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Mongolian investigative journalist convicted

(Globe International/IFEX) - 15 October 2012 - Globe International is deeply concerned about the criminal defamation charges brought against female journalist D. Bolormaa of the Zuunii Medee (Century News) daily newspaper. The Sukhbaatar District Court convicted the journalist under Article 111/2 of the Mongolian Criminal Code and sentenced her to pay compensation 61 times higher than the minimum wage (approx. US$6,200).

On 8 November 2010, Bolormaa published an article in Zuunii Medee, headlined "The director of the 'Mon Uran' Company B. Narankhuu is under investigation by the police for sexually abusing teenage girls".

After the publication Narankhuu filed a criminal lawsuit against the journalist accusing her of publicly defaming his business and individual reputation.

At the first hearing which was held in August 2011, the case was dismissed by the Sukhbaatar District Court, which noted that the journalist had no intention of defaming Narankhuu on purpose. Narankhuu then appealed to the Capital City Court. After reviewing the case in February 2012, the Court transferred the case to the First Instance Court for re-investigation.

". . . I have uncovered some information and believe that [Narankhuu] is in some way connected to this case. I am not pursuing my own interests. Human trafficking, especially trafficking of teenage girls, is an issue of great concern to society," Bolormaa said.

Meanwhile, the claimant was elected as a parliament member in the June 2012 election.

Bolormaa's attorney Ts. Mongol said an appeal would be filed against the sentence.

Earlier in 2012 Globe International launched "Ask!", a campaign for the decriminalisation of defamation, with the support of IFEX.

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