Skip to content

Tsetsegee Munkhbayar Sentenced to 21 Years in Prison

February 4, 2014

2007 Goldman Prize winner Tsetsegee Munkhbayar has been sentenced to 21 years in prison following his involvement in a September 2013 demonstration in front of a Mongolian parliament building, during which a rifle was accidentally discharged.

Although no one was hurt, Munkhbayar and several of his colleges were charged with “acts of terrorism,” because they were bearing arms at the time of the protest, a charge that many in the international environmental community see as unnecessarily harsh.

Earthworks, an NGO dedicated to protecting communities and the environment from the impacts of irresponsible mineral and energy development, stated: “It is more likely the sentence is retribution for Mr. Munkhbayar’s long history of challenging environmentally destructive interests than because of any danger posed or law broken by Mr. Munkhbayar and his fellow activists.”

Munkhbayar and members from his organization United Movement of Mongolian Rivers and Lakes (UMMRL), together with 11 other NGOS, were protesting government attempts to weaken the “Law to prohibit mineral exploration and mining at headwaters of rivers, protected zones of water reservoirs and forested areas,” informally known as “the law with the long name” or LLN.

To learn more about Munkhbayar’s sentencing and the law he was fighting to protect, check out this action alert set up by Earthworks.

Related Posts

Stopping the Spill: How Oil Is Changing Our Earth


August 22, 2022 – By Jacqueline Kehoe

News headlines every few years can leave the impression that oil spills are rare, one-off events, like BP’s Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010 or the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster. In reality, they happen constantly: Over 700 million gallons of waste oil reach the ocean every year, destroying entire ecosystems and communities. Beyond its role in…

Read more

Indigenous Communities: Protectors of our Forests


August 8, 2022 – By Jacqueline Kehoe

It has now become widely understood in environmental circles that Indigenous groups around the world are often the best stewards of land conservation because of their longstanding cultural, spiritual, and physical connections to their territories. August 9, is UN International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, a day that recognizes the unique role of Indigenous…

Read more

In Your Backyard: Urban Oil Extraction


June 13, 2022 – By Jacqueline Kehoe

For many Americans, oil drilling doesn’t feel like a hometown issue—it’s the concern of far-off places, from 2010’s BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. “Urban oil extraction” can even sound like a myth. In reality, it’s happening in our own backyards. Once the first US oil well…

Read more