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Couple Arrested for Practicing Mongolian Medicine

Southern Mongolian Human Rights
Information Center (SMHRIC)
June 23, 2005
New York







A popular Mongolian physician and psychiatrist Mr. Naguunbilig, along with his wife Daguulaa who worked as assistant to him, was arrested at his “Inner Mongolian Aztai Mongol Senior’s Health Center” in Huhhot City in the evening of June 7, 2005, for practicing what the authorities called a “Mongolian version of Fa Lun Gong”. Labeled as a “black spot of evil cult and illegal gathering” by the authorities, his health center was forcibly shut down following his arrest. Shortly after being held in Inner Mongolian Public Security Bureau’s Department No. 26, the couple was transferred to the Hohhot City No.1 Detention Center where most political dissidents are held before being sent to jail.

Mr. Naguunbilig, an ethnic Mongolian, was born in western Inner Mongolia’s Otog Front Banner in 1964. In 1982, he attended the Inner Mongolian School of Mongolian Medicine and obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Mongolian Medicine in 1987. After graduation, he practiced Mongol-European clinical medicine and developed his own style of natural healing method based on the Mongolian medical tradition. In 2000, he created a medical institute named “Inner Mongolian Otoch Institute of Mongolian Mental and Physical Health Research”. In 2002, he set up “Inner Mongolian Aztai Mongol Senior’s Health Center”. From 2001 to 2002, he studied for a Master’s Degree in applied psychology at Beijing University Medical School. Later he became a Mongolian medicine specialist, and a member of the Chinese Mental Health Society and Chinese Medical Chi-kung (or Qi-gong) Institute. He has published 11 papers in national and international medical research journals. He is also the author of 5 medical research books. Prior to his arrest, he was also studying for a Master’s Degree in Mongolian medicine at Inner Mongolian Medical School.


Mr.Naguunbilig with his wife and daughter


An eye-witness, who asked not to be identified, told the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center over the phone that being escorted by three plain clothes policemen, Mr. Naguunbilig attended his graduation thesis oral examination on the second day of his arrest. “In order to find evidence to support and justify their accusation, with the cooperation of the examination committee, these policemen asked him so many questions some of which were not even related to the thesis topic,” said the eye-witness.

“To avoid unnecessary trouble with the police, Mr. Naguunbilig and other employees of the Aztai Health Center have always reminded us not to be in high profile,” said Ms. Huuchinhuu, a cancer patient who has been detained several times and monitored closely by the Public Security authorities at eastern Inner Mongolia’s Tongliao City for supporting and joining the Southern Mongolian Democratic Alliance (SMDA). SMDA, an underground organization aimed to bring democracy and self-rule for the region, was suppressed by the authorities in 1995. “Sometimes he had to reschedule the lecture for healing at midnight, especially when as many as 1,000 ethnic Mongolian patients gathered,” Huuchinhuu said.


Mr. Naguunbilig with patients from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia


Many underprivileged Mongolians including poor herdsmen from rural areas and some with salaries from urban cities who had no access to medical treatments that might cost them their entire annual household income for a single surgery came to Mr. Naguunbilig with the hope of healing. Chen Haishan was a member of SMDA. He was detained for 6 months during the 1995 crack down and also lost his job due to his political activities. He stayed for three months at the Aztai Health Center to receive Mr. Naguunbilig’s treatment. Mr. Naguunbilig treated and cured his neck problem which, he was told by a Chinese specialist, otherwise was going to cost him 100,000 yuan for surgical treatment. In order to relieve her stress, Ms. Shinna, wife of the prominent political prisoner Hada, visited the Aztai Health Center several times to attend Mr. Naguunbilig’s lecture for healing as well. “I had never believed in a miracle until I met our Great Master Naguunbilig,” said Ms. Otgontsetseg, a herdswoman from eastern Inner Mongolia’s Ar Horchin Banner who had suffered a severe paralysis before coming to the Aztai Health Center. “But I saw a miracle at the Aztai Health Center. Just after a few days’ treatment and healing, my paralysis has completely gone! I don’t know how I should thank our Great Master Naguunbilig for giving me a new life.” Hurelsukh, another patient who had suffered chronic myelopathy and came in a wheelchair, has completely recovered under Mr. Naguunbilig’s treatment, and has decided to voluntarily work for the Center.


Mr. Naguunbilig with patients from Japan


According to these patients, before permanently shutting down the Aztai Health Center, security personnel frequently harassed its normal business. Employees and patients were regularly questioned and monitored by the authorities. Several Mongol yurts which were built as free dormitories for the patients in the front yard of the Aztai Health Center were demolished by the City Beautification Bureau for “disturbing the city scenery”.

About the authorities’ allegation against Mr. Naguunbilig and the Aztai Health Center, Mr. Baatar, a former employee of the Center, revealed to the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center that the authorities called them “evil cult and illegal gathering”, “Mongolian version of Fa Lun Gong that makes money by cheating and lying”. “We have nothing to do with Fa Lun Gong. What we have practiced is psychological and physical treatment based on the Mongolian medical tradition and European medical science that helps cure otherwise incurable diseases. We have never swindled money from anyone,” said Mr. Baatar over the phone, “patients pay only 5 yuan (approximately 0.60 USD) for each 2-hour lecture for healing. It is almost free compared to any other hospital in Huhhot City.” Mr. Baatar also confirmed that Naguunbilig and his wife Daguulaa are currently being held at the Hohhot City No.1 Detention Center where the couple has been denied the right to communicate with others.

Witnessing the government’s minority educational policy in Inner Mongolia that encourages ethnic Mongolian students to learn more Chinese than their mother tongue from elementary school, Mr. Naguunbilig has given scholarship to 50 ethnic Mongolian students at poor rural elementary and middle schools across the region every year using money from his own pocket. “This is what the government doesn’t like,” said a student who enjoyed a Naguunbilig Scholarship when attending Inner Mongolian Mongolian Medical School and is currently studying in Japan, “because he encouraged students to learn more Mongolian than Chinese. Except for the elementary and middle school students, college students who major in any Mongolian related study are eligible for the scholarship as well.”

“The true reason why the government has harshly cracked down on Naguunbilig and his health center is that the government is too nervous about any gathering or assembling by the Mongols that might lead to a possible criticism of its heavy-handed ethnic policy and ultimately challenge its legitimacy,” said Ms. Shinna who was on the trip to see her imprisoned husband. Her husband, Mr. Hada, is now serving his 15 years jail term at Inner Mongolian No.4 Jail in eastern Inner Mongolia’s Chifeng City for organizing the SMDA.  In another recent incident, many students were arrested, detained, and questioned by the authorities for attempting to gather around 1,000 Mongolian students to watch a popular band from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

Mongolia, along with China and Tibet, was under the Manchu rule between 1635-1911. Southern Mongolia, widely but mistakenly known as “Inner Mongolia”, was occupied by Communist China in 1947. Other than that, no part of Mongolia had ever been part of China. During the past half a century, Mongols in Southern Mongolia have not only been deprived of their right to self-governance but also denied basic human rights and fundamental freedom. Large numbers of Chinese migrants settled into the region, making the Mongols an absolute minority on their own land. Hundreds of thousands of Mongols became subject to persecution just for being Mongol.




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