Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Russians torture a Mongolian

In June 2012, a Mongolian citizen  named Khairibolat, resident of Bayan-oelgii province (aimag), was present near the borderline between  Mongolia and Russia when he was asked to "come over" to the Russian site. He then crossed the border and was beaten and arrested by Russians. Mind to bring our readers' attention to the fact that locals from both sides (Mongolia and Russia) can enter and reenter the border temporarily using a pass, a document issued to local people. That pass allows Mongolians to cross the border and visit without  going too deep in the country (Russia) , and also allow Russians to visit Mongolia's near-the-border-places crossing Mongolian border.

It seems like an acquaintance or somebody who knew Khairibolat on the Russian site was forced by Russian authorities to lure him  across the border in order to arrest him on Russian soil. Like I mentioned, he was beaten and arrested on the spot. The Russian authorities say Khairibolat was involved in weapon smuggling. Isn't anybody innocent  until proven guilty? And until today his case was not even brought to the court. Postponed until who knows when. One more thing. Russia is joined the UN Convention against Torture in 1985 and is obliged "to take effective measures to prevent a torture in any territory under its jurisdiction."

What is a torture?  Definition of torture is given in the Article 1.1 of the Convention against Torture: "Any act by which severe pain or suffereing, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person, information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed  or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity."
So according to Article 1.1., Khairibolat is tortured at the moment he was arrested. The Russian officials (probably police officer) intentionally inflicted  physical pain on him. With that one can say that the central Russian Government and the  state Government of that territory where the incident occurred, have failed to fullfil their obligation to prevent any kind of torture in their territories.

MP Baasankhuu O.
Now, Khairibolat is a foreign citizen to Russians and this is a serious problem. What would Russians do if one of their citizens were beaten and arrested in Mongolia? And kept in jail without any contacts for almost 1.5 years!? Even a member of the Mongolian Parliament could not meet with Khairibolat when he went to Russia to see him. Russian officials have refused to let this MP to meet with his landsman! My suspicion is  that Khairibolat has still been tortured in jail and Russian officials couldn't let them meet face-to-face because Khairibolat's physical condition. Well, you know, how one looks like when he is tortured and punished for a crime he  maybe has not committed, for  16 months. As for Russians who get more racist lately, one can imagine how it feels like to be in prison among Russian prisoners.

Khairibolat's family says he is  innocent. And they reached out to Baasankhuu O, a newly member of Mongolian Parliament, who, as I mentioned earlier,  couldn't meet with Khairibolat when he went to Russia on request of Khairibolat's family. Actually this isn't a problem Baasankhuu should be dealing with, but he does it out of courtesy and sympathy.

Bold, L. (Minister of Foreign Affairs)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Minister, Mr.Bold L. himself must  take care of this issue as it should be. But until now there is nothing to hear from them. Shame on them!  As much as it sounds shameful, Mongolia does not care much about its citizens abroad and that must be changed. Maybe we need more officials who love and care about own people. As for the Russian officials who beat and arrested a Mongolian citizen, they do a great harm to their own image and  Russia's image as well. Violating an international agreement (Convention against Torture) will definitely show Russia as a country which cannot be trusted. Russians can sign a treaty but in real life they never keep their word. Not a trustworthy people. That is how the world will see you, Russia!