Amnesty International Report 2006 - Mongolia
|Publication Date||23 May 2006|
|Cite as||Amnesty International, Amnesty International Report 2006 - Mongolia, 23 May 2006, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/447ff7b129.html [accessed 28 January 2015]|
Prisoners held in police stations, pre-trial detention facilities and on death row were at risk of torture or ill-treatment in harsh living conditions. The application of the death penalty remained highly secretive.
Torture and ill-treatment
Torture and ill-treatment persisted and beatings were systematic in police stations and pre-trial detention facilities.
- In May, Monkhbayar Baatar died eight days after being released from Gants Hudag detention centre. At the time of his release, he had severe bruising on his body and repeatedly vomited blood.
Detention conditions remained harsh. Prisoners typically suffered from overcrowding, a high incidence of tuberculosis, inadequate nutrition and extremes of hot and cold temperatures in cells. Those serving special 30-year "isolation sentences" were subjected to extreme physical and mental suffering by being deliberately isolated from other prisoners and denied visits from families and lawyers.
Despite a new unit in the Prosecutor's Office to combat abuses by law enforcement officials, impunity remained a problem. Mechanisms to receive and investigate allegations of ill-treatment were ineffective. The Criminal Code contained no definition of "torture" in line with the UN Convention against Torture. Compensation or rehabilitation was not available to torture victims.
The UN Special Rapporteur on torture visited Mongolia in June and highlighted the unimpeded impunity enjoyed by those responsible for torture and other ill-treatment.
Human rights defenders at risk
- Prisoner of conscience and lawyer Lodoisambuu Sanjaasuren was reportedly denied access to his doctor in prison from May onwards despite a worsening heart condition. In a closed trial, he had been convicted of revealing state secrets and sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment in November 2004 after his client, Enkhbat Damiran, described on television being abducted from France and tortured by Mongolian security agents. Lodoisambuu Sanjaasuren was released in August after serving half his sentence.
The government failed to make available statistics on death sentences and executions. Human rights workers were denied access to prisoners on death row. Three prisoners under sentence of death reportedly killed themselves in Gants Hudag detention centre in November and December because of the harsh conditions and to ensure that their bodies were returned to their families for burial. The UN Special Rapporteur on torture found conditions on death row to be so poor as to amount to cruel treatment.
Alleged violence against protesters
The authorities reportedly failed to investigate allegations of assaults on peaceful protesters by the security personnel of a private company.
- In May and July, private security forces employed by the Mongol Gazar Mining Company in Arkhangai province allegedly dispersed unarmed demonstrators with tear gas, batons and shots fired in the air. Activists were protesting that mining would harm water resources and destroy ancestral burial grounds. Security agents were said to have thrown one woman to the ground and kicked her; struck and injured other protesters with batons, handcuffs and rifle butts; and wrecked a television reporter's camera.
Trafficking of women
Trafficking of women increased from the early 1990s, according to a study by the non-governmental organization, the Asia Foundation. Most at risk were young, single women, lured by recruiters with promises of education or high-paying jobs. Most were trafficked to China, including Macao, and South Korea as well as to European countries, including Poland and Hungary, for commercial sexual exploitation. The Criminal Code continued to lack clear and comprehensive anti-trafficking provisions.