Associated Press
Jul. 22, 2006

BEIJING - A Chinese staffer from The Asia Foundation, a U.S. aid organization, who practices Falun Gong was detained by authorities more than two months ago and hasn't been heard from since, his wife and employer said Saturday.

Bu Dongwei, also known as David, was taken from his home in Beijing's Haidian district by seven or eight plainclothes police officers on May 19, his wife, Lou Hongwei, said by telephone from Washington, D.C.

Barnett Baron, executive vice president of the San Francisco-based Asia Foundation, said in an e-mailed statement that the organization was informed of the detention by Bu's family and shortly thereafter confirmed the news with Chinese authorities.
"The Foundation has not received any further official updates," Baron said. The foundation's Web site says it provides legal aid, education and health services to female migrants and rural Chinese, among other programs.

Lou said that her parents, who live with Bu, 38, and the couple's 18-month-old daughter, told her that police took him away without explanation and confiscated a computer as well as books on the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement from the apartment. Lou was in England studying for a master's degree at Cambridge University at the time. The family has not been notified of Bu's current location or whether he faces charges, despite repeated calls to local authorities, she said. Lou said she believes that her husband is being held at the Qinghe Detention Center in Beijing.

A man who answered the phone at the Qinghe Detention Center on Friday said he could not confirm whether Bu Dongwei was there and that he had no way of checking. Calls to the Haidian Public Security Bureau were referred to Beijing police headquarters, which did not immediately respond to a faxed request for information about Bu.

"It's very, very ironic because his work was to protect people by informing them of their legal rights," said Lou, who went to the United States to seek help from The Asia Foundation in locating her husband.

Lou said she and her husband have been practitioners of Falun Gong since 1996. In 2000, they served between eight and 10 months in separate Beijing labor camps after they sent a letter to Chinese leaders asking them to reevaluate their ban on the group [...]

At that time, however, authorities informed relatives of their sentence and whereabouts.