Batzangaa (right), wife
Bayanhuaar (left) and
(middle) in Ulaanbaatar,
Mongolia, before they
were arrested and
deported back to China
by Mongolian and Chinese
Mr. Batzangaa (Ba Tu Zhang Ga in Chinese), 38, the former principal of the Ordos Mongol-Tibetan Medical School, was sentenced to 3 years in jail with 4 years reprieve, on January 27, 2011, by the Dongsheng District People’s Court, Ordos Municipality, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region (IMAR), for the charge of “diverting a special fund”. Batzangaa pleaded not guilty at the trial which took place 8 days before the court judgment was pronounced. Batzangaa’s attorney, Mr. Huhbulag, is preparing an appeal to the Ordos Municipality People’s Court. Currently Batzangaa is free on bail.
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, the following day. The arrest and deportation were secretly carried out by four Chinese police officers and ten or more Mongolian police officers in a joint operation carried out by the Governments of Mongolia and China.
In May 2009, Batzangaa, along with his wife and daughter, fled China in an effort to escape possible persecution due to his plans for organizing public demonstrations to protest the authorities’ illegal confiscation of the school’s campus grounds.
According to a copy of Batzangaa’s call for demonstrations received by the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center (SMHRIC), at least on two separate occasions, Batzangaa sent formal applications to the local Public Security authorities to organize public sit-in protests and hunger strikes by more than 200 of his students at the city’s Chingghis Khaan Square and in front of the Party Committee building, demanding the “ethnic minority’s right to education”, and protesting the authorities’ “violation of ‘ethnic minorities’ legal rights”. The Dongsheng District Public Security Bureau turned down his application without giving any explanation.
After arriving in Mongolia, Batzangaa with his wife and daughter sought asylum with the United Nations Refugee Agency in the capital city Ulaanbaatar. According to the Asylum-seeker Certificate (Reference No. 670-09C00008), issued on August 27, 2009, by the United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Batzangaa, along with his family members, were seeking asylum and “should, in particular, be protected from forcible return to a country where he/she claims to face threats to his/her life or freedom, pending a final decision on his/her refugee status.”
In an hour-long telephone interview with SMHRIC yesterday, Mr.Batzangaa said that he is determined to pursue his pending asylum case with UNHCR as he is particularly outraged by the Government of Mongolia’s violation of international human rights standards and relevant United Nations human rights conventions. Batzangaa particularly mentioned three individuals who were directly involved in the arrest and deportation. They are Ms. Anaraa Nyamdorj, employee of the United Nations Refugee Agency Office in Ulaanbaatar, Mr. Erdenbulgan, employee of the same office, and Mr. Murun Dashdorj, head of the Office of Immigration, Naturalization and Foreign Citizens of Mongolia. SMHRIC will publish the English transcript of the entire interview shortly.
The following is the Asylum-seeker Certificate issued to Batzangaa by UNHCR: