|October 25, 2006
original TV report
to a report of the Inner Mongolia TV (NMTV) Mongolian Service on
September 18, 2006, Mongolian villagers of eastern Southern
(Inner) Mongolia's Zalaid Banner have been beaten up, arrested
and detained by the local police for resisting the local
government's tree-planting project that was proposed to take
over the villagers' last peace grazing land. Following is the
English transcription of the
Misused Power and Threatened People
English Translation and Transcription by
Click here for the original TV report
had an interview in Baishing Gachaa (equivalent to a township),
Arbanger Town, Zalaid Banner, an elderly Mongolian man named
Mengzhuangs from the Cachaa was just released from the Zalaid
Banner Detention Center, and the villagers were happy about his
release. What crime did this elderly man commit to be detained?
What was the real story? Stay tuned for the details.
closely north from its capital town, Baishing Gachaa of Zalaid
Banner’s Arbanger Town, as a semi-herding poor township, is a
beautiful place surrounded by mountains and rivers. Despite its
beauty, it is obvious that this Gachaa’s living standard is
relatively low due to its over-crowded population and
ever-shrinking land. This man’s name is Mengzhuangs and he is
one of the indigenous Mongolians from Upper Arbanger Village of
the Gachaa. He was arrested by the Zalaid Banner Public Security
Bureau and detained for more than 10 days until he was released
recently. So, what was the reason of his arrest and detain?
"we went to the League (equivalent to county) Government to wait
for the government leaders at the gate, but no official showed
up. Therefore, we (43 Mongols from Upper Arbanger Village) had
to stay overnight there. On the next morning, around 5:00 am,
more than 40 police and government officials including the
Town’s Party Secretary Gao Shuangjiang, town chief Jirgal, and
director of the Police Station Bu He, with 2 large and several
small vehicles, came to us. Bu He kicked my belly and left a
bruise. Six of us were arrested and handcuffed. Then they
dragged us, kicked us, beat us, and threw us into the vehicles.
All of us were brought to the Public Security Bureau. I was sent
to the Banner Detention Center and detained for 10 days. Look at
this! This is the scar left by their handcuffs."
did the villagers from Upper Arbanger Village of Baishing Gachaa
come to the League Government and the Party Committee to appeal
for help? What was the trigger for this case? Located the east
of a river, 3000 mu (210 hectare) of grazing land in Upper
Arbanger Village is the direct cause of this round of battle.
is named Ulziibayar from Upper Arbanger Village of Baishing
Town. He is also one of the fellow villagers who visited the
Hingaan League Government and the Party Committee to appeal for
"In the past several years, our Gachaa leaders had already sold
housands of mu from our grazing land to outsiders. This 3000 mu
is the last piece of our grazing land. The entire village is
grazing its livestock here. However, ignoring our livelihood,
the government sold this land and started to turn up it with
tractors. 300 villagers stayed here for three days to try to
stop them from proceeding. They left without success. The town
chief and his deputy told us: ‘We will come back soon to circle
it up for development, and sell it. Then you will have no excuse
to stop us!’ They really came back and circled it up with metal
wire fence. Then our more than 300 fellow villagers dismantled
their fence. As a result villagers Jirgal and Tsetsent were
the Notice of Detention given to the family members of the two
detainees by the Zalaid Banner Public Security Bureau. Both
detainees, namely Borjigin Jirgal and Tsetsent, are villagers
from Upper Arbanger Village of Baishing Gachaa. The Notice of
Detention claims that the two are arrested because of their
sabotaging of state property --- metal wire fence.
the Baichingnuus of Upper Arbanger Village, Baishing Gachaa. One
of the detainees, Tsetsent, is his father.
Baichingnuu: "after breaking down the wire fence, we just left
it there without destroying anything. It is still there now. Two
villagers, my father and Borjigin Jirgal, are still being held
in the Zalaid Banner Detention Center. The Detention Center told
us that they will be sentenced to 1 to 3 years in jail. In order
to appeal to the higher authorities for help, our fellow
villagers went to the League Government with 3 four-wheel
"around 5:00 pm of the day of arrival, we were denied entry to
the League Government at its gate. There was a heavy rain at
night, but we had nowhere to go but to stay over-night there. On
the second morning at 5:00 am, police cars came to us and
arrested all of us. We were beaten, and forcibly pulled into the
police cars. Some who tried to escape were handcuffed before
taken away. Among us was an elderly man named Mengzhuangs. He
was kicked down to the ground and his clothing was torn by the
police. Later, he was taken away separately by a small police
villagers’ appealing to the higher authorities for addressing
their plight and releasing their people ended up with no result;
also their 3 four-wheel tractors used to carry them to the
League capital Ulaanhot City have been confiscated by the
Arbanger Police Station.
"they confiscated our tractors, and we tried to bring them back.
But they told us that we must pay 600 yuan (75 USD) for each
tractor if we want to bring them back. We were so broke and had
been able to collect a little money just enough to fill up our
tractor’s fuel tank. Where can we get this money to pay to them?
No choice, we left our tractors there."
is the attitude of the Gachaa Party Secretary Guo Tiehou toward
"the land is taken over not for cultivation, but for planting
correspondent: "so, where is the official document or proof
"you mean the written document, right? It is kept by Government
of the Town."
correspondent: "no cultivation is needed for tree-planting. So
what is the reason for turning up the soil?"
"oh, it was plowed just for planting trees. Actually it was not
completed because the villagers didn’t want us to proceed."
correspondent: "then, why are the villagers against the
"because the Gachaa’s land will be taken over, and the grazing
land will shrink so that they will have no place to graze their
livestock. There also will be new settlers from elsewhere. That
is why the villagers think we are selling the land to others."
the land dispute, why do the villagers of Upper Arbanger keep
complaining that in the past several years the Gachaa leaders
have already rented out thousands of mu public grazing land to
outsiders? What is the comment of the Gachaa leaders on this
correspondent: "is it true that thousands of mu grazing land has
been rented out to outsiders?"
"yes, it is true."
correspondent: "what is main reason for renting out these
Guo Tiehou: "it was for
‘inviting investors and bringing in funds’(“招商引资”
in Chinese). We needed money for bringing electricity to the
Gachaa. All money from the rental was spent for bringing
project of setting up fence and planting trees in 3000 mu
grazing land of Upper Arbanger Village approved by the Town
Government and Party Committee? What is the evidence of
Jirgal: "it is not true that the land was rented out to
outsiders for tree-planting. The land south to the river was
originally part of the river valley forest area. We just wanted
to restore the forest in the river valley. Locking up land with
wire fence is not a project initiated and implemented by our
town government. It is a part of the national project. All towns
and townships of our Zalaid Banner have similar projects. It is
only this Baishing Gachaa that gave us a hard time and refused
to implement the government’s land fencing project.”
during our interview, Arbanger Town Government refused to show
us any official document from the higher level of government
approving the project of fencing out the land to plant trees in
the 3,000 mu grazing land of Upper Arbanger Village.
the town government bring police force to Ulaanhot City to
arrest villagers then?
Jirgal: "we did not beat them up. We were at the scene. It is
true that I, our Party Committee Secretary, and the chief of our
police station were there when they were brought back from the
League Government. There were also police from the Zalaid Banner
Public Security Bureau. The Banner Government decided to send
out police to arrest them and forcibly bring them back because
they disturbed the public order over there. Then they were
brought back. This is what had happened."
further investigation, we came to the Arbanger Town Police
Station and the Zalaid Banner Public Security Bureau. But none
of them agreed to answer our interview.
of "Regulations on Letters and Visits” passed by the State
Council of the People’s Republic of China states that:
people's governments at all levels and the relevant departments
of the people's governments at or above the county level shall
keep free-flowing channels for letter-writers and visitors and
provide convenience for the letter-writers or visitors who give
information, make comments or suggestions, or lodge complaints
by such means as prescribed in these Regulations.
of "Provisions on Penalty of Public Order Management of the
People’s Republic of China” set into effect on March 1, 2006
also states that:
determine whether an act is considered disturbing public order,
it shall be determined whether the act prevents public
institutes from conducting normal business. This shall be done
through a process of investigation, decision making, and
enforcement. One shall have the right to appeal to higher
authorities within 2 months and to the People’s Court within 3
months if one is intimidated or detained without disturbing
public order. If the act is considered disturbing public order,
Public Security authorities in the area where the act took place
shall have the right and obligation to prosecute and try the
case of Baishing Gachaa’s appeal to the higher authorities for
help, if the villagers’ act is considered disturbing public
order, the Public Security Bureau of Ulaanhot City where the act
had taken place should handle the case. The Party Committee,
Government, and the Public Security Bureau of Zalaid Banner
should have no right to interfere with the case.
regulations of China state that citizens shall have the right
and obligation to appeal and report to the higher authorities
and government bodies concerned with their situation. Stopping,
arresting, beating, and detaining citizens who are appealing to
the higher authorities is a serious violation of law. The
Constitution and the "Regulations on Letters and Visits” impose
serious penalties to this kind of illegal actions. Therefore,
relevant units and parties concerned should draw a lesson from
the case of Arbanger Town.
watching, and see you next time.