Six Mongols Sentenced for Protesting Against Forced
Grazing Land Grab
Following the ethnic protests in Xinjiang and Tibet, Inner
Mongolia also suffers from grievances.
Six Mongolian herders were recently sentenced one
to two years of imprisonment on a charge of
“sabotaging production management".
While families and lawyers have decided to appeal, hundreds
of local herders have petitioned to the local
Government for two consecutive days.
Recently, a case involving six herders of the Gachaa Village,
Ongniud Banner of Inner Mongolia Autonomous,
went on trial for refusing to give up their grazing land.
The indictment, alleged six local herders had incited local villagers
to interfere with forestry company workers
and causing economic losses.
Six herders were sentenced to one to two years of jail term
on a charge of “sabotaging production management"
by the local courts.
Sobdoo, the sister of one of the accused called Tugusbayar,
told NTD that they’d received the verdict on Jan. 4.
Sobdoo, herder Tugusbayar’s sister, Inner Mongolia Autonomous,
“We are getting ready to appeal. He is not guilty at all."
Sarangowaa, the wife of Tulguur, one of six herders receiving
two years of jail term,
indicated she had received the verdict on Jan. 4,
and the court delivered the verdict on all six herders on Dec. 31.
She has commissioned a lawyer to appeal.
Sarangowaa, the wife of Tulguur, village chief in Inner Mongolia
Autonomous: “Appeal has to be done in 10 days.
He is in the detention center. The lawyer is drafting the appeal."
Nearly 200 herders staged protests in front of city hall on
Dec. 30 and 31 against the charges on the six herders.
Mr. Hu, herder of Inner Mongolia:
“We want an explanation. What kind of crime is it?
None of the local officials would see us.
We have not been able to see any one of them."
A state-owned company, Shuanghe Forestry, was alleged to
illegally occupy grazing land last June.
Conflict broke out between the six herders and the forestry workers.
Tulguur’s former defense attorney, Huhuobaoligao, was forced
to withdraw from defending the case by local government.
Attorney Huhuobaoligao indicates this is more than just
a land dispute but a criminal case.
The verdict is clearly unjust.
Huhuobaoligao, Mongol attorney: “They should not have
The prosecution’s evidence was very poor and could not
sustain the charge at all.
After the six citizens were detained, none of them pleaded guilty.
The officials have since tried to persuade them to confess,
claiming, with their confession, they’ll be released,
otherwise, they’ll receive a sentence."
Both Tulguur and Tugusbayar, were sentenced to two years
imprisonment for pleadeding not guilty,
while the other four still received suspended imprisonment
of one and a half years after being
forced to plead guilty.
Huhuobaoligao indicates, the state-owned Forestry should not
have occupied the grazing land to begin with.
Huhuobaoligao: “The Land Management Law has ruled that
no change can be made on the disputed land.
But the Forestry workers have obviously violated the law.
It is supposed to be legal for the herders to stop them from
continuing this exploitation. "
A lawyer who requested anonymity, told Reuters that the
villagers have been going to the municipal
government & Beijing to petition.
The local government has been criticized for this.
They are under great pressure, so they’ve turned it in
to a criminal case.
Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center quoted
local herder’s complaint.
On the day of the trial, local authorities prohibited the
defending attorney’s appearance at the court as well as
hundreds of herders to sit in the courtroom.
It is understood that Gachaa villagers have been petitioning for
seven years over the illegally confiscated grazing land.
Villagers have thus been subject to local authorities’ suppression.
Last year, 300 herders protested addressing issues via
local government and procuratorate,
about the illegal land sell and arrest of six herders,
as well as the collusion of local party secretaries selling over
20,000 acres of grazing land.
The resource-rich Inner Mongolia sits in northern China,
accounting for one-tenth of China, harboring
China’s largest coal reserves.
In a population of about 24 million, Mongols are less than 20%.
Recently,conflicts have occurred frequently due to land
grabs by state owned mining and forestry companies.
In March 2013, herders of Jarud Banner, Tongliao City, have
petitioned to Beijing over forced land grabs.
Tens of thousands of acres of grazing land has been exploited,
yet petitioners are always met with blockage
of local police.
In 2011, more mass protests broke out after an ethnic Mongol
herder was killed by a truck,
it is said, he was also taking part in a protest
against pollution caused by a coal mine.
Interview & Edit/LiYun Post-Production/LiYong