Freedom to Believe

December 22, 2010

We want to share this powerful message former prisoner of conscience Bu Dongwei shared with Amnesty members earlier today.

Dear Amnesty Supporter,

Are you celebrating a holiday this December? Gathering in a place of worship? Displaying a symbol of your faith?

I was tortured for my faith — forced into a Chinese “re-education through labor” camp for more than two terrifying years for being a practitioner of Falun Gong.

I will never forget the day when seven policemen rushed into my home and arrested me. I was preparing a bath for my daughter – she was only 1 ½ years old.

The police found a few Falun Gong books – that was their so-called “evidence.” I was accused of “resisting the implementation of national laws” and “disturbing social order” and was sent to a labor camp in Beijing.

The only thing that protected me in the forced labor camp was the attention raised by Amnesty International and people like you.

Protect freedom of religion and other basic human rights all year long – become a Partner of Conscience monthly donor with Amnesty today.

In China, we are not free to believe what we want – unless the government approves. Two of my personal friends were beaten to death in my detention center.

Although officials never showed me your letters when I was in the labor camp, from their attitude to me, I could feel that they got pressure from the outside world. I felt that I was not alone.

If you don’t have the freedom to believe, the freedom of speech, then it’s not a real life.

Amnesty shines a light on forgotten prisoners like me. I am forever grateful for all of the activists who rose up to defend my human rights, and the human rights of the Chinese people.

This movement is a beacon of hope for humanity and must persevere until human rights are a reality for everyone. Please don’t hesitate – make your contribution to Amnesty today.


Bu Dongwei