Uiles Statement 2010-01-02
I left Hohhot on December 24, and arrived at Chifeng on December 25 at 5:48 AM. When I got to the Chifeng Prison it was 9:25AM. I had to wait until 10:00 AM. The prison authorities said the prison officers are at a meeting, and told me to come back in the afternoon. I returned to the prison at 2:05 PM, and waited until 3:30 PM before I was allowed to see my father for half an hour.
During our conversation, my father told me that he has been diagnosed with two conditions: peripheral neuritis and phlebitis. They told us this was the result of an examination my father was given on October 9 at the Chifeng Municipality Hospital, Department of Neurology and Department of Vascular System.
My father said he was taken to the hospital in the morning at 8:00 AM, with handcuffs put on his hands and shackles on his feet. The entire hospital visit was video-taped by the prison authorities. After the examination my father was given some medicine. Currently his leg pain has been relieved slightly, but the swelling has not gone away. I suspect that my father's increasingly sever illness is the reason why the prison authorities did not allow us to visit my father for more than two months, although they claimed that it was due to the wide spread swine flu in the city.
Newspapers we order for him were not properly delivered to him. Some of the newspapers were sporadically given to him but the editions related to politics and world news were confiscated. He has never been allowed to read any books there. The new prison head claimed that this has been the policy since his predecessor. The books I brought there this time were left there but the prison authority refused to give me a receipt for the books. When I tried to confirm with the prison head surnamed Zhang if these books can be delivered to my father this time, he refused to answer my phone call.
My father currently lives in a cell located on the fifth floor. It is extremely difficult for him to walk up to the fifth floor due to his leg problem. What is not acceptable is that he was not allowed to go out to take a walk.
Chinese prisons have a system called "inter-inmate monitoring". My father has been monitored by two inmates. One of them is a murderer who allegedly killed his own brother. His name is Zhang Jian Xin and he constantly yells at and threatens my father. Isn't it clear that the purpose of putting a murderer as my father's monitor is to further cause my father mental and psychological stress? The prison guards turned a blind eye when he openly yelled at my father. I am afraid this murderer does not hesitate to use violence against my father anytime.
Otherwise, the prison authorities' attitude has seemed to be relaxed a bit because my father's prison term is closer and closer. One thing my father asked me to appeal for is that he really wants to read some books in order to prepare for his approaching release. He said he wants to understand what has happened after more than 14 years in prison.
After returning from Chifeng City, I did some research on peripheral neuritis and phlebitis. It seems that these two types of diseases are caused by insufficient blood supply. The occurrence of these two conditions together may indicate that the individual might have diabetes. We asked to see my father's medical records many times, but the prison authorities refused to show it to us, and claimed that this is confidential information. As family members we would like to obtain a copy of my father's medical record in order to make some preparation for medication after his release.
My father wakes up at 8:00 every morning. He said he can't sleep well due to his upset stomach and leg pain. He has not been allowed to watch news channels, but is allowed some other channels that he has no interest in.
It is extremely egregious that the newspapers we ordered with our own money were confiscated even though the prison regulation states that prisoners are allowed to read official publications including newspapers and books.
This April I visited Hada in prison. His health condition is still very poor. He looked very thin and pale. However, mentally, he is in a much better state because he knows his jail term is ending soon. I asked about his recent prison conditions. He is confident and hopeful that he can survive and get through this extreme hardship. I told him that many friends are concerned about his situation.
Regarding his current situation, he still has some unusual reactions to the prison meals every time he eats. Books are not allowed to be brought in. Books I sent have never been delivered to him. After my continual requests, he is sporadically allowed to read some newspapers that I ordered for him. Occasionally he is allowed to read selected editions of "Southern Weekend" (nan fang zhou mo). Thanks to some Mongolian version of "Inner Mongolia Daily", Chinese version of "Can Kao Xiao Xi" and "Southern Weekend", he is not completely unaware of what is happening outside.
He told me that this spring two officials from the Political-Legal Department of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region visited and talked to him. On another occasion, officials from the Political-Legal Department of Chifeng City talked to him, asking him about his plans following release. These officials were very polite and offered him freedom to choose either leaving or staying in the country. They stated that if he chooses to stay, they can help him and his son find jobs. Hada did not accept their meaningless "offer". He said "This is meaningless that they tell me this after they put me through this extreme unjust hardship for this long". This is actually a trick they use to find out what Hada thinks now.
Hada stated that he will pursue a lawsuit against his unjust trial of his case after his release since this is indeed an ethnic issue but has been deliberately distorted to "separatism" and "espionage" and sentenced to a 15 year jail term. This is unjust and we do not accept this ruling. We as a whole family hope to pursue this after his release. 15 years in jail, one of the harshest punishment, is almost over. We are happy that he is surviving this. I personally also felt the injustice of the manner in which this case was handled. People around the world know that the Han ethnic dissident Liu Xiaobo was sentenced to 11 years in jail, but not many know that the ethnic Mongolian dissident Hada was sentenced to 15 years in jail. This testifies to the fact that the Chinese Government policy on ethnic issues is much harsher. If China wants to be democratic and free, its ethnic policy must be changed. Hada's case suggests this.
Recently, a book entitled "True Story of Cultural Revolution in Inner Mongolia" by a Beijing intellectual appeared on book markets on the streets of Huhhot. It was published in Hong Kong but pirate copied in Beijing and sold in Huhhot. According to a private book seller, it has been popular and selling as many as 30-50 copies a day. In a short period of time, 50,000 copies were sold. As a result, the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region Public Security Bureau Department No.3 set up a special task force to confiscate and ban the book. Many Mongolians complain that the Chinese are relatively free to talk about the Cultural Revolution. But the Mongols are completely denied the right to discuss anything about the same issues. This is extremely unfair, unjust and creates an abnormal situation. Once it comes to the issue of the Inner Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party, policies and
treatments are totally different. There are tons of books discussing the Cultural Revolution, but if it touches the issue of Mongolians, things become serious.
On June 4, this year, the authorities tightened their control over us. Every day strange vehicles appeared near our place. Recently my phone has been experiencing a strange problem. Phone calls have difficulty coming in and going out. They might be trying to prevent us from answering any phone calls or possible interviews.
Control over Mongols has been tightening. For example, recently Sodmongol, administrator of the Mongol Yurt Association Website, was arrested, and the Mongols have reacted to it strongly. The only place of freedom has now been denied to us. Regarding Sodmongol's current situation, we have no further information. My access to the internet is very restricted and most of the sites previously accessible are no longer accessible.
Recently there have been a series of online discussions regarding Hu Chunhua, new Party Secretary of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, who has been meeting with key personnel of the Education Bureau to explore the possibility of replacing the Mongolian language as a medium for education with Chinese under the slogan of "responding to the requirements of a new era". Like many other Mongolians, I am very concerned about this issue and interested in finding some official document on this matter. Unfortunately no such document has been made available to the public.
But it is not important whether such a printed document exists. Its implications are profound. This [language] issue has always been a very sensitive issue. If you look back in history, to the 1981 and 1982 student movements, they had already touched on this topic. We can see that language is a sensitive issue to the Mongols. It is considered sensitive because it is linked to the rights of the Mongols, especially to rights that have been taken away. As you all know, one of the four main components of ethnic identity is a common language. If a people loses its language, then that people will gradually cease to exist. Some argue that it [elimination of language] is an inevitable result of Utopian Socialism where all peoples will use a single common language.
If this idea [changing Mongolian language to a Chinese one] is proposed by the Mongols, then we can consider it as a voluntary change. However it will be completely different in nature if it is proposed by the Chinese, because this means the rights of the minority have been violated. Using Mongolian language as a tool of learning is naturally part of the rights of Mongols.
I have been reading a book entitled "The True Story of the Cultural Revolution". According to this book, Mongolian students argued about the Mongolian language education issue in their "Opinion Regarding the Communist Party Central Committee's No.28 Document". They insisted that "the ethnic autonomy policy of the Party guaranteed that ethnic minorities have the right to use their native language and have the right to develop their own culture and education, and this right shall not be violated". All these are the basic rights of ethnic minorities. If the demand for these basic rights is considered a "too-far-out" requirement, then how can the ethnic autonomy rights be guaranteed?
This naturally explains the anxiety of our fellow Mongolians about their future. In recent years, the Chinese authorities claim that economic growth has been unprecedentedly rapid and GDP is reaching that of Hong Kong. If there really is such economic growth then it has been achieved at the price of opening up the Mongolian people's land, plundering Mongolian people's natural resources and destroying the Mongolian people's ancestral territory. For example, the whole land of Shiliin-gol league has become open mine fields and the entire territory of Uushin Banner has become a web of natural gas pipe-lines. The Mongolians have been forced to sacrifice their right to open space and freedom of livelihood. A friend of mine told me that a livestock grazing ban was recently imposed in Darhan-muumingan banners, Shiliin-gol League, and Bairan Right Banner.
Space and land have become a major issue as the direct result of livestock grazing bans and language is another issue due to forced urbanization. In cities and urban areas certainly Mongolian language will lose its ground and will gradually die away.
Heated discussion of this issue indicates that there must be a move by the Government to carry out this new policy. It is understandable that Mongolian people are concerned about this issue.
Mongols are aware that it is vitally important to preserve their language by sending their children to Mongolian schools. However, the social environment and harsh reality forces them to make decisions different from what they wish to do. They must deal with ethnic discrimination their kids would face in employment. For example, after graduating from Mongolian schools, Mongolians students always have difficulties finding a job since almost all jobs are controlled by Chinese. Many companies publicly state that "No Mongolian Students!" in their job postings.
It is extremely unfair that no Chinese is requested to learn Mongolian whereas all Mongolians are forced to learn if they want to survive on their own land. Whoever asks the Chinese to learn Mongolian has been and will be labeled as "separatist" who is attempting to destroy the "ethnic harmony". One of the major crimes of Ulaanhuu, founder of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region during the Cultural Revolution was that he asked to the Chinese to learn Mongolian as Mongols are asked to learn Chinese.
Recently two popular books sold in Southern Mongolia have been banned. One is entitled the Record of the Cultural Revolution in Inner Mongolia: 'Ethnic Separatism' and the Movement to 'Weed out Counterrevolutionaries' by Qi Zhi. The other is entitled the Cultural Revolution in Inner Mongolia by Gao Shuhua. The books, authored by Chinese writers, make an important point that ethnic misfortune originated from political misfortune. The general tone is sympathetic to the Mongols' suffering, expressing a unique opinion on the Mongol ethnic issue.
The Qi Zhi book discusses the Cultural Revolution's impact on the 1981 Mongolian student movement. The book is well documented and includes previously unpublished photos of the student petitioners to Beijing during the Cultural Revolution. Unlike other books regarding the Inner Mongolian massacres, the author's historical analysis states that even though Kang Sheng, Lin Biao and the Gang of Four must be held accountable for the massacre of the Mongols, the true culprit is Mao Zedong, not these individuals.
The Gao Shuhua book is a memoir of the times. The author was a leader of student rebels. The main subject of the book concerns the "Digging up" movement and how it affected the ethnic relationship between Mongols and Chinese. According to the book the blame for the Mongolian massacres was placed squarely on Mr. Ulaanbagan, a Mongol, who was in fact a scapegoat. The true criminal, General Teng Haiqing, was never brought to justice. Many documents, both official and unofficial, show that tens of thousands of Mongols lost their lives and hundreds of thousands were tortured and imprisoned. Although the Inner Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (IMPP) was dissolved long before the Cultural Revolution, about 300,000 Mongols were persecuted on the pretext of being active members of the IMPP. To this day, the Mongols hold a profound grievance towards the Chinese Government for protecting General Teng Haiqing, the primary agent of the massive massacre campaigns, an individual who bears full responsibility for the crimes committed against the Mongols.
Due to their popularity, the Inner Mongolia Public Security Bureau Department No.3 has launched a campaign to ban these books. The authorities have confiscated copies from underground book markets although they are still available through some private book sellers.
The reasons why these books have been banned is because of two reasons, 1. their uncensored nature, 2. popularity. For these reasons the authorities reacted very quickly to confiscate and ban them. These books are not allowed to be sold publicly because they tell people the truth.
There are many other books that are not allowed to be sold publicly. The Cultural Market Management personnel often come to bookstores to search for banned books. Two Mongol authors of books regarding the Cultural Revolution are Mr. Bayantai and Mr. Muunohai. Their books are also banned and not available in the bookstores. Bayantai was questioned by the Public Security authorities and is still being closely monitored.
Regarding internet access, it is extremely difficult for us to access internet sites hosted abroad. We are not able to access your websites. There is no freedom and space for speech and press here.