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  Herders attacked while defending their grazing land
May 3, 2013
New York


Mongolian herders beaten up by the Chinese for defending their land, April 27, 2013


Clashes between Mongolian herders and Chinese farmers in Bayantal Sum, Ongniud Banner, Southern Mongolia, in May 2012  

On April 27, 2013, Mongolian herders of Bayannuur Gachaa (“Gachaa” is a traditional Mongolian administrative unit that consists of several villages), Bayantal Sum (“Sum” consists of several Gachaas), Ongniud Banner (“Weng Niu Te Qi” in Chinese, “Banner” is equivalent to county) in Southern (Inner) Mongolia were attacked and roughed up by more than a hundred Chinese land tenant farmers who refused to return the herders’ land after the termination of their 10 year lease period. Seven herders were seriously injured. One suffered brain injury and two were left with broken bones.

According to a written complaint the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center (SMHRIC) received from the local Mongolian herders, over 400 square mu (approximately 270,000 square meter) grazing land of Bayannuur Gachaa was leased to the Chinese farmers in 2003 with a lease term of 10 years.

The complaint states that when the herders tried to reclaim the land as the lease term expired in 2013, the Chinese land tenants refused to return the land and proffered a 20-year lease contract which the herders state is a fraudulent document.

“They insisted on continuing their use of the land. When the herders from the Gachaa attempted to stop them from cultivating on the evening of April 27, they gathered more than a hundred personnel with batons and sticks and attacked the local herders,” the complaint states.

Home to approximately 16,000 Mongolian herders, Bayantal Sum with jurisdiction over 8 Gachaas and several Chinese farming villages had been a predominantly Mongolian populated Sum until recently. As China’s state policy encourages Chinese farmers and investors to enter the Southern Mongolian grasslands for farming and mining, clashes between local Mongolian herders and the Chinese have become increasingly frequent over the past several years.

In May 2012, Mongolian herders from Bayantal Sum were beaten up by the Chinese farmers as they defended their grazing lands from cultivation. Chinese local police who arrived at the scene not only refused to stop the violence by the Chinese but participated in severely beating up and arresting the Mongolian herders.



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