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Since the turn towards democracy in 1990, Mongolia has in principle acknowledged the concept of human and civic rights. However, certain problems remain, especially within the police and security sector. Critics like the UN's Special Rapporteur on torture, Manfred Novak, have repeatedly criticized Mongolia's prisons, and especially the conditions surrounding the death penalty, as cruel and inhuman. Another point of critique is that statistics on executions are kept secret[1]. Additionally, there have been several instances of police violence or arbitraryness over the past years.

Notable cases include:

  • The yet unsolved murder of S. Zorig, one of the principal leaders of the Democratic Party, in 1998
  • The abduction of D. Enkhbat from France. Allegedly, he was suspected to be involved in S. Zorig's assassination. The Mongolian Secret Service abducted him from Le Havre in 2003, brought him to Berlin, where he was drugged and brought onto the regular MIAT plane to Ulaanbaatar. He was, however, not tried for being involved in the Zorig case. Instead, the authorities said they imprisoned Enkhbat because a health certificate that had led to a release from a previous sentence had been a forgery. Additionally, he and his lawyer L. Sanjaasuren were convicted for exposing state secrets in 2004. Enkhbat died on April 22, 2006.
  • The detention of MP L. Gundalai. In August 2003, the opposition MP L. Gundalai was detained from a flight to South Korea after a week-long conflict with then minister of Justice Ts. Nyamdorj (MPRP). Witnesses said the police showed no arrest warrants or identity cards. A videotape of the incident allegedly showed Lamjav Gundalai’s bodyguard, who was also arrested, being choked, and his assistant being beaten. Gundalai was released the next day.
  • In May 2006, Eagle TV reporters Batdorj, Bayanbat, and News Director Orgil were roughed up by police when they tried to video tape the teardown for the morning news. According to the TV station's Managing Director Tom Terry, the police officer repeatedly smashed his fist into the camera, causing damage significant enough that it no longer works properly and will have to be sent for repair. (

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