Take Action: A Fair Trial for Environmental Defender Beejin Khastumur

Published July 5th 2016. Updated July 8th 2016.

In March 2016, environmental and human rights defender Mr Beejin Khastumur was arrested and imprisoned under suspicious circumstances following an altercation in the Mongolian capital Ulan Bator.

beejin_khastumur

Now, despite his temporary release on medical grounds, Beejin will stand trial on Thursday 21st July. If found guilty, he faces 5 years imprisonment.

Given the suspicious circumstances surrounding the crime of which Beejin is accused, YLNM and many other organisations believe that his arrest, subsequent detention and upcoming trial may be an attempt to shut down Beejin’s legitimate and peaceful activities in the defence of environmental rights and rights of nomad people in Mongolia. 

As the founder of YLNM member group DMNN Mongolia, Beejin is a champion of environmental protection and human rights in Mongolia. He has done extensive work to uphold Mongolia’s own environmental laws and expose illegal mining operations in the country.

The YLNM Network has documented how, as a result of this work, Beejin and his colleagues have suffered intimidation and physical violence at the hands of both state and private actors.

Our suspicion that Beejin’s arrest was intended to prevent him from pursuing his work to uphold environmental protection and human rights were further substantiated following Beejin’s temporary release from prison. After Beejin was released on medical grounds, State officials made him sign a statement acknowledging that he will be jailed if he ever organises or participates in any type of demonstration or public gathering

As Beejin’s trial looms, our friends at DMNN are calling for international support to ensure that Beejin enjoys his right to a fair trial.


 

TAKE ACTION

Spread the word on social media:

Tweet: Mongolian #HumanRightsDefender Beejin Khastumur needs your support. Find out more and take action! http://ctt.ec/ceN3J+

 Email the judge and court presiding over Beejin’s trial and tell them to ensure Beejin’s right to a fair trial:

Name: Hon. Tsogtzandan Yondon, Chief judge of the Criminal court of Bayangol, Khan-Uul and Songinokhairkhan Districts

Email: d_bkhs_tg@shuukh.mn

Draft English and Mongolian email text containing messaging approved by DMNN:

(English)

Hon. Tsogtzandan Yondon, Chief judge of the Criminal court of Bayangol, Khan-Uul and Songinokhairkhan Districts,

We are writing to you to express our concern over the upcoming trial of Mr Beejin Khastumur on Thursday 21st July 2016.

As environmental and human rights advocates we recognise Mr Khastumur’s positive work as founder of Delhiin Mongol Nogoon Negdel (DMNN), a non-governmental organisation which advocates for the protection of the environment and the rights of the nomad people of Mongolia. In particular, we support Mr Khastumur’s work to uphold Mongolia’s own environmental laws and expose illegal mining operations in the country, as a result of which he has suffered intimidation and even physical violence. 

Considering the suspicious circumstances surrounding Mr Khastumur’s arrest in March this year, we believe that Mr Khastumur’s arrest, subsequent detention and upcoming trial may be linked to his legitimate and peaceful activities in the defence of environmental rights and rights of nomad people in Mongolia. 

We have previously called for the Mongolian authorities to drop all charges against Mr Khastumur, but, understanding that Mr Khastumur will stand trial, we urge you to ensure that Mr Khastumur enjoys his right to a fair trial this Friday. 

We hope the court is able to uncover the truth behind the highly contested incident that led to Mr Khastumur’s arrest. 

We will observe and await the outcome of the trial with great interest. 

Yours sincerely, 

[Name, Organisation]

(Mongolian)

Баянгол, Хан-Уул, Сонгинохайрхан Дүүргийн Эрүүгийн Анхан Шатны Шүүхийн Ерөнхий Шүүгч Эрхэмсэг Ноён Ёндонгийн Цогтзандан Танаа:

Бид 2016 оны 7 сарын 21-ний Пүрэв гаригт товлогдсон ноён Хастөмөрийн Бээжинд холбогдох хэргийн талаарх шүүх хурлын ажиллагаанд сэтгэл зовнин энэхүү захидлыг бичиж байна.

Байгаль орчин, хүний эрхийн төлөө тэмцэгчдийн хувьд бид Дэлхийн Монгол Ногоон Нэгдэл /ДМНН/ ТББ-ын Тэргүүн ноён Хастөмөрийн Бээжингийн байгаль орчин болон Монголын хүн ардын төлөө хийсэн үр бүтээлтэй ажлуудын талаар сайн мэднэ.

Нэн ялангуяа, Монгол улсын байгаль орчны хуулиудыг сахиулах, хууль бусаар үйл ажиллагаа явуулж буй уул уурхайнуудыг хяналттай болгох талаар хийсэн ажлуудыг нь бид маш их дэмждэг, гэхдээ ноён Хастөмөрийн Бээжин энэнийхээ төлөө янз бүрээр дарамтлуулж цаашлаад халдлагад өртөж байна.

2016 оны 3 сард ноён Бээжинг сэжигтэй нөхцөл байдалд баривчилсанаас харахад түүний баривчилгаа, 18 хоног хорьсон байдал, одоо болох гэж буй шүүх хурал зэрэг нь түүний байгаль орчин, хүн ардынхаа төлөө хууль ёсоор, тайван замаар тэмцдэгтэй нь холбоотой байх хэмээн бид бодож байгаа билээ.

Бид Монгол улсын төр засгийн удирдлагуудад ноён Бээжинд холбогдуулсан хэргийг хүчингүй болгохыг уриалж байсан. Өнөөдөр ноён Бээжин шүүх хуралд дуудагдаж байна. Энэхүү 21-нд болох хурал нь харин шударгаар явагдана гэдэгт бид итгэл төгс байна.

Мөн бид танай шүүх ноён Бээжинг баривчлах, ийм байдалд хүргэх болсон шалтгаан, үнэн мөнийг илчлэн гаргаж ирнэ хэмээн найдаж байна.

Бид энэхүү хурлын явцыг анхааралтайгаар ажиглан, гарах үр дагаврыг шимтэнгүй хүлээх болно.

Таныг Гүнээ Хүндэтгэсэн,

[Name, Organisation]

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