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  Southern Mongolian exile chooses self-immolation over deportation
May 12, 2014
New York
Alhaa Norovtseren, facing deportation from the independent country of Mongolia, chooses self-immolation over forceful deportation to China (SMHRIC photo)  
On May 6, 2014, facing deportation from the independent country of Mongolia, Southern (Inner) Mongolian exile Mr. Alhaa Norovtseren, known as Wen Xin on his Chinese passport, stated in an open letter to the Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj that he chooses self-immolation over a forced deportation to China by Mongolian authorities.

On May 9, 2014, at least 3 Southern Mongolian exiles and 3 Mongolian citizens were taken away by Mongolian police and secret service personnel for hosting and attending a press conference opposing the deportation of Alhaa. Among them were prominent Mongolian journalists and human rights defenders including Mr. Munkhbayar Chuluundorj, Mr. Narantsogt Damdinsuren and Ms. A.Sarnai.

Alhaa Norovtseren, a native of Sunid Left Banner of Southern Mongolia, came to the independent country of Mongolia in 1992 to study at the State University of Mongolia, shortly after Mongolia embarked on the road to democracy.

In 1994, Alhaa married Ms. E. Undarmaa, a Mongolian citizen, and shortly afterwards was granted permanent residency in Mongolia. In 1995, the couple had a daughter Nandintsetseg. In 2010, his wife Undarmaa died of cancer.

“Living in Mongolia for 22 years, I haven’t left Mongolia since 1999,” Alhaa said in his open letter to the Mongolian President, “I have never violated any law or committed any crime.”

“I have renewed my residency card on time. Yet, on May 5, 2014, the Mongolian immigration authorities gave me short notice ordering me to leave Mongolia voluntarily in 10 days or else I will be forcibly deported,” Alhaa stated in the open letter.

On May 9, 2014, the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center (SMHRIC) was able to interview Alhaa over the phone to obtain further details on his case.

“The only reason why they are trying to deport me is that I am a Southern Mongolian,” Alhaa told SMHRIC when asked what was the exact reason for the possible deportation, “there is no other reason I can think of.”

“It is an indisputable fact that all these are done under the order of the Chinese Government,” Alhaa said in the phone interview, “because I have been anti-Chinese from my heart since I was born.”

“People around the world might think that Mongolia is a democratic country. Unfortunately, democracy is dead here,” Alhaa sighed, “like it or not, it is a fact that Mongolia, a presumably independent nation, now has become a de facto province of the People’s Republic of China.”

When asked whether it is true that his planned deportation was suspended temporarily by the Mongolian immigration authorities, Alhaa said, “yes, but that doesn’t mean anything. The police and secret service can come and deport any Southern Mongolian any time if there is an order from the Chinese authorities.”

“I am ready to set myself on fire and die if they move forward with the deportation order, because China is no better than hell,” Alhaa said resolutely, “I will be happy to become the first Southern Mongolian to self-immolate for the freedom and human rights of Southern Mongolians not only in Southern Mongolia but also here in Mongolia.”

According to the open letter, Alhaa was also taken away by Mongolian police on January 17, 2013, without any legal procedure, and was severely beaten.

During his detention, a police officer named Z. Batbayar telephoned the police station in the border city of Zamiin-uud and asked them to go to China to gather information about Alhaa, according to his open letter.

“After that a burly man in plain clothes came in and beat me up severely while cursing me ‘you hybrid bastard of a dog and wolf, you are hurting the friendly relationship between Mongolia and China’,” Alhaa states, “he threatened to kill me after the severe beating.”

“Since this beating I have been suffering from deteriorating eyesight and severe headache,” Alhaa added.

“One thing I would like to clarify is that most Mongolian citizens are very kind and supportive to us Southern Mongolians although the Government of Mongolia acts like a Chinese puppet in violating the human rights of Southern Mongolian exiles without any hesitation,” Alhaa expressed his gratitude to those Mongolian citizens who made efforts to defend him from being deported.

Since 2009, there have been at least three major cases of Southern Mongolian exiles who were persecuted by Mongolian authorities.

In October 2009, Mr. Batzangaa, principal of a Mongol-Tibetan medical school from Southern Mongolia’s Ordos region, was deported to China while he was still under the protection of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Batzangaa is imprisoned in the Inner Mongolia Jail No.4, a notorious prison where most Southern Mongolian political prisoners including Mr. Hada were held.

In May 2012, another Southern Mongolian exile and historian Mr. Rolmaajidiin Tsengel was arrested and jailed in Mongolia on alleged charges of “attempt to overthrow the Government of Mongolia and conspiracy of a coup”.

Human rights activists and journalists voiced their criticisms that Mongolia as a democratic and independent nation of Mongolian people has turned increasingly abusive on the question of the human rights of the Southern Mongolian exiles due to an increasingly close relationship with the dictatorial regime of China.

“Mongolia, the independent country of Mongolia, has already become one of the very few countries where the human rights of Southern Mongolians are violated the most,” Mr. Munkhbayar Chuluundorj, a prominent human rights defender and journalist from Mongolia, said in a conference recently in Tokyo, Japan.

Southern Mongolian communities and exile groups in Japan, the United States and European countries have strongly condemned the Government of Mongolia, and are preparing to hold a world-wide protest in front of Mongolian embassies across the world if Mr. Alhaa Norovtseren’s deportation order is not rescinded.   



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