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Widow of assassinated democratic revolutionary arrested

By E.OYUNDARI, M.OYUNGEREL

The police arrested widow of the late politician and democratic revolutionary S.Zorig, D.Bulgan, on November 13 for reasons that have not been made public.
D.Bulgan was arrested in her home on the night of November 13, according to a report by the police. After 72 hours in police custody, law enforcement authorities extended her detention by two weeks. The police said they are interrogating her while she is detained, but declined to elaborate on why she was arrested, as they stated that the investigation is ongoing.
According to unofficial sources, D.Bulgan is being investigated for concealing information about S.Zorig’s murder and giving false statements about her husband’s death in court 17 years ago. Unofficial sources claim that two 40-year-old men were arrested in Erdenet about one month ago in connection to the death of S.Zorig.

Earlier, Swiss parliamentarian and member of the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians, Margret Kiener Nellen, during a four-day mission to Mongolia in September 2015, called for the Mongolian authorities to redouble their efforts to resolve what is widely believed to have been a political assassination.
Despite 25 years of democratic progress in Mongolia, the unsolved murder of parliamentarian and former Minister of Infrastructure S.Zorig 17 years ago has eroded confidence in the rule of law, said one member of an Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) human rights mission to Mongolia.
The perpetrators have still not been brought to justice, despite an ongoing investigation since his death. The lack of progress on the case has been a source of concern for the IPU Committee, which has been engaging with Mongolian authorities over the years to shed more light on the investigation.
“Only transparency on the investigation and real progress on the case will reassure people that there is a political will to find out who killed S.Zorig and why,” said Kiener Nellen. “As Mongolia celebrates the 25th anniversary of the first democratic elections in the country, it would be an ideal time to finally resolve the killing of the man who had led the democratic movement in the 1990s.”
S.Zorig was brutally murdered in his home in October 1998. It is believed that two assailants entered his apartment, tied up his wife D.Bulgan, and waited for S.Zorig’s arrival. As soon as Zorig stepped through the door they attacked him, stabbing him sixteen times, including three stab wounds to the heart.

D.Bulgan: My husband did not wear any masks

The one and only known living witness to S.Zorig’s murder is his wife, D.Bulgan. The following is an interview with the widow conducted by journalist R.Davaajav after the tragic murder in 1998. It is believed to be the only interview D.Bulgan gave for public access.

Somebody mentioned that you and S.Zorig lived very happily, yet too short.

Some people might get jealous, but such happiness is not gifted to everyone. I used to tell my husband that we were living too happily, and told him that I was worried whether such happiness would end sometime. He used to reply that our happiness would not end and promised me we would live together happily until we got old. He dreamt of becoming a mountain ranger when we grew old and retired. We really imagined our future of becoming mountain rangers. I used to daydream about preparing food and taking care of my mountain ranger. We dreamt of living in a log house that we built, and to have one cow so that we could have milk tea every day, and to breed chickens and plant vegetables.  He loved reading, playing chess, and laughing with his friends. We dreamt of always doing what we loved when we grew older together [cries].

People say that you do not take taxis, saving money, and some claim that they have even seen you walking with torn shoes.

I don’t care. Our family doesn’t have anything to spend on fancy items. I look for places with cheaper prices. I used to spend most of my time looking for places where I could make less expensive purchases. I must spend my husband’s salary wisely. Even so, I never stopped buying fruit for my husband. Now, I look back and I see that was the best period of my life. I could sacrifice my life to live with such a good person for six years.

Who was Zorig?

He was the most humane person. This was his most essential quality. He treated everyone with equal humanity. He was the man. He did not pretend to be someone else, he did not perform in any political play, and he did not wear any masks. He was a person the way he was. He stood firmly on his goals and purposes, and was the one and only person with humanity. He was really brave.

How did your in-laws treat you after the tragedy?

[Cries] My mother-in-law is a unique person with a great mind and heart. After the incident, she calmed me down, told me not to cry, and told me that I was the one who made him happy. His younger sister, Oyun, returned from England and told me how she was worried about me all the way back home. My family is a truly lovely family.

How did you accept Oyun’s decision to follow her brother’s career in politics?

I was the most afraid about Oyun’s decision, however, deep down, I expected and wanted her decision to enter politics. I was afraid to tell her to enter politics, as I had a terribly bitter experience with it. I was suffering within from Oyun’s decision. Oyun told me that she was running a campaign in the electoral district where her brother was elected. I couldn’t tell her I understood her decision, but I knew I would be happy if she got elected. I told Oyun that mom (Zorig’s mother) and I couldn’t bear the pain anymore if such a horrible incident was repeated. When I told her so, she had already made her decision.
My husband was a warrior. He was taken by dark forces. He proved to me that the one can live faithfully, and made me realize that a life does not depend on money. My husband was a warrior leader who fought for justice. He had many followers. Now, Oyun will carry on what my husband did and will complete what my husband could not finish [cries].

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