|May 16, 2014|
On May 14, 2014 around 9:00 AM, Beijing time, the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center (SMHRIC) was able to talk to Dalaibaatar briefly by phone. Dalaibaatar confirmed that the two had already crossed the border into China. An unidentified Mongolian-speaking man who was likely escorting the two answered the phone supposedly owned by Tulguur and allowed Dalaibaatar to speak briefly before telling him “not to speak more” and hung up the phone. Successive phone calls to the same number remained unanswered.
Friends and human rights activists in Ulaanbaatar, capital of Mongolia, said that both Dalaibaatar and Tulguur were taken away by Mongolian police and detained for two hours on May 9, 2014, while they were preparing to attend a press conference held in an effort to stop another Southern Mongolian exile named Mr. Alhaa Norovtseren from being deported to China.
“I am at the entrance to the Chinese side hoping to see my husband,” Ms. Batzayaa Dashdondog, a citizen of Mongolia and wife of Tulguur, told SMHRIC over the phone on May 14, 2014 around 8:30 AM local time, “my husband and Dalaibaatar were deported by train to the Chinese border city Ereen-hot yesterday.”
“At the moment I don’t have any further information about their status and it is inconvenient for me to talk here,” Batzayaa told SMHRIC while she was waiting to go through customs in the Mongolian border city Zamiin-uud.
Dalaibaatar Dovchin, known as “Dalaibateer” on his Chinese passport, was born in 1983 in Otog Banner (“e tuo ke qi” in Chinese) of Ordos region, Southern Mongolia. In 2005. He studied music at the Dedmaa School of Music in the regional capital Hohhot. In 2007, he went to Mongolia to study at the Mongolian Music and Dance College and obtained his Bachelors Degree in 2011. In 2013, he obtained his Masters degree in Arts from the National University of Mongolia, and became a PhD candidate at the same school in musical studies.
Tulguur Norovrinchen, known as “Tulaguer” on his Chinese passport, was born in 1984 in Ordos region of Southern Mongolia. After working for a musical band, he went to Mongolia in 2007, and studied at the Mongolian State University of Arts and Culture and the Mongoljingoo School. In 2012 he married Batzayaa Dashdondog, a citizen of Mongolia.
On March 4, 2014, Tulguur received a notice from the Mongolian immigration authorities stating that he must leave Mongolia within 10 days or else he will be forcibly deported back to China. He immediately applied for refugee status with the Office of UNHCR in Ulaanbaatar, and obtained an “Asylum Seeker Certificate” stating that he should be protected through June 16, 2014 until a decision is rendered on his application.
According to sources on the Internet, both Dalaibaatar and Tulguur have actively been involved in activities in Mongolia to protect human rights and promote culture, tradition and heritage of Southern Mongolia.
This is the second major case of deportation of Southern Mongolian exiles from Mongolia to China since the deportation of Mr. Batzangaa and his family members in October 2009. Batzangaa is currently imprisoned in eastern Southern Mongolia’s Ulaanhad City (“chi feng shi” in Chinese) Inner Mongolia Jail No.4 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”.
The deportation of Mr. Alhaa Norovtseren is still pending as the Mongolian authorities temporarily postponed the deportation process after he sent an open letter to the Mongolian President Mr. Tsakhiyagiin Elbegdorj stating he would self-immolate rather than accept deportation to 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 press conference in Ulaanbaatar two years ago and repeated again in a meeting recently in Tokyo, Japan.
“A new deal must have been struck recently between the Government of Mongolia and the Government of China,” Mr. Temtsiltu Shovtsuud, the German based long time human rights defender and leader of Southern Mongolian freedom movement, said in an interview with SMHRIC yesterday. Temtselt further stated “it is also a clear signal telling Southern Mongolian freedom fighters that there is no place in the independent country of Mongolia for any Southern Mongolian to carry out any activity against the dictatorial regime of China.”
Southern Mongolian communities around the world are deeply troubled by the flagrant violation of human rights of Southern Mongolian exiles by the Government of Mongolia and an unusually close relationship between China, an authoritarian regime, and Mongolia, a presumably democratic and independent nation.
In the same time, strongly condemning the Office of UNHCR in Ulaanbaatar for its repeated failures to protect Southern Mongolian asylum seekers, Southern Mongolian communities are deeply concerned about the safety of remaining Southern Mongolian asylum seekers who might face similar persecutions by the Mongolian authorities.