Home Page > News Item > CHINA/INNER MONGOLIA: Leading activist and editor Hada remains detained; fears for safety

RAN 26/11 31 May 2011

The Writers in Prison Committee of PEN International is seriously concerned by the reported continued detention of Hada, editor of The Voice of the Southern Mongolia and leading rights activist, who completed a fifteen-year prison term for his dissident writings on 10 December 2010 but has apparently not been released. A family source confirmed on 4 May 2011 that Hada’s wife and son have also been held since early December 2010, apparently on politically motivated charges. PEN considers Hada to be detained in violation of his rights to freedom of expression as guaranteed under Article 19 of the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which China is a signatory, and continues to call for his immediate and unconditional release. PEN is also seeking assurances of his well being from the Chinese authorities, and details of any further charges against him.

The Paris-based press freedom organisation Reporters Sans Frontiers (RSF) gives the following information in a 10 May 2011 alert:

Reporters Without Borders strongly condemns the trumped-up charges of “illegal business activities” and “drug possession” that the Chinese authorities have brought against the wife and son of Hada, the Mongolian human rights activist who should have been released last December on completing a 15-year jail sentence.

In an interview for the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Centre on 4 May, Hada’s sister-in-law, Naraa, revealed that Hada’s wife, Xinna, and his son, Uiles, are being held in Hohhot, the capital of Inner Mongolia, and that they were formally charged on 17 January. Arrested in early December, their only crime was to support Hada in his fight to defend his basic rights. Naraa’s interview has confirmed fears that Hada and his two closest relatives are still being detained that that they have not have not been resting in a luxury hotel, as the China authorities claimed last December. Uiles was to have gone on trial at the end of April, but the trial has been postponed without a new date being set, Naraa said.

Naraa said the Chinese authorities have made it clear to Hada and his relatives that they will not be freed until they sign an undertaking to abandon their human rights activities. Until now, they have refused to do this, she said. Hada has gone on several hunger strikes in protest against the conditions in which they are being held. His health has deteriorated and is now very worrying.

Information about the fate of Hada, Xinna and Uiles has been very slow in emerging. The movements and communications of other members of the family have been closely monitored and both telephones and computers have been confiscated.

Background

Hada was arrested on 10 December 1995 for his activities as founder and publisher of the underground journal The Voice of Southern Mongolia and for his leading role in the Southern Mongolian Democracy Alliance (SMDA), an organisation that peacefully promotes human rights and Mongolian culture. He was convicted in 1995 of inciting separatism and espionage and sentenced to fifteen years in prison and four years deprivation of political rights. He is a main case of PEN International, and honorary member of PEN Canada, PEN America and Independent Chinese PEN Centre. His sentence expired on 10 December 2010, when he was reportedly transferred to another prison in Inner Mongolia. Hada reportedly suffers from stomach ulcers and coronary heart disease, and his health is said to have deteriorated significantly as a result of abuse and ill-treatment during his many years of detention. Concerns for his welfare are mounting.

Hada received a degree in 1983 from the department of Mongolian language and Literature at the Inner Mongolian Teacher’s College for Nationalities. In October 1989, he opened the Mongolian Academic Bookstore in Hohhot, the Inner Mongolia capital. The bookstore was closed down immediately after his arrest in 1995, and all the books, research papers and other properties were confiscated as criminal utilities and evidence.

Hada, who co-founded the SMDA in 1992, published the organisation’s underground journal, The Voice of Southern Mongolia. He also published a book, The Way Out for the Southern Mongols, which reported alleged ill-treatment of the Mongols of Inner Mongolia at the hands of the Chinese authorities, including mass killings, deprivation of social and political rights, and suppression of Mongol culture.

Please send appeals:
Protesting the continued detention of Mongolian editor Hada after completing a fifteen-year prison sentence for his peaceful dissident activities and writings
Expressing serious concern about the reported detention of Hada’s wife Xinna and son Uiles, apparently on fabricated and politically motivated charges
Calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Hada, Xinna and Uiles, in accordance with Article 19 of the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which China is a signatory
Expressing mounting concern for Hada’s health and well being, and seeking immediate assurances that he is receiving all necessary medical care.

Send appeals to:

His Excellency Hu Jintao
President of the People’s Republic of China
State Council
Beijing 100032
P.R.China.

Her Excellency Ms. Wu Aiying
Minister of Justice
10 Chaoyangmen Nandajie
Chaoyang-qu
Beijing-shi 100020
P.R.China.

Please note that there are no fax numbers for the Chinese authorities. WiPC recommends that you copy your appeal to the Chinese embassy in your country asking them to forward it and welcoming any comments.

You may find it easier to write to the Chinese ambassador in your own country asking him or her to forward your appeal. Most embassies are obliged to forward such appeals to the relevant officials in the country. A letter or petition signed by an eminent member of your Centre may give make it more likely for your appeal to be considered. Similarly if your appeal is published in your local press and copied to the Chinese ambassador, this too may have greater impact.

See this useful link to find the contact details of the Chinese embassy in your country Chinese embassies abroad

Please contact the PEN WiPC office in London if sending appeals after 30 June 2011

For further information please contact Cathy McCann at International PEN Writers in Prison Committee, Brownlow House, 50/51 High Holborn, London WC1V 6ER, Tel.+ 44 (0) 20 7405 0338, Fax: +44 (0) 20 7405 0339, email: cathy.mccann@pen-internationalpen.org
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