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 Whistleblowers Need Protection


URGENT ACTION : Fear of torture or ill-treatment/prisoner of conscience

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

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 2008.

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

Bu 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.

Overseas 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
Please 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
• 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 custody;
• 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
• 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
9 Xihuangcheng Genbeijie, Beijingshi 100032
People's Republic of China
Fax: + 86 10 65961109 or 2260 (c/o Minister of Foreign Affair)
Salutation: Your Excellency

Minister of Justice of the People's Republic of China
WU Aiying Buzhang
10 Chaoyangmen Nandajie, Chaoyangqu
Beijingshi 100020
People's Republic of China
Fax: + 86 10 65292345
Salutation: Dear Minister

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

Copies to:
Director of the Beijing Public Security Bureau
MA Zhenchuan Juzhang
Beijingshi Gong'anju
9 Qianmen Dongdajie, Dongchengqu
Beijingshi 100740, People's Republic of China

Her Excellency Mme FU Ying
Embassy of the People's Republic of China
15 Coronation Drive
Yarralumla ACT 2600
Fax: (02) 6273 4878
Salutation: Your Excellency

Please send your appeals immediately.
The Urgent Action Network is a world-wide letter writing activity for
members of Amnesty International (AI). Its effectiveness is based on the
speed at which appeal letters are generated by many members from all around
the world.
The Urgent Action Network is administered regionally around Australia. To
make any changes to your personal details in connection with receiving
information through the Urgent Action Network, please ring your regional
Activist Resource Centre on 1800 808 157.
Each Urgent Action has been carefully researched with facts and figures
verified and cross-checked by our researchers based in the International
Secretariat in London. Further information on this case is issued as it
becomes known. This case will not be closed until a stop action is issued.
If you are about to write an appeal and it is a few weeks since the date
printed on this document, please email requesting an update to quoting four things from the top of this
document: date; country; AI Index; UA/EXTRA number. If you receive any
replies to you appeals please send a copy to your regional Activist Resource
Centre with a note of the Urgent Action number.
If you have general enquiries about Amnesty International or would like to
become a Human Rights Defender or a member, please call the Service Centre
on 1300 300 920 or visit

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