01/10/2017, 13.17
CHINA

Four herders arrested in Inner Mongolia for online petition

Ethnic Mongols, who represent 20 per cent of the region’s 23 million people, are increasingly complaining about widespread environmental degradation and unfair development policies in the region.

Beijing (AsiaNews) - Police in Chinese-ruled Inner Mongolia arrested four herders on Monday for their role in an organised online petition by 500 herdsmen over promised but unpaid subsidies for stopping grazing on protected land. One of those arrested was a breast-feeding woman.

After the arrest, many herders went to the local police to demand the release of the four people, but the authorities used pepper spray to disperse them.

According to the activists, the herders are entitled to subsidies to cover losses due to setting aside pastureland to shield it from grazing in Inner Mongolia’s grasslands, which are under environmental stress from desertification and pollution from Chinese mining and other resource extraction activities.

Ethnic Mongolians make up almost 20 per cent of Inner Mongolia's 23 million people. Increasingly, they complain of widespread environmental destruction and unfair development policies in the region.

Clashes between mining and forestry companies and local herding communities are common.

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