APRIL 27, 2004
Posted:May 12, 2004
A. Erdenetuya, Mongolyn Neg Odor
IMPRISONED, LEGAL ACTION
The Bayanzurkh District Court convicted Erdenetuya, a writer for the
private weekly Mongolyn Neg Odor (A Day in Mongolia), of criminal
libel, an offense under the Mongolian Criminal Code, and sentenced her
to three months and one day in prison and a fine of 900,000 tugriks (about
US$803). Following the trial, Erdenetuya was imprisoned at the Gants Khudag
Detention Center, outside the capital, Ulaanbaatar.
The libel charge was filed by D. Moron, a member of Parliament and former
chairman of the General Police Department. The charge stemmed from an
article Erdenetuya wrote alleging that Moron was the illegitimate father
of a woman accused of murder. According to the private, English-language
weekly UB Post, Moron denies that the accused woman is his daughter.
The journalistís sentence was widely condemned by Mongolian civil society
and journalistsí groups, which contend that the verdict is intended to
intimidate journalists. About 100 journalists gathered outside the courtroom
to protest the courtís decision, and dozens of police escorted Erdenetuya
during the proceedings, according to news reports.