Tuesday, July 8, 2008

This evening may see some press statements being thrown about from both sides of the political spectrum (if you could call it a spectrum or even politics for that matter). The national executive committees of DP and MPRP are holding separate closed internal meetings, presumably to discuss the current state of affairs.

Mongolia prepares for a rather low-profile Naadam festival on the 11 July, with the tourism industry hit by tour cancellations due to the riots. President Enkhbayar seems to have chosen to focus his attention on the Naadam celebrations, releasing his schedule for the remainder of the week, during which he will visit various statues to lay flowers, attend an art exhibition opening & a concert and give an opening speech at the Naadam festivals. On a second thought, this is what he should be doing right now, to restore some sense of normalcy to society or at least attempt to. Not too sure how effective this strategy will be, given the level of public attention the riots and their aftermath are receiving. And what of the detainees? The Human Rights under State of Emergency Monitoring and Protection Coalition (via Will Swanson's blog) have called for a press conference today, reiterating the statement they released on the 6 July.
Information collected through interviews, supported by audio and visual documentation, demonstrates that the following violations of human rights and international conventions, to which Mongolia is a signatory, were committed in the process of the organization and implementation of the President’s Decree on Announcing the State of Emergency:

  • Complete and timely measures were not taken to inform citizens who were unable to receive information through radio and television about the announcement of the state of emergency
  • The police and army corps were not provided with guidelines on how to perform the arrests in compliance with relevant laws and regulations
  • In violation of the law, the police and army corps performed a mass arrest, using excessive force, severely beating and injuring people
  • The detainees were kept in conditions that do not satisfy minimum standards. In particular:

    • 30-50 people were kept in a small room of about 20 square meters, without sufficient air, people were also kept en masse in a detention center garage
    • Children and women were kept with adult men
    • The detention rooms did not satisfy minimum health and hygiene standards
    • The detainees were not allowed access to toilet facilities, which resulted in damage to their health
    • The detainees were not provided with necessary nutrition. For example, in some detention sites, people were not given food or water for a whole day while in other sites they were given a small piece of cookie with tap water on the first day and chloramine-tainted tea on the second day.
    • People who required medical attention were not provided with necessary assistance.
Read the full statement at their website here.