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SMHRIC Written Statement for the 20th Tiananmen Square Remembrance

June 4, 2009
New York


1989 Chinese Student Pro-democracy Movement. (Catherine Henriette/Getty Image)




Dear friends, brothers and sisters,

My name is Enhebatu Togochog, and I represent the Mongolian people of Southern Mongolia.

It is my great honor and privilege to have this opportunity to express my gratitude to Dr. Yang Jianli and his colleagues for their great efforts and excellent work in bringing all of us together for remembering the 20th anniversary of Chinese pro-democracy movement and promoting mutual respect, mutual understanding and mutual trust.

Twenty years ago today, the People’s Government, the People’s Liberation Army opened fire on thousands of unarmed students who wanted their motherland to be a free and democratic society. The past twenty years has seen tens of thousands of brave students, activists and intellectuals continue their tireless struggle for freedom, human rights, and democracy on behalf of a quarter of the world’s population, risking their lives. Yet, the Government of China has not progressed in regard to respecting its citizens’ human rights and human dignity. Instead it continues to suppress its citizens and persecute those who express their aspirations for freedom and democracy. The government of China continues to carry out repressive policies toward Mongols, Tibetans and Uyghurs.  Thousands of Mongols, Tibetans and Uyghurs who have struggled to promote and protect their rights to their distinct culture, religious beliefs, and self-determination have been arrested, detained and tortured.  The government of China has little respect for the rights guaranteed by the Universal Human Rights Declaration.

For Southern Mongols, the past twenty years has been filled with political suppression, cultural assimilation, economic exploitation and ecological destruction. Mr. Hada who demanded genuine autonomy for Southern Mongolia was sentenced to a 15 year jail term, suffering from grave physical and mental conditions; Mr. Naguunbilig and his wife Ms. Daguulaa were sent to jail for 10 years and 5 years respectively for practicing an “evil cult” although they were doing no more than practicing traditional Mongolian medicine; Mr. Naranbilig was put under 1 year house arrest for defending the rights of Mongolian herders who have been forcibly displaced from their ancestral lands to agricultural and urban areas; just a month ago, 3 young Mongolian men were arrested and detained for attempting to organize a public protest in Southern Mongolia; hundreds of dissidents and their family members have been closely monitored by the authorities for ‘possible harm to the “national interest and state security” of China’; thousands of Mongolian herders have been beaten up, arrested, detained and fined for resisting the Government policies of “ecological migration” and “total ban over livestock grazing”; hundreds of Mongolian language publications have been banned for containing “nationality sentiments” and dozens of internet sites have been shutdown for “publishing separatist articles” and “providing platforms for separatists”.

Dear friends, the Chinese Government is an authoritarian regime where all forms of political dissent, cultural diversity and religious belief are regarded as a threat that might undermine the regime. A future China must be a free, open and democratic society that respects human rights and human dignity, regards dissent as a virtue, and embraces diversity as beauty. It is our responsibility to work together to make China a nation where all the citizens of China will live without fear and the Mongols, Tibetans, Uyghurs and other nationalities will fully enjoy the right to determine their own political future.

Thank you,

Enghebatu Togochog

Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center




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