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Last week a Mongolian herdsman was crushed to death by a coal truck in China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Local authorities claim the herdsman was killed pulling off a dangerous maneuver on a motorbike, but witnesses disagree. A rights organization says authorities are trying to censor information about the incident. A similar case in May set off protests in the region.
On October 20th, a Mongolian herdsman named Zorigt was killed by a mining truck in Wushen Banner in Ordos, Inner Mongolia. Zorigt had reportedly been part of a group trying to protect grasslands from mining trucks that had killed livestock in the past. He got into an argument with the driver who then proceeded to run him over—crushing him to death.
The Wushen Banner county government and Chinese state-run Xinhua News Agency both claimed Zorigt got into an accident with the truck after overtaking it on a motorbike. Yet, many witnesses rejected these claims in online statements.
The chairman of rights organization the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center, Xi Haiming, told Voice of America that local authorities are trying to keep information about the incident under wraps.
[Xi Haiming, Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center]:
"Right now the government is exercising extreme control. The information I have obtained suggests that the government is either giving Zorigt's family bribes or threatening them, not allowing them to communicate with the outside world. If you call them, as soon as they pick up they are summoned by the police, so the officials are severely controlling this thing."
Xi Haiming says mining has caused a lot of conflict in the area and has brought little benefit to the local people.