Dec 19, 2014

Inner Mongolia: Chinese Authorities Increasingly Limit the Freedom of Prominent Activist and His Family

Every aspect of the lives of Inner Mongolian activist Hada, his wife and grown son is being controlled by Chinese authorities. Following Hada’s release from years of extrajudicial detention, his son’s business was closed down and the family has no Internet or telephone connection. Without any source of income, having to live in a police-owned apartment and not being allowed to contact anyone besides close relatives, the family is keen to leave China.


Below is an article published by Radio Free Asia:


Veteran ethnic Mongolian dissident Hada, who is being held under "residential surveillance" even after his release from extrajudicial detention last week, called on Wednesday, 17 December 2014, for the international community to help him and his family leave China.

Hada, 59, who is being confined to an apartment in retaliation for giving media interviews on his release, called on the international community to "pay attention" to his situation and that of his wife Xinna and grown son Uiles.

"How are we supposed to carry on?" Hada said in an interview with RFA on Wednesday, 17 December 2014. "They are doing this because I spoke to the media; I don't think that is right."

"They told me many times that there are compulsory conditions, and that to receive [the apartment and other help from them], I have to give up certain things, like the right of appeal or the right to sue them," he said.

Asked if he wants to leave China, where he has been a vocal campaigner for the rights of ethnic Mongolians in the Inner Mongolian region, Hada said: "I would like to move towards freedom, that's for sure."

"The three of us are suffering terribly in this country, in this situation," he said.

"We have no work or any source of income...I haven't even discussed medical insurance with the police yet," he said. "My brother doesn't have his social assistance payments and medical insurance anymore."

Hada was released by Chinese authorities last week to a police-owned apartment after spending four years in extrajudicial detention at the Jinye Ecological Park in the regional capital Hohhot, where he was being held for four further years after serving a 15-year jail term for "separatism" and "espionage."

He was initially allowed to meet with Xinna, Uiles, brother Yushan, and sister Yuyue following his "release," although he has been living in the apartment since 17 November 2014.

But the entire family is still under surveillance, Uiles' business has been shut down, while their phone and Internet connections have been cut after Hada spoke to journalists, he said.

He said police had told him there were "conditions" attached to his release.

"He is unemployed right now; they did this last week and I have only just found out," said Hada, who has suffered from deteriorating mental and physical health during his incarceration. "Uiles and Xinna hid it from me until now."

"One of the reasons is that I spoke to the media; this is probably directly connected," he said.

He said local state security police are also living in the same residential complex as him.

"This apartment, which I am living in for the time being, is being leased by the state security police," Hada said.

Earlier this week, Hada and Xinna released video statements via the U.S.-based Southern Mongolia Human Rights and Information Center (SMHRIC).

In the statement, which Hada reads from a printed sheet, the long-time activist says he has been forbidden to contact anyone other than his relatives.

"Particularly, they made repeated efforts to threaten me that I must not receive interviews from foreign news media," he said. "What is most unacceptable is that they claimed the right to continue to treat me as a prisoner after my release [from detention]."

"I unequivocally rejected all these conditions," Hada said, adding that he wants to sue the authorities for their treatment of him in prison, and fight for the rights of his fellow ethnic Mongolians.

Ethnic Mongolians, who make up almost 20 percent of Inner Mongolia's population of 23 million, regularly complain about environmental destruction and unfair development policies in the region.

Clashes between Chinese companies and ethnic Mongolian herders protesting the exploitation of their grasslands are increasingly common in the region, which borders the independent country of Mongolia.

Rights activists say grasslands on which the herding communities depend for a living are constantly being taken over for China's mining and tourism industries and for national development projects, forcing them to take action to stand up for their rights.


Photo courtesy of Deutsche Welle 2012