European Parliament Continues Efforts to Rescue Falun Gong Practitioner Bu Dongwei

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On February 13th, 2007, Jean-Louis COUGNON, Head of Division, European Parliament, wrote a letter to Falun Gong practitioner Bu Dongwei's wife, Mrs. Lou Hongwei, informing her that the European Parliament will continue its efforts to rescue Bu Dongwei. The letter motioned that on September 7th, 2006, the European Parliament unanimously passed a resolution for a report on EU-China relations, calling on the Chinese regime to release Falun Gong practitioner Bu Dongwei. The letter says at the end: "You may rest assured that the pressure is being on the Chinese authorities to give a lasting and satisfactory solution to this matter." Below is the text of the letter:

Correspondence with Citizens Unit

13.02.2007

Mrs. Lou Hongwei
1900 Fullerton Rd. Apt. n. 11
Rowland Heights, CA 91748
USA

Dear Mrs. Hongwei,

As you know, on September 7, 2006, the European Parliament unanimously passed a resolution for a report on EU-China relations, calling on the Chinese regime to release Falun Gong practitioner Bu Dongwei, lawyer Gao Zhisheng, and other human rights defenders.

The resolution was initiated by Charles Tannock, spokesperson for Foreign Affairs in the European Parliament; Edward McMillan-Scott, Vice President of the European Parliament; and Simon Coveney, member of Foreign Affairs Committee in the European Parliament.

The resolution stated, "The European Parliament calls upon the Chinese authorities to reveal the whereabouts of human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, one of China's most outspoken lawyers and dissidents, who is being held on suspicion of criminal activity, and to release him unless he is to be charged with a recognized criminal offense. The Parliament likewise calls for the release of Chen Guangcheng, a peasants' rights advocate who has helped citizens in their attempts to sue their local authorities for carrying out forced abortions and sterilizations and who was sentenced to more than four years in prison, and of Bu Dongwei, who has been assigned to two and a half years of "Re-education through labor" (RTL) and who is detained at an undisclosed location. The Parliament therefore urges the authorities to ensure that all human rights defenders can carry out peaceful and legitimate activities without fear of arbitrary arrest, torture or ill-treatment and that they be given access to proper legal representation in the event of arrest."

Finally, after months of pressure, we were informed of the location of your husband's detention and that he is alive.

The above resolution also stated, "...strongly condemns the detention and torture of Falun Gong practitioners in prisons, 'Re-education through labor' camps, psychiatric hospitals, and 'legal education school;' is concerned about reports that organs of detained Falun Gong practitioners have been removed and sold to hospitals; urges the Chinese Government to end the detention and torture of Falun Gong practitioners and to release them immediately..."

The resolution was a supplement to China's Human Rights report written by Hans Belder, a Dutch member of the European Parliament. The report criticizes China's human rights record and condemns China's interference in religious affairs even though China's constitution stipulates freedom of belief. The report also expresses grim concern regarding torture and labor camps in China. The European Parliament asked China to stop issuing death sentences and not to intimidate, persecute or imprison freedom activists.

Mr. McMillan-Scott publicly declared his membership in the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (CIPFG) during a rally in Hong Kong supporting the 13 million Chinese people that have quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its affiliated organizations. The rally was held on the morning of August the 26, 2006. The rally was organized by the The Epoch Times newspaper and the Service Center for Quitting the CCP office in Hong Kong. Mr. McMillan-Scott also published a joint statement with members of the legislative council in Hong Kong, including Hon Chun-yan, calling attention to lawyer Gao Zhisheng, and to urge the Chinese authorities to immediately release Mr. Gao.

In his open letter to Mr. Gao, Mr. McMillan-Scott stated "The Chinese Government is, as always, inhuman, stubbornly biased, and doing everything at will."

Since last year, we have had limited developments. You may rest assured that the pressure is being kept on the Chinese authorities to give a lasting and satisfactory solution to this matter.

Sincerely yours,

Jean-Louis COUGNON
Head of Division

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