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  Resisting land grab, at least 48 Mongolian herders arrested
April 17, 2014
New York
At least 40 Mongolian villagers from Maliin-ger Gachaa, Morin-Sum Som of eastern Southern Mongolia's Tongliao Municipality were arrested by Chinese armed police for resisting Chinese miner's grabbing of their grazing land. (See below for more photos)


Chinese armed police beat up women and threatened the protestors with guns and rifles in Maliin-ger Gachaa, Morin-sum Som, Tongliao Municipality. (See below for more photos)


Hundreds of Chinese Public Security personnel and riot police rounded up Mongolian herders from Chagaan-oboo Gachaa, Bayanchagaan Som of eastern Southern Mongolia's Heshigten Banner (See below for more photos)


Despite police beatings and intimidation, Mongolian protestors continued their sit-in protest in front of a Chinese company called "Inner Mongolia Yin Du Kuang Ye Limited Company". (See below for more photos)  
More than 40 Mongolian villagers were arrested in Maliin-ger Gachaa of Morin-Sum Som (“mo li miao su mu ma lin ge ri ga cha” in Chinese) in eastern Southern (Inner) Mongolia’s Tongliao Municipality on April 12, 2014 as they were defending their grazing lands from a Chinese coal transportation company. Local Mongolian villagers were beaten up and threatened with imprisonment by the local police reinforced by more than 400 fully armed riot police dispatched from the municipal authorities.

“Yes, I heard of the incident,” a Mongolian worker named Altansan from the Morin-sum Mongolian Middle School told the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center (SMHRIC) over the phone, “in fact, just a few minutes ago one of my friends called me and told me about the clash and the arrest.”

“One of his relatives was also taken away by the police, and is still held in the detention center,” he added, “he is worried about his relative.” 

“On April 12, riot police grabbed the villagers’ grazing lands by force. They were even worse than bandits. One can’t believe it without witnessing the scene with one’s own eyes. They confiscated the villagers’ cell phones and wallets, beat up women, threatened them with guns, and arrested innocent people,” according to a statement circulated via Xin Lang Wei Bo, China’s own version of Twitter, confirming that “more than 40 villagers who defended their grazing land were arrested.”

To further investigate the case, SMHRIC spoke to an official from the Morin-sum Som People’s Government. He confirmed that there was indeed a clash between the riot police and the local Mongolian villagers. But he declined to give out further details before he provided SMHRIC with the phone number of the Party Secretary of Morin-sum Som. No one answered the Party Secretary’s office phone or cell phone numbers.

“Are you talking about the incident that took place on Saturday?” an official from the Morin-sum Som Public Security Bureau confirmed to SMHRIC over the phone, “yes, there were some Mongolian villagers taken away.”

But he transferred the call to his supervisor when asked whether the 40 some Mongolians who were arrested are still being held in detention.

“It is inconvenient for me to tell you the details over the phone. But if you would like to know more about the case, please come over to visit our office,” the Public Security supervisor told SMHRIC before hanging up the phone.

“About four or five policemen violently beat up a Mongolian woman and tore her clothes into pieces. Her nose was bleeding. Some have fallen on the ground. Regardless the police threw them into their vehicles,” an eyewitness nicknamed Soga wrote on Teng Xun Wei Bo, “these people are on our Mongolian lands grabbing our Mongolian grasslands. All Southern Mongolians, please copy this message and distribute as widely as possible!”

In another case, about 150 Mongolian herders from Chagaan-oboo Gachaa, Bayanchagaan Som of eastern Southern Mongolia’s Heshigten Banner (“ke shi ke teng qi ba yan cha gan su mu cha gan ao bao ga cha” in Chinese) staged a sit-in protest in front of the Inner Mongolia Yin Du Kuang Ye Limited Company.

As one of the few large silver, zinc and lead mines in northern China, the mining company not only occupied a large piece of grazing land of the local Mongolian herders’ community, but also dumped their toxic wastes directly onto the grazing land without proper pollution treatment. Herders complained a large number of livestock have died recently due to the poisoning. 

In addition to the local police from Bayanchagaan Som, more than 200 hundred riot police dispatched from the Banner capital Bayaruu Township (“Jing Peng Zhen” in Chinese) arrived at the scene. Eight herders were arrested before the remaining protestors were dispersed. Many were beaten up.

“There were many women and elderly herders. They demanded the company halt its production activities,” a herder named Jirgalt from the Gachaa told SMHRIC, “but the police came in and beat them up. At least 8 of them were taken away.”

“Nothing is wrong with the herders! They just wanted justice. Why did the police arrest 8 herders? Without sheep and cattle how can the herders make a living? Let our fellow Mongolians circulate this quickly to fight for justice for the herders!” a Mongolian named Bairin rallied on the Xin Lang Wei Bo internet feed.


Mongolian villagers from Maliin-ger Gachaa, Morin-sum Som, Tongliao Municipality protested against Chinese miner's land grab, April 12, 2014




Mongolian herders from Chagaan-oboo Gachaa, Bayanchagaan Som, Heshigten Banner staged a sit-in protest in front of a Chinese mining company, April 16, 2014




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