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Many Arrested, Some Fled After Protests in Southern Mongolia

June 17, 2011
New York


Lamas who perform Oboo ceremony are tightly controlled by police in Shiliin-gol League (SMHRIC photo)



Heavy police presence during Mongolian traditional Oboo ceremony in Shiliin-gol League (SMHRIC photo)


Mongols performed Oboo ceremony under tense atmosphere in Shiliin-gol League (SMHRIC photo)  

Many Mongolians have been arrested, detained and beaten during and after the large-scale region-wide protest sparked by the brutal killing of a Mongolian herder named Mergen in Southern (Inner) Mongolia’s Shiliin-gol League.

Even though the tension between the Mongolians and the Chinese authorities has eased, martial law is still in effect in most parts of Shiliin-gol League and other major cities including the regional capital Hohhot.

“The authorities are still on high alert here,” a resident of Hohhot, the regional capital, told SMHRIC through an email message, “in some places presence of paramilitary and riot police is even heavier than before.”

“The situation is still tense here, and police and paramilitary forces are patrolling the streets,” a herder in Shuluun Huh Banner told SMHRIC over the phone yesterday, “at least 31 people are still being held in our Shuluun Huh Banner alone for trying to break the barricade to let high school students join the protest.”

“These young Mongolians will most probably be given harsh punishments because the authorities are accusing them of engaging in sabotage,” the herder added.

According to eyewitnesses and family members of the detainees in Huveet Shar Banner, the detained herders are still been held in detention and have been severely beaten by riot police and military forces.

The latest information the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center (SMHRIC) has received confirms that a hundred or more protesters including students, high school teachers, college professors, herders and ordinary residents have been arrested, detained and beaten by the Chinese authorities in connection with the large-scale demonstration. Most of them are still being held in detention.

SMHRIC was able to identify the following 8 individuals who were arrested and detained for alleged connections with the protests:

Mr. Bolchuluu, a teacher and free-lance writer in Shiliin-gol League, was arrested in eastern Southern Mongolia’s Ulaanhad City while he was on a business trip to the city. Reportedly he was placed under a form of house arrest after being released from a 10-day detention.

Mr. Biligbaatar, a free-lance writer and a professor at Shiliin-gol Vocational College, was arrested in Shiliin-hot City and detained for over a week before he was placed under house arrest after being forced to sign a document promising not to participate in any similar events in the future. He sent out an appeal through the internet to urge the Chinese authorities to honor Mr. Mergen as a “martyr” and erect a memorial for him on Shiliingol grassland.

Mr. Burintsetsen, a native of Shuluun Chagaan Banner and a professor at the Shiliingol Vocational College, was arrested around May 20, 2011, and is still being held somewhere in Shiliinhot. He was accused of “sending multiple text messages” to rally the Mongols to take to the streets to express their grievance.

Mr. Bayasal, a student of Shiliingol Vocational College, was arrested during the protest in Shiliinhot in late May. He is still being detained in Shiliinhot.

Mr. Bilgee, a native of Shuluun Chagaan Banner, was arrested during the protest in Shiliinhot in late May. His whereabouts are unknown.

Mr. Tulguur, owner of a Mongolian dairy food store in Hohhot, was arrested and detained for 7 days before he was put under house arrest. During the 1995 crackdown on the Southern Mongolian Democratic Alliance, he was also arrested and sent to jail for several months. In 1994, he was arrested in the border city of Ereenhot for smuggling a banned publication from the independent country of Mongolia to Southern Mongolia. Later on his passport was confiscated and he was prohibited from traveling to Mongolia.

Mr. Setsenbaatar, an employee of the Right Ujumchin Banner Educational Bureau, was arrested during the protest and remains under detention for sending photos of the protest to others.

Mr. Almas Sharnuud, an activist and dissident in eastern Southern Mongolia’s Naiman Banner, has gone missing since May 31, 2011, after being put under house arrest for a week.

As the Chinese authorities intensify their crackdown on the Mongols, at least four young Mongolian activists who participated in the protests fled China to the independent country of Mongolia and are seeking asylum.

Popular social media Boljoo and QQ discussion groups are still unavailable in Southern Mongolia.



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