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People's Republic of China: Inner Mongolia: harsh sentences against "separatists" upheld

, Index number: ASA 17/006/1997

Two ethnic Mongol intellectuals accused of "separatist" activities have recently had their appeals against harsh political sentences rejected by the authorities. Hada, a 41-year-old former general manager of the Mongolian Academic Bookshop, and Tegexi, a 30-year-old who worked in the Inner Mongolian Bureau of Foreign Affairs, were sentenced on 6 December 1996 to 15 and 10 years' imprisonment respectively, on charges of "separatism" and "espionage". Both men are reported to be in ill-health, and Amnesty International is concerned that they were detained in connection with their involvement in the Southern Mongolian Democratic Alliance (SMDA), an organization which aims to promote human rights and a Mongolian cultural revival. Amnesty International considers Hada and Tegexi to be prisoners of conscience and is calling for their immediate and unconditional release.

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