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  One more Mongolian herder killed by the Chinese defending his grazing land
Auguest 20, 2013
New York
Condolences on the Mongolian herder Bayanbaatar's death circulated through the Internet by Southern Mongolians.


Herder Bayanbaatar was beaten to death by Chinese railroad workers when defending his grazing land.


Rude and arrogant Chinese worker threatened to "kill the herders" before carrying out the actual killing of Bayanbaatar.


Chinese worker threatening the Mongolian herders before beating Bayanbaatar to death.


Police took no action after arriving to the scene. The killer and other offenders were not arrested.


On August 19, 2013, around 5:30 PM local time, Mr. Bayanbaatar, a 58-year old Mongolian herder from Dalan-tsetseg Village, Tohootai Gachaa (a Gachaa consists of several pastoral villages), Tug Sum (“Sum” is equivalent to township), Uushin Banner of western Southern (Inner) Mongolia, was brutally beaten to death by Chinese railroad workers while he was defending his grazing land. His son was severely injured. Several other herders were also beaten. Bayanbaatar’s body was left in the Uushin Banner People’s Hospital for cremation.

According to written communications received by the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center (SMHRIC), several Chinese workers from China Railway Bureau No.23 started the brutal beating when Bayanbaatar and other herders protested the Railway Bureau’s occupation of their grazing land without proper compensation. Arrogant and rude as shown in the pictures, the Chinese railroad workers not only threatened to kill the herders if they continued to protest but also sent some of their fellow workers to bring knives to carry out the killing. The local police arrived late to the scene, but reportedly refused to carry out any arrest of the killer or other offenders.

“Our deep sorrow and sincere condolences to Mr.Bayanbaatar who was beaten to death by the Chinese railway workers from China Railway Bureau No.23 while defending his grazing land,” posters, messages of condolences and pictures by Mongolian netizens spread quickly through major Chinese social media including Renren, QQ, Tencent Weibo, Webchat and Sina Weibo before they were deleted.

Since 2010, at least five Mongolian herders including Mr. Bayanbaatar have lost their life at the hands of Chinese workers while defending their rights to their grazing lands as well as their right to maintain their traditional way of life.

In 2010, a Mongolian herder from Sobrog Sum of Bairin Right Banner was stabbed to death by Chinese from the “Livestock Grazing Prohibition Team” (“jin mu dui” in Chinese), a special police task force set up by the Chinese Government to ban livestock grazing by Mongolian herders on their own grazing lands.

In May 2011, a Mongolian herder named Mergen from Shiliin-gol League was brutally run over by Chinese coal-hauling truck while he was defending his grazing land from coal miners. His death sparked large-scale protests and demonstrations by Mongolian herders and students across Southern Mongolia.

In October 2011, a Mongolian herder named Zorigt from Huhtolgoi Gachaa, Uushin Banner of Ordos Municipality was killed by a Chinese oil transport truck as he tried to protect his grazing land from Chinese oil mining trucks.

In July 2013, an angry and desperate herder from Ongniud Banner of Ulaanhad Municipality committed suicide after stabbing and killing the head of the “Livestock Grazing Prohibition Team” and seriously injuring another official while defending his right to graze his livestock on his grazing land.

Becoming the largest coal and natural gas source in China and producing 95% of the world’s rare earth supplies, Southern Mongolia has recently been named “China’s energy base”. Chinese mining giants Shenhua Coal and Chang Qing Oil as well as thousands of private miners have rushed to Southern Mongolia chasing their fortune. Grazing lands have been illegally occupied and opened up for mines. Herders have forcibly been removed from their land without adequate compensation and proper resettlement.

In response to this unprecedented level of destruction of their grazing lands, Mongolian herders are standing up to defend their right to pursue their livelihood and traditional way of life. Hundreds of herders have been beaten, arrested and detained in clashes with the Chinese on an almost daily basis. In the latest such case, 13 Mongolian herders were arrested and detained last week in Ar Horchin Banner for protesting a Chinese gold mine’s illegal occupation of their grazing land; hundreds of Mongolian herders stormed into the government building of Urad Middle Banner to carry out a mass sit-in a few day ago.





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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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