Five of eleven ethnic Mongolians along with one Chinese were
arrested on August 12, 2010, in Beijing while they were protesting
against the Chinese authorities¡¯ discriminatory policy towards
ethnic Mongolians in employment. After separate interrogations in
Beijing, they were transferred back to their home place, Darhan
Muumingan Holboot Banner (Da Mao Qi in Chinese, Banner is equivalent
to county) of Bogot Municipality (Bao Tou Shi in Chinese), Inner
Mongolia Autonomous Region (IMAR), for detention.
Currently the six are still being held at the Gu Cheng Wan Detention
Center of Bogot Municipality. No legal procedure has yet been filed.
On August 28, two of the other protesters who escaped police arrest
in Beijing were arrested by the local police upon their arrival in
Darhan Muumingan Holboot Banner and have been detained in the same
detention center. The whereabouts of the remaining four Mongolian
protesters are still unclear.
Family members of the detainees have been denied visitation rights.
Ms. Buyantsetseg, sister-in-law of one of the detainees, Ms.
Shurentsetseg, told the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information
Center (SMHRIC) that on August 13, the detainees¡¯ cell phones and
other personal belongings were confiscated by the police in Beijing
before one of them was allowed to speak briefly to her family
members about their arrest. Since then, contact with their family
members has been denied.
Shortly after their detention, family members and relatives of the
six detainees were summoned to the Public Security Bureau Police
Squad No.2 of Darhan Muumingan Holboot Banner and informed of their
detention. No official document was given to the family members and
relatives. A police officer briefly told them that the six
protesters are detained because of their ¡°illegal petitioning¡± and
¡°disturbance of public order¡±.
According to Ms. Ariuunhas, one of the four protesters who remains
at large, they made a trip to Beijing to appeal directly to the
State Bureau of Letters and Calls (national complaint center), to
protest the local government¡¯s discriminatory and unfair treatment
of Mongolian professional school and college graduates in
employment. She told SMHRIC that most of the Mongolian students who
majored in teaching in Mongolian at the Ulaanchav Municipality
Mongolian Normal School and graduated during the period 1994-99 have
not been given any employment opportunity.
An open letter from the protesters sent to the attention of the
Party Secretary and the Chairman of IMAR states that these Mongolian
college graduates have appealed continually to various levels of
government for equal employment opportunity during the past 16
years. However, the local government has ignored their requests
under the pretext of ¡°financial hardships and difficulties creating
jobs¡± despite the fact that most of the local Chinese students and
even many Chinese from elsewhere have been given employment
opportunities in the Banner.
The letter also states that although some ethnic Mongolian officials
in the Government have been sympathetic to their plight and tried to
tackle the problem, the Government has not made any positive move
and lied to them saying that their requests are ¡°under
¡°We thank you for your concerns on our grievances. At the same time
we are concerned about possible retaliation by the authorities,¡±
said Ms. Ariuunhas at the end of the interview by SMHRIC, ¡°any news
report by foreign media mentioning our interview can become a
convenient excuse for the authorities to accuse us of being engaged
in minzu fenlie (nationality separatism)¡±.
In contrast to the fear of being labeled as ¡°separatists¡±, the
attitude of Mr. Yu, a Chinese and the husband of the Chinese
detainee Ms. Gao Fang, is a courageous one. ¡°This is not only an
issue of social injustice, but also an ethnic problem concerning the
minority rights,¡± said Mr. Yu, ¡°we should appeal to the
international community about this case without any fear.¡±
Southern Mongolia, known as Inner Mongolia, is home to six million
indigenous Mongolians who have supposedly enjoyed nationality
autonomy since 1947. However the reality is completely different.
Any activity of the Mongolians which seeks redress against the
deplorable violation of basic human rights and fundamental freedoms
has been subjected to harsh punishment. Despite Mongolian being an
¡°official language¡±, it is de facto prohibited from any official use
or social function. Many restaurants in Huhhot, capital of the
region, prohibit their employees from speaking in Mongolian at work;
some companies and even government agencies publicly state ¡°No
Mongolians¡± in their job postings.
As Dr. Uradyn E. Bulag, Professor at Cambridge University, put it
eloquently in his paper entitled ¡°Mongolian Ethnicity and Linguistic
Anxiety in China¡±: ¡°Because almost all jobs are controlled by
Chinese, university-level knowledge of Mongolian is no different