A dissident who had been one of China’s longest-serving political prisoners until his release last week was tortured while in detention and has been threatened since he was let out, he said in a video statement released on yesterday.
Ethnic Mongol activist Hada has spent much of the past two decades behind bars, including the last four years in an extra-judicial “black jail,” until he was freed on Tuesday last week.
The government fears ethnic unrest in border areas and keeps a tight rein on Inner Mongolia, just as it does on Tibet and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in the west, even though the region is supposed to have a large measure of autonomy.
“During these 19 years, in an effort to force me to abandon my beliefs, I was cruelly mistreated and subjected to various forms of tortures and ploys,” Hada said in a Mongol-language video statement, released by the New York-based Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center.
“In particular, my wife and son have been subjected to false accusations, enormous persecution and suffering. I myself have been disabled as a result of torture and brutality,” Hada said, according to a translation of the statement provided by the group.
Calls to the Inner Mongolia government seeking comment went unanswered. The use of torture is banned in China, but rights groups claim that its practice remains widespread.
Hada’s wife, Xinna, and their son, Uiles, have been in and out of detention over the past few years. They have not been reachable by telephone.
Hada, who like many Mongols in China goes by just one name, was tried in 1996 and jailed for 15 years for separatism, spying and supporting the Southern Mongolian Democratic Alliance, which sought greater rights.
Hada called the charges against him “trumped up,” adding that he was still effectively being treated as a prisoner, as he has been banned from talking to the media or anyone other than his family.
“My next step is to arrange my life and study, to continue to fight against the oppression of the Mongolian nationality,” he said.
Amnesty International considered Hada a prisoner of conscience and has expressed fears about his well-being, as have the US and EU.
Decades of migration by members of the Han community have left Chinese Mongols a minority in their own land. Officially, they make up less than one-fifth of Inner Mongolia’s almost 24 million-strong population.
In 2011, the Mongol community held demonstrations demanding better protection of their rights and traditions, protests that were spurred by the death of a herder who had been rallying against coal mine pollution.
‘CONFESSED’: A court in Beijing said that former CCP member Ren Zhiqiang abused his power at a state firm and embezzled almost US$7.14 million of public funds A Chinese tycoon who called Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) a clown and criticized his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic was yesterday jailed for 18 years for corruption, bribery and embezzlement of public funds. Ren Zhiqiang (任志強) — once among the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) inner circle — disappeared from the public eye in March, shortly after penning an essay that lambasted Xi’s pandemic response. His outspokenness had earned the former chairman of state-owned property developer Huayuan Group the nickname “Big Cannon.” Yesterday’s verdict said that Ren embezzled almost 50 million yuan (US$7.4 million) of public funds and accepted bribes worth 1.25 million
AUSTRALIAN SITE: China has had a contract with SSC’s Yatharagga station since at least 2011, but the last time it used it was in June 2013. No final date has been given China would lose access to a strategic space tracking station in Western Australia when its contract expires, the facility’s owners said, a decision that cuts into Beijing’s expanding space exploration and navigational capabilities in the Pacific region. The Swedish Space Corp (SSC) has had a contract allowing Beijing access to the satellite antenna at the station since at least 2011. The station is located next to an SSC satellite station primarily used by the US and its agencies, including NASA. The Swedish state-owned company said it would not enter into any new contracts at the Australian site to support Chinese customers after
OFF BORDER ISLAND: The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel wearing a life jacket and leaving behind his shoes, indicating an intentional move, Seoul said North Korean soldiers shot dead a suspected South Korean defector at sea and burned his body as a COVID-19 precaution after he was interrogated in the water over several hours, Seoul military officials said yesterday. It is the first killing of a South Korean citizen by North Korean forces for a decade, and comes with Pyongyang at high alert over the COVID-19 pandemic and inter-Korean relations at a standstill. The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel near the western border island of Yeonpyeong on Monday, the official said. More than 24 hours later, North Korean forces located him in their waters and
The scarcity of commercial flights landing at Sydney Airport has been a disaster for airlines and workers, but for hobby pilots the COVID-19 pandemic has provided the opportunity of a lifetime. The quieter-than-usual runways mean that private pilots have been given the chance to land at the international airport for the first time. When Sydney Flight College club captain Tim Lindley put out a call, he received an overwhelming response. He eventually organized for 14 light aircraft to fly into Sydney airport on Sunday. “For a lot of the pilots involved, including myself, it was a childhood dream to land in a big