UPDATE(MONGOLIA): MP Gundalai released from detention centre


Urgent Appeal Case: UP-29-2003

Dear Friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is delighted to inform you that MP Gundalai has been released from detention 25 hours after he was arrested at the airport in Ulaanbaatar on July 24, 2003. The Liberty Centre reported that on Friday July 25 Gundalai was released. In addition to the information below, more details of the case are available at the Liberty Centre web site at <www.libertycenter.org.mn>.

Public cheers as Gundalai is freed

MP Gundalai was released from the detention centre Gants Hudag at about 3:30 p.m. on July 25. Mr. Davaajav, the capital city prosecutor, issued a decision to free Gundalai, concluding that the police had broken several laws of Mongolia while arresting him. Gundalai went to the Democratic Central Office, which was full of party supporters and journalists, at about 6 p.m. and was cheered by everyone who worked for his release.

At 7 p.m., Gundalai was invited by Mr. Tumur-Ochir, the speaker of the State Great Hural (Parliament) of Mongolia, to meet with him. During the meeting, Tumur-Ochir said that he established a working group to investigate Gundalai’s arrest that would report to Parliament. Gundalai and former MP Ganbold Da expressed serious concerns about the police¡¯s repeated illegal behaviour and urged Parliament to identify the people who were responsible. Gundalai said that the final responsibility should rest with the Ministry of Justice and Internal Affairs, which manages police operations.

Immediate reactions of Mongolian mass media and public

All press companies quickly took measures to disseminate information about Gundalai’s arrest and to initiate actions by the people against his detention. For example, all of the newspapers published news about Gundalai’s arrest on their front pages on July 25. The newspaper Mongol Times, which usually prints about 5,000 copies, printed 200,000 copies and distributed them for free to the people. Some daily newspapers, like Udriin Sonin, distributed half of their copies for free. Photos and videotapes on the arrest of Gundalai were also offered for free to all of the media. Thanks to the immediate actions taken by the media, the people of Ulaanbaatar were widely informed about the details of Gundalai’s arrest.

At about 10:30 a.m. on July 25, about 3,000 to 4,000 people demonstrated in the square of the Democratic Central Office to call for democracy and Gundalai’s immediate release. After criticising the national TV station for not showing the true picture of the arrest, all demonstrators walked from the centre of the city to the national TV station and protested for more than four hours. The demonstrators continued to call for Gundalai’s release and democracy in front of the national TV station building until 4 p.m. After hours of protest, Gundalai was released from the detention centre Gants Hudag at about 4 p.m.

Gundalai says it was Nyamdorj¡¯s job

After being released, Gundalai told journalists that he thought the arrest was arranged by Mr. Nyamdorj, a MP and the minister of justice and internal affairs.

On May 19, 2003, Gundalai held a press conference and announced that he received 45 pages of top-secret material from an anonymous source, which showed that Nyamdorj had contacted a foreign intelligence agent. At the press conference, he expressed his opinion that Nyamdorj should be investigated. Nyamdorj immediately denied this accusation and filed a complaint against Gundalai for libel. The public dispute between the two politicians still continues.

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

To support this case, please click here: SEND APPEAL LETTER


Document Type : Urgent Appeal Update
Document ID : UP-29-2003
Countries :