Mr Alexander Downer
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Parliament House

Dear Minister,

Please find enclosed correspondence I received last year from Mr Bill Wiegerinck and his wife Ms Esther Wang regarding the detention of several of Ms Wang's close family members in China as practitioners of Falun Gong.

Mr Wiegerinck has asked me to bring to your attention the current situation facing his wife's family, and the very adverse impact that the Chinese Government's policies against Falun Gong have had on their lives. As the letter details, Ms Wang has been rejected in her attempts to return to China to be with her family when there has been a sickness or death, and now that so many members of her family are imprisoned, she is unable to even learn of their health and well-being.

I would welcome your advice about the current and planned actions that Australian Government is taking in relation to the Chinese Government's ban on the practice of Falun Gong, and more generally the issue of human rights violations within China.

I would also appreciate any information you are able to provide in relation to the concerns that Mr Wiegerinck and Ms Wang have raised in their letter, and how your Government could intervene to assist the family in communicating and visiting each other in the near future.

Yours sincerely,

Aden Ridgeway

13 January, 2003