Oct. 21, 2012
|Xinna's Full Interview on Status of Her Family|
The following is an interview of Ms. Xinna, wife of imprisoned Mongolian dissident Mr. Hada, by the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center (SMHRIC). For the first time in nearly two years, Xinna gives full detains on the status of herself, her husband Hada and her son Uiles. (English translation by SMHRIC):
"Crime of Illegal Business" for Mongolian Music CDs
SMHRIC:: Sain bainuu? We are very happy to hear your voice over the phone. It has been a really long time since we have been able to talk with you.
Xinna: Sain, sain bainuu?
SMHRIC:: Can you please tell us exactly when you were arrested, sentenced to jail and what is your current status?
Xinna: Sure. I was arrested on December 3, 2010 around 10:00 AM without being given any notice. Three police personnel came to arrest me after searching my house. They did not show any search warrant before confiscating my belongings and taking them away. Then I was taken to the Inner Mongolia No.1 Detention Center. This was the process by which I was arrested. I was detained in this detention center for 16 months. On April 20, 2012, I was tried. Only 4 days later on April 24, 2012, around 8:00 PM, the court personnel came to the Detention Center and informed me of the court decision. The crime was "illegal business". I was given 3 years in jail with 5 years reprieve. On the same day, I was released from detention, but was immediately declared to be "monitored in residency". I was given a "Decision to Monitor in Residency" issued by the court, forbidding me from going out and meeting others. I can read the Decision to you now.
SMHRIC:: Sure, thank you. But before you read it can you please tell us what was the "criminal" charge?
Xinna: The crime I was charged with was an "involvement in illegal business". I was officially declared to be arrested on December 31, 2010.
SMHRIC:: Do you have the court verdict with you now? How long is it? How many pages is it?
Xinna: Yes, I do have it. It is very long, about 11 pages. Let me read some highlights from it. On the last page it says, "the defendant Xinna committed a violation of state regulations and disturbance of market order, engaging in illegal business, bringing serious consequences and certain degree of social harms. Therefore, in accordance with law, it constituted the "crime of illegal business" which leads to the following court verdict." It says,
The decision follows:
If the defendant chooses to appeal the verdict, the appeal can be filed through this court or directly to the Hohhot Municipality Intermediate People's Court within 10 days starting from the second day of this decision. The original and a copy of the written appeal must be submitted.
- Defendant Xinna committed the "crime of illegal business", and is sentenced to 3 years in jail with 5 years reprieve with a requirement of paying a fine of 20,000 RMB (about 3,000 USD).
- In accordance with law, the illegal publication products of 5,546 CDs concerning the case are confiscated.
- Defendant Xinna is prohibited from engaging in any business related to publication and music for 5 years.
- Without permission from law enforcement authorities, defendant Xinna is prohibited from entering any place where a public event is being held.
April 23, 2012.
SMHRIC:: Did you file an appeal? If so what was the result?
Xinna: Yes, I did. The result was to sustain the original ruling.
SMHRIC:: Was the trial open or closed-door? Were your lawyer, relatives and friends allowed to attend the trial?
Xinna: It was claimed to be open. But the atmosphere was very tense. On that day, the court entrances and nearby streets were sealed off. My second brother was allowed to defend me at the court. My mother and son were allowed to attend. My eldest brother arrived there 5 minutes late. He was not admitted to the court. Most of the observers were Public Security personnel.
SMHRIC:: Do you feel that the decision on your case was already made prior to the trial?
Xinna: On March 20, 2012, the Director of the Political and Legal Affairs Committee surnamed Bao came to talk to me. He told me they would try me, but would release me from the detention. So, at that time, I already knew the result, because, in China, almost all decisions are made by the Political and Legal Affairs Committee. It is very obvious that the Political and Legal Affairs Committee has been involved in my case.
SMHRIC:: Can you please tell us about your health condition? Have you seen a doctor recently?
Xinna: I had a heart problem. It worsened after I was arrested. I asked multiple times for treatment. They did not allow treatment, but I was given some medicines. After the release from detention, my blood pressure dropped to 45 and 80. I requested to see a doctor. Eventually they approved and I went to see the doctor. Sometimes, heart problems are hard to diagnose.
SMHRIC:: So, how do you feel now? Do you feel any discomfort?
Xinna: Yes, I still feel chest pain and still need to continue the medication. I feel always tired. Headache starts if I move or talk. I am trying careful to take enough rest.
SMHRIC:: During the detention, were you given any treatment?
Xinna: I was given some medication during the detention. I had serious joint pain during the 16-month detention. Yesterday, I found my letter previously written to the authorities regarding my illness and my request for medical treatment. My requests were rejected. They gave me some medicine. But I still feel severe pain, having difficulty standing up and bending my knees. The continuing pain I suffer today might be from that time when there was no adequate heating.
Special Restrictions on Xinna
SMHRIC:: What degree of freedom do you have now? Do you have access to computer and the Internet? Are your relatives and friends allowed to visit you freely? What degree of right of movement do you have?
Xinna: In fact, the reason why they sentenced me to jail was to limit my freedom. Now I would like to read the restriction the local police authorities imposed on me:
In accordance with laws and regulations, Qiao Bao Police Dispatch Station that has jurisdiction over the area where Xinna resides, inspects and implements the following regulations Xinna must obey:
Qiao Bao Police Dispatch Station, May 30, 2012
- [Xinna] must obey the laws and regulations and must submit to the supervision;
- In accordance with the inspection unit regulations, in every half a month, [Xinna] must report about the status of her movement to the local Police Dispatch Station;
- [Xinna] must obey the inspection unit regulation on meeting with visitors. To meet with personnel from overseas, foreigners, and news media, [Xinna] must obtain an approval from Qiao Bao Police Dispatch Station.
- To leave the city of her residence or to move to other places, [Xinna] must obtain an approval from Qiao Bao Police Dispatch Station.
This is the regulation I was given when I was discharged from the detention. The court also gave me another regulation with almost the same contents. Even though, I was discharged through the gate of the detention center, I am confined to my own home.
SMHRIC:: Can we consider this a form of house arrest?
Xinna: Yes, you can understand this as a type of house arrest. I previously published my diary entitled "Prisoner Outside the Prison" on the Internet. Therefore, now, I am a real prisoner outside the prison. If I go out police follow me. Especially after I granted some interviews, the police publicly follow me. Last time, I circumvented them and visited Bogot ("Bao Tou" in Chinese) City because after my discharge from the detention I requested so many times to visit my 83-year old mother there. They never approved. But they noticed my absence immediately, and when I arrived in Bogot, the local Public Security personnel were already guarding my mother's entrance. What I did was just to see my mother and brothers, had some lunch and helped my mother in her family chores. I came back to Hohhot on October 14, 2012. On the following day, an officer surnamed Zhang from the local Police Dispatch Station came and threatened me saying that I will be arrested again if I do this again. I told them that this is a situation created by them. I asked them why it is a crime to see my mother. What is problematic is that you do not allow me to see my mother. It was said that politics should not transgress humanity. Today, humanity is completely neglected. Outraged by their inhumane treatment, I called some reporters from BBC and UPI.
SMHRIC:: So, do you have Internet access?
Xinna: Shortly after my discharge from the detention, my Internet was cut off because I published my diary on QQ messenger. To protest this restriction, my son Uiles wrote a letter to the Political and Legal Affairs Committee. Let me read it to you:
Request for Reconnecting to the Internet
Long after Uiles sent this letter, the Internet access was somehow restored. But my QQ is still inaccessible. Recently, our Internet is inaccessible again.
Director Bao of the Inner Mongolia Political and Legal Affairs Committee,
In late May of 2012, before I went to see my father in Chifeng, my Internet connection was cut off by the authorities because my mother published her diary "Prisoner Outside the Prison" and her pictures on the Internet through QQ messenger group. This has brought substantial inconveniences to my daily life and self-study. I would like to guarantee that my mother will not post any article or pictures online. I hope you would coordinate an effort between the relevant authorities to restore my Internet access as soon as possible. In fact, the person affected the most by the denial of Internet access is me. Recently, I am not able to go out to pursue my study partly because I need to take care of my sick mother. Therefore, the Internet has been my only source of obtaining technical information on learning. Denying the access to the Internet is interrupting my way of learning knowledge. It is unjust to deny my right to access to the Internet just because of my mother's publication of her diary "Prisoner Outside the Prison" on the Internet. I hope you would help return my right to access the Internet and right to knowledge.
July 12, 2012
SMHRIC:: Can you please tell us exactly how the authorities are controlling and monitoring you? Are they following you and monitoring your daily life? Are there any other specific ways of surveillance?
Xinna: In fact, the reason why they sentenced me was to try to control me. If you look at the restrictions imposed on me, it is very clear that I am denied the right to meet with others, particularly foreigners. To go out, I must apply for an approval. I live where I store my books:
Building No.4, Section No.1, 1st Floor, Apartment 7
Shi Ji Road 7, Xin Neng Jia Yuan
Saihan District, Jin Qiao Economic Development Zone,
Here is a residential area near the Dai Hai Power Plant. The reason why we rented the apartment here was to store my books and souvenirs which filled up three rooms. Uiles and I live in other two rooms. At the entrance of our apartment building, an access card reading device is installed. Only authorized people with the proper access can enter the building. Outsiders are unable to access the building. Two surveillance cameras are installed one on each side of the Building
No.4 where I live. They monitor whoever gets close to the building. At night incoming and outgoing people are also clearly seen under specially designed high beam lights. If I go out, some people follow me sometimes on foot, other times by car. My apartment is monitored through both windows day and night. My phone is also tapped. Until just recently, incoming calls had difficulty coming in. This is a miracle that calls from outside are allowed in now. This is a big improvement.
SMHRIC:: About your bookstore, you are still prohibited from selling your books, and running your book business, right? How do the authorities explain this?
Xinna: I was charged with the crime of "engaging in illegal business". The court decision clearly said that I am barred from running any publication or music related business. Their (authorities') goal is to eliminate our bookstore so that no one will visit the place where Hada would meet them after his release. Not only myself, my son is also not allowed to run the bookstore. He is planning to write an appeal on this.
Hada, Pale, Exhausted, Sluggish, Week and Disoriented
SMHRIC:: Now can you please tell us about Hada's situation? How is his status now? When did you last see him?
Xinna: Hada's situation is very bad. I met him in September of this year. Uiles and I wrote a letter recently to the authorities, urging them to provide medical treatment to Hada and improve the condition of the prison where he is held in illegal detention. But the authorities still have not responded to us yet. We will continue to appeal to see him.
SMHRIC:: When was the last time you met Hada? Was the meeting in person or over the phone?
Xinna: The last time I met him was on September 17, 2012. Recently we have not been allowed to visit him. We met in a hospital where Hada was given medical examination as we requested repeatedly.
SMHRIC:: We know that Hada had many health problems including leg pain, nervous system illness and other conditions. How is he now? Can you please tell us in details?
Xinna: Last time I was with him at the hospital. He got his head, chest, throat and legs examined. Due to the long imprisonment, certainly there are some problems although not too serious. The biggest problem is that he has been suffering from serious leg pain. It was mostly because of the cold prison condition. What is most worrisome is his mental status. He was advised by the doctor to see a psychological specialist to have a thorough and systematic examination at the Inner Mongolia No.3 Hospital. Certainly Hada refused to visit there. He has always looked pale, exhausted, sluggish and weak since he was transferred there in December 2010. Even though the food given is better than previously, he seemed confused and disoriented. What he does is he just sits on the bed motionlessly. He doesn't want to move or walk. I walked him when I visited him. If we do not visit, he just sits there and would not move. The prison authorities do not care
about him. He said he does some reading. But he seems to have hard time memorizing things. When I ask about this he gets bad temper.
40 Days Hunger Strike
SMHRIC:: We learned that he had been on frequent hunger strikes as a form of protest. Has he been on any similar hunger strikes recently?
Xinna: As far as I know Hada was on hunger strike twice at least. He started a hunger strike on December 27, 2010, in protest of the authorities' illegal detention of the three of us. After a brief family reunion there, we were arrested in front of him and taken to different places for detention. So, he had been continually on hunger strike for more than 40 days. He just had some water and milk tea. The authorities became nervous about this, and called me, my sister and my mother to persuade him to stop the hunger strike. On February 6, 2011, I wrote a letter to Hada before I was taken to detention again. In my letter I asked him to eat something due to his increasingly deteriorating health condition. He seemed to start eating after receiving my letter. After the Lunar New Year (February 4, 2011), we were allowed to meet him again. I saw that his health condition was much worse than before.
SMHRIC:: We heard that he was taken to Uuhan Banner of Chifeng City in April. Why was he transferred there?
Xinna: I think it was because of his deteriorating health problem. Beginning in February of 2011, I was not allowed to see him until just recently. Uiles told me that Hada was taken to a hot-spring area in Chifeng City in September 2011. He was brought back to Hohhot later. After I was discharged from detention on April 20, 2012, I requested to see Hada. They took me to a hot-spring in Ningcheng County of Chifeng City where Hada was kept. I realized that he was taken back
there again because of his very poor health. He looked very sluggish. He has been like this since 2011, has increasingly become silent and bad-tempered. He always directs his temper to me.
SMHRIC:: So, currently where exactly is he held?
Xinna: He is currently held in place called "Hohhot City Jin Ye Economic Development Zone Ecological Garden" near the Bai Ta Airport in eastern suburban Hohhot. It is a two-story building in a small yard surrounded by a large yard protected by electronic wires. In the front is Zheng Da Fodder and in the back is Inner Mongolia No.4 Hospital.
SMHRIC:: Is this an official prison or a secret one?
Xinna: This apparently is a secret prison. According to Chinese law, a jail sentence and imprisoning without formal trial is an illegal act. Hada's imprisonment is illegal. If you look at the place name, it is called an "Ecological Garden". Apparently it is not an official prison. Hada had already completed his 15 years prison term on December 10, 2010, without a single day reduction. But he has already been held in illegal and extrajudicial detention in suburban Hohhot for almost two years.
SMHRIC:: What is the authorities' official explanation to this extrajudicial detention?
Xinna: the authorities claim that this is the so-called "deprivation of political right for 4 years". But, "deprivation of political right" has no meaning of "imprisonment" at all. Therefore, this pretext from the authorities has no legal basis.
SMHRIC:: How is the prison condition? How is he treated there? Is he beaten?
Xinna: To be honest, the current prison condition is much better than the previous prison in Chifeng. At least, the food given is better than in the previous prison. But, now treatment to Hada is getting worse. Daily supply is running out. He is not even given toilet paper. Every time he goes to toilet, he uses water to clean up himself because no toilet paper is available. Hada told me that the situation has been like this for over a year. In the past I asked them to provide him with three different newspapers including "Inner Mongolia Daily" in Mongolian, "Reference News" ("can kao xiao xi") and "Southern Weekend" in Chinese. A new prison supervisor surnamed Yang claimed that due to the budget cut they stopped ordering "Reference News" and "Southern Weekend". The "Inner Mongolia Daily" in Mongolian is also not provided in timely manner. Sometimes, they give it to him every other day or sometimes none. Right after being transferred to Hohhot, he was allowed to watch TV. But shortly afterwards, the TV had not been made available until before my last visit. They said the TV was broken. Hada's poor health and deteriorating mental state are partly due to the attitude of this newly appointed supervisor surnamed Yang. He treats him very badly and always yells at him. Those prison guards enjoy playing and drinking in the backyard while locking up the front door preventing Hada from walking in the yard. At night, because of the very thin curtains and a high beam light directing to the window, Hada is unable to have a good night sleep. In fact this is a different form of torture.
SMHRIC:: Reportedly, not only does Hada refuse to admit any wrongdoing but also was planning to sue the authorities after his release for illegally imprisoning him for 15 years and detaining him even after his scheduled release. Is there any change in this plan?
Xinna: No. There is no change. As early as in June 2010, the Director Bao of the Inner Mongolia Political and Legal Affairs Committee visited Hada in Chifeng prison, and offered him all sorts of benefits if he would admit wrongdoing and cooperate with the authorities. At the same time, Director Bao also threatened him that they would arrest his wife and son if he would not admit wrongdoing. They have been doing the same after his transfer to Hohhot. The authorities always ask me, my son and my relatives to persuade Hada to confess to his crimes.
None of the Three Admitting to Any Crime
SMRHIC: So, can we understand that none of Hada, you and your son Uiles is admitting that you made any mistake or committed any crime?
Xinna: Right. On December 17, 2010, when all three of us were detained, Hada wrote a letter to the Inner Mongolia Political and Legal Affairs Committee in protest of this illegal detention and demanded the following:
- Request to find a lawyer;
- Request to put an end to this illegal detention of the family immediately;
- File a legal case against the authorities' illegal imprisonment and detention.
So, this has been clearly stated in his letter. But the authorities did not respond. Hada went on hunger strike to protest. I and son Uiles also joined the hunger strike in support of him on December 17, 2010. Three days after our joint hunger strike, the authorities separated us and detained us separately. The main reason for Hada's detention today is because he is not admitting to any crime.
SMHRIC:: When they discharged you and Uiles from detention, did they come up with any deal or condition, for example, to let you go if you cooperate etc.?
Xinna: Uiles was discharged shortly before I was. Although we were accused of committing "crimes of illegal business and possessing drugs", our cases were never reviewed on a legal basis. Instead, during our detention we were visited by government officials from different government units including the Director of the Detention Center, Director of the Department No.5, head of Hohhot Public Security Bureau State Security Department, Deputy Director of Hohhot Public Security Bureau, personnel of Inner Mongolia Public Security Bureau State Security Department, and officials from Inner Mongolia Political and Legal Affairs Committee. Director Bao from the Political and Legal Committee as a Mongolian visited us on behalf of the Inner Mongolia Party Committee. Contents of all these conversations were nothing but asking us not to answer interviews from foreign news media, not to engage in harming the state security, and to keep quiet on Hada's case so that they will release us. Uiles was released from the detention on September 17, 2011.
Accusation is Dismissed, But Still Guilty
SMHRIC:: How is the current status of Uiles?
Xinna: Uiles is under the same condition as me. The legal status is still indefinite. On September 17, this year, he was given a document called "Notice of Dismissal of Accusation" by the court stating that "court trial is waived". But the notice also states that Uiles is still guilty of "minor offense". We sent an appeal to demand the authorities overturn the court decision and declare Uiles's innocence. At the same time we also expressed our determination to pursue criminal responsibility for their false accusation and mistrial on Uiles's case. But we have not been given any response from them.
SMHRIC:: What are the legal grounds for their continuing maintenance of Uiles's legal status even though the stated one year probation expired?
Xinna: Their legal explanation is that this is a "dismissal of accusation". In other words, they are not calling Uiles a criminal even though he is guilty of "minor offense". Basically, their legal explanation is that I and my son Uiles are still criminals. The note states:
The court considers that the suspect Uiles violated the Article 348 of Criminal Law of People's Republic of China. However, considering the minor nature of the criminal act committed, in accordance with the Article 37 of the Criminal Law, it is not necessary to open a criminal trial. In accordance with the Criminal Procedure Law Article 142 Item 2, the court decided to dismiss the accusation against Uiles. Should the defendant not agree with the court decision, an appeal can be filed to this court within 7 days from the receipt of this decision.
Therefore, we filed an appeal within 7 days with the following requests:
In summary, Uiles is still considered a criminal even though the court decided not to try him.
- Request the dismissal of the "Hu Xing Jian Bu Su No.2012 Decision on Dismissal of Accusation";
- Declare the appellant Uiles's innocent, and carry out criminal prosecution against the accuser;
Reasons of Appeal:
- Witnesses and evidence failed to prove the criminal accusation of "illegal possession of drug" against Uiles. The accusation itself proved groundless;
- The intention of two rounds of search within three days in Uiles's home indicates the accusation of "illegal drug possession" was a deliberately plotted malicious task assigned to the Saihan District Public Security Bureau by the Inner Mongolia Public Security Bureau and State Security authorities in an attempt to silence Uiles;
- Judging from the conditions for release pending trial and the contents of the discussion from the officials to Uiles, it can be further proved that "illegal drug possession" is a deliberately plotted frame-up.
SMRHIC: So, is there any expiration set to your and Uiles's legal status? For example, will you be free after 3 years according to Chinese law?
Xinna: Mine is very clear. I was sentenced to 3 years in jail with 5 years reprieve. This means, they will impose all those restrictions on me for at least 5 years starting from April 23, 2012. For example, meeting with foreigners, receiving interviews and so on and so forth are not allowed. For the second instance, I also wrote a letter. Let me read it to you.
My Opinion on the Second Instance:
- The arrest and trial against me were willfully linked to the case of my husband Hada. I do not accept this unjust trial.
- Charging me with a "crime of illegal business" just for selling five hundreds Mongolian CDs has no legal basis at all.
- During the second instance I have been deprived of the right to access to my lawyer, preventing him from fully exercising his legal defense for me. Replacing rule of law with abuse of power will be judged and punished by history.
May 21, 2012
"Rather Die on My Feet Than Live on My Knees"
SMHRIC:: According to the restrictions imposed on you, you already violated their regulations by receiving interviews from foreign media or organization. Do you think there is a possibility that you will be arrested and imprisoned?
Xinna: Yes, I was already told by the Qiao Bao Police Dispatch Station personnel after I returned from Bogot that I have already violated their regulations. They threatened to arrest me if I do the same again. Therefore, there is still such possibility. I have nothing to be afraid of right now even though we are living a very difficult life. My TV cable was cut off due to our inability to make the payment for the service. But I managed to borrow some money from my brother to get the service restored. Sometimes, I feel that living this kind of extremely miserable and controlled life with all three members of the family declared criminals is even worse than death. Out of this desperate situation, I wrote a letter of protest to Director Bao of the Political and Legal Affairs Committee on September 26 this year.
Let me read the letter to you:
Dear Director Bao,
I still remember that you told me that Hada would be released when you talked to me at the Detention Center this spring. However, today he is still being imprisoned at Jinye Ecological Garden. You are also aware that the detention of Hada is an illegal one. The pretext of so-called deprivation of political rights is fundamentally groundless. I am wondering who came up with this kind of vicious idea to continue to persecute Hada. I curse him to go to hell.
Now I would like to tell you that Hada's mental status is deteriorating. This is caused partly by the long imprisonment, and partly by all sorts of tortures and sufferings inflicted on him by the prison guards. Considering these circumstances, I would like to request the following:
Xinna who has exhaustively suffered all sorts of humiliation
- Release Hada as soon as possible in order to avoid his total mental collapse. I urge the prison authorities to undergo a necessary rearrangement for personnel guarding and supervising Hada. I strongly urge that Department Director Yang be replaced, and the relevant regulations be improved to strengthen the prison personnel management. Otherwise, with Yang gone, there will also be some Ma or Niu who would act on their own will to inflict suffering on Hada.
- As an intermediate measure, send Hada to the countryside or pastoral areas where he can be taken care of by our family members and relatives. Today, Hada's immeasurable internal suffering can be relieved only by the love from family and relatives. Like a widowed wife and an orphan son, we have been implicated to Hada's case and labeled as criminals by the Inner Mongolian authorities. Would we mind being banished to a remote and barren place along with him? We are willing, for the good of Hada. In fact, life of son and mother today is nothing better. Living together as a family in the countryside on simple diet and wild vegetables is much better than staying in the city where family is destroyed to lead a marginalized life with humiliation. Living in a remote place free from earthly life and mundane worries, breathing fresh air and returning to the mother nature might really heal our deep wounds cut into our hearts and minds.
- Stop the persecution of Hada and our family immediately, or else I will take extreme measures in protest to the death. Previously I had some illusion about the reality, but now I have been completely disappointed by your inhumane and irrational acts. 15 years ago, Hada alone was arrested and jailed. 15 years later, the whole family is arrested and sentenced to jail. Your politics has put the chill in autumn and your accomplishments have made us fall into the abyss. Instead of letting you slowly torture us to death, we must stand up to resist, and fight with all the strength we can muster. Who cares for the so-called 18th Congress or the 19th Congress? They may have some meaning to those who compete for power and profits, but they mean nothing to our family. I would rather die on my feet than live on my knees.
September 26, 2012
SMRHIC: What would you like to appeal to the international community?
Xinna: I sincerely hope the international community pays attention to the case of Hada and our family. I hope the international community urges the Chinese Government on the immediate release of Hada and return to a normal life to our family. My 17 years experience tells me that the Chinese Government actually cares about the pressure from the international community. We waited for Hada's release for 15 years. Hada was not released. 17 years later, the whole family is named as criminals. This type of persecution is very rare not only in China but also in the whole world. This is the human rights condition of China which at least on Hada's case has not improved at all. It has rather worsened. At the same time, I would like to thank international community for showing a great support both spiritual and financial to Hada and our family. I hope the international community will continue to support us.