Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Mongolia: Authorities in Inner Mongolia cut communication channels for prisoner's family


On August 21, 2014, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemned the authorities' actions in abruptly disconnecting communications channels for the family of Hada, a prisoner in Inner Mongolia. Communication channels were disconnected after the family voiced concern on the internet about Hada's illegal detention, which has continued for almost four years.

On August 15, Inner Mongolia police visited Hada's wife, Xianna, and accused her and her son of posting illegal content on international websites. According to the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center, eight police officers visited Xianna claiming to be from China's Internet Security Police. Two days later, all communication channels and cables were disconnected from the house without notice.

According to Radio Free Asia, Xianna has received more than 400 death threats by text message since August 11. Xianna believes that the threats have been sent because she posted complaints online about the continued detention of her husband after he completed a 15-year sentence in December 2010. Xianna has conducted several interviews with international media, urging the President of China, Xi Jinping, to release her husband.

Hada's story has not been reported in any mainland media, because Inner Mongolia is an autonomous region and Hada is a political prisoner.

IFJ Asia Pacific Acting Director Jane Worthington said: "The disconnecting of communication channels and cables is a clear violation by Inner Mongolia's police of Article 35 of China's Constitution, which protects all citizens' right to speak. This contradicts the continued statements by the Chinese Government that they are upholding the rule of law.

"The continued efforts by the Chinese Government to monitor internet usage for state security should not impinge on the rights of Chinese citizens' right to speak."

We urge President Xi Jinping, and the Governor of Inner Mongolia, Bagatur, to thoroughly investigate all claims made by Xianna, and immediately reconnect all communication to the Hada house.
Case history