Human Rights in Mongolia

Amnesty International  Report 2013

The 2013 Annual Report on
Mongolia is now live »

Head of state Nambaryn Enkhbayar
Head of government Sanjaagiin Bayar
Death penalty Retentionist
Population 2.7 million
Life expectancy 65.9 years
Under-5 mortality (m/f) 57/49 per 1,000
Adult literacy 97.8 per cent

In July, riots broke out in the capital, Ulaanbaatar, amid allegations of widespread electoral fraud – five people were killed and hundreds injured. Police arrested more than 700 people and denied them access to a lawyer, relatives and medical care. There were reports of detainees being beaten by police while in custody. The death penalty continued to be carried out in secret.


Parliamentary elections were held on 29 June. A coalition government was formed by the majority Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party and the minority Democratic Party.

Suppression of violent protests

On 1 July, following allegations of electoral fraud, protesters in Ulaanbaatar set fire to the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party headquarters and looted commercial offices. On 2 July, a state of emergency was declared for four days. Hundreds of people, including police officers, were injured. Local media reported that police used tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition to suppress the rioters. Five people died, four from gunshot wounds. Ten police officers were arrested in relation to the shootings. The Chief of Police was removed from his position. The heads of the Ulaanbaatar Police, the Security Police and the Patrol Police were moved to positions in the Police Academy. A State General Prosecutor’s Office investigation into the shootings was ongoing at the end of the year.

"Executions were carried out in secret and no official statistics on death sentences or executions were available."
  • On 2 July, police shot Enkhbayar Dorjsuren, aged 24, in the neck in Ulaanbaatar. When he failed to report for work the next day, his family searched for him and discovered his body in the morgue. An autopsy had been performed without their knowledge. No information about the investigation into the killing was made available.

Arbitrary arrests, detention and ill-treatment

In the early hours of 2 July, police arrested more than 700 people in the vicinity of the riots. Two hundred and fifty-nine people, including 27 children, were charged with crimes such as organizing chaos, theft and robbery. In some cases children were held with adults. Access to a lawyer and medical care was denied in the early weeks of detention. There were reports of police beating detainees, sometimes in order to obtain confessions, and in some cases detainees reported being beaten by other detainees.

  • On 3 July, the police arrested Davaasuren Batzaya, aged 23, for inciting public disorder and looting. He was taken to Chingeltei Detention Centre. Despite being deaf, Davaasuren Batzaya was not given access to an interpreter or a lawyer. According to his family, he was beaten by police and other detainees. On 6 July, he was transferred to Gants Khudag Detention Centre before being released on bail on 10 July.
  • On 5 July, police arrested Jalbasuren Batzandan, Chairperson of the Civil Movement Party. On 7 July, Vice Chairperson Otgonjargal Magnai was also arrested. According to family members, they both gave speeches at the protests in which they discussed the allegations of electoral fraud and urged non-violent protest. Jalbasuren Batzandan was released on bail on 19 August. Otgonjargal Magnai was released on bail on 28 August. Both men are facing charges of “banditry” and “creating mass disorder”. Otgonjargal Magnai is also facing a charge of assault. The crime of “banditry” carries a minimum sentence of 20-25 years’ imprisonment or the death penalty. 

Freedom of expression

The authorities arrested or fined people who were critical of the government’s handling of the riots. Only the state-funded television channel was permitted to broadcast during the state of emergency.

Death penalty

Executions were carried out in secret and no official statistics on death sentences or executions were available. Conditions of detention for prisoners on death row were reported to be poor. Prisoners were typically on death row for 12 months, but some were on death row for more than 24 months.

In December, Mongolia voted against a UN General Assembly resolution calling for a worldwide moratorium on executions.

Legal developments

Mongolia acceded to the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, Supplementing the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (Palermo Protocol).