Govruud Huuchinhuu, an ethnic Mongolian human rights activist, writer and cyber-dissident, has been missing since 27 January, when she was supposedly released from a hospital in Tongliao (通辽), in Inner Mongolia, where she was being treated for cancer.
A member of the Southern Mongolian Democratic Alliance (SMDA), Huuchinhuu had been under house arrest since November for urging fellow Mongolian dissidents to get ready to welcome the release of the SDMA’s president, Hada, who should have been freed on 10 December on completing a 15-year jail sentence but is probably still being held by the Chinese authorities.
As many as 20 policemen kept Huuchinhuu’s home under surveillance while she was under house arrest. When she was taken to hospital with severe headaches, the police surveillance continued in her hospital room.
Huuchinhuu has written many essays criticizing the Chinese government’s ethnic policies in Inner Mongolia. She is also active online and used to edit three websites – www.nutuge.com, www.ehoron.com and www.mongolger.net – which were closed by the authorities.
Reporters Without Borders urges the Chinese government to shed light on the whereabouts of both Huuchinhuu and Hada and to stop claiming that dissidents have been released when in fact they are the victims of forced disappearance or house arrest, or are being held in military camps.
Uncle meets netizen Hada
The uncle of journalist and human rights campaigner Hada has told the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center (SMHRIC) that he has been authorized to meet recently his nephew.
Haschuluu said in a phone interview which was brutally cut off that the meeting had taken place in a location under military surveillance. Hada’s exact whereabouts remain unknown.
SMHRIC later received a new video of the journalist. This one clearly shows Hada and his uncle moving towards the camera.
Haschuluu also told the Associated Press (AP) news agency that Hada appeared ill-nourished and was without news of his wife and son.
Reporters Without Borders calls again on the Chinese government to provide exact information on the netizen and his family and to restore to them as soon as possible their freedom of movement and speech.
Video supposedly showing missing Mongolian journalist posted online
A video of a person said to be the missing Mongolian journalist and netizen Hada was sent to the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Centre on 25 January and was subsequently posted on YouTube and the overseas Chinese website Boxun.
A man resembling Hada can be seen in the 37-second video but the images are too blurred and his appearance too brief for him to be definitely indentified as the journalist and Mongol rights activist who was supposedly released from prison on 10 December.
Photos purportedly showing Hada with close relatives after his release were posted anonymously on Boxun on 11 December.
Reporters Without Borders has received no direct news of Hada since his supposed release on completion of a 15-year jail sentence and this video just prolongs the mystery about what has happened to him.
The press freedom organization again urges the Chinese government to provide precise information about Hada and his family.
Authorities urged to resolve mystery about what has happened to Hada
The Chinese authorities refuse to say what has become of journalist and human rights activist Hada (哈达), who should have been released from Inner Mongolia’s Chifeng prison on 10 December on completing a 15-year jail sentence. There has also been no direct word from his wife Xinna (新娜) and his son Uiles (威勒斯), who were arrested 10 days ago.
Reporters Without Borders calls on the government to provide precise information about the current status of Hada and his family.
The information currently available suggests that he has been placed under house arrest, but anything is possible. He may have been the victim of a forced disappearance. It is also not known whether the charges brought against Xinna and Uiles when they were arrested on 4 and 5 December have been dropped, or whether they are still facing trial and possible jail sentences.
Hada’s isolation violates his right as a former prisoner to fully recover his freedom on completing his sentence. Hada served his entire 15-year sentence.
Five photos of Hada with his wife and son were posted anonymously on the overseas Chinese community website Boxun on 11 December with the caption “Family reunion.” They were probably taken in a hotel on 10 December by the Public Security Department. A CD-Rom containing the photos was reportedly also passed anonymously to Hada’s sister-in-law, Naraa, who thinks they are “authentic” and “recent.”
Naraa was reportedly received yesterday in the Inner Mongolian capital of Hohhot by an official identified solely as Jin, who told her that Hada, his wife and his son were safe and were taking advantage of the family’s reunion in a “luxury five star hotel” which he refused to identify. Without going into any detail, he also reportedly told her that Hada and his family needed “a bit of time and calm to prepare the next stages.”
Hada’s uncle, Haschuluu (哈斯朝鲁), reportedly received an SMS on 13 December from Xinna’s mobile phone that was written by Hada. It said: “I have been released. My son Uiles has been released too. All three of us are now together. Do not worry about us. I need a bit of peace at the moment to decide about my future. Do not use the phone which could be tapped”.
Haschuluu then messaged back requesting details about his current location and the date of the photos that had been posted online. But the reply just said: “I am very well. Say hello to the family”.
Read Hada’s orally dictated testimony to his wife Xinna during her visit to the prison: http://www.smhric.org/Latest_A.htm
- Hada, Uiles and Xinna 12.10.2010