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Worldwide Call to Protest the Killing of Zorigt


Coordinating Committee of 11/06/11 Demonstration

October 29, 2011

On October 20, 2011, a second Mongolian herder, Mr. Zorigt, was killed by a Chinese oil transport truck as he tried to protect his grazing lands in Huhtolgoi Gachaa of Uushin Banner, Ordos Municipality of Southern (Inner) Mongolia. Five months earlier, large-scale demonstrations across Southern Mongolia were sparked by the death of Mr. Mergen, a herder from Shiliin-gol League, who was killed under similar circumstances when defending his grazing lands from Chinese coal haulers. Zorigt was pronounced dead at 11:22 AM on the same day after an emergency treatment at a local hospital.

With the brutal killings of two Mongolian herders, Mr. Zorigt and Mr. Mergen, the ongoing destruction of Mongolian culture and unrestrained exploitation of the natural resources of Southern Mongolia by the Chinese communist regime, the right to life and security as well as basic human rights and fundamental freedoms of the Southern Mongolians as a people are in serious question. 

The killings of two Mongolian herders, Mr. Zorigt and Mr. Mergen and the ongoing destruction of Mongolian culture and the exploitation of the natural resources of Southen Mongolia by Chinese communist regime clearly reveals that the government’s intentional negligence of  the right to life of the ordinary Mongols and their well-beings, basic human rights, and fundamental freedoms.

Following the widespread protests by Southern Mongolians over the death of Mr. Mergen in May, the Government of China promised to protect the grasslands and herders’ rights in response to the anger expressed by Southern Mongolians. But, the Government of China failed to fulfill its promises and even more troubling, accelerated its extraction of natural resources and tightened its security forces to put down any form of resistance.

Over the past six decades, the policies of the Chinese government in Southern Mongolia have been characterized by destruction of the natural environment and eradication of Mongolian traditional culture, language and identity. It has been accompanied by heavy-handed political oppression and unregulated economic exploitation. Starting in early 2001, ‘protection’ of the ecology has been turned into a pretext to further eliminate the last remaining areas where traditional Mongolian nomadic lifestyle and culture are practiced. In order to give way to the extraction of vast deposits of natural resources and the expansion of large-scale farming practice by the Chinese, tens of thousands of Mongolian herders have been forced to abandon their herding lifestyle. They have been forced to move to non-herding areas where they have been unable to secure housing and pursue a livelihood. The coal and other mineral deposits have contributed in no small measure to the accelerating expansion of the Chinese economy.

The original inhabitants of the grassland benefited very little from the industrialization of the grassland.  Instead, their herds and pasturelands forcefully taken away. In exchange for the loss of their properties and livelihoods, they have been forced into the poverty and homelessness.  A small number of herders who are allowed to practiced animal husbandry are faced with numerous obstacles and hardship and daily harassment from the free hauling truckers and corporation who have little regard for the Mongol way of life and their lands.

But very little benefits from the industrialization of the grasslands have has been returned to the original inhabitants of the grasslands who have had their herds and pasturelands taken away. In exchange for the loss of their property and lifestyle, they have for the most part been given a life of poverty. Those herders who are still allowed to practice animal husbandry are faced with numerous obstacles and hardships such as truckers and corporations who have little regard for their lands or way of life.

Those who have stood up for the rights of the Mongols have been subjected to harsh punishment and arbitrary arrest. The most notable one is Mr. Hada, who, after serving a 15 year jail sentence was placed under arbitrary detention by the Chinese authorities for almost a year now. His whereabouts and health condition are unknown. Hada’s wife and son were also detained by the police just prior to his release date. Noted writer and essayist, Ms. Huuchinhuu has been held in detention without any official charges since last November and she has been subjected to repeated beatings by the police. UN refugee applicant Batzangaa remains under house arrest and continues to fight his three-year imprisonment. Many more have been silenced and kept incommunicado. Internet web sites promoting Mongolian culture and identity have routinely been disrupted and shut down.

Given these many grievances, Southern Mongolians can no longer remain silent to the enormous abuses of their human rights. In order to urge the Government of China to stop its brutal treatment of Mongolian herders and to end the egregious violations of the human rights of millions of Mongols in Southern Mongolia, Southern Mongolian communities worldwide are planning to have a simultaneous demonstration across the globe.

Please join us on Sunday November 6, 2011, at 12:00 PM local time in front of the Chinese embassy or consulate in the country where you reside to demand the government of China respect the human rights, life and dignity of the Mongols in China and to resolve the case of Zorigt in a just and fair manner. We ask you to contact your district representatives in parliament or congress to request the government of China to respect the human rights of the Mongols and to release Hada and his family and all Mongolian political prisoners immediately and unconditionally.


Demonstration Info:

 Where:   In front of the Chinese Embassy or Counsulate in the country where you reside

When:    November 6, 2011, at 12:00PM local time

Suggested slogans:

            “Stop the killings in Southern Mongolia”

            “Stop butchering herders”

            “Human rights for herders”

            “Freedom for Southern Mongolia”

            “We want dignity; we want freedom”

            “Return the dignity of Southern Mongolians”

“Give us back our grasslands”  

“Human rights for Southern Mongolians”          

“Free Hada Family Now”, “Free Hada Now”,“Free Xinna Now”,“Free Uiles Now”,“Free Huuchinhuu Now”, “Free Batzangaa Now”

“Justice for Zorigt”, “Justice for Mergen”

“China out of Southern Mongolia”

“You built the Wall, the Wall is the border. Go back to your side of the Great Wall”

“Defend Human Rights in Southern Mongolia”.

Flag:     None or the Flag of your organization


Coordinating Committee for November 6, 2011 Worldwide Protest



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Close to Eden (Urga): France, Soviet Union, directed by Nikita Mikhilkov

Beyond Great WallsBeyond Great Walls: Environment, Identity, and Development on the Chinese Grasslands of Inner Mongolia

The Mongols at China's EdgeThe Mongols at China's Edge: History and the Politics of National Unity

China's Pastoral RegionChina's Pastoral Region: Sheep and Wool, Minority Nationalities, Rangeland Degradation and Sustainable Development

Changing Inner MongoliaChanging Inner Mongolia: Pastoral Mongolian Society and the Chinese State (Oxford Studies in Social and Cultural Anthropology)

Grasslands and Grassland Science in Northern ChinaGrasslands and Grassland Science in Northern China: A Report of the Committee on Scholarly Communication With the People's Republic of China

The Ordos Plateau of ChinaThe Ordos Plateau of China: An Endangered Environment (Unu Studies on Critical Environmental Regions)

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