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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

China detains founder of Tibetan - Mongolian medical school

October 27, 2009

October 26, 2009

Dharamsala, Oct. 26 -- Chinese police have
detained the founder of a Tibetan medical college
"virtually" on the doorsteps of the United
Nations refugee office in Ulaanbaatar on Oct. 3,
the Radio Free Asia reported on October 24.

Chairman of Inner Mongolian People's Party Xi
Haiming says the Chinese government is anxious to
stamp out any cultural ties between Mongolians
and Tibetans following the ethnic unrest in Tibet
last year. "He was detained outside the door of
the United Nations as he came out of their branch
offices to apply for political asylum by Chinese
and Mongolian police together. Does the UNHCR
(U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees) protect the
rights of asylum-seekers or not?"

Batzangaa, 35, was arrested along with his wife
Bayanhuaar, and their nine-year old daughter as
the family were applying for political asylum.

Batzangaa is a Chinese national and ethnic
Mongolian who developed a network of traditional
Mongolian-Tibetan medical practitioners around
the Inner Mongolian region of China. In 2001 he
founded the Ordos Mongol-Tibetan Medical School
in Dongsheng that enrolled more than a thousand Mongolian students.

The Chinese authorities put the school under
surveillance, alarmed by its growing ties with
Tibetans and Mongolians, and canceled the
school's land lease, citing "the authorities'
suspicion and surveillance towards ethnic
minorities" in its official documents, the SMHRIC said.

At the time of the arrest, the family was told
they owed money to someone and that they were
suing Batzangaa’s to get it back. The New
York-based Southern Mongolian Human Rights
Information Center (SMHRIC) says the family was
deported to Ordos municipality in the Inner
Mongolia Autonomous Region the same day, with no
‘apparent recourse to Mongolian legal proceedings
to challenge the deportation order’.

Batzangaa had several disputes with the Chinese
authorities over the right to maintain his
school’s ethnic characteristics, the SMHRIC said in a statement.

His wife and daughter were released from
detention but placed under house arrest
immediately after arriving at Ordos' Dongsheng district, according to the RFA.

Overseas Southern Mongolian communities in the
United States, Europe, and Japan are strongly
condemning the Government of China and the
Government of Mongolia for their flagrant
violation of international human rights
conventions in the manner in which the Batzangaa
case was handled, the SMHRIC said.

Batzangaa is being held at the Dongsheng District Detention Center.
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