Friday September 20, 2019
Home Lead Story Chinese Autho...

Chinese Authorities Put “Separatism” Charges on Mongolian Writer

Chinese government policies, the group said, are "based on deep-seateddiscrimination that characterizes Mongolian pastoralism as 'backward,archaic, unscientific and uncivilized' way of life and advertises the Chinese way of life as 'advanced, civilized and scientific'.

0
//
Author
Ethnic Mongolian historian and author Lhamjab A. Borjigin, 74, who is facing for prosecution for "separatism" and "sabotaging national unity," in undated photo. RFA

Chinese authorities in the northern region of Inner Mongolia have tried an ethnic Mongolian writer in secret on “separatism” charges, a rights group said on Friday.

Lhamjab A. Borjigin, 75, stood trial on April 4 on charges of “separatism” and “sabotaging national unity,” the New York-based Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center (SMHRIC) reported.

“The trial started at 9:00 a.m. on April 4 and ended around 12:00 p.m. at the Shiliinhot Municipal People’s Court,” the group quoted a recorded audio message from Lhamjab as saying.

“None of my family members were allowed to attend,” he said. “I was denied the right to bring my lawyer to defend myself.”

A native of Heshigten Banner, a county-like division in Inner Mongolia, and a member of the state-backed Shiliingol League Literary Association, Lhamjab has been a prominent voice in ethnic Mongolian culture in China, as well as documenting the region’s oral history.

He specializes in survivor testimonies of the political violence and social chaos of the Cultural Revolution, publishing his book “China’s Cultural Revolution” in 2006.

Lhamjab said he had refused to speak Chinese during the courtproceedings, and had “reluctantly” been allowed to bring an interpreter into the courtroom.

“It was a typical closed-door trial,” Lhamjab said. “Only eight people, namely three judges, three procurators, myself and my interpreter were present in the small courtroom with the door tightly closed.”

Lhamjab has rejected the charges pending against him, saying that he only wrote the historical truth.

book
The authorities began confiscating copies of the book and placed Lhamjab under house arrest on July 11, 2018.
Pixabay

Case directly ordered by regional government

The court has yet to announce its verdict in the case, which was brought under direct orders from the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Regiongovernment, according to Lhamjab.

“When the [prosecutors] accused me of engaging in ‘national separatism,’ ‘sabotaging national unity’ and ‘illegal publication and illegal distribution,’ I defended myself by asking whether those who committed the genocide in [Inner] Mongolia or the ones like myself who talked about this genocide should be considered [to be] ‘sabotaging national unity’,” he said.

“The [prosecutors] candidly told me that it is not up to them,” Lhamjab said. “It was because the Autonomous Region Public Security Bureau and State Security Bureau are pressuring them to prosecute me on these charges.”

Lhamjab said he had maintained his innocence throughout the trial, andrefused to plead guilty to any of the charges.

“I am determined to appeal to the highest court because this is an unjust trial not only against me but also against our entire Southern Mongolians who have been subjected to a series of mass killing and political persecution but are not even allowed to speak of these atrocities.”

For his book, Lhamjab gathered oral testimonies of survivors of violence against ethnic Mongolians during the Cultural Revolution, a task that took him 20 years.

The book accuses the ruling Chinese Communist Party of state-sponsoredgenocide in the region, detailing torture techniques and detentions in a brutal campaign that claimed the lives of at least 27,900 people andimprisoned and tortured 346,000.

Lhamjab published the book unofficially, at his own expense, after state-run Chinese publishing houses refused to publish it.

“The book became popular among Mongolians not only in [Inner]Mongolia, but also in the [neighboring] independent country of Mongolia,” SMHRIC said.

Destroying nomadic civilization

Last year, an abridged audio version of the book went viral among ethnic Mongolians on Chinese social media platforms, especially WeChat, the group said.

The authorities began confiscating copies of the book and placed Lhamjab under house arrest on July 11, 2018.

The writers’ group PEN America has called on Beijing to drop the charges and release Lhamjab.

Ethnic Mongolians in exile have repeatedly also called on Chineseauthorities to end human rights violations, systematic andinstitutionalized discrimination against ethnic Mongolians within China’s borders, as well as longstanding policies aimed at ending their traditional, nomadic way of life.

In a submission to the International Convention on the Elimination ofRacial Discrimination (CERD), which is currently reviewing Beijing’s record, SMHRIC called on the Chinese government to release all ethnic Mongolian prisoners of conscience, including members of herding communities who have been “arbitrarily arrested, detained, and imprisoned for defending their grazing land from illegal appropriation.”

The group is calling for the immediate withdrawal of all “extractiveindustries, tourist companies and power plants that not only occupy and appropriate large tracts of Mongolian grazing lands, but also devastate the ecosystem, deplete the underground water and pollute the air and water.”

law
“None of my family members were allowed to attend,” he said. “I was denied the right to bring my lawyer to defend myself.” Pixabay

It is also campaigning against the Chinese authorities’ “massivepropaganda campaign to justify their destruction of nomadic civilization and … the natural environment.”

Also Read: Samsung India to Launch Galaxy A70 Next Week
Chinese government policies, the group said, are “based on deep-seateddiscrimination that characterizes Mongolian pastoralism as ‘backward,archaic, unscientific and uncivilized’ way of life and advertises the Chinese way of life as ‘advanced, civilized and scientific’.”

The authorities should also prosecute “hate crimes and hate speech byChinese individuals, private or public entities and government bodiesagainst Mongolian language, customs, tradition, way of life and identity,” it said. (RFA)

Next Story

Read about Your Favourite Marvel Superhero in Book Format

As with the novels Marvel themselves published previously, the Titan releases are specifically based on the comic book incarnations

0
Marvel, Superhero, Book
Now, read about your favourite Marvel Superhero in book format with the seven titles that have been released. IANS

You have read about them in comics — that was the original genre. They then transformed to the stage, to the small screen, then to the big screen and soon the streaming platform. Now, read about your favourite Marvel Superhero in book format with the seven titles that have been released making waves worldwide and also in India, where they recently debuted.

What prompted the release of these books considering that some of the original comics date back to the mid-1960s and that all of the originals, barring Thanos, have been turned into hugely successful movies?

“As with the novels Marvel themselves published previously, the Titan releases are specifically based on the comic book incarnations of the characters. In some cases, such as ‘Captain Marvel: Liberation Run’, the authors have produced entirely new stories set within the comic book canon. In others, as with ‘X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga’, they’ve adapted seminal storylines,” Stephen W. Saffel, Senior Acquisitions Editor at Titan Books, the London-based publisher, told IANS in an email interview.

“Our goal is to entertain as many readers as possible, so frequently we will choose the most high-profile characters. Because of their tremendous popularity, many of these characters and storylines have also led to films. Other novels will feature stories entirely new to the film and TV audiences,” Saffel added.

Marvel, Superhero, Book
You have read about them in comics — that was the original genre. IANS

Among the titles released are ‘Avengers — Everybody Wants To Rule The World’, ‘Ant-Man – Natural Enemy’, ‘Black Panther’ and ‘Thanos — Death Sentence’.

Detailing the process of the transformation from the comics to the TV shows to the movies to the book format, he said Titan was not involved in the development of the television and film storylines “though certainly we follow them and enjoy them tremendously. Our focus is entirely on adapting the comic book concepts”.

This comes with challenges, though, as exemplified by ‘Avengers: Infinity’. That comic book event had many threads that fed into various Marvel comic book titles, “Yet we were tasked with producing a novel that would be self-contained and entertaining. Thus the writer had to organise the material very carefully, at times removing elements that weren’t essential to the core storyline, while expanding or reorganizing facets to keep the narrative focused and dramatic” Saffel explained.

What has been the response to these books since they were released in the West in 2018?

Also Read- New Currency: CBK Insists KICC and Mzee Kenyatta Statue Can’t be Separated

“We’ve had a wonderful response. The books have been very well-reviewed, and the readers have been enthusiastic. In many cases the novel has been a reader’s first introduction to the characters or comic book storylines, while in other instances the readers have enjoyed the new approach to familiar storylines,’ Saffel said.

What has prompted their release in India?

“As a publisher Titan exists to entertain as many readers as possible — an important measure of our success is the number of people who enjoy what we produce. Thus we make the English-language editions available to as many people as we can, including those who live in India. Beyond that, we frequently partner with local publishers in other countries to produce translated versions of the stories,” he said.

What is next in the pipeline?

Marvel, Superhero, Book
They then transformed to the stage, to the small screen, then to the big screen and soon the streaming platform. IANS

“We very much enjoy our relationship with Marvel and the opportunity to work with such wonderful characters and concepts. While we don’t have anything ready to announce at this moment, there will be more novels, and we’ll keep doing this for as long as the readers ask for it,” Saffel said.

Also Read- Transparency Centre To Open by Kaspersky in Malaysia in 2020

MARVEL COMICS opened the doors to the Marvel Universe on August 31, 1939. It marks its 80th anniversary this year. (IANS)