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MONGOLIA: A dispute arises over freedom of 26 North Korean refugees

September 19, 2003

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION - URGENT APPEALS PROGRAM

Forwarded Appeal 19 September 2003

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FA-34-2003: MONGOLIA: A dispute arises over freedom of 26 North Korean refugees


MONGOLIA: Refugees facing deportation
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Dear Friends

We are forwarding information from the Liberty Center, a human rights organization in Mongolia, that 26 North Korean refugees are facing deportation to the North Korea soon. Your urgent action is requested to pressure the Mongolian government not to send them back to the North Korea and protect their rights in accordance with the International law. If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact the Liberty Center.

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Desk

Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

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Liberty Center
Date: September 16, 2003
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

MONGOLIA: A dispute arises over freedom of 26 North Korean refugees

"Mongolia should not push back those refugees who came for freedom from the hell of communism." told Mr.Elbegdorj Tsakhia, the President of the Liberty Center, after the news about the North Korean refugees were spread by several Mongolian daily newspapers this week.

According to "Urdiin Sonin", "Unuudur" and several other newspapers, 26 refugees from North Korea were caught by Mongolian east border officers on September 03, 2003. Newspapers received this information from an anonymous source of the Mongolian Border Authority, but no media could not receive an official confirmation on it yet. Also, it is not officially confirmed that whether the "border-breakers" were North Koreans or whether Mongolia is going to send refugees back to their country.

However, journalists of "Udriin sonin" found some threatening information from official sources that the officials already discussed the issues on returning the North Korean refugees back to their country. It is expected that if Mongolian Government will try to send the North Korean refugees back to the communist dictatorship, public actions opposing such inhuman act will take place in Ulaanbaatar and other places in Mongolia. "If we, who know what was the communist dictatorship, don't understand the pain and tragedy of North Korean people, who will help them? Who knows, maybe those North Korean people who were raised in our country by our parents during their war time have sent their children to us¡K" writes today in Udriin Sonin¡¦s article "Shall we send them to death?"

So far, it is unclear how Mongolian Government will act on its first case when the fate of North Korean refugees were put under the threat to be sent back to their country.

"I have interviewed five pedestrians from random locations, they all said they would oppose sending refugees back" said Ms.Altnatuul, a journalist from "Udriin Sonin". "Our government may already be in dilemma on what to do, but journalists from our newsroom are undoubtedly willing to bring the North Korean refugees at home and share our freedom and food with them. We really do wish to help them." told Ms. Oyuntsetseg to the Liberty Center.

The Liberty Center, at its office and through its Internet network, has started collecting signatures for saving freedom for North Korean refugees. To join us, please write to liberty_c@mongolnet.mn. We will convey your voice to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia and the Secretariat of the President of Mongolia.

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Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme

Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

Document Type :
Forwarded Urgent Appeal
Document ID :
FA-34-2003
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