||Hada, 41 year-old former general manager
of the Mongolian Academic Bookshop and Tegexi, a 30 year-old
who worked in the Inner Mongolian Bureau of Foreign Affairs,
were sentenced on 6 December 1996, to 15 and 10 years imprisonment
respectively, on charges of "separatism" and "espionage".
For additional background details please see document "Wave
of arbitrary detentions in Inner Mongolia", AI Index: ASA
17/22/96, 7 March 1996; news release "China: increased
repression of dissent", AI Index: ASA 17/92/96, 10 October
1996; "An Open Letter to Li Peng from Amnesty Internationals
Secretary General" AI Index: TG ASA 17/96.15; news release
"Labour Activists Face Heavy Prison Sentences in Guangdong",
AI Index: ASA 17/97/96, 24 December 1996; news release "Political
Trials Result in Heavy Sentences on Dissenters", AI Index:
ASA 17/01/97, 8 January 1997..
On 24 January 1997 their appeals were rejected and their
original sentences upheld.
According to information received by Amnesty International,
the two men are currently detained in Inner Mongolias No.1
Prison in a cell together with over 30 other people. It is
normal practice for prisoners to be held in the detention
centre at Inner Mongolias No.1 Prison for between one and
three months after sentencing. After that time prisoners are
usually sent to a labour camp.. Both are reported to be in
poor health, and Hada is suffering from a recurrence of tuberculosis
and his neck is swollen. It is not know if Hada has received
any medical treatment in prison.
Before their sentencing in December 1996, Hada and Tegexi
had been held for a year in solitary confinement without charge
or trial. They were detained on 10 and 11 December 1995 reportedly
in connection with their involvement in an organization called
the Southern Mongolian Democratic Alliance (SMDA) which aims
to promote human rights and a Mongolian cultural revival in
Inner Mongolia. No evidence has been made public to show that
Hada and Tegexi were involved in any activity which may be
regarded as criminal under international standards. Eight
others, also detained in December 1995 for alleged involvement
in "nationalist separatist" activities, were subsequently
The harsh sentences passed on Hada and Tegexi are indicative
of the severe attitude taken during the past year by the Chinese
authorities towards suspected nationalists in Chinas autonomous
regions, including Tibet and Xinjiang. This "crackdown"
has also affected those whose peaceful religious activities
are deemed to threaten "national unity" and "social
Amnesty International considers Hada and Tegexi to be prisoners
of conscience detained for the peaceful exercise of their
rights to freedom of opinion and expression, and calls for
their immediate and unconditional release.