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Newspaper editor's conviction for defamation of former Miss Mongolia upheld by appeals court

(Globe International/IFEX) - On 3 February 2007, an appeals court reaffirmed the ruling delivered by a court in the village of Kherlen Soum, located in Dornod Aimag (province), convicting "Dornod" newspaper's editor-in-chief, B. Tuya, of defamation, pursuant to a complaint filed by Miss Mongolia 1994, G. Tuul.

In "Dornod" newspaper's 10 November 2006 issue, an article entitled "Women-trafficking network emerges" said, "? Even a woman who was once Mongolia's Miss and was the face of her aimag got in bed with a foreigner, was kicked off of a balcony and became disabled ?". Tuul believed the sentence had referred to her and turned to the courts to restore her reputation.

"Dornod" newspaper's editor-in-chief believes that her newspaper merely warned about Dornod Aimag's girls going to China to prostitute themselves in Manjuur city's bars, clubs and motels, and did not single out any particular person and insult him or her. In any case, "Dornag" was actually quoting "Seruuleg", another newspaper. Before the article came out, Tuul had fallen from a height in China and seriously injured her back and legs; she claimed to have fallen from a bridge.

However, Tuul was not the only prize-winning participant from Dornod Aimag in the Miss Mongolia competition in the nineties, there were three other winners from that province.

The court in Dornod Aimag convicted "Dornod" newspaper of defaming Ms. Tuul and ruled that the newspaper had to pay 500,000 Tugriks (approx. US430); Tuul had sued for 3 million Tugriks.

"Dornod" newspaper was identified as the best regional newspaper by the Press Institute in 2003 and 2004.

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