Over 100 Global Rights Groups Call for the Immediate Release of Mongolian writer and activist Munkhbayar Chuluundorj

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World leaders urged to jointly press for all charges against him to be dropped and for him to be freed

We urge the Mongolian government to immediately release Mr. Munkhbayar Chuluundorj who was arbitrarily arrested in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, by the General Intelligence Agency (GIA) of Mongolia on February 17, 2022. (1)

Mr. Munkhbayar Chuluundorj is an award-winning Mongolian journalist, poet, and human rights activist known for defending the linguistic, cultural, and historical identities of Southern Mongolians.

Mr. Munkhbayar Chuluundorj was detained in Ulaanbaatar on politically motivated charges related to his public criticism of the Mongolian government’s close ties with China and the shrinking rights in Southern Mongolia [CH: Inner Mongolia], which China has occupied since 1949. (2) His arrest and sentencing took place amid China’s increasingly severe policies in Southern Mongolia that aim to remove learning in the Mongolian language for several key subjects. These restrictive policies are similar to those rolled out by Chinese authorities in Tibet and East Turkistan [CH: Xinjiang], and recent moves to replace Cantonese education in Hong Kong with Mandarin. (3)

Mr. Munkhbayar Chuluundorj was sentenced to 10 years in prison on June 28, 2022, for “collaborating with a foreign intelligence agency” against the People’s Republic of China. On December 21, 2022, the Supreme Court of Mongolia heard his appeal and upheld the lower court’s original decision. There is no evidence linking Mr. Munkhbayar Chuluundorj to the charge and his lawyer, Ms. Baasan Geleg, has dismissed the national security charge against him as entirely baseless. (4)

In September 2022 two handwritten letters from Mr. Munkhbayar Chuluundorj – penned in the detention center in June 2022 – were received by the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center. In the letters, he pleaded his innocence and detailed how he believed the evidence against him had been fabricated in relation to his work to better the conditions of Mongolians. (5)

Land-locked Mongolia is highly dependent on China for imports (6) and there has been an increase in economic influence, including vast loans via Xi Jinping’s ‘Belt and Road Initiative’, in recent years that have pushed Mongolia into major indebtedness to China. (7) These debts are further exacerbated by a program of cultural propaganda such as the establishment of Confucius Institutes, television and radio broadcasts, and cultural centers.

Growing concern about the Mongolian state’s harassment, intimidation, and reprisals against human rights defenders is growing. In October 2022, the UN Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights raised the issue of human rights defenders and recommended Mongolia put in place protection safeguards and ‘urgently investigate cases in which human rights defenders are criminalized’. (8) Later in the same month, the Japanese “Parliamentary Support Group for

Southern Mongolia” (9) published a statement regarding the sentence of Mr. Munkhbayar Chuluundorj.

Rights groups are calling on like-minded governments – both jointly and bi-laterally – and the UN Human Rights Council to call for the immediate release of Mr. Munkhbayar Chuluundorj.


Togochog Enghebatu, President, Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center Hidetoshi Ishii, Senior Advisor, Free Tibet Fukuoka

Elbegdorj Tsakhyiagiin, President World Mongol Federation and former President of Mongolia Dolkun Isa, President, World Uyghur Congress

Anna Kwok, Executive Director, Hong Kong Democracy Council Mandie McKeown, Executive Director, International Tibet Network Talita Pessoa, Program Director, PEN America

Dr. Sanj Altan, President, Mongol American Cultural Association Dr. Yang Jianli, President, Citizen Power Initiatives for China

Merce Monje Cano, Executive Director, Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization On behalf of the following global rights groups:

Afghanistan Cinema Club
Afghanistan Hazara Culture and Solidarity
Assoication (AHCSA)
Alaska Tibet Committee
Altanseseg Band
Asociación Cultural Tibetano-Costarricense Association France Tibet
Australian Uyghur Tangritagh Women’s Association
Bath District Tibet Support Group
Bayanmongol NGO (USA)
Bolaq Analysts Network USA
Buriat House
Buryaat Mongol United Association
Campaign For Uyghurs
Captive Nations Coalition
Casa del Tibet
Centre for Himalayan Asia Studies and Engagement (CHASE)
China Against the Death Penalty
China Alarm
China Change
Chinggis Khan Memorial Foundation
Comité de Apoyo al Tíbet – CAT
Committee on the Present Danger: China Foundation for Non-violent Alternatives Fredrik Larsson
Free Tibet
Free Tibet Fukuoka
Fundacion Casa del Tibet
Global Alliance for Tibet & Persecuted Minorities
Grupo de Apoio ao Tibete-Portugal
Hazara Committee in UK
Hazara Community in Ireland
Hazara Community of Washington
Hazara Organization for Peace and Equality (HOPE)
Hazara Research Center
Hong Kong Committee in Norway
India – Tibet Friendship Society
India Tibet Friendship Society NAGPUR
Initiatives for China (GongMinLiLiang)
Inner Mongolia People’s Party
Institute for China’s Democratic Transition
InterMongol Network
International PEN Uyghur Center
International Society for Human Rights – Sweden International Society for Human Rights, Munich chapter
Kalmyk Project
Kalmyk Youth Coalition
Keep Taiwan Free

La Federacion of Cantonia
Latvia for Tibet
Law and Society Alliance (LSA)
LUNGTA – Actief voor Tibet
Mongol Heritage Foundation
Mongolian 4-H NGO (USA)
National Democratic Party of Tibet
New Yorkers Supporting Hong Kong
Nutug Chuulgan
Objectif Tibet
RangZen Brazil
Regional Tibetan Youth Congress NYNJ
Santa Barbara Friends of Tibet
Save the Mongolian Language NGO
Students for a Free Tibet
Students for a Free Tibet – Japan
Students for a Free Tibet – Taiwan
Students For a Free Tibet- India
Swedish Mongolian Committee (Svenska Mongol Kommitten)
Swedish Tibet Committee
Swiss Tibetan Friendship Association
Terrorism Victims Protection Organization (TVPO) The Norwegian Tibet Committee
The Tibet Support Committee, Denmark
Tibet Justice Center
Tibet Solidarity
Tibet Support Association Sambhala Tibet Center Tibet Support Groep Nederland
Tibet Support Group Ireland
Tibetan Community in Britain
Tibetan Community in Switzerland and Liechtenstein
Tibetans of Mixed Heritage
Tso Pema Non-Profit
UK Mongolian Community
UNPO – Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation
USTC US Tibet Committee
Uyghur American Association
Uyghur Human Rights Project
Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project
Vancouver Society in Support of Democratic Movement
Voice of Southern Mongolia
World Hazara Council
World Mongol Federation Europe
World Mongol Federation USA
Youth Liberation Front of Tibet, East-Turkistan, Manchuria & Inner-Mongolia ( YLFTM )
Zerd Band


  1. Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center, Mongolian journalist handed 10 years; attorney says “independent country of Mongolia became a province of China”
  2. UNPO: Southern Mongolia
  3. Mongolian: PEN America, New Mongolia Education Policy Threatens to Degrade Language Rights – PEN America

Tibetan: Human Rights Watch, China: Tibetan Children Denied Mother-Tongue Classes | Human Rights Watch Uyghur: Uyghur Human Rights Project, Assault on the Uyghur Language in East Turkestan

Hong Kong: Australia Broadcasting Corporation, Fears for the future of Cantonese as China urges Hong Kong to legally recognise Mandarin

4. Mongolian journalist handed 10 years; attorney says “independent country of Mongolia became a province of China”

5. Munkhbayar Chuluundorj’s open letter: Wake up, Mongolians, if you don’t want to be wiped out!

6. The Financial Times, 2016, Mongolia: Living from loan to loan | Financial Times

7. South China Morning Post, August 2022,

China accelerates Mongolia investment to ‘facilitate’ Russia trade link and secure energy, commodities

8.https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=E%2fC.12%2fMNG%2fC O%2f5&Lang=en

9. Japan’s ‘Southern Mongolia Parliamentary Alliance’ is Historically Significant | JAPAN Forward

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