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Kh.Naranjargal demands further investigation of journalist L.Bolormaa’s death

Trans. by M.OYUNGEREL

Founder and former editor-in-chief of the Mongolian Mining Journal L.Bolormaa was found dead at her apartment on November 21. The first unit of the Chingeltei District Police Department is currently investigating the case. The Mongolian Institute of Forensic Science (MIFS) reported that L.Bolormaa’s skull was fractured and caused a serious concussion, which led to her death.
Recently, over 20 NGOs, headed by Globe International and Mongolian Journalists’ Union, released a statement demanding the law enforcement to conduct prompt and just investigation of L.Bolormaa’s death and to identify whether it was related to her job.

The following is an interview with the head of Globe International NGO, Kh.Naranjargal, about the statement and journalists’ safety.

The law enforcement is investigating L.Bolormaa’s death. Over 20 NGOs led by your organization released a statement related to the case. Can you elaborate on this?

L.Bolormaa is one of the very few people who have had a significant impact in the development of journalism in Mongolia. L.Bolormaa’s articles and interviews were popular not only among journalists, but in society. She had many readers who waited for her articles and who never missed them. This is why her death has captured public attention.
We have been observing the case from the outside since it all started. The forensic results revealed that her death was caused by a fractured skull, and it created a suspicion that her death was related to external factors. The death of a journalist is seen as a serious felony as it’s often directly linked to their job. This is the first thing that the police officers working on the case should do.
The job of a journalist, especially if they write investigative stories, is considered risky and dangerous. This is why the UN approved a Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists in 2012. After that, on December 18, 2013, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on journalists’ safety and to end impunity. Now, it’s observed annually on November 2. With the resolution, the UN demanded its member countries to actively investigate crimes against journalists and hold accountability to criminals. You can see from here that every country has to pay attention on creating a safe environment for journalists and fight crimes against journalists.
Between 2012 and 2014, a total of 680 journalists in the world have lost their lives and 90 percent of the criminals responsible weren’t held accountable. In recent years, Mongolian journalists have been attacked in many ways. We received many reports where journalists were threatened and oppressed. This might have been the case for L.Bolormaa as well.
The Mongolian government discussed the report on the country’s implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights with the UN Human Rights Council in 2011. The council sent a guidance to secure press freedom stated in the 19th article of the covenant. The guidance underlined the need to actively investigate crimes against journalists. We are reminding the government of Mongolia and the State Investigation Office of their obligation to the UN by releasing a statement about L.Bolormaa’s death.

Did you receive any information about the reasons behind journalist L.Bolormaa’s death?

A serious talk broke out on social media and between people close to L.Bolormaa after her death. They said that someone used to threaten her by phone. The talk supported the public’s speculation about the issue. A journalist is the carrier of public opinion. Therefore, doubts about causes of her death should be scrutinized. The main thing is to justly investigate the case, find the truth, and inform the public.
L.Bolormaa didn’t get famous because she worked for herself, but because she fought to give the public accurate information. Also, what does the forensic result about her fractured skull say? This is a very serious issue. How would someone who was alone at home hurt herself to cause a fracture at the back of her skull? That is the most suspicious fact. This instance should not be forgotten. It can’t vanish or be left unsolved. The public suspects that her death was connected to something she was writing. We have to check that. If it’s found during investigation that someone had killed her, law enforcement has to identify the criminals.

Did you say that crimes against journalists have increased in the last few years?

Yes, crimes against journalists have increased. Our organization started studying violations in journalists’ rights in 2005. From 2006 to 2014, 375 violations have been registered only in Mongolia. A total of 22 instances of physical assault, 97 instances of threats, oppression, and threats to journalists’ families, and 45 cases of threats from law enforcement have been registered with our organization. In 2006, few instances encroaching journalists’ rights were reported. In 2008, the numbers rose. It was decreasing since, but it just shot back up again. In recent years, journalists who had their rights violated have started to prefer to hide them and just leave after getting legal assistance. This is not favorable.

Source: www.dnn.mn

Short URL: http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/?p=18692

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