Jan 07, 2015

Southern Mongolia: Prominent Writer Publishes Letter to End Her House Arrest

The prominent Southern Mongolian author and activist, Ms Huuchinhuu Govruud, has released a letter demanding that the Chinese authorities end her house arrest and take away the restrictions placed on fellow activist Hada. Hada was freed from four years’ of unofficial detention in late 2014 and has been under a form of house arrest since. The health of both activists has been severely affected by the restrictions placed upon them.


Below is an article published by Radio Free Asia:


A Mongolian writer on Tuesday, 6 January 2015, called on the Chinese government to end her house arrest and remove restrictions on her long-term friend and fellow activist Hada, who was released from four years' unofficial detention last month, December 2014, following a 19-year jail term.

Prominent author and Inner Mongolian activist Huuchinhuu Govruud, known in Chinese as Gao Yulian, said state security police in her hometown of Tongliao had frozen her two bank accounts since the beginning of January 2015.

The accounts contained some U.S. $850 which Huuchinhuu said she relies upon to meet her basic living expenses.

"This egregious act by the Tongliao Municipality Public Security Bureau not only is a flagrant violation of laws and civil rights but also is a deliberate and inhumane treatment toward me as a patient who suffers from multiple illnesses," she said in a statement translated by the New York-based Southern Mongolian Human Rights and Information Center (SMHRIC).

Huuchinhuu, who was held for two years' extrajudicial detention in 2010 for her public support of Hada, and who is now under house arrest for "leaking secrets to overseas organizations," said the lack of funds has now affected her ability to go about her daily life, and to seek the medical attention she needs

"In recent years, my eye problem has deteriorated along with many other chronic diseases, making it hard for me to make ends meet with my pension, let alone pay for my medical expenses," she wrote.

She also criticized the ruling Chinese Communist Party for continuing controls on Hada, 60, who was released from extrajudicial detention in December, four years after his 19-year jail term for "separatism" and "espionage" ended.

She called on the authorities to pay for proper medical treatment for his numerous health conditions, and hit out at Cultural Revolution-style tactics on the part of state security police.

"Attempts to control one's thoughts are always unreasonable," Huuchinhuu wrote, calling for the removal of restrictions on Hada's freedom of mobility and communication.

"Do not restrict Hada from contacting friends and like-minded individuals," she wrote. "He is entitled to enjoy love and care from friends and loved ones."

She said China's ethnic Mongolians will "feel strong resentment" if Hada continues to be kept in his current conditions.

"Hada's survival of his 19-year imprisonment has already inspired many Mongolian youths," she wrote. "However, the delighted fellow Mongolians' foremost concern is Hada's health and the degree of freedom that has been restored to him."

Hada's wife Xinna said the authorities had seized Huuchinhuu's funds, sent from her son in the U.S., because they suspected them of being destined eventually for Hada.

"The reason they gave was that the bank said the funds endangered national security," Xinna told RFA on Tuesday, 6 January 2015. "It's totally ridiculous."

She said Huuchinhuu and Hada had attended the same college and that Huuchinhuu was a long-term member of Hada's Southern Mongolia Democratic Alliance activist group.

"She is in poor health...and things have been very tough for her these past few years," Xinna said.

Overseas Mongolians have been raising funds online to help Hada, who has been threatened with homelessness if he continues to speak out about his treatment in prison, where he has described being tortured and held in solitary confinement for months on end.

A group of ethnic Mongolian students in Japan on Tuesday, 6 January 2014, issued an online call for donations from around the world for Hada's family, although individual donations were limited to 100 yuan (U.S. $16).

"We hope you will act quickly, bringing coal in a time of snow to ensure that he [Hada] will get through this crisis," the statement, posted on the "Southern Mongolian Comment on Current Affairs" blog said.

However, Xinna said the authorities are preventing the funds from getting through to the family.

"Our fellow Mongolians are sending us money, but the police are confiscating it," she said.

Hada's son Uiles said Hada’s former students had given him some money via a bank transfer made to Japan.

"But the head of the Inner Mongolia police department sent a text message to my father's brother saying that we could apply for social subsistence payments from his hometown," Uiles said.

Hada's doctors have diagnosed him with systemic hardening of the arteries, cervical osteoarthritis, liver damage and loss of vision, he said. He has also lost many of his teeth.

Hada was released after four years of extrajudicial detention at the Jinye Ecological Park in the regional capital Hohhot, where he was being held after serving a 15-year jail term for "separatism" and "espionage."

Hada maintains the charges against him were meaningless and a form of political revenge for his activism on behalf of China's ethnic Mongolian population.

Xinna and Uiles have also been subjected to routine detentions and harassment by police during Hada’s incarceration.

In July 2014, Xinna wrote letters to Chinese President Xi Jinping, the United Nations Human Rights Council and the U.S. Congressional Committee on Human Rights to highlight Hada’s case.

Since then, authorities in Inner Mongolia turned hostile and began their current round of persecution, including harassment by cell phone, warnings not to publish posts on overseas websites, Internet service cutoffs, and threats to punish Xinna for publishing "illegal" posts online, she said.


Photo courtesy of Radio Free Asia, 2015