Amnesty International: China – The Olympics Countdown

Repression of activists overshadows death penalty and media reforms

We must make efforts to create a harmonious society and a good social environment for successfully holding the 17th Communist Party Congress and the Beijing Olympic Games[…]We must strike hard at hostile forces at home and abroad, such as ethnic separatists, religious extremists, violent terrorists and ‘heretical organizations’ like the Falun Gong who carry out destabilizing activities.” Zhou Yongkang, Minister of Public Security.(1)

An overriding preoccupation with ensuring ‘harmony’ and ‘stability’ has featured heavily in China’s preparations for hosting major events including the Olympic Games in August 2008. As the statement above also illustrates, several senior Chinese officials appear to continue to equate such principles with a need to ‘strike hard’ against those perceived to be jeopardizing such an environment. While the statement refers to ‘violent terrorism’, it also includes groups or activists who may be engaged in peaceful activities, such as Falun Gong practitioners, ‘religious extremists’ or ‘ethnic separatists.’ […]

Case update – Bu Dongwei: Falun Gong practitioner Bu Dongwei is now known to be held at Tuanhe RTL facility in Beijing, where he is reportedly forced to do packing work. His family only received official confirmation of his whereabouts at the end of August 2006, three months after he was first detained. The authorities have reportedly claimed that he decided not to appeal against his two-and-a-half year term, but his family dispute this. Officials from Tuanhe RTL facility have reportedly asked Bu Dongwei’s family to contribute money towards his living expenses – around 400 Yuan per month (approx. US$52).

Bu Dongwei (also known as David Bu) was assigned to two-and-a-half years’ RTL on 19 June 2006 in Beijing for “resisting the implementation of national law and disturbing social order” after police discovered Falun Gong literature at his home. The authorities initially refused to disclose his place of detention to his family. Bu Dongwei had been working in Beijing for the U.S. aid organization, the Asia Foundation, before he was taken away by police from his home in Haidian district on 19 May 2006. Amnesty International considers Bu Dongwei to be a prisoner of conscience, detained in violation of his fundamental human rights to freedom of expression, association and religion, and continues to call for his immediate and unconditional release.

(1) “Zhou Yongkang orders crackdown on hostile forces at home and abroad in run-up to 17th CCP Congress,” (????????????????????), Duowei Xinwen wang, 21 March 2007. See also “China police chief urges crackdown on ‘hostile forces’” Agence France Presse ( AFP), 20 March 2007.


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