Controls Remain on Tibetan Poet

Authorities question Woeser about being photographed in traditional Tibetan dress.

woeser-2009-305 Tibetan writer Woeser in an undated filephoto.

Authorities in the Chinese capital have kept up close surveillance of Tibetan poet and writer Woeser long after sensitive political anniversaries in March.

Woeser told RFA's Cantonese service that she had recently been questioned by state security police over a recent visit to a friend's house, where she had been photographed wearing traditional Tibetan dress.

"On [Monday] afternoon, they called me and questioned me about last Friday," said Woeser. "They told me that whatever I had photographed, I shouldn't break the law."

Woeser said the phone call meant the police were still closely monitoring her activities, probably via Twitter.

"This was a private matter," she said. "It was a photograph of me in traditional Tibetan dress."

"I really don't know what they can be thinking. Maybe they thought I was taking photos of something," she said.

Woeser and her husband, author Wang Lixiong, were both held under house arrest at their Beijing home in March, during sensitive anniversaries of political uprisings in Tibet, and during the country's annual parliamentary sessions.

Woeser has posted on her blog photos and information about Tibetans self-immolating in protest against Chinese rule in recent months. The self-immolations, 38 since February 2009, have led to a security clampdown and the detention of hundreds of Tibetans.

Chinese authorities have also repeatedly refused her applications for a passport, saying she is on the list of "people forbidden to leave the country by the national security ministry."

Reported by RFA's Cantonese service. Translated and written in English by Luisetta Mudie.


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