Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information CenterSouthern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center
HomeAbout UsCampaignsSouthern Mongolian WatchChineseJapaneseNewsLInksContact Us


Share |

  Detainees Freed, but Informers Punished
April 6, 2012
New York


para-base-ester factory site in Naiman Banner (SMHRIC photos)

Following three days of protests by Mongolians of Tulee Gachaa (gachaa is equivalent to village), Naiman Banner (Banner is equivalent to county) of eastern Southern (Inner) Mongolia, the Chinese authorities in Naiman Banner finally freed all twenty two detainees who were arrested while attempting to stop the bulldozer of a Chinese state-run forestry company from leveling and occupying the Gachaa’s land.

However, the authorities have continued their repression by initiating investigations of individuals who gave interviews to foreign and domestic news agencies or otherwise spread word of the protests. At least one local Mongolian who lived outside the Gachaa was arrested by police on April 6, 2012 accused of “defaming the state”. Several others are being investigated for suspicion of communicating with foreign reporters.

“The Deputy Governor of Tongliao Municipality surnamed Sun visited our Gachaa yesterday along with more than twenty officials from the Banner Government,” a Mongolian from the Gachaa told the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center (SMHRIC) over the phone, “the Deputy Governor promised to punish those who beat and tortured the Mongolian protesters and detainees.”

According to this villager, the officials also promised to investigate the land expropriation. “This is our land, there is no need to carry out a so-called ‘investigation’. What we need is our land, compensation for beating and other losses,” he added.

“Blocking information and isolating the village from the outside world seems to be the top priority of the officials,” a college student from Tulee Gachaa who asked to remain anonymous said in an email communication to SMHRIC, “they are, on the one hand, trying to punish those who put the word out about the protests in the village to foreign news media. On the other hand, the officials are deploying State Security agents in each household to prevent any information leaking to outsiders.”

“The entire Gachaa with more than 300 people protested in solidarity, and refused to accept this outrageous illegal act,” the college student added.

“Officials from the Municipality and the Banner are now threatening us with the so-called ‘defamation of state’ accusation. I don’t think there is a crime called ‘defaming the state’,” another Mongolian villager told SMHRIC over the phone ignoring the authorities’ surveillance, “even if there is such a crime, the criminal perpetrators are not us Mongolians, but those corrupt officials and police who illegally took our land and beat our protestors.”

Despite the tight control over the flow of information on the protest over the internet, Mongolian students of Tongliao Municipality are rallying the Mongolians to support the Tulee Gachaa protesters. A student group named “Free Association of Mongolian Students” issued an appeal online and called on all Mongolian students, herders and farmers to join together to take to the streets to defend their rights in support of Tulee Gachaa Mongolians.

Although the authorities’ concerns have shifted to stopping the flow of information and setting an example of the consequences of spreading information deemed ‘defamation of the state’, such repressive measures have led to calls for further protests by the Mongols throughout the region.



From Yeke-juu League to Ordos Municipality: settler colonialism and alter/native urbanization in Inner Mongolia

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)

 ©2002 SMHRIC. All rights reserved. Home | About Us | Campaigns | Southern Mongolian Watch | News | Links | Contact Us