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James Anaya, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Sodmongol's Case


A/HRC/15/37/Add.1, 15 September 2010


Whereabouts and current condition of Sodmongol are still unknown.



169. In a letter dated 30 April 2010, the Special Rapporteur on the human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people, James Anaya, together with the Chair-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, El Hadji Malick Sow, the Chair-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, Jeremy Sarkin the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Frank La Rue, and the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Margaret Sekaggya brought to the attention of the Chinese Government information received in relation to the disappearance of activist Mr. Cao Du, a Mongolian from China. The Government of China responded to the Special Rapporteurs’ communication in a letter dated 9 July 2010.


170. In their communication of 30 April 2010, the Special Rapporteurs transmitted to the Government information they had received about the disappearance of indigenous activist Mr. Cao Du and requested that the Government respond to the allegations contained in the communication in light of relevant international standards.

171. According to the information received:

a) Mr. Cao Du is the founder and Director of the Mongol Yurt Association, an organization promoting the rights of Mongolian people in China. He is also the webmaster of a Mongolian language internet “Mongol Yurt Forum”, which discusses alleged human rights violations against Mongolian people committed by the Chinese authorities, and which has been closed by the Chinese authorities. Mr. Cao has organized numerous workshops and seminars among Mongolians, mainly within the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Liao Ning Province and other provinces of China where Mongolian people reside, to educate Mongolians on how to defend their rights through peaceful and legal means.

b) Mr. Cao is a grantee of the UN Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations, a program run by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The General Assembly established the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations by resolution 401131 of 13 December 1985. The General Assembly has since expanded the mandate of the Fund to assist representatives of indigenous communities and organizations in attending, as observers, the sessions of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and to facilitate the participation of representatives of indigenous peoples' organizations in the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

c) As a grantee of the UN Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations, Mr. Cao was granted travel funds to attend the 9th session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, taking place from 19 to 31 April 2010 at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. On 18 April 2010, Mr. Cao was arrested by the police at the Beijing Capital International Airport before boarding his flight to New York City to attend the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. His whereabouts are unknown.

d) On 19 April 2010, the local police of Chaq Yang City, Liao Ning Province, raided Mr. Cao’s house and confiscated his personal computers, his wife’s laptop, their cell phones and other papers and documents.


172. The Government of China responded to the above information and allegations in a letter of 5 July 2010. The following is a summary of the Government’s response:

a) With regard to the situation involved in the letter, the Chinese government has done a serious investigation, addressed here.

b) Cao Du (Sodmongol, passport name Cao Du) is male, born January 1965, Mongolian, from the city of Chifeng in Inner Mongolia, and a teacher in the Minorities Teaching and Research department of the Liaoning Province Chaoyang Teachers College.

c) Because Cao engaged in counterfeiting book registration numbers and illegally publishing and selling books, and is suspected of being involved in illegal crimes, on 20 April 2010, he was arrested and detained by the Liaoning Chaoyang Public Security Office. His case is currently being tried.

d) China is a country of rule by law; because Cao engaged in illegal activities, we adopted measures according to the law. His each and every right are all guaranteed according to the law.


173. The Special Rapporteur on the human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people, James Anaya, thanks the Government of China for its response to the communication of 30 April 2010. He would be grateful to receive information from the Government about the outcome of the case against Mr. Cao currently being tried and to learn that all necessary measures have been taken to guarantee that the rights and freedoms of Mr. Cao are respected.



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