|November 4, 2004
Hundreds of security officials in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous
Region stormed a university rock concert amid fears the event
could ignite ethnic protests against plans to develop the grave
site of Genghis Khan, according to a rights group.
The rock band Hurd had been due to perform at Inner Mongolia
Normal University in the provincial capital of Hohhot last
Friday, according to the US-based South Mongolian Human Rights
After dispersing the 2,000-strong crowd, mostly students from
local universities, the authorities immediately instituted a
lock down at schools throughout the city, prohibiting anyone
from entering or leaving the campuses.
An official from the university hosting the concert said the
crackdown was ordered by the provincial government to prevent
the crowd from staging a demonstration.
"There were reports that the band wanted to rally the students
to protest after the concert. Once the provincial government
received word of this, it made the decision to shut down the
event," said the official.
He denied that police had imposed a curfew and claimed
authorities had given refunds to holders of tickets for the
The crackdown was ordered as ethnic tensions continue to simmer
over plans by a Han businessman to tear down the famed Genghis
Khan Mausoleum, in western Inner Mongolia, and construct a more
elaborate site in a bid to attract tourists.
The plans have outraged the Mongolian community. According to
the rights centre, authorities have detained students who
distributed leaflets encouraging people to protest the plan.