SMHRIC Jan 30, 2011 New York
The following is an English transcript of the Southern Mongolian
Human Rights Information Center (SMHRIC) interview with Mr.
Batzangaa, a Southern Mongolian exile and a UN asylum applicant who
was deported back to China in a joint operation carried out by the
governments of Mongolia and China. Batzangaa was sentenced to three
years in jail with four years reprieve on January 27, 2011. During
this an hour-long interview Batzangaa revealed striking details
about how China and Mongolia worked together to deport him
forcefully back to China:
SMHRIC: Hi, sain bainuu, this is the New York based Southern
Mongolian Human Rights Information Center. We have read the court
verdict on your case, and would like to interview you if you agree.
Batzangaa: Sure. No problem.
SMHRIC: Is the jail term 3 years?
Batzangaa: Yes, I was sentenced to 3 years in jail.
SMHRIC: What was the exact crime or charge?
Batzangaa: The criminal charge was ¡°diverting a special fund¡± or
¡°nuo yong te ding kuan wu¡± in Chinese.
SMHRIC: There was only a single criminal charge, right?
Batzangaa: Yes, one charge.
SMHRIC: According to the verdict, it says ¡°3 years in jail with 4
years reprieve¡±. What does it mean?
Batzangaa: It means the authorities monitor me for four years before
imprisoning me. If I make any mistake I will be sent to jail
SMHIRC: Does it mean if you commit any crime during this four year
period you will be given a new jail term in addition to the stated 3
Batzangaa: I am not sure because everything is determined by the
will of the authorities. In fact the so-called ¡°crime¡± of diverting
240,000 Yuan is groundless. As the principal of the school, I never
diverted any funds for any purpose other than education which we are
SMHRIC: When we interviewed your wife after your deportation, she
told us that the authorities were not able to find any evidence of
crime after investigating your bank account and all financial
activities many times. Did they find anything afterward?
Batzangaa: No, the authorities did not find anything that
constitutes criminal activity. It is true that my school received
360,000 Yuan fund from the government as subsidy for minority
education. From that, 240,000 Yuan were used for financial aid to
students from other regions including Shiliin-gol and Jirim Leagues.
The two main accusations were: 1) I provided education to students
who were not the initial beneficiaries because the original
agreement did not clearly name the beneficiaries; 2) Instead of
setting up a special training course and curriculum I used existing
classes and curricula, which perfectly meets the original
requirement. There was no such request on the original agreement to
setup a separate training course.
SMHRIC: So, what is the legal definition of ¡°diverting a special
Batzangaa: ¡°Diverting a special fund¡± means, let¡¯s say, if you buy a
car or house or similar things for yourself with a fund provided for
the purpose of education, then you are diverting the special fund.
But, I have done nothing like this.
SMHRIC: So, you are not pleading guilty, right?
Batzangaa: You are right. I am not guilty. I did not commit any
crime. All their accusations are groundless and have no legal
SMHRIC: Is Mr. Huhbulag still your attorney now?
Batzangaa: Yes, he is.
SMHIRC: How much freedom do you have now? Do you have any
difficulties communicating with others via phone?
Batzangaa: My cell phone is, no doubt, being tapped. My Internet and
home phone have been disconnected since 2009. They said this is
because of the age of the exterior cable lines. But my neighbors all
have Internet access. I requested restoration of my Internet and
phone access, but it hasn¡¯t been approved. They make up tons of
SMHRIC: Do you have freedom of movement?
Batzangaa: Wherever I go, I need to get approval from the
authorities. Previously I had to get permission from the Public
Security Bureau. Now I need to get permission from the court if I
would like to go somewhere. I was also told that I need to get
additional permission from the Residency Committee. Otherwise, I
will be jailed. I can also be summoned at any time, so I need to
constantly be ready.
SMHRIC: Are you considering an appeal to a higher court?
Batzangaa: Yes, I am preparing to appeal. This must be done within
10 days of the court¡¯s pronouncement.
SMHRIC: What is your current legal status now?
Batzangaa: I am now free on ¡°bail¡± (fa yuan qu bao hou shen in
Chinese). Until January 15, 2011, I was on ¡°bail pending trial¡± by
the Public Security Bureau (gong an qu bao hou shen in Chinese).
SMHRIC: We saw your ¡°bail warrant¡± (qu bao hou shen bao zheng shu).
It says you must report to the authorities if anyone calls you from
outside or overseas. What is the legal justification for that?
Batzangaa: I was told that 4 out of those 7 restrictions have some
legal basis and the remaining 3 were arbitrarily created for me
without any legal basis. These 3 additional restrictions are: 1) I
must not have contact with foreigners or anyone in a foreign
country; 2) I must not visit any government institution in person.
If necessary I must ask somebody else on my behalf; 3) I must not
publish anything on the Internet. The reason why I was not able tell
you anything last year when you called me was because of this
restriction. Now under the court ¡°bail¡± these restrictions are not
specifically emphasized. Therefore I am free to talk.
SMHRIC: you were an asylum seeker with the United Nations Refugee
High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Ulaanbaatar,
Mongolia. Has there been any contact between you and the UNHCR since
your deportation from Mongolia to China?
Batzangaa: No. I have no contact with them. But my wife telephoned
them once when I was under detention. They failed to take any
action. I was handed over to China on October 3, 2009. It is the
United Nations Refugee Agency office in Ulaanbaatar who had a secret
deal with the Chinese authorities to setup a trap by calling me to
the office and handed me and my family over to Chinese authorities.
SMHRIC: Can you name these UN Refugee Agency officials who have done
Batzangaa: They are Anaraa Nyamdorj and Erdenbulgan. Particularly
Erdenbulgan was very actively involved in this matter. Anaraa showed
some sympathy towards us. Most of the details and actual work was
done by Erdenbulgan.
SMHRIC: You mentioned that they set a trap and handed you over to
the Chinese. How did they set up the trap?
Batzangaa: Other than Anaraa and Erdenbulgan, no one else knew where
I and my family were staying in Ulaanbaatar. It was these two UN
employees who called me to the UN Refugee Agency office for the
purpose of handing me over to the Chinese police.
SMHRIC: Your wife told us after you were deported back to China that
four Chinese police went there to arrest you in cooperation with
Mongolian police. Tell us more about the arrest details.
Batzangaa: Let me tell you this in some detail. Starting four days
before the arrest that took place on October 3, 2009, police came to
our place and knocked on our door many times. We did not open the
door. The police already knew we were inside this apartment. How did
they know this? It is very clear that these two UN Refugee Agency
employees disclosed my location to them. We did not open our door
until October 3, 2009, when I was summoned by Anaraa to come over to
their office for ¡°some clarification that needs to be made¡± to my
case. I arrived at the office around 2:00 PM. They told me that
¡°your asylum application has been denied because you have committed
SMHRIC: Who from the office told you that your case was denied and
you are a criminal?
Batzangaa: Anaraa of the United Nations Refugee Agency office told
me this. Erdenbulgan was also in the office. Anaraa gave me three
reasons for the denial of my asylum application: 1) you were not
persecuted because you were a Permanent Committee member of the
Ordos Mongolian Medical Association; 2) the Chinese authorities did
not persecute you because they allocated a piece of land and
earmarked some funds to your school; 3) you have some debts in
China. This clearly tells us that Anaraa and Erdenbulgan of the
office had very close connections with the Chinese authorities and
communicated secretly with them about my case.
SMHRIC: Was that the final and official decision given to you by the
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee?
Batzangaa: I told Anaraa if this is the final decision then I need
to go back to my apartment to discuss with my wife and daughter.
Anaraa told me, ¡°You don¡¯t have any time to do so. You will be
deported back to your mother country very soon.¡± I told her that I
need to appeal.
SMHRIC: Did you appeal immediately at the office?
Batzangaa: Yes, I did it there. When I completed my appeal statement
it was around 5:00 PM. After completing my appeal statement, I was
taken out of the office and handed over to the police by Erdenbulgan.
SMHRIC: So, Erdenbulgan was the official who did the actual
Batzangaa: Yes, he was. While I was writing my appeal statement,
Erdenbulgan was busy on the phone with the police outside, asking
them to hurry up. Anaraa showed some sympathy to me, but still
cooperated with them.
SMHIRC: Did the office give you any official written decision from
UNHCR stating that your asylum application was denied?
Batzangaa: No, they did not give me any such document of denial. But
after my application was accepted long ago the office issued the
UNHCR Asylum-seeker Certificate.
SMHRIC: What paper work had you completed to appeal the denial
verbally given to you by Anaraa? Did you fill out any form for the
Batzangaa: No, there was no such form filled out. I was asked to
write a statement on regular paper. I wrote it in Classical
Mongolian script. I was not given any receipt or written document by
them. Anaraa just orally told me about the denial. While I was
writing my appeal statement, Anaraa was typing something on her
computer, which I guessed she was updating my case with my appeal.
Like this, I and my family members were sold to China by the
Government of Mongolia and these UNHCR employees. The reason why I
say we were sold is that I heard later on that the Mongolian side
was given 5 million Yuan (almost 1 million US Dollars) on this deal.
I am not sure how they divided up this money and who got how much.
That¡¯s why I say they sold me to China.
SMHRIC: Where did you get this information?
Batzangaa: From a reliable source I heard that the Chinese
authorities brought 5 million Yuan to Mongolia for bringing me back
SMHRIC: Exactly how many police were there at the United Nations
Refugee Agency Office building to arrest you?
Batzangaa: Right in front of the office were four. Two of them were
police and two were supposed to be the Mongolian Immigration
personnel. Later many joined. I was taken to the Office of
Immigration, Naturalization and Foreign Citizens of Mongolia. D.
Murun, Director of the Office, told me directly, ¡°four police
officers came from China to bring you back to China because you have
committed economic crimes. It is wise for you not to mention
anything about your asylum application with UNHCR. If you mention
this you will be punished even more harshly after you go back to
SMHIRC: Then were you deported on the same day?
Batzangaa: Right after this, D.Murun also told me, ¡°police from your
mother country will come in shortly. You must cooperate with them.
Otherwise our Mongolian Criminal Police will come over to restrain
you. You are a school principal and a well-educated person. You must
think about your kid and wife.¡±
SMHRIC: Did they use any force physically to you and your family
Batzangaa: No, they did not beat me. D.Murun told me that they will
start video-taping once the Chinese police walk in to the office.
Then four people came in. D. Murun introduced them to me: Mr. Jirgal,
Deputy Director of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region Public Security
Bureau (IMAR-PSB), Mr. Bai Yina, Head of the Immigration Department
of IMAR-PSB, Mr. Feng, Deputy Director of the Ordos Municipality
Criminal Investigation Bureau, and Mr. Cheng Bo, Deputy Director of
Dongsheng District Criminal Police Squad.
SMHRIC: Why did the Chinese authorities send such high-ranking
Batzangaa: Because I have always been accused of being involved in
SMHIRC: What political issues have you been accused of being
Batzangaa: It was mostly issues related to the ethnic problems. They
have long suspected me of linking Mongolians with Tibetans because
my school taught Mongolian and Tibetan medicines. As a result my
campus land allocated to us in accordance with the laws and
regulations for minority education was confiscated by the
government, which brought substantial economic loss to my school. I
requested the authorities multiple times to handle my school case in
a just manner. All my requests were turned down. Under tremendous
pressure and fear of being persecuted I left China for Mongolia.
SMHIRC: Were the students all Mongolian? Where did they come from?
Batzangaa: My school educated more than a thousand Mongolian
students gathered from Xinjiang, Huhnuur (or Amdo by Tibetans, Qing
Hai by Chinese), and many other places. Gathering large number of
Mongolian students also became one of the real reasons for the
accusations brought against me. In fact, I have never done anything
to undermine ethnic harmony, on the contrary I tried to improve
ethnic harmony by teaching Mongolian and Tibetan medicine that are
closely related. All these should be understood as a personal
contribution to improving ethnic minority education. I have never
done anything for the purpose of toppling the Party and government
SMHRIC: Were you placed under detention immediately after the
Batzangaa: Let me add something to what I told about what had
happened in D.Murun¡¯s office. IMAR-PSB Deputy Director Jirgal asked
me if I am willing to go back to China with them. I told them ¡°if
the Government of Mongolia allows me to stay temporarily here I will
choose to stay here.¡± I avoided mentioning my application with UNHCR
because I was asked to do so by D. Murun. D.Murun immediately told
me, ¡°you must go back to your mother country China, otherwise our
criminal police will come in now.¡± All these should have been
captured in the video they took.
SMHIRC: So, should it be considered deportation by force carried out
by the Government of Mongolia?
Batzangaa: Yes, it should. Surrounded by so many police from both
China and Mongolia, what other choice could I have had? D.Murun kept
warning me that I must cooperate with the police. Then they forced
me to call my wife and daughter to bring their passport with them to
D.Murun¡¯s office. That night we were held at a hotel in Ulaanbaatar.
The Chinese police officers from Dongsheng District Criminal Police
Squad and the Ordos Municipality Criminal Investigation Bureau
guarded me in a room, and my wife and daughter were held in a
separate room. More than 10 Mongolian police and security personnel
guarded the hotel that night.
SMHRIC: What hotel and where?
Batzangaa: I can¡¯t recall the name of the hotel. But I remember it
was in Shin-uruu District, right next to the Enkh-Taivangiin Bridge,
in Ulaanbaatar. The hotel was a relatively small one around
10-stories tall. Mongolian police and plain-clothes were everywhere
in the hotel, guarding us tightly. On the next morning, D. Murun,
head of Mongolian Immigration, along with several other Mongolian
government officials, came to the hotel to have breakfast with the
Chinese police. Many Chinese officials from the Chinese Embassy to
Mongolia came to the hotel on the evening of the day we were
arrested and had a drinking party with Mongolian officials.
SMHRIC: Then, were you deported back to China by airplane?
Batzangaa: Around 10:00 AM, October 4, 2009, about 30 people
including Chinese Embassy officials, Mongolian officials and
Mongolian police took us to the airport. There was some short delay
at the airport concerning our expired visa, but everything was
simplified and we easily passed customs thanks to the active
cooperation of D.Murun, Erdenbulgan and other at the customs area.
The Mongolian side did not go through any paperwork or official
procedure regarding the deportation. I was forced to sign an English
document without being given any explanation.
SMHRIC: What was that English document you signed?
Batzangaa: They did not explain anything about the document. I was
forced to sign it. I have no idea what I signed for.
SMHRIC: Where did you enter the Chinese customs? Hohhot or somewhere
Batzangaa: The airplane landed in Beijing around 12:00 AM. Then we
departed Beijing Airport around 4:00 PM, October 4, 2009. In Ordos,
Dongsheng District Criminal Police Squad personnel picked us up from
the airport. When they took us to the Criminal Police Squad
headquarters, it was around 10:00 PM. I was interrogated by more
than 10 police with three shifts in 24 hours.
SMHRIC: What were the main questions to you during the
Batzangaa: The main questions were related to their suspicion about
the ethnic minority issues and some financial issues related to my
school. They suspected that I fled China with the money given to the
school. Soon they found out that I did not take any such money with
me when I fled China for Mongolia. They asked about my financial
activities and bank accounts. Nothing was found to prove that I am a
criminal. But anyway they charged me with those crimes.
SMHRIC: How long were you placed under detention?
Batzangaa: I was detained for 99 days which is 2 days more than the
legally allowed maximum detention period which is 97 days. The
formal arrest was dated to the 39th day of my deportation, which
still exceeded by 2 days the legally permitted maximum pre-arrest
detention which is supposedly 37 days. At the beginning I was
charged with criminal acts of ¡°fraud¡± that was later changed to
criminal acts of ¡°diverting a special fund¡±.
SMHRIC: How were you treated during the detention? How was the food
and conditions there?
Batzangaa: Food was bad, but later on improved a bit after they
failed to find any evidence that supported their accusations against
me. I had to do manual labor during the detention from the early
morning to late night, including sweeping the floors several times a
day, washing dishes twice a day, cleaning up the detentions cells at
least five times a day. At night also I had to guard other detainees
from 1 hour to 1 hour 20 minutes, preventing some detainees from
committing suicide etc.
SMHRIC: What types of detainees were there?
Batzangaa: Many different types of detainees, including murder
suspects, and burglars and robbers and many others.
SMHRIC: What was the name of the detention center?
Batzangaa: Dongsheng District Bo Dong Liang (Bodiin Shil in
Mongolian) Detention Center. My detention cell number was 19.
SMHRIC: Then you were released on bail after the 99 days detention,
Batzangaa: Yes, it was called the ¡°bail pending trial¡± by the Public
Security Bureau, or ¡°gong an qu bao hou shen¡± in Chinese. Actually
it also exceeded its maximum legal period which is one year.
SMHRIC: How much freedom did you have during this bail pending trial
Batzangaa: I was allowed free movement within the Dongsheng District
upon getting approval from PSB. No doubt my phone was tapped. They
installed two video cameras, one in front of my house and the other
in the back of my house, to monitor my every single movement.
SMHRIC: Are the two video cameras still there now?
Batzangaa: Yes, they are still there. In fact I have been under a
form of house arrest. I must obtain an approval from PSB if I wish
to go anywhere.
SMHRIC: What is your plan on your pending UNHCR asylum application
Batzangaa: I would like to continue my appeal on the case. I tried
to talk to the UN Refugee Agency Office in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, by
phone. But my phone calls have never connected. All my outgoing long
distance phone calls have been blocked. I am not allowed to make any
international phone calls from any public phone as well. I would
very much like to contact the UN Refugee Agency Office in
Ulaanbaatar about my pending case if I can find somebody who can
help us raise our concern to them on our behalf. I have the UNHCR
Asylum-seeker Certificate, and would like to pursue this case. The
reference number of my case is: 670-09C00008.
SMHRIC: We already have a copy of the document. According to the
Certificate, you included your wife and your daughter also in the
same asylum application, right?
Batzangaa: Yes, they were included in the application.
SMHRIC: If you wish our organization, the Southern Mongolian Human
Rights Information Center (SMHRIC), can pursue your case with UNHCR
on behalf of you and your family.
Batzangaa: Yes, I am happy to authorize your organization to pursue
this case on our behalf. My case is considered an economic crime
here by the Chinese authorities. But it should really be treated as
a case of violation of my internationally recognized rights. The
Government of Mongolia should assume the most responsibility for the
unjust handling of my case. I am innocent and I am being persecuted
without any legal basis.
SMHRIC: UNHCR should also take necessary actions to remedy the
Batzangaa: In August 2009, a female officer from the UNHCR regional
office interviewed me almost three days. She should have all the
details of my case.
SMHRIC: What was her name?
Batzangaa: I really can¡¯t recall her name. But I clearly remember
that she looked she was from South East Asia.
SMHRIC: Didn¡¯t she mention which country office she is from?
Batzangaa: She said she was from the Regional Office. I was not sure
where exactly the Regional Office is located.
SMHRIC: What was your exact claim for the asylum application with
Batzangaa: I applied for the asylum status due to the past and
future possible political persecutions. I set up a school to educate
ethnic Mongolians in China, but I was persecuted and had no way to
continue to live in China. I tried to negotiate with the authorities
including the Government, Educational Bureau and other relevant
bodies to handle my school¡¯s case in a just and acceptable manner.
But all of my efforts failed, and I faced further persecution. For
example, my request to the Educational Bureau for handling my case
was not even given a response from the Bureau even though according
to the laws concerning educational matters, this type of request
should be given an official response within 3 months.
SMHRIC: When exactly did you leave China for Mongolia?
Batzangaa: I left China on May 26, 2009, one day after our school
had a break. We arrived in Ulaanbaatar on the morning of May 27,
SMHRIC: Did you three have valid visas to enter Mongolia?
Batzangaa: Yes, we all three did have valid visas.
SMHRIC: According to the documents we received, in late April and
early May of 2009, you sent some applications to the Chinese
authorities to have public demonstrations, sit-in protests and
hunger strikes in Ordos. How did they go?
Batzangaa: Yes, I sent two separate requests. The requests were
turned down without any explanation and I was threatened with jail
if I continued to do this. The authorities also threatened me that
if I did not stop this, they may hire mafias to kill me. I told
UNHCR, particularly the lady from the Regional Office, about all
these details including the names of persons who threatened me.
SMHRIC: What was the Chinese authorities¡¯ reaction to the fact that
you are an asylum applicant with UNHCR?
Batzangaa: They know everything about this, but they completely
ignored it. Therefore they just stick to the crime of
misappropriation of funds because mentioning my asylum application
they feel that the country is losing face. All of our passports,
including my 9 year old daughter¡¯s, have been confiscated.
Confiscating my passport somehow can be justified given the fact
that they consider me a criminal suspect, but confiscation of my
wife and daughter¡¯s passports has no legal basis. All financial and
bank documents have also been confiscated by police.
SMHRIC: In the documents we received about your case, you once
mentioned that some government official in Ordos told you that ¡°the
confiscation of campus land was due to the ¡®precaution against
ethnic minority¡¯¡±. Can you explain this in detail?
Batzangaa: Yes, indeed a government official publicly stated this at
a public hearing about our land dispute. In fact, I have been
suspected of taking actions in relation to ethnic issues for long
time. As a result, in the first five years, my school was refused by
the Educational Bureau to issue our own graduation diploma, hoping
that this will cause my students to automatically leave the school
without bringing much trouble. After much effort, starting from
2006, the restrictions to my school had been relaxed a bit, and as
any other school, my school started being treated in accordance with
regulations of the Educational Bureau. We were able to get some
funds as students¡¯ financial aid and allocated a piece of land for
the campus. However, since 2008, things have gone wrong again.
Treatment to my school had clearly worsened. Financial aid was cut,
and the land was confiscated. Then I appealed to the Government in
view of this unfair and discriminatory treatment. As a result, the
authorities reluctantly agreed to open a public hearing on our
concern. At the hearing, Ms. Gao Lingxia, Director of Dongsheng
District Legal Affairs Office, publicly told us that ¡°confiscation
of your campus land is not due to any financial reason, but due to
¡®precautions against ethnic minority¡¯¡±.
SMHRIC: Still need clear explanation. What does she mean by
¡°precautions against ethnic minority¡±?
Batzangaa: In my understanding, it is that the authorities do not
trust us and try to prevent any possible cooperation between
Mongolians and Tibetans from happening. I could not believe my ears
and I asked the government translators at the hearing Ms. Hasguvaa
and Ms. Sumyaa to confirm the meaning of the ¡°precautions against
ethnic minorities¡± in Mongolian. Both translators confirmed that
¡°yes, it means to take precautions against the ethnic minorities¡±. I
was very angry about this statement and was able record it.
SMHRIC: Do you think this is the true reason behind all the
accusations and charges against you?
Batzangaa: Yes, exactly it is. Since 2002, from the very beginning
of my school, this has been the main reason for persecuting me and
SMHRIC: What were your students¡¯ reactions during your detention and
de facto house arrest? Was the school still open?
Batzangaa: My school was forcibly merged with another school called
¡°Ordos Municipality School of Hygiene¡±. In September 2009, there was
a mass fight between my students and students of that school
directly caused by the discrimination against my Mongolian students.
The authorities claimed that this fight was backed by me, as Ms.
Rebiyaa was accused of backing the Uyghur riots in Xinjiang. This is
another direct reason for bringing me back to China. The fight took
place on more than twenty occasions in a large scale, involving
hundreds of students. I was considered the mastermind of these
student riots. The authorities stated that I was mimicking Rebiya
and instigating this.
SMHRIC: We heard of this student riot during and after which
Mongolian teachers were thoroughly searched and screened when they
traveled even within Dongsheng District. Was that true?
Batzangaa: Yes, that was true. Some Mongolian teachers were even
forced to take off their shoes and socks when they went out of the
campus, on the suspicion of carrying documents about the riot. A
teacher was even brought back to his home in Ulaanhad, 1200
kilometers east to Dongsheng, and handed over to the local State
Security Bureau by several police for the purpose of preventing the
riots from spreading. All teachers were watched and followed closely
in Dongsheng. The School of Hygiene does not have any teacher who
can teach Mongol-Tibetan medicine. I later heard that the food in
this school was also much more expensive than ours. When my students
protested this, the school took aggressive measures to try to keep
SMHRIC: After you were deported back to Ordos, was it easy for you
to hire a lawyer to defend yourself?
Batzangaa: Immediately after my arrival in Ordos, I was assigned a
government lawyer who tried to persuade me to plea guilty so that he
can help me out of detention in two days. In the first 37 day legal
detention period I did not accept his suggestion. On the 38th day,
he asked me to accept that there has been some financial issue with
my school. On the second day I was arrested formally. The lawyer who
promised to take me out of there did not show up.
SMHIRC: Was his name Naras?
Batzangaa: Yes, his name is Nars. I actually personally knew him.
But I was not aware that he was actually working for the government.
Basically I was lured by him to admit that I have some committed
some economic crimes.
SMHRIC: How did you manage to hire Mr. Huhbulag, your current
Batzangaa: It was not easy for me to hire him. After I was released
on bail from the detention, I managed to communicate with Huhbulag
indirectly. The Dongsheng District Public Security Bureau
immediately warned me that Huhbulag is a nationalist and activist
whom I should never meet with. If I do so I will be imprisoned
without any mercy. I was forced by the Dongsheng District PSB to
sign a paper to guarantee that I will not hire Huhbulag. Therefore I
was not able to meet with him during his first visit to Dongsheng.
This happened around the end of January 2010.
SMHRIC: Then how did you finally manage to hire him?
Batzangaa: After this I did some research myself and found out that
he is not a nationalist or anti-revolutionary as claimed by the
authorities. In April, he visited Dongsheng once again. I still did
not get the chance to meet with him. I asked my wife to meet with
him. My wife met with him and confirmed that he is a licensed lawyer
who has the right and capacity to represent me legally. On his third
trip to Dongsheng, I managed to meet with him. I knew he is not a
so-called ¡°anti-revolutionary¡± because he has a valid license that
would not have been issued to an ¡°anti-revolutionary¡±. The PSB
applied tremendous pressure against me to not hire Huhbulag as my
defense lawyer. On Huhbulag¡¯s side, he was also threatened not to
defend me, and his car was vandalized.
SMHRIC: In what language were all the court proceeding carried out?
Batzangaa: I asked them to conduct all the proceedings in Mongolian.
Under my and my lawyer Huhbulag¡¯s firm assertion, the court
proceedings were done in Mongolian. But the court¡¯s official
documents are mostly in Chinese. At the beginning the court tried to
persuade me to use Chinese as the official language during the
trial. I refused, and they had no choice but to use Mongolian.
SMHRIC: During our interview with your wife while you were detained
your wife mentioned to us that you refused to speak in Chinese in
the detention center.
Batzangaa: Yes, I asked them why I must speak in Chinese and
everything must be in Chinese. I always talk to my wife and family
members in Mongolian. But the Chinese officials in the detention
center do not understand what we talk. So they tried to persuade me
not to speak in Mongolian. I refused and told them to hire a
Mongolia-Chinese translator if they want to know what we are talking
SMHRIC: Thank you for your time. The last question before we end our
interview is, if any news media or human rights organization would
like to interview you regarding your case over the phone, will you
accept invitations to do interviews? Can we give your contact
information to them?
Batzangaa: Sure, they are welcome. Now I am not afraid of anything.
I am not afraid of being imprisoned. The other day, my brother
suggested I should keep quiet that way the punishment I face will be
lighter. I told him, ¡°don¡¯t worry, if they want to imprison me, go
ahead and do it. I am ready anytime.¡± I have not committed any crime
but am still been charged as a criminal. Therefore, there is no
reason for me to be afraid of anything. Now, to me imprisonment
means nothing. I am totally puzzled why I, a person who has
dedicated everything for ethnic minority education that is
completely consistent with the Party and the Government doctrine of
¡°ethnic harmony¡±, must be thrown into jail? I naively thought the
Party and the Government were really for the people.