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China puts Tibetan Writers Under House Arrest

China continues to suppress human rights in Tibet

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FILE - Tibetan writer Tsering Woeser is pictured in Inner Mongolia, northern China, June 23, 2014. Photo credit: VOA/AP
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April 27,2016:  Prominent Tibetan writers Tsering Woeser and her husband, Wang Lixiong, told Voice of America (VOA) they were placed under house arrest Wednesday in Beijing.

According to an email from Woeser, the couple are to remain in their home for the remainder of the week because of a five-day visit to China’s capital by the head of the American Himalayan Foundation, with whom Woeser is not personally familiar.

Woeser said neither she and nor her husband had ever had any contact with the foundation or received notification of its president’s visit. Her protest on Twitter caused concern and angry cries from supporters.

She also tweeted a message to the foundation notifying the group of their house arrest.

AHF made no response to VOA’s interview request by the deadline of filing the story.

Woeser, who has been recognized for speaking out publicly about human rights conditions for China’s Tibetan citizens, is regularly under state surveillance and placed under house arrest by Beijing. In 2013, she was denied a passport after planning to travel to the United States to receive a State Department “Women of Courage” award to mark International Women’s Day.

Woeser and her husband rank among China’s best-known thinkers on Beijing’s policies regarding ethnic minorities.

This report was produced in collaboration with VOA’s Mandarin service.

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Copyright 2016 NewsGram

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Tibetan Activist Sentenced to 5 Years of Imprisonment in China

A Tibetan education activist was on Tuesday sentenced to five years in prison by a Chinese court for inciting separatism, Amnesty International (AI) said, calling the sentence "unjust" and urging his immediate release.

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A Tibetan education activist was on Tuesday sentenced to five years in prison by a Chinese court for inciting separatism, Amnesty International (AI) said, calling the sentence “unjust” and urging his immediate release.

The main evidence against Tashi Wangchuk, who was sentenced by a court in Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai province, was a 2015 video by the New York Times about his campaign for saving the Tibetan language, according to his lawyer.

“Today’s verdict against Tashi Wangchuk is a gross injustice. He is being cruelly punished for peacefully drawing attention to the systematic erosion of Tibetan culture,” AI East Asia Research Director Joshua Rosenzweig was cited as saying by Efe news.

Before his arrest, the 31-year-old activist had expressed concern over the fact that many Tibetan children could not fluently speak their native language, contributing to the progressive extinction of the Tibetan culture.

Representational Image: Tibetan Teachings
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

“Tashi must be immediately and unconditionally released,” demanded AI, pointing out that the activist had already spent two years in detention without access to his family.

Rosenzweig claimed that Tashi Wangchuk “was a human rights defender and prisoner of conscience who used the media and China’s own legal system in his struggle to preserve Tibetan language, culture and identity”.

In the New York Times video, the activist had highlighted “the extreme discrimination and restrictions on freedom of expression that Tibetans face in China today”.

Also Read: An Attempt to Preserve Ancient Tibetan Literature

Non-profit Human Rights Watch (HRW) also criticized the prison term for Tashi Wangchuk, whose “only crime was to peacefully call for the right of minority peoples to use their own language”, a right safeguarded by the Chinese Constitution.

“His conviction on bogus separatism charges show that critics of government policy on minorities have no legal protections,” said HRW China Director Sophie Richardson. (IANS)

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