Ladies and Gentlemen:
My name is Enhebatu Togochog and I am a native Mongol
from Inner Mongolia. I am grateful to the Commission for giving
me the opportunity to make this presentation about my homeland
which I left for political reasons in 1998.
Inner Mongolia is home to 4.5 million indigenous Mongolian
people and is that part of the historical Greater Mongolia
which was ceded to China by Stalin following World War II
against the wishes of the majority of the Mongol leaders in
the region. Over the past 50+ years, the Chinese government
policy encouraging Han Chinese population transfer into the
region has turned the Mongols into a minority in their own
lands and the ratio of Han Chinese to Mongols today is 5:1.
The pattern of repression of the Mongols over this 50 year
period has been documented elsewhere so I will restrict my
comments to the current human rights situation. In the addendum
of the written report, I have provided additional examples
I will bring to the Commissions attention two specific
cases. The first concerns two individuals, Mr. Hada and Mr.
Tegexi and the second, the forcible displacement of Mongolian
herdsmen from their traditional pasturelands.
The first individual is Mr. Hada who was born in eastern
Inner Mongolia's Horchin Right Wing Front Banner (banner is
a geographical designation). In May 1992, Mr. Hada and other
Mongolian students and intellectuals established the Southern
Mongolian Democratic Alliance (SMDA), with Mr. Hada as President.
The mission of this organization was to promote and preserve
Mongolian language, history and culture and to peacefully
find ways to obtain greater autonomous rights for ethnic Mongols
in the region as guaranteed by the Chinese constitution. In
December 1995, the authorities denounced the Southern Mongolian
Democratic Alliance as an illegal organization "engaging
in separatist activities" and arrested Mr. Hada along
with more than 70 members and demonstrators. In December 1996,
Mr. Hada was sentenced to 15 years jail for "separating
the country and engaging in espionage". Currently, Mr.
Hada is serving his sentence in Inner Mongolia Jail No.4 at
Chifeng City. Hada's wife, Ms Xinna, and young son Uiles have
been subject to police intimidation and allowed only limited
visitation rights. According to Ms Xinna, because of the hard
labor and constant torture by the police and inmates, Mr.
Hada's health condition is extremely poor. Ms. Xinna has also
reported that Mr. Hada was beaten by inmates with rubber clubs
provided by prison guards and on two occasions, a gun was
held to his head by a prison official who threatened to kill
him. Equally disturbing, in June 2001, the "Mongolian
Study Bookstore" owned by Ms. Xinna was shut down and
denounced as an "illegal business" by the authorities.
Mr. Hada's wife and young son have been denied the right to
pursue a livelihood.
Mr. Tegexi was born in Horchin Left Wing Rear Banner and
was the Vice President of the Southern Mongolian Democratic
Alliance. He was also arrested in December 1995. In December
1996, Mr. Tegexi was sentenced to 10 years jail for "conspiracy
to subvert the government and separate the country".
Currently, Mr. Tegexi's prison situation and health condition
and even the prison location are unknown. His family members
and friends have been denied the right to visit him.
The second case concerns the Chinese government's on-going
coercive displacement of Mongolian herding populations. The
Inner Mongolian grasslands were considered to be one of the
finest natural grasslands in the world, perfectly suited for
a herding lifestyle. However, according to the Inner
Mongolia Daily News, 81 % of the territory of the Inner
Mongolian Autonomous Region has turned to desert. The officials
do not state that the desertification is primarily due to
the intensive over-cultivation of the grasslands by the millions
of Han Chinese farmers, as documented by scientific studies,
but instead have made the Mongol herders bear the brunt of
the new polices aimed to end the continuing desertifiation.
The Chinese Government has recently adopted a new policy targeting
Mongolian herding populations under the pretext of "giving
rest to the grassland and recovering the eco-system".
This policy is called "Environmental Immigration"
(Sheng Tai Yi Min in Chinese) whose aim seems to be the relocation
of the Mongolian herding populations from their native lands
to overwhelmingly Han Chinese populated agricultural and urban
areas. Over the past two years, at least 160,000 ethnic Mongolians
have been forcibly relocated from their pasturelands. We see
no mention of Han Chinese farmers being relocated. The Mongolian
herders who have already lost their homes, livestock and lands
have been relocated with little regard to their social and
other needs, nor has appropriate compensation been made for
their losses. These polices are targeted to the wrong populations
and their discriminatory nature are a violation of human and
Members of the Commission, today, Mongols who struggle
to maintain and promote their distinct culture continue to
be subjected to harassment and intimidation. Recent cases
of individuals arrested for distributing separatist
literature and another arrest for merely wanting to celebrate
Chinggis Khans birthday attest to the continuing pattern
of repression. In addition, since 1998, at least 5 expatriate
Inner Mongolians have been refused entry into China and forced
to return directly from the airports in Beijing and Hong Kong,
apparently for being associated in one form or another with
individuals the Chinese government has blacklisted. We also
know of 6 cases of expatriates (5 of them are United States
green card holders and 1 of them is even a US citizen) being
detained, questioned and monitored by the authorities during
their visit to Inner Mongolia.
Let me end by noting that recent releases of Tibetan political
prisoners indicate that the United States government's dialogue
with China and international pressure in general regarding
human rights issues can have some positive results. I would
like to ask the commission to urge the Chinese government
to: 1. release Mr. Hada and Mr. Tegexi immediately and restore
Ms Xinnas right to open and run her bookstore, 2. provide
adequate compensation and social services to Mongols displaced
by the anti-desertification programs and stop the upcoming
larger displacements, 3. allow expatriates to return to visit
their friends and relatives. Finally, I request the commission
to hold a special hearing devoted to Inner Mongolian human
Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center (SMHRIC)
37-40 79 Street
Tel & Fax: (718)899-8391
Jackson Heights NY 11372