|Mar 9, 2018|
Zaruud Banner People's Court tries 35 Mongolian herders for defending their land (2018-01-14)
Tuyaa ( left 1 ): My name is Tuyaa. I am a herder from Durben-ger Gachaa, Ulaanhad Sum of Zaruud Banner in Tongliao Municipality. We are a group of helpless herders who resorted to embarking on petition journeys to come to Beijing and Huhhot in a hope of having our grievances heard. I am a 38-year old herder who have a high-school level of education. Starting 2015, I have pursued a series of complaints and direct protests against the local authorities' corruption in relation to local election, compensation of housing reconstruction, deforestation, and subsidy to low-income households. As the local government failed to answer my demands, I have petitioned higher levels of authorities starting from banner (equivalent to county) government to league government, from league government to the autonomous region government. Receiving no response from any of these governments, I had to travel to Beijing as many as seven times to raise our concerns to the Chinese Central Government. Not only did the government refuse to answer our demands, but also did they intimidate us and attempt to stop us from further protesting. In September 2017, I was detained nearly for a month on a charge of "causing public disturbance" by the Public Security Bureau for demanding legal redress for the serious environmental damage done to our Durben-ger community. After the release, I made another trip to Beijing to demand justice in vain to myself and my community. For that, the Zaruud Banner Public Security Bureau criminalized and imprisoned me for 6 months with no legal justification. How come I became a criminal for exposing corruption and protesting injustice? I still firmly believe that justice and righteousness will prevail, and I am determined to fight to the end for that.
Wang Yatou ( left 2 ): I am Wang Yatou from Durben-ger Gachaa, Ulaanhad Sum of Zaruud Banner. Receiving no response from the local government to my grievances, I am here in Hohhot today, petitioning the autonomous region government. I cannot express my situations in words. Tuyaa will be speaking on behalf of me.
Tuyaa on behalf of Wang Yatou: I am Wang Yatou, a herder from Durben-ger Gachaa, Ulaanhad Sum of Zaruud Banner. In the summer of 2016, my eldest son drowned to death in an open pit dug by illegal trespassers. Despite our fellow herders' protest and demand for justice, the government has taken no action in bringing the perpetrators to justice and stopping intruders from destroying our land. In order to defend the safety and property of our community, I had to stand up with our fellow herders to block the intruder's bulldozers from digging our land. As a result, the Zaruud Banner Public Security Bureau arrested and imprisoned me for 8 months on trumped-up charges. I am also determined to appeal to the higher authorities for justice.
Yu Rong ( right 2 ): My name is Yu Rong. I am a herder from Saruul Gachaa, Ar-Hundelen Sum, Zaruud Banner of Tongliao Municipality. I am 50 years old. One of the main reasons of my petition this time along with the two fellow herders from my home banner is that our Gachaa head illegally occupied my grazing land for more than twenty years. My requests for a just solution have remained unanswered by the government. Another reason is that the local Public Security authorities detained my three siblings for more than ten days for protesting those who have a special connection to the local officials. The government shamelessly bowed to the money of the perpetrators and turned a blind eye to those who physically assaulted me. Today, the majority of local officials are corrupt and abusive to the underprivileged herders who are forced to take the path of petitioning for their very survival.
Bayanchimeg ( right 1 ): I am Bayanchimeg from Hangin Banner of Ordos Municipality. I am 57 years old. I am asking Yu Rong to speak on my behalf.
Yu Rong on behalf of Bayanchimeg: My name is Bayanchimeg, and I am from Hangin Banner of Ordos Municipality. I am 57 years old. I have been physically disabled as a result of the authorities' unlawful detention and imprisonment as the local government's retaliation to my tireless protest and petition to higher authorities. I am here in Hohhot today to continue my protest and demand justice.
[Original video was published on November 29, 2017]