Woeser Under House Arrest Once Again

Since 2008, Tibetan writer, activist, and blogger Woeser has repeatedly found herself (along with her husband Wang Lixiong) under house arrest. According to a post published yesterday on her Chinese-language blog, Wang and Woeser are again under detention in their Beijing residence. To close her post, Woeser included a summarizing English translation written by a friend explaining the current circumstances leading to their confinement:

Once more, as if holding to a depressingly regular schedule, Tsering Woeser and Wang Lixiong have been placed under house arrest.

This time it’s in order to skew the reports that will emerge from a trip to Lhasa that has been organized for foreign journalists in China.

Woeser has already met some of the journalists and the authorities seem concerned that her views will contradict the rosey picture that they want to present via an approved itinerary and scripted encounters meant to project an image of happy Tibetans living happy lives.

The group is scheduled to leave for Lhasa on July 6 and to be in Tibet until the 13th. A trip for diplomats is also scheduled, possibly for late June.

[…]For the moment it appears that this confinement will last at least until June 25 and possibly longer. [Source]

A report from Radio Free Asia looks to Woeser’s blog post to mention the alleged Lhasa trip that Beijing is organizing for foreign journalists:

“This time [the house arrest is] in order to skew the reports that will emerge from a trip to [Tibet’s regional capital] Lhasa that has been organized for foreign journalists in China,” she said.

Earlier this week, Woeser had met with two reporters and a foreign diplomat who plan to visit the Tibet Autonomous Region, the DPA news agency said.

“[Chinese] authorities seem concerned that my views will contradict the rosy picture that they want to present via an approved itinerary and scripted encounters meant to project an image of happy Tibetans living happy lives,” Woeser wrote in her blog. [Source]

Woeser and Wang Lixiong were both prominently featured in Voice of America’s recent “Fire in the Land of Snow” report. Since the 2008 Tibetan uprising and in the midst of an ongoing wave of Tibetans protesting Beijing’s policies by self-immolation, Tibetan areas of China have been largely inaccessible by foreign journalists. After France 24 journalist Cyril Payen made it to Lhasa to file a secretly-filmed exclusive in May, he reported that he had received threats from Chinese diplomats.

Woeser was recently honored by the U.S. State Department. She tweets as @degewa, and posts from her “Invisible Tibet” (看不见的西藏) blog are often translated by High Peaks Pure Earth. Also see prior CDT coverage of Tibet and Woeser.