Punitive detention for peacefully expressing beliefs, Act Now, Amnesty International Australia(Photo)

Bu Dongwei, also known as David Bu, was assigned to two-and-a-half years’ Re-education
through Labour on 19 June 2006 in connection with his activities as a member of
the Falun Gong movement, which is banned in China. The authorities claim that
he has decided not to appeal against his assignment, but his family dispute this.
He is due to be released on 18 November 2008.

Re-education through Labour has been used since the mid-1950s in China as a
form of punitive administrative detention, imposed without charge, trial or
judicial review.

Bu Dongwei had been working in Beijing for the US aid organisation, the Asia
Foundation, before he was detained by around seven police officers at his home
in the Haidian district of Beijing on 19 May 2006. 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. Bu Dongwei’s family has disputed
the evidence against him, saying that the police discovered no more than eight
Falun Gong books when they detained him.

Amnesty International considers Bu Dongwei to have been detained for peacefully
exercising his fundamental human rights to freedom of expression and religious
belief. The organisation considers him to be a prisoner of conscience and calls
for his immediate and unconditional release.

Points for your email

Please send a letter to WU Aiying Buzhang, Minister of Justice of the People’s
Republic of China. Here are some key points you can include in your letter:

  • express concern that Bu Dongwei is a prisoner of conscience, 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 allow his family to conduct regular family
    visits while he remains in custody
  • urge the authorities to ensure that he has access to lawyers and any necessary
    medical treatment while he remains in detention
  • call on the authorities to guarantee that he will not be subjected to torture
    or ill-treatment in detention
  • call on the authorities to end the political crackdown against the Falun
    Gong spiritual movement, which has resulted in numerous human rights violations
  • urge the authorities to abolish ‘Re-education through Labour’, ensuring
    that decisions on detention are no longer exclusively in the hands of the

Log into the Action Centre to find suggested wording for your letter. Personalised
letters are always more effective, so please rewrite the letter in your own
words. If you receive a response please let us know.

Send your emails to: WU Aiying Buzhang, Minister of Justice of the People’s
Republic of China <minister@legalinfo.gov.cn>


Posting date: 20/Mar/2008
Original article date: 13/Mar/2008
Category: Australian News


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