LODOISAMBUU SANJAASUREN – Lawyer and Human Rights Defender

Lodoisambuu Sanjaasuren was convicted of ¡°exposing state secrets¡± in November 2004 and received an 18 month prison sentence. The charges stemmed from Sanjaasuren’s defence of Enkhbat Damiran who was kidnapped from France by Mongolian intelligence officers on May 15, 2003. In the course of his defence, Sanjaasuren attempted to draw public attention to the torture of his client while being held by intelligence officers by speaking out on television; it is these statements made by Sanjaasuren that lead to the charges of ¡°exposing state secrets¡±. Enkhbat Damiran was also convicted of ¡°exposing state secrets¡± in connection with the television appearance; he was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment.

Sanjaasuren is currently being held just outside the city of Ulaanbaatar, Bayanzurkh District, in a ¡°restricted prison¡±. In response to a newspaper interview Sanjaasuren gave from prison in early May 2005, guards threatened to move him to a more crowded area of the prison where he would face even worse conditions. It has also been reported that Sanjaasuren is suffering from a serious heart condition and is being refused proper medical treatment. The situation is so serious that on several occasions Sanjaasuren¡¯s heart rate has slowed to the point of near cardiac arrest. Sanjaasuren¡¯s appeal of his conviction was dismissed in April 2005.

LRWC has written Natsagiyn Baga, the Mongolian President, and Elberg Dorj, the Mongolian Prime Minister, expressing our concerns regarding Mr. Sanjaasuren¡¯s health and the convictions of both he and Mr. Damiran. In the letters LRWC stressed the international instruments relating both to the treatment of prisoners and the rights of lawyers that Mongolia is violating.


Letter Written May 20, 2005 by Monique Pongracic-Speier