Further developments, during Hada's imprisonment
Much of this consists of the activities of Hada's plucky wife,
Xinna. She seems to be doing her utmost to maintain for him the
struggle for ethnic Mongol rights that he would be continuing if
he were free.
She gave an interview to the Voice of America, using a cordless
phone, which was therefore confiscated. In July 1997 she
and their son Uiles were detained for four days during the celebration
of the 50th anniversary of establishment of the Inner Mongolian
Autonomous Region. In June 1998 she wrote a strong letter
to President Clinton a few days before his state visit to China.
In July 1998 she and Uiles visited Hada in prison. Both were detained
for more than four hours, and the boy was beaten. They were then
for a long time stopped from visiting, and could send clothing,
but not the medicines Hada needs.
In 2002 Uiles was arrested on an allegation of "involvement
in robbery", allowed no lawyer, and his mother was told only
30 minutes before the trial. He was imprisoned for three years in
the Youth Jail. On release he was allowed no identity card, and
was told he could have one only if he and his mother promised not
to "bring trouble" during Inner Mongolia's 60th anniversary.
In February 2005 it was learned from a recently released
prisoner that Hada not only was stopped from speaking to fellow
inmates but was routinely subjected to disciplinary punishments,
including solitary confinement and being repeatedly chained to a
metal "shackle board" a metal plank with handcuffs
at each corner.
In August 2007 Uiles visited his father, and afterwards
gave a 700-word written report. He had explained to his father why
his mother, having myocardial ischemia and a liver illness, had
not been able to visit. The prison is mainly for felons (rather
than political prisoners). Hada was in an 8-inmate cell with no
sunlight. He had become totally gray-haired and "looked so
thin and small". Uiles had brought a cotton-padded mattress,
but the authorities would not allow this to be given to Hada in
place of the thin and dirty one he had. Hada had not received newspapers
sent to him, and was denied access to books that had been sent.
He suspected he was being given some sort of drug. He had incontinence
of urine and feces (probably due to a nerve system disorder, according
to a medical friend of Uiles). Another prisoner said that Hada "is
monitored every day and not allowed to talk to anybody"; and
that the food is "even worse than in the Youth Jail".
Prisons generally allow inmates to make purchases, such as of extra
food, but Hada has not been allowed to do this even once. Authorities
said that Hada was not doing hard labor, because his health was
so poor. "I encouraged him and told him that everything will
be fine as long as he keeps on."
On March 26, 2008, Xinna sent an open
letter to Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao.
She mentioned that, last winter, Hada fell into a coma in the prison
toilet. None of the medications given him in jail had relieved his
pain. "It is heartbreaking to see him... he looks like a totally
different person". She was outraged that on March 18 prison
officials, in violation of the Prison Act, confiscated a letter
of appeal that Hada had written and wanted to pass to her. "I,
along with many Mongols and others, refuse to accept the charges
against Hada... it is a typical case of ethnic repression."
She made full and bold comments on China's devastating policies
in not only Inner Mongolia but Xinjiang and Tibet; and ended with
three appeals: right of free expression for citizens; right to self-determination
for the minority regions; release of political prisoners including
In April 2008, the letter that Hada dictated to Xinna
during her visit did become available, and is translated in a
page of the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center's
website. It is a detailed rebuttal of the charges against him.
On July 6, 2008, according to a Reuters report by
Ben Blanchard, Xinna issued an appeal to the Chinese government
to release her husband as a goodwill gesture ahead of the Olympics.
The Olympic torch was to pass through Inner Mongolia in the next
few days, including Chifeng itself on July 10. Xinna commented on
the irony of this, and said she hoped the torch's arrival in Inner
Mongolia would help to highlight the plight of her husband, who
has received less attention than more well-known jailed Chinese
And on July 19 a letter by Xinna was read by Rick Moody
to a meeting called "Bringing Down the Great Firewall of China"
hosted by the PEN American Center in New York City. She mentioned
that his illnesses "are not only untreated but have worsened
in the prison; recently he has felt severe leg pain and deteriorating
vision. June 20, this year, the prison authorities took him to an
unidentified hospital and examined his health condition. He was
put in handcuffs and shackles during his hospital visit. The results
of the medical examination were not given either to me or my son
or to Hada himself. The only thing that encouraged us to live through
this extreme hardship is that he has never given up what he believes.
We haven't seen any smile on his face when we visited him. But he
smiled last time when I told him that freedom loving friends around
the world are encouraging and supporting us."
Xinna managed to get another statement out to the world, about
the plight of Mongol herders and the suppression of information
on it. This was reported by Free-Hada-Now.org
on May 2, 2009. Xinna said:
"Recently, following my previous statement on the state of
affairs of the herders of my home town, I was contacted by a correspondent
from the Agence France-Presse (AFP). In mid-April, he visited Hohhot,
and interviewed me about my husband Hada's prison situation and
human rights issues of Southern Mongolia in general. I explained
the situation with the herders and how their lands and animals were
being plundered. I also offered to put him in touch with Mongolian
herders of Darhan-Muumingan Holboot Banner (Banner is equivalent
to county) who have been affected by the policies related to the
"Ecological Migration" ("sheng tai yi min" in
Chinese). I also introduced him to another friend of mine who agreed
to serve as his driver and interpreter, someone who would personally
escort him to the herders' community for him to conduct personal
interviews and observe firsthand the effects on the Mongols of the
Banner where I used to live.
"The authorities were eavesdropping on my telephone conversation
with the reporter, so they were forewarned about the visit the correspondent
was planning to make. They knew the time and date when he was planning
to go and who would be escorting him. So when the correspondent
set off on his trip to my hometown, somewhere on the road, they
were stopped by the police and asked to submit their papers for
a 'routine' check. The routine check led to a 4-hour delay, during
which time, the police had ample opportunity to rush to herders'
place. They advised the locals that a foreign correspondent was
coming and they were told under threat of severe punishment to say
nothing negative about their living conditions or the situation
regarding the forced migrations. So naturally, when the correspondent
arrived, he heard nothing negative. In addition, the authorities
also threatened the escort and intimidated him such that he too
has now severed all contact with me. This is why the Chinese government's
so-called policy of openness accorded to foreign journalists and
correspondents is completely without merit, because they can still
manipulate facts through intimidation of citizens."
In September 2009 Xinna was able to make another
visit to the prison, and found that her husband's health and his
treatment by the Chinese authorities had not improved.
On November 15, 2009 during Obama's visit
to China Xinna's bookstore was raided by 17 or 18 men from
the "Cultural Marketing Management Bureau". They confiscated
nine boxes full of CDs and other materials. These were Mongolian
music and traditional songs. The authorities accused Xinna and other
Mongolian bookstores (only hers has been raided twice; no Han Chinese
store has been raided) of pirating CDs. The reason is that production
of Mongolian music is repressed in Inner Mongolia, so that, to meet
the demand for their own music from the 4 milllion indigenous inhabitants,
CDs have been made clandestinely or imported from Mongolia proper.
Xinna's vigorous statement, dated Dec. 31, and sent to us by Tikan
Chemenlik of Free Hada Now, can be read at http://free-hada-now.org/blog/?p=67
On December 25, 2009, Uiles after an overnight journey
from Hohhot reached the prison and was made to wait 6 hours (authorities
were "in a meeting") for a half-hour visit to his father.
Hada said he had been taken in October (in handcuffs and foot shackles)
to a hospital and diagnosed with two conditions, peripheral neuritis
and phlebitis. (This may have been why family visits were refused
for two months.) Some medicine had eased leg pain slightly but swelling
had not gone down. He cannot sleep well, because of leg pain and
He is now in a cell on the 5th floor, so that his leg condition
makes it impossible for him to take walks. In the system of "inter-inmate
monitoring", Hada's monitor is Zhang Jian Xin, a murderer who
killed his own brother, and who constantly yells at and threatens
Hada did so while Uiles was there.
Hada has not been allowed to watch news channels, just channels
that he has no interest in. Though prison regulations state that
prisoners may read official publications including newspapers and
books, newspapers bought with the family's money and sent to Hada
have been confiscated, except for a few without political content.
Uiles brought books but could get no receipt or promise that they
would reach Hada.
"Otherwise, the prison authorities' attitude has seemed to
be relaxed a bit because my father's prison term is closer."
After returning home, Uiles did some research on peripheral neuritis
and phlebitis: if they occur together they could be caused by insufficient
blood supply and could indicate diabetes. The family has often asked
to see Hada's medical records, now especially needed to prepare
for medication after his release; the prison authorities still refuse,
"One thing my father asked me to appeal for is that he really
wants to read some books, to prepare for his release. He wants to
understand what has happened after more than 14 years in prison."
This is slightly condensed from the efficient report by Uiles, which
can be seen at http://free-hada-now.org/blog/?p=70
On June 27, 2010, Xinna made another statement. These
are the leading points from the translation made by the Southern
Mongolia Human Rights Information Center:
She visited Hada in April. He was thin and pale, but confident that
he could survive to the approaching end of his jail term. "I
told him that many friends are concerned about his situation."
He still had unusual reactions to prison food. Books were still
denied to him, books Xinna sent had never been delivered, but "After
my continual requests, he is sporadically allowed to read some newspapers
that I ordered for him", so is not completely unaware of what
is happening outside. He had received visits from several officials
(from the Political-Legal Department of Inner Mongolia Autonomous
Region, and the Political-Legal Department of Chifeng City). They
asked him about his plans after release, politely "offered
him freedom to choose leaving or staying in the country", and,
if he chose to stay, help in finding him and his son jobs. Hada's
reaction: "This is meaningless that they tell me this after
they put me through this extreme unjust hardship for this long";
it was a trick to find out what he was thinking. He said he would
pursue a lawsuit against his unjust trial; it was an ethnic issue
that had been distorted to "separatism" and "espionage".
And Xinna felt the whole family should pursue the case.
On June 4 the authorities tightened their control over the family.
Strange vehicles appear near Xinna's house every day, and there
are constant problems with her phone. Control over Mongols in general
has been tightening. The internet has been "the only place
of freedom" but most sites previously accessible are now not.
The administrator of the Mongol Yurt Association Website, named
Sodmongol, was arrested. A book called "True Story of Cultural
Revolution in Inner Mongolia", by a Beijing intellectual, reached
Huhhot and 50,000 copies were eagerly bought by Mongols. The Inner
Mongolia Autonomous Region Public Security Bureau Department No.3
set up a special task force to confiscate and ban it.
On July 2, 2010, Xinna gave her opinion about a sinister
change. Hu Chunhua, the new Party Secretary of Inner Mongolia, has
proposed that Mongolian language be replaced by Chinese as the
medium of education, under a slogan of "responding to the
requirements of a new era". Xinna's statement was posted in
September by SMHRIC at http://free-hada-now.org/blog/?p=81
"...It is extremely unfair that no Chinese is requested to
learn Mongolian whereas all Mongolians are forced to learn Chinese
if they want to survive on their own land." If Mongols suggest
that Chinese learn Mongolian, they are accused of separatism.
As December 10, 2010, approached Hada's presumed
release date Mongols who regard him as a hero prepared to
welcome him, but were harassed and detained. Reporters Without Borders
on Nov. 25 issued a statement urging China not to delay Hada's release.
Govruud Huuchinhuu, a writer who for the past ten years has used
the Internet to defend Mongol rights, tried to organize a welcoming
party to greet Hada. On Nov. 11 she was arrested at her home in
Tongliao by two plain-clothes policemen, taken to the Horchin district
Bureau of Public Security, then sent home, and kept under illegal
house arrest; after that her movements were restricted and she could
not be reached.
On Dec. 4, Hada's wife Xinna and son
Uiles were detained, and the family bookstore was raided. The
Public Security Bureau told relatives that Xinna was held on suspicion
of running an illegal business, and Uiles was accused of drug-dealing.
The authorities urged Uiles to "clearly draw a line" between himself
and his parents and not to engage in separatist activities. He was
released later the same day, but re-arrested the next day.
On Dec. 10 Hada's relatives heard nothing
about his release. Next day, a CD was anonymously handed to Xinna's
sister Naraa; it contained 5 photographs showing Xinna, Uiles, and
a very much aged Hada smiling wanly as they sat on a couch before
a table laden with food. The photos were labeled "reunion feast"
and date-stamped Dec. 10; Naraa said that the clothes indicated
they were recent, but they were obviously not at the family's home.
The photos had also been posted on a Chinese overseas dissident
On Dec. 13 Hada's uncle Haschuluu received
on his cell phone a text message apparently from Hada, saying that
he had been released but sking for no communication except by text
message. It seems, according to the SMHRIC, that such a message
must have been sent by Hada under duress. Haschuluu told SMHRIC
that his attempt to reply received no answer, and that since then
he had been under 24-hour surveillance.
On Dec. 14 Naraa was summoned by a high-ranking
official to the Public Security Bureau. She was told that it was
the Public Security Bureau who had delivered the CD of photos; and
that the three were "enjoying a family reunion" in a "five-star
luxury hotel", where they needed to stay for "a bit to
plan their next step". The official would not say what hotel
this was or how long they would be held. All three have not been
heard from since. As Enhebatu Togochog of SMHRIC said, "Not
only are they not freeing him, but they are detaining his family
Amnesty International on Dec. 15 issued
a statement headed "China Must Reveal Whereabouts of Missing Mongolian
Activist." Catherine Baber, Amnesty International's Asia-Pacific
Deputy Director, said that "China is using enforced disappearance
to keep activists and their family members out of the spotlight
while the world's attention is focused on China's first Nobel Peace
Prize winner Liu Xiaobo."
Irony indeed. On the same Wprld Human Rights
Day, December 10, 2010, China failed to release Hada, and refused
to allow Liu Xiabo to travel to Oslo and receive his Nobel Prize.
The New York Times published on Dec.
14 and 16 articles by Andrew Jacobs about the disappearance of Hada
and his family. "A call to the Public Security Bureau in Chifeng,
the city where Mr. Hada was imprisoned, was referred to the No.
4 Detention Center. There, a man identifying himself as a prison
employee hung up when asked about Mr. Hada's whereabouts... Inner
Mongolia government spokesman Wen Fei said he had never heard of
On Jan. 1, 2011, Sanj Altan of the Southern Mongolian
Human Rights Information Center in New York was interviewed by Freedom's
Herald about the disappearance of Hada and his family. The video
of the interview was available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EITlfMaDDLw,
as we learned on Jan. 2 in an email from Tikkun (which described
Hada as having been imprisoned "for a crime that is unrecognized
in a democratic society"). Sanj Altan said
that Hada's there had been no further communication with the uncle
and sister-in-law, whose phones had been disconnected. Communication
to the whole family was being cut off. SMHRIC was hoping to organize
demonstrations on Saturday, January 8, outside China's embassies
and consulates in as many countries as possible, and urged anyone
who could do so to join urging that Hada and his family be released.
Tikkun also passed on a message from Temtsilt
Shobtsuud. president of the Inner Mongolian People's Party, deploring
the continued detention of Hada.
Joshua Rosenzweig, a Hong Kong-based researcher
at nonprofit Dui Hua Foundation, which promotes Chinese-American
dialogue on human rights, said Mr. Hada's long sentence and the
fact that it was not reduced for good behavior highlights Beijing's
hard line toward those who support separatist aspirations among
the country's ethnic minorities. "Even individuals imprisoned
for crimes like rape and robbery get time off for good behavior."
Mongolian activists held demonstrations
for Hada outside Chinese embassies on Dec. 8. On Dec. 7 we (members
of the Lyme Regis Amnesty International group) hand-delivered a
letter to the Chinese embassy in London. Also on Dec. 7 Amnesty
issued an Urgent Action (2/11) calling for clarification of Hada;s
situation and unconditional release.
On February 21, 2011, "a carefully edited video
clip" (as SMHRIC described it), one and a half minutes long, was
posted on YouTube by "tianguodenver", a name previously
used by Chinese State Security to post video clips and pictures
of Hada. It showed Hada and Xinna and Uiles making bland remarks.
Hada said "With my sister-in-law, maternal-side uncle, brother-in-law,
and mother-in-law, this is the first time after 15 years I spent
the Chagaan Sar (Mongolian New Year) with them together. It is my
top priority to treat my health problems after I return home." There
was still no indication of where they were or even whether they
were actually together.
On May 4, Hada's sister-in-law Naraa managed to get
through with difficulty by telephoned to the Southern Mongolia Human
Rights Information Center in New York (she had had several phones
confiscated and expected it to happen again).
She revealed that Hada had been taken
out of the Chifeng Prison on Dec. 3, accompanied by six police
vehicles because harmless Hada had been categorized as a dangerous
stubborn criminal (wei wan fan). Ludicrously,
the six policemen had to be locked up with Hada for the night at
a prison in Bogt City part way along the 400-mile journey. He
arrived on Dec. 10 (the supposed date for his release) in a two-storey
building used secretly as a tight-security prison, near the Baita
International Airport in Hohhot (the capital and his home town).
His wife and son, Xinna and Uiles, detained
4/5 December, were brought there to have the brief family
reunion that was supposedly in a luxury hotel,
and Chinese secret service personnel took the photos that were circulated
on the internet. Around Jan. 17 Xinna and Uiles were formally arrested,
on charges of illegal business and drug possession,
respectively; on Feb. 6 they were taken to, respectively, the Inner
Mongolia No.1 and No. 3 Detention Centers in Hohhot. All three went
on long hunger strikes to protest illegal detention and false accusations.
Naraa was allowed to visit Hada several times, e.g. on Feb. 17 when
she was told to dissuade him from his 15-day hunger strike. The
prison guards opened his mouth by force to try to feed him. He spit
out the food. Naraa said she had not known Hada is such
an intelligent and knowledgeable man; she resolved to improve
her Mongolian and read Mongolian history. When she brought him some
T-shirts with Mongolian lettering, prison guards threw them into
a trash can. She ceased visiting after Feb. 20 because of the searches
she was subjected to at every move; they even searched
the underwear of her 80-year-old mother.
The three detainees had been asked to sign
documents that they would not give interviews, and Hada to repudiate
his claims of innocence; otherwise, they would not be released.
The authorities even promised that they will offer Uiles a
nice job, pay a good compensation to Xinna, and find a professor's
position for Hada in a university if they sign the paper.
But Hada continued to insist that he had committed no crime. Though
ill (leg-pains, a nervous problem causing shivering in his face),
he was clear-minded and said he would fight to the death for the
freedom of Southern Mongolians. On Apr. 15 Naraa's mother was notified
that Uiles would be put on trial at the end of April, so Naraa started
to seek a lawyer, but was told on Apr. 20 that the trial was postponed.
The family bookstore was still locked up, and the food in
the refrigerator must have rotted.
Reporters Without Borders on May 5 issued
a renewed appeal for the immediate and unconditional release of
Hada, Xinna, and Uiles.
Further details, July 2011: Naraa told SMHRIC that
the police had pressed her to write letters to Hada saying that
his relatives no longer support him and will not visit him in prison.
She refused, and fell ill under the pressure. No family member has
been able to visit Uiles in detention. Xinna's brother was able
to visit her on 4 July for about an hour and found her "under
In December 2011, Hada had suffered a whole year of unjust
imprisonment beyond his release date.
In April 2012, Xinna and Uiles were "released"
into house arrest in a warehouse in Hohhot. They continued
to reject offers of fine jobs and housing and, for Uiles, a "beautiful
girlfriend", on condition of signing papers to admit their
On October 22, 2012, Xinna gave a long phone interview with
SMHRIC. She said the local police had threatened to arrest her if
she continued to answer interviews from foreign news media. Then
in November Xinna and Uiles disappeared. Phone calls to them
were unanswered, or answered with automatic messages, "No such
number" or "The phone is powered off." Hada's uncle,
Haschuluu, living far off in Chifeng where Hada was formerly imprisoned,
told SMHRIC "over a noisy connection" that "I have
lost contact with Xinna, Uiles and their relatives for at least
six months. My request to visit Hada has continually been denied.
I have contacted the Hohhot City Public Security Bureau about the
whereabouts of Xinna and Uiles. They refused to tell me." And
they cut off his phone, tapped his cell phone, and threatened him
too with arrest.