“Many Detained, Some Fled After Protests in Southern Mongolia”

It’s been a while since the last update from Inner Mongolia. As predicted, the authorities are using every tool at their disposal to disappear some people and intimidate the rest- essentially a punitive campaign to make the Mongols pay for the protests. SMHRIC has more:

Many Mongolians have been arrested, detained and beaten during and after the large-scale region-wide protest sparked by the brutal killing of a Mongolian herder named Mergen in Southern (Inner) Mongolia’s Shiliin-gol League.

Even though the tension between the Mongolians and the Chinese authorities has eased, martial law is still in effect in most parts of Shiliin-gol League and other major cities including the regional capital Hohhot.

“The authorities are still on high alert here,” a resident of Hohhot, the regional capital, told SMHRIC through an email message, “in some places presence of paramilitary and riot police is even heavier than before.”

“The situation is still tense here, and police and paramilitary forces are patrolling the streets,” a herder in Shuluun Huh Banner told SMHRIC over the phone yesterday, “at least 31 people are still being held in our Shuluun Huh Banner alone for trying to break the barricade to let high school students join the protest.”

“These young Mongolians will most probably be given harsh punishments because the authorities are accusing them of engaging in sabotage,” the herder added.

According to eyewitnesses and family members of the detainees in Huveet Shar Banner, the detained herders are still been held in detention and have been severely beaten by riot police and military forces.

The latest information the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center (SMHRIC) has received confirms that a hundred or more protesters including students, high school teachers, college professors, herders and ordinary residents have been arrested, detained and beaten by the Chinese authorities in connection with the large-scale demonstration. Most of them are still being held in detention.

They also have pictures from a Mongolian Buddhist religious ceremony that took place- take a look:

This is the kind of ‘religion at the point of a gun’ that I’ve heard people complaining about a lot. Arjia Rinpoche related that during the ceremony to ‘pick’ the Chinese-backed Panchen Lama, the Jhokhang Temple in Lhasa was filled with heavily-armed policemen, some of whom were wearing red monks robes. Note to Beijing: you can talk about freedom of religion all you want, but until you can have religious ceremonies without that many armed police or soldiers there to intimidate the monks, people are still going to be very skeptical.

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Filed under China, enforced disappearance, ethnic conflict, Inner Mongolia, intimidation

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