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Deported United Nations Refugee Applicant Batzangaa Tried in China

Jan 17, 2011
New York




Mr. Batzangaa, a native of Southern (Inner) Mongolia and the former principal of the Ordos Mongol-Tibetan Medical School, was tried by the Ordos Municipality Dongsheng District People’s Court, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region (IMAR), China, on January 15, 2011, under the charge of “crime of diverting a special fund”.

On October 3, 2009, Batzangaa was arrested at the front entrance of the United Nations Refugee Agency office building in Ulaanbaatar, capital of the independent country of Mongolia while seeking United Nations political refugee status. Batzangaa’s wife Ms. Bayanhuaar and their 9-year old daughter Chilguun were also arrested in Ulaanbaatar shortly afterwards. The family was deported back to Ordos Municipality ( E Er Duo Si in Chinese), IMAR, China, on the same day. The arrest and deportation were secretly carried out by four Chinese police dispatches and more than ten Mongolian police officers in a joint operation carried out by the Governments of Mongolia and China.

Batzangaa went into exile in Mongolia to escape certain persecution due to disputes with Chinese authorities over his efforts to maintain the school’s ethnic characteristics and his challenges to the government’s land appropriation policies.

According to the defense lawyer Mr. Huhbulag who was stopped from leaving China for Mongolia last September by the Chinese authorities for "possible threats to the state security", the trial took 11 hours from 8:00AM to 7:00 PM, January 15, 2011, under tight security with more than 200 police and plain-clothes officers present. The court room’s seats were mainly occupied by security personnel and court officials with fewer than 10 seats assigned to Batzangaa’s immediate relatives.

During the trial, the Ordos Municipality People’s Procuratorate accused Batzangaa of “diverting a special fund” to other purposes. Both Batzangaa and his attorney Huhbulag challenged the allegation and pleaded not guilty, stating that “the charge lacks evidence and is inconsistent with the facts.” The People’s Procuratorate recommended that the court sentence Batzangaa to 3 years in jail. According to Huhbulag, the court decision can take two months to be released. Currently Batzangaa is free on bail pending the decision.

There has been strong criticism from Southern Mongolian exile communities and citizens of Mongolia, condemning the Government of Mongolia for allowing and cooperating with the Chinese police to carry out the arrest and deportation of Batzangaa, a UN refugee applicant, on Mongolian soil.

Human rights groups and civil societies of Mongolia were particularly outraged by Mongolia’s “violation of her Constitution and other laws as well as international human rights conventions”. Commenting on the news stories of Batzangaa’s arrest and deportation, Mongolian netizens questioned the Government of Mongolia, “are we a sovereign country or a province of China?”

For more information on the case please see our previous reports:

Here are the phone numbers of the officials involved handling the case:

Mr. Li, Chief Justice of Dongsheng District Court: 13604774746
Mr. Liu, Head of Dongsheng Disctrict Public Security Bureau: 13904770110
Head of Ordos Municipality Public Security Bureau: 13704772201
Ms. Ao, Presiding Judge: 13394771234



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