Chinese Riot Police Sent to Control Inner Mongolia Protests
The situation remains tense in Hohhot, the capital of Inner Mongolia. After
protests began in Inner Mongolia on May 23, Chinese Communist Party officials
first declared martial law on May 28 in two banners–county-level administrative
units–and then in Hohhot, on May 30.
A Mongolian lady who ventured out
on a business trip on June 2 from Chifeng to
Hohhot told Radio Free Asia that she witnessed riot police wearing body armor
and pointing machine guns at passengers as she arrived at the Hohhot train
station. On her return to Chifeng, she saw tanks and the streets thronged with
She said that before departing, her supervisor phoned her and
asked her not to go to Hohhot, nor to linger on the street in case she did
She was told that about 150 soldiers and police were deployed in
a conference room near University City in Hohhot where they monitored the city
via closed-circuit television, especially cameras focused on the University City district. Amnesty International reported
that on May 27 2,000 students protested there.
Soldiers and police have
been deployed in Hohhot’s University City, where they still surround many buildings. A professor in the Inner Mongolia Normal
University said the campus has been closed off by soldiers and police.
Mongolia. (Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center)
former resident in the Ximeng region of Inner Mongolia, Wang Ning, told RFA that
part of the staff and students who participated in the protest have been
Wang, who is now a reporter for an online news site in New
Zealand, said that local Mongolians told him that the soldiers were from the
38th Army. The 38th Army is the unit that was used in the Tiananmen Square
massacre on June 4, 1989.
The unrest in Inner Mongolia was triggered by
the death of a herdsman, Mergen, who was
crushed to death under a coal truck. Soldiers from the military are reported to
be deployed in Xilingol League, the area where Mergen was killed, and the
situation there is also described as tense.
The pretext of preventing
drunk driving is being used by authorities to ban alcohol sales and wine shops
are being watched by police.
generally placid, Mongolian herders were angered by Mergen’s death on May 10 and
a subsequent online photo of his gruesomely injured corpse. The herdsmen have a
long-standing grievance regarding the coal transport
trucks, which have been ruining the grasslands used for grazing the local
herds. Though the driver was arrested, no
charges were filed and the dead man’s family was offered cash instead.