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Violent outbreak in Ulaanbaatar, NGOs fear detainees will be abused by police

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Open letter!







FORUM-ASIA has issued an open letter to the Prime Minister of Mongolia, urging the government to end the current state of emergency, refrain from any use of violence and torture against detainees, allow them legal representation and let the media operate freely to promote free access to information and no cover up in the handling of detainees involved in the recent demonstration. Read the open letter here.


A state of emergency has been declared in Ulaanbaatar city today (2 July), especially in the central area surrounding the main square and parliament building.

The emergency announcement was made after a group called Citizens Alliance held demonstrations against alleged election fraud by the Mongolian’s Peoples Revolutionary Party during the country’s parliamentary elections on June 29.

During the rally, a scuffle broke out between several angry young people, the police and army force outisde MPRP’s headquarters.

The event resulted in about 60 casualties at the Traumatological hospital. Among them was a Japanese journalist, who is currently in a critical condition.

A member of the rally who turned violent reportedly carved out a young policeman's eyes. Young men mercilessly beat policemen while the former retaliated.

Others allegedly broke into the MPRP building, located in central Ulaanbaatar, and looted shops and a bank located on the first floor.

In the process, journalists and passersby were injured, and property were damaged. The group prevented fire engines from approaching the MPRP building and the fire spread to the nearby Opera House and and art gallery.

Although the President has convened the National Security Council but it mainly focused on elections, electoral fraud, and re-elections instead of the urgent need to stop the violence and prevent further harm to people and property.

 Following the announcement of emergency, the President also ordered the shut down of all television and radio channels except the Mongolian National Public Radio and Television.

Human rights activists are concerned that the police and armed forces may subject the detainees to inhuman and cruel treatment free from media and civil society Activists say that the role of independent media and civil society is even more crucial during a state of emergency.

They will monitor the implementation of the State of Emergency to observe and, if possible, to prevent human rights abuses.

Human rights activists, almost exclusively women in the Mongolian context, have called on all political forces to call on the voters to immediately stop the violence and seek to resolve the conflict in a non-violent way.

FORUM-ASIA issued a statement urging for the President to immediately remove the state of emergency status, to restraint the government from any inhuman and cruel treatment on the detainees and to allow the media to operate freely in order to guarantee there is no cover up in the handling of detainees from the demonstration and free access to information.