Dharamsala, October 26 - Chinese police have detained the founder of a Tibetan medical college “virtually” on the doorsteps of the United Nations refugee office in Ulaanbaatar on Oct. 3, the Radio Free Asia reported on October 24.
Chairman of Inner Mongolian People's Party Xi Haiming says the Chinese government is anxious to stamp out any cultural ties between Mongolians and Tibetans following the ethnic unrest in Tibet last year. "He was detained outside the door of the United Nations as he came out of their branch offices to apply for political asylum by Chinese and Mongolian police together. Does the UNHCR (U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees) protect the rights of asylum-seekers or not?"
Batzangaa, 35, was arrested along with his wife Bayanhuaar, and their nine-year old daughter as the family were applying for political asylum.
Batzangaa is a Chinese national and ethnic Mongolian who developed a network of traditional Mongolian-Tibetan medical practitioners around the Inner Mongolian region of China. In 2001 he founded the Ordos Mongol-Tibetan Medical School in Dongsheng that enrolled more than a thousand Mongolian students.
The Chinese authorities put the school under surveillance, alarmed by its growing ties with Tibetans and Mongolians, and canceled the school's land lease, citing "the authorities' suspicion and surveillance towards ethnic minorities" in its official documents, the SMHRIC said.
At the time of the arrest, the family was told they owed money to someone and that they were suing Batzangaa’s to get it back. The New York-based Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center (SMHRIC) says the family was deported to Ordos municipality in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region the same day, with no ‘apparent recourse to Mongolian legal proceedings to challenge the deportation order’.
Batzangaa had several disputes with the Chinese authorities over the right to maintain his school’s ethnic characteristics, the SMHRIC said in a statement.
His wife and daughter were released from detention but placed under house arrest immediately after arriving at Ordos' Dongsheng district, according to the RFA.
Overseas Southern Mongolian communities in the United States, Europe, and Japan are strongly condemning the Government of China and the Government of Mongolia for their flagrant violation of international human rights conventions in the manner in which the Batzangaa case was handled, the SMHRIC said.
Batzangaa is being held at the Dongsheng District Detention Center.