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Tibet writer detained as Kerry visits China

Author says she has been placed under house arrest after US invited her to dinner event during Kerry visit to Beijing.

Last updated: 09 Jul 2014 12:33
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Woeser received an award from the US in 2013, but Beijing banned her from traveling to Washington DC [Reuters]

A well-known Tibetan writer has said that she and her husband have been placed under house arrest in Beijing, as China plays host to US State Secretary John Kerry for the latest round of US-China talks.

Tsering Woeser, who has been advocating for Tibetans rights, said on Wedensday that security officers arrived at her Beijing home late on Tuesday, shortly after she and her husband Wang Lixiong returned from a trip.

The state security officers refused to give a reason for the home detention, but Tsering Woeser said she believes it is related to a dinner invitation she received from the US Embassy, possibly to meet Kerry.

The US Embassy in Beijing did not immediately reply on Wednesday when asked to comment.

Tsering Woeser was awarded the 2013 International Women of Courage Award by the US State Department, but Beijing banned her from travelling to Washington to receive the award.

At the award ceremony, Kerry praised Tsering Woeser for her courageous writings on Tibetan people and their cause at a time of deteriorating human rights.

"Tsering Woeser has emerged as a clarion voice of the people, even as the Chinese government has worked to curtail the flow of information from Tibet," Kerry said at the time, according to a transcript posted on the State Department's website.

Tsering Woeser said the US Embassy had called her while she and Wang were travelling outside Beijing to extend an invitation to a Wednesday dinner, which she said she accepted over the phone.

She said the embassy never said whom she would meet, but she thought it could be Kerry, who wrote her a letter following last year's award.

"If I were to meet him, indeed, I would like to reply to his letter in person and offer my thanks," Tsering Woeser wrote on her Facebook page.

"But regrettably, I am now under house arrest."

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