Cheel Borjigin, son of Ms.Huuchinhuu, ethnic Mongolian dissident writer in Southern (Inner) Mongolia. (SMHRIC photo)
The following is an essay by Cheel Borjigin regarding his mother Ms. Huuchinhuu, an ethnic Mongolian dissident writer, who has been put under house arrest recently by the Chinese authorities for rallying the Mongols to greet the prominent ethnic Mongolian political prisoner Hada upon his release on December 10, 2010:
My WorriesDec 7, 2010 By Cheel Borjigin Minnesota, U.S.A.
It has been 48 hours since I’ve been able to contact my mother. For the past two nights, I’ve had less than 3 hours sleep, and it’s affecting me both physically and mentally.
I write this not to express any kind of political view or bring up issues related to national security, but just to express my thoughts about family and humanity.
Human Rights Day of December 10 has a very special meaning to me for a very personal reason. 15 years ago, Mr. Hada, my mother’s classmate and good friend was put into jail as a prisoner of conscience and sentenced to 15 years in jail. From that day on, the police became unwelcome and frequent visitors which ended my formerly peaceful life forever.
During these past 15 years, China has seen a fast growing economy while her human rights record has not improved much. 15 years earlier, the only way people obtained “news” was by shortwave receiver, while now people use the Internet. I think, even if there is a Great Firewall, the web still has advantages over shortwave signals which are easily jammed. During these past 15 years, modern communications technology has brought about positive changes. The Internet and cell phones have brought people closer even if separated by thousands of miles. 15 ago, I was a child in elementary school with divorced parents. When that disaster came into my life, I took my mother’s side, except for ten days prison which caused her to get sick with rheumatism. Now I am living my life in America, I blame myself that I could not take care of my old and weak mother, but thanks to internet and cell phone, I can reach my mom whenever I want or whenever she wants. For a lone and sick old woman, a call from her son is a great magic to cure pretty much everything.
I cannot imagine, how much suffering 15 years of jail must bring. Yet, this hero never faltered, like most great people of our contemporary world, Mr. Hada showed the kind of character that only a “great man” would display. Dec. 10th of 2010, Mr. Hada is scheduled to be set free, though it would still be limited freedom. At the same time, as that day approaches, Mr. Hada’s family and close friends’ freedom is being more and more limited, including my mother’s. On Nov 11, my mother was officially put under house arrest. I was not there, however the memory of 15 years earlier tells me that at this moment, she needs me more than ever. I worry about her for she is suffering from cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and high blood pressure; as a well-respected teacher she has dedicated her whole life to Mongolian education and national freedom. Now she is under house arrest and has no Internet access. She has to ask permission from police for her every single daily activity. Visiting her friends or accepting visitors are banned. Even worse are the curses and harangues from uneducated policemen who guard her. Talking to her son could not change any of these tough situations; yet, it helped her feel she was not alone, and also helped me to fool myself that her health is fine.
In Southern Mongolia where I grew up, all the crimes and violations of the Constitution committed by the government hardly made me angry or desperate. These things are so common and ordinary there that people have accepted it as the natural state of affairs. The government can violate its own constitution, but what is the bottom line for the people? I guess, as it is a country founded by humans, so this state of affairs itself has to be viewed as just humanity acting in a human way. That’s the only standard we can appeal to in judging what is happening. Family love and humanity is a standard that is even more basic than the institution of laws. Law tells us about what a good man is and humanity tells us what we are, beast or mankind.
My mom called me and told me that her laptop had been confiscated and the home phone cut off; now her cell phone might be next. Two hours later, I couldn’t connect to my mother’s cell phone, It appears to be powered off even up to now and it has caused me a great deal of worry. I know the police have threatened my mom with imprisonment more than once. And similarly, Mr. Hada’s family are now “upgraded” to a real jail from house arrest. Right now I have no idea about whether my mom is at home or taken to jail, nor do I have any information about her health condition. I know that the police have my house under complete surveillance, so therefore I am not willing to ask any of my relatives or friends to visit and see how my mom is. My request to any of my relatives and friends would probably not be refused, but the price they would pay is to become a new target for the police, like being placed on a blacklist.
Some friends told me to wait until after Dec. 10th, after Mr. Hada is released, everything should be OK. Well, I want to believe this, but I also know that there are no guarantees. I am not sure about whether I will be able to reach my mom after Dec. 10th; to find out about her state of health and safety. I am suffering from the uncertainty, and agonizing over the belief that communication between mother and son is not only a basic right guaranteed by the Chinese constitution but also a basic right of humanity. So, I am here asking the police and the government of China, please restore my mom’s cell phone and internet access as soon as possible, so that I can make sure she is well. Asking for, or begging, whatever words you want to hear, I will be so grateful to hear from my mom.