Fears For Mongolian Dissident

 The wife of a Mongolian activist under house arrest says his mental state is rapidly deteriorating.

The wife of a prominent ethnic Mongolian dissident has expressed concerns over his mental health as he enters his 23rd month of illegal detention following his release at the end of a 15-year formal jail term in 2010.

In 1996, Hada was sentenced to 15 years in jail for "splittism" and "espionage" for his advocacy on behalf of ethnic Mongolians living in China.

His sentence also contained an additional four years' "deprivation of political rights," which, under China’s Criminal Law, includes restrictions on voting, as well as freedom of speech and association.

Chinese officials have said he was released in December 2010, but is still serving out his four years of deprivation of political rights. He is currently being held unofficially at the Jinye Ecological Park, near the international airport in the regional capital, Hohhot, according to Xinna, Hada's wife.

"He is closed in on himself, and suffering from paranoia," Xinna said in an interview on Tuesday. "He says someone is trying to poison him, but I am guessing it is because of all the pressure he is under."

"He has been mistreated, and his family taken away from under his nose on two occasions, and I think this has hit him very hard," she said.

Xinna said she had been told by police she would be unable to visit her husband this month, "because of the interviews I gave [to foreign media]," she said.

"They told me very clearly that I wouldn't be allowed to visit," she said.

Xinna, who was herself handed a three-year suspended jail sentence in May, said she had visited Hada last month, and was shocked at his living conditions.

"They don't even give him toilet paper," Xinna said. "He has to rinse himself with water, and no one has taken any notice of him for more than a year now."

"His mental state has deteriorated, and I wrote to the [Inner Mongolia] political and legal affairs committee about this in September," she said.

Call for release

According to the New York-based Human Rights in China (HRIC), the letter called on the authorities to "release Hada as soon as possible, so that he may avoid a total mental breakdown."

It also called for the "people involved in persecuting Hada" to be disciplined.

In a longer interview published on the HRIC website, Xinna said she was also concerned that Hada was being mistreated by those guarding him, and that he had been refused psychiatric treatment.

"When we went to see him in 2010 just after his release, he was still doing well enough," the group quoted her as saying.

"But recently when we visited him, we found that his mental state is very bad. He seemed closed off, and his thinking was slow; he suspected that someone was poisoning him," Xinna said.

"The food was also very bad, and he didn’t even have toilet paper to use," she said.

"After we protested, they had a prison psychiatric doctor see him and that doctor recommended that he get treatment from outside psychiatrists. But they turned this down."

Hada was the founder of the Southern Mongolia Democracy Alliance, which called for a referendum on the future of the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region.

Reported by Gao Shan for RFA's Mandarin service, and by Grace Kei Lai-see for the Cantonese service. Translated and written in English by Luisetta Mudie.