The Justice Department didn’t respond to a request for comment by press time.

In recent years, the U.S. government has slapped sanctions on numerous individuals over their involvement in the CCP’s repressive policies. For example, the State Department sanctioned CCP official Yu Hui in 2021 for his role in the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong, a spirit practice that the communist regime has persecuted since 1999.

Mr. Yu is the former director of the agency specifically tasked with persecuting Falun Gong in the city of Chengdu in Sichuan Province.

Several CCP officials have also been sanctioned in connection to abuses against Uyghurs, including Chen Mingguo, director of the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau.Transnational RepressionA prime example of China’s transnational repression is the many secret police stations that the CCP operates on foreign soil around the world. In April 2023, the Justice Department arrested and charged two individuals with allegedly operating such a police station in New York City. The pair had established the police station in coordination with the regime’s Ministry of Public Security.Then, in May 2023, authorities arrested two men for allegedly trying to bribe the Internal Revenue Service to help the Chinese regime’s persecution of Falun Gong.In June, three men were convicted for acting as agents on behalf of Beijing to stalk a family in New Jersey and pressure them to return to China.Similar instances also occurred in November 2023 during the U.S.–China summit in San Francisco. Pro-CCP demonstrators, some paid by Chinese consulates, attacked dissidents who protested the regime’s human rights abuses. One protester told The Epoch Times those CCP supporters hit her on the head while she was walking on the street.People walk by a building (C) that is suspected of being a Beijing-controlled secret police station used to repress dissidents living in the United States, in New York City's Chinatown on April 18, 2023. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)People walk by a building (C) that is suspected of being a Beijing-controlled secret police station used to repress dissidents living in the United States, in New York City’s Chinatown on April 18, 2023. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)Zhang Kaiyu, who protested at San Francisco International Airport on Nov. 17, said pro-CCP men beat him until he lost consciousness. He had bruises around his forehead, eyes, and lips as a result.Chinese students have also experienced pressure. In a recent report from the rights group Amnesty International, 32 Chinese students studying in eight countries said they held back on political activism out of fear of the Chinese regime’s retaliation.

One of them, Rowan, said her father in China was contacted by Chinese security officials hours after she attended a commemoration of the Chinese regime’s 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. The officials told her father to “educate his daughter who is studying overseas not to attend any events that may harm China’s reputation in the world.”

The intention of the Chinese authorities was clear, Rowan told Amnesty. “You are being watched, and though we are on the other side of the planet, we can still reach you.”

A recently defected Chinese spy revealed that he had been asked to target dissidents in countries such as Cambodia, India, and Australia to force them to return to China.

One of his targets in 2021 was a United Nations refugee in Thailand, who is also a contributor to The Epoch Times.

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