Amnesty International Annual Report 2012 - Mongolia
|Publication Date||24 May 2012|
|Cite as||Amnesty International, Amnesty International Annual Report 2012 - Mongolia, 24 May 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4fbe3924c.html [accessed 14 March 2014]|
Head of state: Tsakhia Elbegdorj
Head of government: Batbold Sukhbaatar
Death penalty: retentionist
Population: 2.8 million
Life expectancy: 68.5 years
Under-5 mortality: 28.8 per 1,000
Adult literacy: 97.5 per cent
Parliament continued to debate abolishing the death penalty, although a moratorium was declared in 2010. No executions had taken place since 2009. Impunity for torture and other ill-treatment remained widespread. Corruption in the justice system was reportedly commonplace.
In late 2010, the Prosecution Office reopened investigations into the cases of four senior police officials, accused of authorizing the use of live ammunition to suppress the riot which broke out in Ulaanbaatar on 1 July 2008. The original investigation yielded no prosecutions.
Bat Khurts, Chief Executive of Mongolia's National Security Council, who was arrested at Heathrow Airport in London in 2010, was extradited to Germany in August 2011 but was released in September after the German Federal High Court cancelled the arrest warrant. Bat Khurts was wanted in connection with the kidnapping in France of Mongolian national Enkhbat Damiran in 2003. According to the UK High Court ruling, a letter delivered to the German Public Prosecutor from the Mongolian authorities in January asserted that Bat Khurts had participated in the kidnapping. He returned in September and was later appointed Deputy Chief of the Independent Authority Against Corruption of Mongolia.
Complaints of torture and other ill-treatment against law enforcement officials did not, according to available information, result in any convictions. As in previous years, the government did not publish information and statistics on investigations, prosecutions and convictions of law enforcement officials accused of torture and other ill-treatment.
There were no executions. According to the Supreme Court of Mongolia, use of the death penalty was declining. The President commuted all death sentences of those who appealed for clemency to 30 year prison terms. Parliament did not vote on ratifying the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, aimed at abolishing the death penalty.
Torture and other ill-treatment
The government passed a resolution in May on the implementation of recommendations issued by UN treaty bodies. This included plans to amend the Criminal Code to define torture as a crime in line with the UN Convention against Torture. The working group, established under the Ministry of Justice and Home Affairs in 2010 to draft amendments to the Criminal Code, appeared to make little progress. The pre-trial detention facility 461, which opened in early 2011, had installed video cameras in interrogation rooms but there were insufficient safeguards or procedures in place to monitor and prevent misuse of this equipment.
A working group, set up in June 2010 by the Parliamentary Sub-Committee on Human Rights, continued to investigate allegations of torture and other ill-treatment of Enkhbat Damiran and his lawyer. Enkhbat Damiran was kidnapped in France in 2003 and brought to Mongolia where he was charged with the murder of Zorig Sanjaasuren, a prominent pro-democracy activist and politician. Enkhbat Damiran claimed he was tortured while in detention. He died in 2007. His lawyer, Lodoisambuu Sanjaasuren (no relation to the victim), was also arrested and convicted of exposing state secrets.
Lawyers and government officials told Amnesty International that courts were corrupt and unfair trials common – including those that used confessions extracted through torture as evidence. The new pre-trial detention facility 461 and others like it lacked provisions to ensure privacy for meetings with lawyers.