A letter from Xinna to President Clinton
during his visit to China
From: Xinna, A citizen of the People's Republic of China,
and wife of Hada
To: The President of the United States
Under pressure from the U.S. and other countries, the Chinese
government has released some political prisoners such as Wei
Jingsheng and Wang Dan. All family members of political prisoners
including me are gratified at the results. Before you visit
China, I write this letter to say something about my husband,
Mr. Hada. I hope you and the international community will
pay attention to the national problems of Inner Mongolia and
the difficulties of my husband.
1. A brief introduction to Hada
Hada, age 43, was born in South Horchin Banner, Inner Mongolia.
In 1978-83, he studied in the department of Mongolian language
and literature, Inner Mongolian Teacher's College for Nationalities.
After graduation, he worked as an editor in the Inner Mongolian
People's Publishing House for three years. In 1986-1989, Hada
studied in the department of political education, Inner Mongolian
Teacher's University, graduating with a Master's degree in
philosophy. In October 1989, he started a book store called
the Mongolian Academic Book Store.
Hada organized the South Mongolian Democratic League, published
the journal Voice of Southern Mongolia, wrote a book entitled
The Way Out of Southern Mongolia, and introduced Mongolian
history, international law, and human rights to the people
of Inner Mongolia. Because of these activities, he was arrested
by the Inner Mongolian Public Security Bureau (IMPSB) on December
10, 1995 and sentenced to fifteen years' imprisonment on December
5, 1996. Although he appealed to a higher court, the court
affirmed the original sentence. He is now in prison in Chifeng
(Inner Mongolia Prison No.4).
Hada's living conditions in the prison have improved in accordance
with his request and that of his family. But his health problems
are not taken seriously by prison authorities. He has several
diseases such as cholecystitis (inflammation of the gall bladder),
coronary heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis. We have asked
the prison authorities to:
(1) change the prison from Chifeng to one in Hohhot where
his family is living so as to let his family take care of
him more easily;
(2) allow him to go to hospital for medical treatment when
his health is bad.
We have not yet received a response from the prison.
2. Hada's family's difficult conditions
In 1995, after the arrest of Hada, both Hasa, who is my older
brother, and I were illegally imprisoned by the IMPSB for
three months. They searched my house and confiscated my property
including video tapes, cassette tapes, address books, research
papers, and even a portable phone which was used once to give
an interview to VOA (Voice Of America). They said that my
portable phone is the kind of instrument that jeopardizes
the nation's security.
On July 26, 1996, the IMPSB closed down my book store (all
my family income is from this book store) and on August 13-14
took away all the books and other properties in the store
without going through the necessary legal formalities.
I am now in such difficulties that I cannot even afford my
everyday expenses. The IMPSB placed my apartment under surveillance
on September 3, 1996. I lost my basic human rights.
In March 1997, I went to Chifeng to see my husband. Immediately
after I arrived back in Hohhot, the IMPSB telephoned me to
request that I confess to them what I said to my husband.
They interfered with my freedom of speech.
In July 1997, during the 50th anniversary of the Inner Mongolia
Autonomous Region, four persons from the IMPSB came to my
apartment and kept watch on me for 24 hours and then took
my son and me to Chifeng and Ulaanhot. In the city of Ulaanhot,
my son and I were illegally imprisoned by the local police
for two days until the representatives of the Chinese central
government left the city. After my return to Hohhot, I several
times requested that the IMPSB give back my books and let
me reopen my book store. But I have not as yet received any
response from them.
Given my situation, I requested that the authorities concerned
solve my problems, but they have paid no attention to me.
I must depend on the help of relatives and friends. Within
China, I can do nothing about my difficulties and problems.
My hope is that I can get assistance from the international
community. As a matter of fact my requests are not many. I
have only the following requests:
(1) the IMPSB prove with facts that my book store is illegal;
(2) the IMPSB provide me with the legal grounds preventing
my book store from reopening on the university's street.
3. I hope the international community will urge Inner Mongolian
and Chinese authorities to face up to national problems and
solve national antagonisms and contradictions on the bases
of democracy and the legal system.
The arrest of Hada and one hundred other Mongolian intellectuals
in 1995 is once again a cruel suppression of a minority. This
mean action is beautified as dispensing justice. On January
1, 1998, the Inner Mongolian Daily reported the news that
the IMPSB was awarded a class one collective commendation.
These unfair facts impel the bare-handed Mongolian victims
to think over their national suffering and the existing problems
in Inner Mongolia.
According to China's constitution all Chinese citizens enjoy
freedom of speech, publishing, meeting, assembly and association,
and parade and demonstration. So I think my husband Hada's
activity was not illegal. On the contrary, it should be protected
by law. Moreover, Hada advocated national self-determination,
which is in conformity with the view of the Chinese Communist
Party on national theory and with the U.N. human rights treaties.
Since the founding of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region,
southern Mongolian people have not suspended their pondering
of their national future. Many intellectuals such as Maohai,
Xiasu, Husten, Oilai, Tsedendorj, Monhbat, Boyan, Ulaaxibo,
advocated national self-determination by peaceful means. And
their advocacy did not violate China's constitution or international
law. But all of them are suppressed. Now some of them are
in prison and others have died.
These facts show that China's Communist Party did not keep
their promise to minorities. During their 50 years in power,
the Communist Party has violated the laws and stifled the
cry of justice from minorities. There are many serious national
problems in Inner Mongolia such as population, education,
religion, culture, land, etc. All of the problem concerned
are the result of deprivation of the Mongolian minority's
right to self-determination. From these facts, we know that
it is not the minority that creates dissension, but the majority
which bullies and oppresses the minority. This long-term unfair
treatment to minorities results in the deterioration of national
contradiction (sic) in China.
From Hada's and my encounters, we know the cruel suppression
of minorities in China. But China is, after all, only one
member of the international community. I think the international
community (should enforce) the Chinese government's implementation
of its own laws and of international treaties. I hope, Mr.
President, you will urge the Chinese government to do the
following during your visit:
(1) allow all Chinese people including minorities to enjoy
the real right of freedom such as speech, publishing, meeting,
assembly and association, and parade and demonstration as
stipulated in China's constitution;
(2) strictly abide by Chinese and international law, and
provide minorities with the real right of self-determination;
(3) release my husband Hada and other political prisoners
and stop the suppression of minorities.
I think the crux of the ethnic conflict is democracy and
human rights. I hope the Chinese government can face up to
its ethnic problems and solve its ethnic problems on the bases
of democracy and the justice system. Finally, I believe that
if China moves towards democracy and justice, the Chinese
people and other people in the world will together hand in
hand carry forward the historical task of freedom and democracy.