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Southern Mongolia

Mongolian police arrest 8 citizens in front of Chinese Embassy

2014-02-09.SMHRIC

Mr.Munkhbayar Chuluundorj protesting in front of the Chinese Embassy in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, Feb 6, 2015

On February 6, 2015, 8 Mongolian citizens including the prominent Mongolian activist Mr.Munkhbayar Chuluundorj were arrested by Mongolian police in Ulaanbaatar, capital of the independent country of Mongolia, for staging a protest in front of the Chinese Embassy. The protestors were demanding the immediate release of detained Southern (Inner) Mongolian herders and the protection of Southern Mongolian herders rights to land and their traditional way of life.

The 8 protestors were taken to the local police station in Ulaanbaatar and detained for 3 hours. Among them, Ms. Sarnai, another activist and a strong advocate of human rights for Southern Mongolians and the organizer of the protest, was detained for 6 hours. Video footage shows the Mongolian police confiscating banners and Southern Mongolian flags during the arrest.

As the Secretary of the Mongolian Green Party, prominent journalist and human rights activist, Mr. Munkhbayar Chuluundorj has been particularly active in defending the human rights and freedoms of the Southern Mongolians. Munkhbayar has also been passionately involved in discussions and monitoring of the recent protests of Southern Mongolian herders from Durbed Banner and Sunid Right Banner against the Chinese authorities illegal occupation of their grazing lands. Through social media, Munkhbayar has directly been staying in touch with the Southern Mongolian herders on the ground, expressing his strong support to the protest and publicizing their plight to the citizens of Mongolia.

“The police claimed it is illegal to protest near the embassies in Ulaanbaatar” Munkhbayar told the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center (SMHRIC), “this seems to be valid only in front of the Chinese Embassy here”.

“Ms. Sarnai was detained for 6 hours, and even given a summons to appear before the court for organizing an `illegal protest` and `smashing the police car door`” Munkhbayar told SMHRIC, “but I didn`t see any damage to the door. I was sitting next to the door when we were taken to the police station”.

Citizens of the independent country of Mongolia have increasingly been concerned about the deteriorating human rights conditions of fellow Mongolians in Southern Mongolia although the Government of Mongolia, often praised as a model democracy in Asia by western countries, has yet to express an official position regarding the human rights violations of Southern Mongolians.

Since mid-January when Southern Mongolian herders protested in front of the Chinese Central Government offices in Beijing, many Mongolian citizens have expressed their solidarity with Southern Mongolian herders.

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