URGENT ACTION from Amnesty International Australia

AI Index: ASA 17/049/2006 PUBLIC
29 August 2006
UA 232/06 Fear of torture
or ill-treatment/ prisoner of conscience
China Bu Dongwei (also known as David
Bu), (m), aged 38, Falun Gong practitioner

Bu Dongwei, also known as David
Bu, was assigned to two-and-a-half years’ “Re-education through Labour”
(RTL) on 19 June in connection with his activities as a member of the Falun Gong
spiritual movement. He is detained at an undisclosed location, and Amnesty International
considers him to be a prisoner of conscience. He is at serious risk of torture
or ill-treatment.

Bu Dongwei had been working in Beijing for the US aid
organization, the Asia Foundation, before he was detained by around seven police
officers at his home in the Haidian district of the capital, Beijing, on 19 May.
According to the decision of Beijing’s RTL committee, which has the power to impose
periods of arbitrary detention without charge or trial, he was accused of ‘resisting
the implementation of national laws’ and ‘disturbing social order’. The evidence
cited was a verbal confession he made to police, and 80 copies of Falun Gong literature
that the police discovered in his home. He is due to be released on 18 November

Bu Dongwei’s family have disputed the evidence against him, claiming
that the police discovered no more than eight Falun Gong books when they detained
him. Despite repeated requests to the authorities, his family have not been told
where he is being detained. Unofficial sources suggest that he may have first
been taken to Qinghe detention centre, Haidian district, and transferred to Tuanhe
RTL facility in Beijing on 21 August, but this remains unconfirmed.

Dongwei had previously served a term of ten months’ RTL from August 2000 to May
2001 in Tuanhe RTL facility for ‘using a heretical organization to disrupt the
implementation of the law’ after he petitioned the authorities asking them to
review their ban on Falun Gong. During this period, he was reportedly subjected
to torture and ill-treatment, including being made to sit all day in a small chair
as well as beatings and sleep deprivation aimed at forcing him to renounce his
belief in Falun Gong.
Background Information
Tens of thousands of Falun
Gong practitioners have been arbitrarily detained in China since the spiritual
movement was banned as a ”threat to social and political stability” in July
1999. Those accused of being Falun Gong leaders or organizers have been sentenced
to prison terms, while others have been held in psychiatric hospitals. The vast
majority, however, have been held in RTL facilities, a form of administrative
detention imposed without charge, trial or judicial review. Torture or ill-treatment
of detained Falun Gong practitioners has reportedly been widespread, particularly
against those who refuse to renounce their beliefs in Falun Gong.

Falun Gong organizations have documented over 2,000 deaths in custody of Falun
Gong practitioners since the crackdown began. It has recently been alleged that
a large number of deaths in custody may be the result of enforced ‘organ harvesting’
from Falun Gong detainees so that their organs can be used for transplants. Amnesty
International is investigating these reports, but is currently unable to independently
verify these allegations.

“Re-education through Labour” (RTL)
continues to be used extensively in China despite repeated calls from both inside
and outside China for the system to be abolished. The Beijing authorities recently
approved the use of RTL to target vagrants and petty criminals in their attempts
to ‘clean up’ the city before it hosts the Olympics in 2008. Attempts by the authorities
to replace RTL with new legislation known as the “Illegal Behaviour Correction
Law” (IBCL) have stalled. Amnesty International considers that the new law
fails to meet international fair trial standards and continues to urge the authorities
to abolish the system altogether by bringing all offences punishable with deprivation
of liberty within the scope of the Criminal Law.
Recommended Action
send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in Russian, Kazak, English or your
own language:
” expressing concern that Bu Dongwei is detained in violation
of his fundamental human rights to freedom of expression, association and religious
belief, and calling on the authorities to release him immediately and unconditionally;

calling on the authorities to immediately disclose his place of detention to his
family and to allow them to conduct regular family visits while he remains in
” urging the authorities to ensure that he has access to lawyers
and any necessary medical treatment while he remains in detention;
” calling
on the authorities to end the political crackdown against the Falun Gong spiritual
movement, which has resulted in numerous human rights violations;
” urging
the authorities to abolish “Re-education through Labour” (RTL) and ensure
that all offences punishable with deprivation of liberty are brought within the
scope of the Criminal Law.

Appeals to:
Prime Minister of
the People’s Republic of China
WEN Jiabao Guojia Zongli
The State Council
Xihuangcheng Genbeijie, Beijingshi 100032
People’s Republic of China
+ 86 10 65961109 or 2260 (c/o Minister of Foreign Affair)
Email: gazette@mail.gov.cn
Your Excellency

Minister of Justice of the People’s Republic of China
Aiying Buzhang
10 Chaoyangmen Nandajie, Chaoyangqu
People’s Republic of China
Fax: + 86 10 65292345
Email: minister@legalinfo.gov.cn
Dear Minister

Minister of Public Security of People’s Republic of China
Yongkang Buzhang
14 Dongchang’anjie, Beijingshi 100741
Republic of China
Fax: + 86 10 63099216 (it may be difficult to get through;
please keep trying)
Salutation: Dear Minister

Copies to:
of the Beijing Public Security Bureau
MA Zhenchuan Juzhang
Beijingshi Gong’anju

9 Qianmen Dongdajie, Dongchengqu
Beijingshi 100740, People’s Republic of
Email: 110@bjgaj.gov.cn

Her Excellency Mme FU Ying
of the People’s Republic of China
15 Coronation Drive
Yarralumla ACT 2600
(02) 6273 4878
Email: chinaemb_au@mfa.gov.cn
Salutation: Your Excellency

Please send your appeals immediately.
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Posting date: 30/Aug/2006
article date: 29/Aug/2006
Category: Media Report


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