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Mar 02 2012

Tibetan woman writer Woeser denied international accolade

Source: phayul.com

Delhi, March 5: Woeser has been again placed under house arrest and denied a visa to travel after being internationally recognised for her work for Tibetan freedom.

A leading and prominent writer, poet and activist for Tibetan freedom, Woeser was awarded the Netherlands based award last year for her ‘courage in speaking for those who are silenced and oppressed’. She was due to receive the prize at the Netherlands embassy but was told by Chinese authorities that this was not possible and she was now under house arrest in Beijing.

Director of the Prince Claus Fund, Christa Meindersma issued a reply to this injustice, she said: “The fact that Tsering Woeser is not free to leave her home and freely express herself demonstrates once again the importance of her voice.”

In an online video interview with the Associated Press, Woeser explained the events. Firstly, she received a phone call from the Beijing Public Security Bureau denying her the right to accept this accolade, and in addition, friends whom were due to attend were also not permitted.

Following this, two members of the State Security police informed her that she would not be able to leave her residence for the month of March, and should she do so, she would be followed. Woeser states the surveillance of her residence had already began two weeks prior when a car was constantly parked downstairs from her building.

Security has been increased even more so in Beijing in the build-up to China’s annual legislative session (the Chinese’s People’s Political Consultative Conference). In the past, this time has seen a number of individuals deemed to be problematic by the government oppressed and put under house arrest.

Jia Quinglin, a senior leader in government and leader of the country’s top government advisory group issued a statement against the supporters of the Dalai Lama, he said:

“The Communist Party committees and governments at all levels must closely rely on the people and resolutely crush the Dalai clique’s conspiracy to foment chaos in the Tibetan areas and uphold the harmony and the social stability of the Tibet and the Tibetan areas.”

Woeser has been previous barred from travelling after being awarded the Norwegian Author Union’s 2007 Freedom of Expression Prize and in 2010 the Internal Women’s Media foundation 2010 ‘Courage in Journalism’ award. This flagrant abuse of power by the Chinese Government is unacceptable and only serves to highlight the means they will go to silence the people of Tibet and their rightful voice for freedom.

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