Annual Report: Mongolia 2010

Report
May 28, 2010

Annual Report: Mongolia 2010

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Head of state Tsakhia Elbegdorj (replaced Nambaryn Enkhbayar in June)
Head of government Batbold Sukhbaatar (replaced Sanjaagiin Bayar in October)
Death penalty Retentionist
Population 2.7 million
Life expectancy 66.2 years
Under-5 mortality (m/f) 49/40 per 1,000
Adult literacy 97.3 per cent

Law enforcement officials continued to commit human rights abuses with impunity. Authorities failed to prevent, investigate and punish attacks against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people including attacks by law enforcement officials. Information on the use of the death penalty remained a state secret.

Background

In July 2008, a riot broke out in the capital, Ulaanbaatar, amid allegations of widespread electoral fraud – five people were killed and hundreds injured.

On 1 July 2009, the Parliamentary Sub-committee on Human Rights set up a four-member Working Group to investigate allegations that law enforcement officials subjected people to torture and other illtreatment and illegal detention during the July 2008 riot. The Working Group also investigated violations of the right to a fair trial. A public hearing was held on 2 December to hear testimony from the public, NGOs, lawyers and public officials.

Impunity

Allegations of law enforcement officials committing torture and other ill-treatment were frequently dismissed by the State General Prosecutor's Office with no or inadequate investigation.

In July, the Parliament passed an Amnesty Law which led to over 2,192 people being released for minor crimes and misdemeanours committed before 24 June 2009. Those released included people being detained for alleged crimes committed during the July 2008 riot.

An investigation by the Special Investigation Unit into the case of four senior police officials suspected of authorizing and distributing live ammunition and 10 police officers suspected of using live ammunition in July 2008 was completed on 15 February. Further procedures to initiate prosecution were stalled until November because the defendants and their lawyers did not return the case files to the Special Investigation Unit. It was unclear how the Amnesty Law would impact on the prosecutions.

Death penalty

All aspects of the death penalty are considered a state secret. The families and lawyers of those on death row received no prior notification of execution and the bodies of those executed were never returned to their families.

  • The President commuted the sentences of all those on death row who appealed for clemency to 30 years. One was Buuveibaatar, a 33-year-old man found guilty of murdering his former girlfriend's boyfriend in January 2008.

Freedom of expression – journalists

The National Police Agency issued contracts to broadcasting stations which, if signed, required them to co-operate with the police when reporting on public disorder situations. Broadcasting stations would have to rely on police information and assist the police in dispersing rallies, demonstrations and marches. Fear of reprisals continued to result in self-censorship. The authorities continued to restrict access to information.

Legal developments

Mongolia acceded to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The State Registration General Agency officially recognized the LGBT Centre in December. The Agency had previously rejected the application for recognition stating that it conflicted with "Mongolia's traditions and customs" and had the potential "to set the wrong example for youth and adolescents".

Torture and other ill-treatment

Torture and other ill-treatment were common in police stations and pre-trial detention centres. Detention conditions were poor and overcrowding was routine.

The Special Investigation Unit of the State General Prosecutor's Office charged with investigating allegations of torture by officials has a staff of 24 to cover the entire country.

Amnesty International visit/report

Amnesty International delegates visited Mongolia in July.

Where should I go from here? The legacy of the 1 July 2008 riot in Mongolia (18 December 2009)