China: 1 protester reportedly killed & 100 injured after police crackdown on protest over chemical refinery's environmental impacts in Inner Mongolia

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Article
6 April 2015

In China’s Inner Mongolia, mining spells misery for traditional herders

Author: Simon Denyer, Washington Post

…A boom in mining and mineral industries has polluted the grasslands, marginalized herders and pushed them from their homes…[P]rotests over land rights and mining projects reached a climax this past weekend as police crushed a three-week-long demonstration against toxic waste from a chemical refinery…One protester reportedly died, and 100 were injured. The government announced Monday that it would close the refinery, but tensions…are rising…

In…2011, a Han Chinese coal-truck driver killed a Mongol herder who was protesting mining, sparking days of protests. The government responded by cutting off the Internet and temporarily imposing martial law, but it also promised an overhaul of the coal industry, stricter environmental protection and hundreds of millions of dollars of new spending to promote Mongol culture. But…the fundamental causes of discontent have not disappeared…

A study by a team of Chinese academics published last year titled “The false promises of coal exploitation” found that the mining industry had not raised herders’ incomes and that damage to the fragile grassland environment from mining activities had “increased the risks that herdsman will have to endure in the future.”

…Mining also has sucked up vast quantities of water, depleting underground reserves and causing hundreds of lakes to shrink or disappear, said Fang Jingyun, also a Peking University professor…A government document obtained by Ceng Jing Cao Yuan, a local advocacy group, showed that more than 12,000 sheep died and 23,000 fell sick in seven villages and two farms near the factory between 2008 and 2009, with the probable cause being high levels of fluoride in their bones and in the grasslands...China Power Investment Corp., which owns the smelter, did not respond to a faxed list of questions…

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Article
6 April 2015

居民抗议化工厂污染 内蒙示威遭镇压传1死

Author: 星洲日報

人权组织称,中国内蒙古通辽市奈曼旗上周末发生反对化工厂污染的抗议事件,当局出动2千警力,使用橡皮子弹、催泪弹和高压水柱等进行镇压,造成1人死亡,50人被拘留。当地政府称已下令工厂在调查期间停工。

位于美国的南蒙古人权信息中心(SMHRIC)…援引当地人称,一家化工厂将废水直接排放至奈曼旗蒙古族牧民的牧场内。互联网上流传的照片显示,人们聚集在一条公路旁,一辆警车被推翻,数十名防暴警察持盾牌、牵着警犬。路面上有使用过的催泪弹外壳。

…奈曼旗政府官员周一在社交媒体发贴称,已下令所有相关企业在调查期间停工。但该声明仅明确列出一家企业的名称:通辽龙盛化工。内蒙古资源丰富,政府有关牧民强制迁徙以及大面积开发煤矿的政策,引发蒙古族牧民的抗议…

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Article
5 April 2015

2000 police mobilized, 100 people injured, 50 arrested, 1 killed, Internet cut off, highways shutdown in Naiman Banner of Southern Mongolia

Author: Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center

After a three-week standoff, on April 4, 2015, more than 2,000 Chinese riot police have been mobilized to crack down on the villagers of Daachin-tal…Township and nearby villages in eastern Southern (Inner) Mongolia’s Naiman Banner…The villagers have been staging a protest against the Naiman Chemical Refinery Zone for polluting the area with toxic waste.

…Photos and video footage show that many villagers were beaten, injured, and hospitalized…during the clash…“Yesterday, about 100 people were injured and 50 were arrested. One of the injured was confirmed dead in the hospital today,” Geegee [a Mongolian woman from the community] told SMHRIC.

As for the toxic effects of the chemical waste that is discharged directly onto the grazing lands and farmlands of Daachin-tal Township and nearby villages, Geegee says, “An increasing number of villagers have become sick, and the miscarriage rate is soaring among pregnant women here. Our livestock is being poisoned to death, and crops and vegetables are inedible.”…“The Internet is cut off completely. Even phone calls seem to be blocked now…” Munkhee [another local Mongolian] told SMHRIC via Web chat. “We heard that the Central Government is informed of our protest,” Munkhee said…“fearing further unrest, the banner authorities say to ‘arrest anyone who protests.’”

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