Up to 10,000 held in Inner Mongolia in China’s language crackdown

Protesters hold banners and wave the Mongolian flag in Ulaanbaataar, capital of Mongolia, to oppose Chinese policies in Inner Mongolia, Oct. 1, 2020. (Photo courtesy: RFA)

(TibetanReview.net, Oct26’20) – For resisting the phasing out of the use of the Mongolian language in schools under an intensified Sinicization move, Chinese authorities have detained at least 8,000 ethnic Mongolians from throughout Inner Mongolia. “An estimated 8,000–10,000 [ethnic] Mongolians have been placed under some form of police custody since late August,” the New York-based Southern Mongolia Human Rights Information Center (SMHRIC) has said in a statement on its website.

The ruling Chinese Communist Party has carried out mass arrests, arbitrary detentions, forced

disappearances, house arrests, and “intensive training” across the region, which borders the independent country of Mongolia, after parents and students organized a region-wide class boycott and took to the streets in protest at changes to the curriculum, said the Mandarin Service of rfa.org Oct 20, citing sources in the region and overseas rights activists.

The report cited Khubis, an ethnic Mongolian activist living in Japan, as saying rights lawyer Hu Baolong and activist Yang Jindulima remained in custody.

The authorities have also fired ethnic Mongolian parents, blacklisted and expelled their children, confiscated assets, and denied bank loans to protesting parents, the SMHRIC has said.

The group has also said local governments, party committees, Communist Youth Leagues, state prosecutors, and courts had issued wanted notices across the region for anyone engaging in protest activity.

“It is laughable that five different authorities including the court and procuratorates, who really have no business in this matter, piled up their rubber stamps on a single document to intimidate Mongolians,” group director Enghebatu Togochog has said.

The group has said that ethnic Mongolian dissident writer Hada, who remained under house arrest following a 15-year jail term for “espionage” and “separatism,” was now completely incommunicado, while the whereabouts of his activist wife Xinna and the couple’s grown son Uiles were currently unknown.

Also stated to be incommunicado and under house arrest were dissident writer Lhamjab Borjigin, author of China’s Cultural Revolution, and dissident writer Sechenbaater.

In Shuluun-tsagaan Banner, a county-like administrative division, writer and poet Nasanulzei Hangin was stated to be under criminal detention after rallying 500 Mongolians in a protest against the new language policy in schools.

Likewise, in Ordos, musician Ashidaa was reported to be under criminal detention for taking part in protests, and had been denied visits from family members, while rights attorney Huhbulag remained in detention without charge.

And the whereabouts of herding community leaders Yanjindulam, Bao Guuniang, Manliang, Yingeer, Urgumal, Davharbayar, and Zhao Baahuu were stated to be unknown.

The group has expressed concern over the growing number of references to “intensive training” in official documents during the crackdown, indicating that a “re-education” program was already under way across the region. It has cited a Sep 14 official document saying “parents and guardians who fail to send their children back to school on time will be given legal education training.”

“Special task forces from the government, party, law enforcement, and judiciary branches are already stationed in our school,” the notice issued by Chavag No. 2 High School was quoted as saying. “This is a war.”

Southern Mongolian students holding posters demanding language rights during a Chinese National Day celebration event. (Photo courtesy: SMHRIC)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here