|September 16, 2011|
|Mr. Tumenulzii Buyanmend|
Two Southern (Inner) Mongolian dissident writers, Mr. Hada and Mr. Tumenulzii Buyanmend, have been awarded the Human Rights Watch 2011 Hellman-Hammett Grant for their commitment to free expression. According to Human Rights Watch, 48 writers from 24 countries have been honored with the grant this year for “their commitment to free expression and their courage in the face of persecution.”
The Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center (SMHRIC) congratulates Hada and Tumenulzii Buyanmend on being awarded this prestigious human rights grant for their tireless struggle for the freedom and human rights of the Southern Mongolians. At the same time, SMHRIC expresses its gratitude to Human Rights Watch for its decision to honor the two Southern Mongolian dissident writers and for paying a closer attention to the deteriorating human rights conditions of Southern Mongolia. SMHRIC also would like to thank Ming Holden for providing the paperwork and nomination for Tumenulzii Buyanmend.
Hada, a native of eastern Southern Mongolia’s Horchin Right Wing Front Banner, has been a dissident, writer, human rights activist, and leader of the Southern Mongolian freedom struggle since the early 1980s. He authored a book entitled the Way Out of Southern Mongolia in the early 1990s, and edited a Mongolian journal entitled the “Voice of Southern Mongolia.” In 1992, along with other Mongolian intellectuals, Hada organized the Southern Mongolian Democratic Alliance (SMDA), an underground organization aiming to bolster the self-determination of Southern Mongolia. In December 1995, SMDA was cracked down on, and Hada was sentenced to 15 years in jail by the Chinese authorities on charges of “splitting the country and engaging in espionage.” On December 10, 2010, Hada completed the full term of his sentence at Inner Mongolia Jail No.4 in Ulaanhad City. Violating the internationally accepted human rights standards and their own laws, the Chinese authorities continue to detain Hada in a secret prison in suburban Hohhot, the capital city of the region, and have also arrested and detained his wife, Xinna, and his son, Uiles. Currently, all three members of his family are being held separately in Hohhot for their consistent refusal to cooperate with the Chinese authorities.
Tumenulzii Buyanmend, a native of eastern Southern Mongolia’s Bairin Right Banner, is a long time dissident, writer, journalist and leader of Southern Mongolian freedom movements. As one of the most popular writers in Southern Mongolia, he authored several books and hundreds of essays on issues related to ethnic problems, national identity, culture, language and tradition of Southern Mongolians during the late 1990s and early 2000s. All of his books became the best-sellers in Southern Mongolia until they were banned shortly after their release by the Chinese authorities. With over 20 years of experience in editing Mongolian journals, Tumenuilzii edited and helped publish hundreds of essays in dozens of Mongolian journals. To escape the increasingly tight censorship over freedom of expression and surveillance over his activities by the Chinese authorities, he went into exile in Mongolia in 2005. In 2009, Tumenulzii was granted political asylum by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. In June 2011, he was resettled in the United States. Currently, he lives in New York.