|June 29, 2011|
Nearly a month after large-scale protests were carried out by herders and students in Southern (Inner) Mongolia, another protest erupted in eastern Southern Mongolia's Bairin Left Banner ("ba lin zuo qi" in Chinese) in Ulaanhad ("chi feng shi" in Chinese) Municipality.
The protest, starting on June 11, 2011 in the Banner's Bayannuur Township ("ba yin nuo er zhen" in Chinese), was against the Bayannuur Lead Mine that was opened on a large piece of grazing land. The large amounts of toxic wastes discharged by the mine into the surrounding areas caused severe environmental degradation as well as the deaths of a large number of livestock. The local herders were particularly concerned about the serious health hazards to the people.
After repeatedly petitioning the Township and Banner governments expressing their concerns regarding the danger to their environment and health with no satisfactory response, on June 24, 2011, frustrated herders marched to the area of the mine and shut down the mine’s water pump to shaft No.6.
On June 25, the Banner Government mobilized more than 50 riot police and attacked the protesters. Many herders were beaten severely and taken away by police (see photos). Their health condition and status are unknown as of the date of this report.
An elderly Mongolian lady in front of riot police
Bayannuur Lead Mine