Annual Report: Mongolia 2013

Report
May 23, 2013

Annual Report: Mongolia 2013

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Mongolia

Head of state Tsakhia Elbegdorj

Head of government Norovyn Altankhuyag (replaced Sükhbaataryn Batbold)

Mongolia took one step closer to abolishing the death penalty by acceding to the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR. Trials of high-profile individuals, including political figures, failed to meet international standards of fairness. Lack of due process led to forced evictions in ger districts in Ulaanbaatar.

Background

Parliamentary elections were held on 28 June. The majority Democratic Party formed a coalition government with the Justice Coalition and the Civil Will Green Party.

Death penalty

There were no executions. In March, Mongolia became a party to the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty.

Unfair trials

Lawyers and government officials reported that unfair trials were common, particularly those involving officials or political figures. Lawyers were given little time and access to case files prior to going to court. Defendants' right to confidential communication with a lawyer of their own choice was restricted.

  • Former President N. Enkhbayar was convicted in August on corruption charges along with two other former officials and one civilian. He was refused bail on the basis of insufficient evidence in May, prompting Amnesty International to raise concerns that he had effectively been arbitrarily detained. He was released shortly afterwards. According to his lawyers, officials undermined N. Enkhbayar's right to confidential access to legal counsel. They restricted his lawyers' access to case documents and gave them very little time to prepare before the first court hearing.

Forced evictions

Families were evicted from their homes without prior consultation and other appropriate legal protections. In some cases, families were coerced or threatened by representatives of the local authorities and private construction companies. Some families fell prey to deals between local authorities and private developers, and were expected to pay for whatever alternative housing was offered.

  • After being notified verbally in 2010 that their area had been slated for development, families in 7th micro-district of Ulaanbaatar were not formally consulted and access to the plans remained restricted.

International justice

Mongolia, a state party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court since 2002, had still not implemented its obligations under this treaty. Likewise, the ratification of the International Convention against enforced disappearance, signed in 2007, remained pending.