China sheds rare light on fate of long-detained dissident

BEIJING Tue Mar 6, 2012 5:52pm IST

Related Topics

BEIJING (Reuters) - An ethnic Mongolian rights activist who finished a 15-year jail term in 2010 is under effective house arrest, a senior Chinese law official said on Tuesday, offering rare comment on the fate of a key dissident released from formal custody.

Hada was tried in China's vast northern Inner Mongolia region in 1996 and sentenced to 15 years in jail for separatism and spying and supporting the Southern Mongolian Democratic Alliance, which sought greater rights for ethnic Mongolians.

But after completing his jail sentence, he had to serve a separate sentence, Tao Jian, the deputy Communist Party boss of Inner Mongolia's law and order committee, said on the sidelines of China's on-going meeting of parliament.

"He was released in December 2010. But is he still serving out his four years of deprivation of political rights," Tao said, in the first public remarks on the case in years.

"During this time, in accordance with the law, certain of his activities have been limited. But Hada is in a safe, healthy and guaranteed environment. That's all I have to say."

Chinese authorities often place released political prisoners under house arrest or otherwise restrict their movements and contact with the outside world. Officials, though, rarely give details of individual cases.

Hada's wife Xinna, who has denied her husband was a separatist, and son Uiles were detained in the run-up to his release and rights groups believe they are also still being held. Many Chinese Mongolians go by only one name.

Tao would not comment on Xinna's fate, nor say where her and her husband were being held.

Ethnic Mongolians, who make up less than 20 percent of the roughly 24 million population of Inner Mongolia, have long complained that traditional grazing lands have been ruined by mining and desertification, and that the government has marginalized their culture and language.

Inner Mongolia was rocked by protests in May last year over the death of an ethnic Mongolian herder who was hit by a truck after taking part in protests against pollution caused by a coal mine.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Ed Lane)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Islamic State

Reuters Showcase

Ebola Outbreak

Ebola Outbreak

Ebola could drain billions of dollars from African economies - World Bank.  Full Article 

Pakistan Floods

Pakistan Floods

Pakistani Islamists use floods to turn opinion against India  Full Article 

Yes Or No?

Yes Or No?

Scots' support for independence lags on eve of referendum.  Full Article 

Ukraine Tension

Ukraine Tension

Ukraine PM tells army to be on full battle alert despite ceasefire.  Full Article 

Chemical Weapons

Chemical Weapons

Syria reveals more chemical weapons facilities to watchdog - sources.  Full Article 

Pakistan Protests

Pakistan Protests

Pakistan's PM threatens to clear protesters camped in capital.  Full Article 

India-China Ties

India-China Ties

Xi sees factory China and back office India as global engine.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage