|December 10, 2011|
Exactly one year after his expected release date, Hada is still being held in a secret prison in suburban Hohhot
Exactly a year after his expected release date, Mr. Hada, a Southern (Inner) Mongolian prominent political prisoner, is still being held without charge in a secret prison in suburban Hohhot, the regional capital. Mr. Hada had completed his 15 year sentence on December 10, 2010 but was quickly placed under arbitrary detention on the very day his sentence ended.
His wife Ms. Xinna and son Uiles were taken away by police in early December, 2010. After an 11-months detention, Uiles was transferred from the Inner Mongolia No.3 Detention Center to 1-year’s de facto house arrest in his rented residency in Hohhot. Ms. Xinna is still being held at the Inner Mongolia No.1 Detention Center with no sign of any judicial proceeding being planned by the authorities.
The Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center (SMHRIC) was able to interview Ms. Naraa, sister of Xinaa, over the phone today. The following is a summary of the interview:
SMHRIC reporter: What is the situation with Hada, Xinna and Uiles?
Naraa: Hada is still being held in the same prison in suburban Hohhot. Visits are prohibited. Uiles was released from the No.3 Detention Center on bail pending trial for one year under an imposed condition of “not answering any phone call from others”. He currently lives in his rented house which is monitored by two video cameras around the clock from both windows. His freedom of movement is strictly restricted. His request for visiting us in Bogot ("Baotou" in Chinese) City was denied. Xinna is still being held at the No.1 Detention Center without any trial or legal procedure.
SMHRIC reporter: Have you heard anything about Hada’s health condition?
Naraa: I haven’t seen him since February. The Public Security personnel told me that they do not allow any member of my family to visit him, because both I and my mother received phone calls from overseas and gave interviews on several occasions. In fact, our home phone was disconnected by the authorities for a while. Our only source of information is the Public Security Bureau (PSB) personnel who come to question us especially following any phone call from overseas. According to them, Hada gained some weight, but that’s highly unlikely.
SMHRIC reporter: What else did they tell you about Hada?
Naraa: They said Hada is not cooperating with them at all. They shook their heads and said that Hada is an almost hopelessly stubborn man. When they tried over and over to ask Hada to admit his “wrongdoing” and agree to cooperate, he told them, “do not waste your time coaxing me! I have not made any mistake, nor have I committed any crime”. The PSB people frankly told me that they even tried to threaten him by claiming to imprison his wife and son if he was to continue to be uncooperative. Hada laughed at them and said “go ahead and do it!” Apparently, the Public Security authorities have exhaustively used all of their techniques. None seemed to work. 15 years cruel torture and harsh treatment did not work. Obviously 1 year of softer measures are not working either. Powerful PSB seems to be helpless in front of him.
SMHRIC reporter: Is visitation of Xinna allowed? We know that Xinna had serious heart problem and other illness.
Naraa: My brother Khas was allowed to visit her on November 2 this year once only. Her health situation is very poor. She looked very thin and pale due to her frequent hunger strikes for protesting the authorities’ illegal detention of herself, her husband and son. No medical treatment has been available for her. The Director of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region Political and Legal Committee came to us a month ago and said that Xinna would be released soon if we were to keep quiet and cooperate. We have not answered any phone calls from abroad, but she is still in detention. There is no sign showing that she will be released soon. Our requests to visit her have consistently been denied. No food and clothes are allowed to be delivered to her.
SMHRIC reporter: Is there any explanation given to you about any legal basis for Xinna’s detention?
Naraa: No. PSB people just said that the higher ups are not happy about us, because, they say, we gave interviews to foreign news media and human rights organizations. They also brought a copy of the “People’s Republic of China State Security Act” with its Chapter One Article Four highlighted, claiming that “any organization or individual engaging in activities of harming the state security of People’s Republic of China shall be pursued through legal means”. We did not violate any of the five items listed in Article Four. We did not attempt to overthrow the government and socialist system of China; we are not an agent of any spy organization; we don’t have any state secret to leak; do you think I and my 80 years old mother are able to plot a coup? It is just a joke.
SMHRIC reporter: How is Uiles doing now?
Naraa: As you know he had a serious depression due to his 2 years imprisonment when he was 16 years old and the lack of normal family life. Frustrations caused by frequent harassment and denial of any opportunity for education and employment by the authorities made things worse. Even though now he is allowed to take a training course in film making that he liked, he still felt lonely and frustration. He often confronts the PSB people who monitor him and come to question him. When we met him in Hohhot after his release from the No.3 Detention Center, he looked very exhausted and thin. The food he was given at the Detention Center was primarily potatoes and cabbages boiled in water. During his detention, he also witnessed many other Mongolian students and intellectuals who joined the large-scale protests in May were tortured and treated badly in the Detention Center. I was surprised that he was aware of the May protests when he got out of the detention.