Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

China must avoid force in Mongolia: Amnesty [AsiaOne]


Find the report here – MONGOLIA: AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL REPORT 2011 (published May 13, 2011)

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China must avoid force in Mongolia: Amnesty
AFP
Source – AsiaOne, published Sat, May 28, 2011

Photo – Reuters

BEIJING – Leading rights group Amnesty urged China Saturday to avoid a violent crackdown on ethnic Mongolian protesters, who have engaged in five days of protests against Chinese rule in Inner Mongolia.

Chinese authorities have ordered martial law in some areas in Inner Mongolia, in the nation’s north, where thousands have taken to the streets during five days of protests until Friday, the group said in a statement.

The unrest was sparked by the May 10 death of a Mongol herder, allegedly run over by a truck driven by a member of China’s dominant Han ethnic group. Amnesty said the truck driver had been arrested and charged.

“Chinese authorities must respect freedom of expression and assembly (and) avoid using unnecessary or excessive force in policing these protests,” Catherine Baber, Asia-Pacific director of London-based Amnesty International, said.

“Given the heavy-handed repression of similar protests in other regions, like Xinjiang and Tibet, there are real grounds for concern about the situation in Inner Mongolia.”

China is home to an estimated six million ethnic Mongols who have cultural links with the Republic of Mongolia to the north, and who have long accused Beijing of political and cultural oppression.

The current protests have alleged Chinese encroachment on traditional pasture lands by Han mining and energy interests.

On Saturday, locals in the Left Ujumchin Banner, or Xiwuqi in Chinese, where protests have taken place, told AFP by phone that the area was quiet with a massive security presence locking down protest sites.

Telephones at government offices and police stations in the region went unanswered.

Many in Inner Mongolia complain their plight has been overshadowed internationally by ethnic unrest in Tibet and Xinjiang, which also harbour similar grievances against Chinese rule.

Mongols in the region have told AFP by phone there is also growing anger over the disappearance of Hada, China’s most prominent ethnic Mongol dissident.

Hada completed a 15-year jail term in December imposed after he called for ethnic Mongol rights, but his supporters say that he and his wife Xinna and their son Uiles have since vanished into police custody.

Calls for further protests over the coming week were being circulated among Mongols on the Internet, an ethnic Mongol in the regional capital Hohhot, who asked not to be named, told AFP Friday.

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Filed under: AFP, Beijing Consensus, Censorship, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Culture, Domestic Growth, Ethnicity, Human Rights, Inner Mongolia, Jasmine Revolution, Media, military, Nationalism, People, Politics, Population, Social, Territorial Disputes, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

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