Jun 10, 2011

Inner Mongolia: Three Professors Arrested For SMS Messages

Following continued protests in the region, Chinese authorities have formally arrested three Mongolian, Hohhot-based university professors. University facilities, faculty and students remain under the scrutiny of security forces as the Chinese crackdown continues.

Below is an article published by Radio Free Asia:

Chinese authorities in the northern region of Inner Mongolia have formally arrested at least three ethnic minority Mongolian university lecturers following mass protests last month, and have detained dozens more informally, an overseas rights group said.

"A lot of university lecturers have been detained," said Nahubisgalat, an ethnic Mongolian Chinese national currently living in Japan who founded the "Free Southern Mongolia" website. "There are at least three lecturers who have been formally detained."

He said "several dozen" students and lecturers had been taken away from universities in Inner Mongolia after thousands of students and ordinary residents took to the streets of Hohhot and Xilinhot last month calling for better rights protection for Mongolians and their traditional grasslands.

Students at the region's universities were under a strict curfew lasting from Saturday to Wednesday, said residents of the region, where Beijing has deployed a huge security presence in response to last month's demonstrations.

The protests were sparked by the death of a herder named Murgen who was run over by a mining company truck during a standoff between drivers and local people.

Nahubisgalat said he knew the three lecturers—all from universities in Hohhot—personally. "The authorities are accusing them of using SMS messages to transmit information and to incite the students to take part in the demonstrations," he said.

"That is the charge under which they are being arrested."

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