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    Reporters Without Borders said in it’s 2005 special report titled “Xinhua: the world’s biggest propaganda agency”, that “Xinhua remains the voice of the sole party”, “particularly during the SARS epidemic, Xinhua has for last few months been putting out news reports embarrassing to the government, but they are designed to fool the international community, since they are not published in Chinese.”
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Archive for the ‘Woeser’ Category

China: Tibet’s most famous woman blogger, Woeser, detained by police

Posted by Author on August 26, 2008

Jane Macartney in Beijing, The Times Online, UK, Aug. 26, 2008 –

Tibet’s most famous woman writer and blogger was accused of taking photographs of military installations and arrested by police after she returned home briefly to Lhasa, the capital.

The detention of Woeser, who, like many Tibetans, goes by a single name, underscores the nervousness of the authorities in the Himalayan city, where 22 people were killed and hundreds of offices and businesses were set alight when Tibetans, restive under Beijing rule, rioted in the streets in March.

Eight police arrived at the home of Woeser’s mother on Thursday and presented the writer with a summons to accompany them for questioning. Her husband, the author Wang Lixiong, said: “They had used the wrong name on the document so I insisted that they correct the name before they could take her away. I reminded them that they had to bring her home within the stipulated 12 hours.”

She was held for questioning for eight hours by several officers who said that they were acting on a tip-off from a member of the public who had seen her photographing army and police positions in Lhasa from a taxi.

Mr Wang, who spoke on behalf of his wife because he was worried for her safety, told The Times: “She told them that it was not illegal to take photographs in a public place and she had not visited any secret areas or military installations. They had no legal basis for holding her.”

The police searched her mother’s home and removed several documents as well as Mr Wang’s laptop. They hacked his password, checked all his documents and required Woeser to erase every photograph that showed a policeman or army officer.

Mr Wang said: “I can’t say whether their intention was to intimidate. But if they can do this to an influential writer who has done nothing more than take photographs, then one can only imagine the kind of threat that ordinary people in Tibet must feel every day.”

The couple decided to return home to Beijing but first organised a reunion party with Woeser’s many family and friends in Lhasa. Many did not attend, apparently afraid of possible consequences after her arrest. The couple flew back to Beijing on Saturday, less than 48 hours after her summons and six days into a planned month-long visit to Lhasa.

Woeser has become one of the best-known Tibetans, first as a poet whose works were approved by the Government and then as a dissident after her first book of prose was banned in 2003. She has not been allowed to publish in China since, but the restrictions have failed to deter her. She was forced to place a blog that she began in 2005 on a server outside China after it was hacked and closed. Her current blog — — is the most popular site for many Tibetans and has recorded three million hits since she launched it on an overseas server early last year.

The Tibetan capital remains under lockdown. The city is patrolled by police and paramilitary forces, many deployed around the Jokhang temple, the holiest shrine in Tibetan Buddhism in the heart of the Old City. On the pilgrim route that circles the temple at least four teams of paramilitary police are on guard around the clock.

Each comprises five men carrying rifles who patrol a section of the route. Buddhists twirling prayer wheels and performing prostrations wend their way among the armed men. Some of the teams, dressed in camouflage, have recently been replaced by patrols carrying what appear to be teargas launchers in tubes on their backs.

There is little sign of increased security in the areas of Lhasa where most ethnic Han Chinese live.

Literary life

— Born in Lhasa in 1966 to a Tibetan mother and a Han father who was an army officer, she grew up speaking, and mainly writes in, Chinese

— Returned to work in Tibet in the 1990s and made a name for herself publishing collections of her poems

— Her collection of travel stories, Notes on Tibet, was published in 2003 and swiftly banned

— After the March riots, hackers hijacked her blog, removed its content and left an animation of China’s five-star national flag fluttering below the message: “Long Live the People’s Republic of China! Down will [with] all Tibetan independence elements!!!”

Source: Times research

Posted in China, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Lasa, Law, News, People, Politics, Social, SW China, Tibet, Tibetan, Woeser, Women, World, writer | 4 Comments »

China: A Record of Tibet Unrest (1) April 10, 2008– by Tibetan Writer Woeser

Posted by Author on April 22, 2008

By Tsering Woeser, Reprinted from Woeser’s Blog, Via The Epochtimes, Apr 17, 2008-

Note: Tsering Woeser is the foremost Tibetan writer in Tibet and China today. She has published these entries in her blog to record the incidents occurring in Tibet and China. According to Radio Free Asia (RFA), she has been under house arrest in Beijing since March 10.

April 10, 2008

Today– it’s been exactly one month since March 10–is the 28th day since the Tibetans who died during the “3.14” event. It is also called “Kutes Shepa,” in terms of Tibetan burial custom, when many Tibetans in Lhasa light their candles praying for those deceased souls.

The No. 19 Arrest Warrant issued by the Department of Public Security of Tibet Autonomous Region, was broadcast in both Tibetan and Chinese on Tibet TV’s Entertainment Channel and Lhasa Television Station. Five men and one woman were wanted. So far there have been 111 wanted Tibetans in total.

It was reported that some rooms in the Lhasa Railway Station have been designated as temporary jails. Arrested Tibetans were sent by train to prisons in northwestern China. Currently all Tibetans traveling by train from Lhasa to Xining City in Qinghai Province have been examined thoroughly as many as seven times. No Tibetan is allowed to enter Lhasa without the identification card issued by the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR).

To ensure the successful passage of the Olympic Torch through the Himalayan region in early May, the TAR instructed travel agencies not to allow foreign visitors. This notice withdrew an earlier decision by the regional tourism department, that is, the Tibetan region will be reopened to foreign tourists as of May 1.

According to sources, some monks were arrested from the Labrang Monastery in Xiahe County in the region of Amdo (under Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Gansu Province) because yesterday they told the truth, to some foreign reporters. About 30 monks from the Oula Monastery in Machu County and 10 other Tibetans in Machu’s Oula Town were arrested on the evening of April 7. Lobsang Tscheng, Lobsang Tsundue, Lobsang Tinley, Lobsang Ngama and Jamyang Ngama were among the 23 monks who were arrested from the Kirti Monastery in Aba County in the region of Amdo (under Aba Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan Province). Theauthorities are launching a propaganda campaign across Aba to conceal the truth. Local people were asked to make declarations, in front of propaganda agents’ cameras, stating: “Oppose the Dalai clique; never collect Dalai Lama’s portraits; do not join in the Dalai clique; never follow national splittists; the plot of ethnic separation will be foiled; support the Chinese Communist Party (CCP); follow the Party’s leadership and express thanks for the Party’s kindness.” They were also warned that they would be arrested if they refused to make such a public declaration.

Original report from The Epochtimes: A Record of Tibetan Unrest: April 10–April 13

Posted in China, Communist Party, ethnic, Human Rights, Incident, Killing, Lasa, Law, News, People, Politics, Propaganda, Religious, Social, SW China, Tibet, Tibetan, Woeser, World, writer, Xizang | Comments Off on China: A Record of Tibet Unrest (1) April 10, 2008– by Tibetan Writer Woeser

China: Bad Start to Year For Online Free Expression

Posted by Author on January 13, 2007

Reporters Without Borders, 12 January 2007-

There has been a wave of violations of online free expression since the start of the year, Reporters Without Borders said today. A website covering corruption cases was shut down on 8 January, the Sichuan authorities are continuing to enforce an Internet ban on Tibetan poet Woeser, and the wife of Yang Maodong (Guo Feixiong), one of the 50 cyber-dissidents jailed in China, today said he is being regularly tortured.

“The Internet is developing at breakneck speed in China but without any letup in censorship,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Both in Beijing and the provinces, the authorities still crack down on those who discuss sensitive political issues online. We are particularly shocked at the report of Guo Feixiong being tortured in prison. China continues to be a police state that sees the Internet as something to be censored and controlled. This must be resisted.”

A lawyer held since 14 September 2006, Guo Feixiong is officially charged with “illegal business activities” but the real reason for his detention is his human rights activities. He is a member of the writers’ organisation, the Independent Chinese PEN, and regularly wrote for news websites. His wife, Zhang Qing, told Agence France-Presse he has been repeatedly tortured. She said he had been chained to a bed and beaten for 40 days in a row to make him confess.

The authorities are continuing to enforce an online publication ban on Tibetan writer and poet Woeser, whose blogs were shut down last July. The police in the city of Mingyang, in the southwestern province of Sichuan, ordered a Tibetan website on 7 December to eliminate any reference to her writings.

Finally on 8 January, the police in Xiamen, in the southeastern province of Fujian, closed down, a website founded in 2003 that published news about corruption cases and monitored the activities of local authorities. The police said it published “bad information.” One of its recent articles was headlined “Liaoning province committee secretary protects murky forces.”

original report

Posted in Activist, Beijing, Blog, censorship, China, Guo Feixiong, Human Rights, Internet, Journalist, Law, Lawyer, News, People, Politics, SE China, Social, Speech, SW China, Tibet, Tibetan, Torture, website, Woeser | Comments Off on China: Bad Start to Year For Online Free Expression

China: Tibetan Intellectual’s Blogs Shuttered

Posted by Author on October 10, 2006

Human Rights Watch, London, October 9, 2006-

Chinese authorities’ closure of a leading Tibetan intellectual’s blogs signals another online chill, Human Rights Watch said today. Oeser, whose blog at was closed in late September, is the first Tibetan writer inside the mainland to openly raise in Chinese critical questions about China’s role in Tibet and to urge Beijing to negotiate with the Dalai Lama.

Oeser, born in 1966, graduated with a degree in Chinese from the Southwestern Institute for National Minorities in Chengdu, and later attended the Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing as a visiting scholar.

From 1990 she worked as an editor of the journal Tibetan Literature (Xizang Wenxue) in Lhasa. She is the author of 10 volumes, including one book of collected poems, a prose volume Notes on Tibet (2003), and two books on the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution which are not distributed in China. She was removed from her position at the Tibet Cultural Association in Lhasa in 2004 after China’s United Front Department and its Publications Bureau determined that her writings contained “political errors” due to the positive references in Notes on Tibet to the exiled Tibetan leader. Oeser has reportedly has been unable to apply for a passport since then.

Because readers in China have no access to her books, Oeser began to make extensive use of the Internet to disseminate her writings. In February 2005, Oeser established her first blog through

Although the first Tibet-related websites and blogs were launched around 2000, Oeser’s blogs set a new standard for frank discussions on a number of highly sensitive issues, such as HIV/AIDS in Tibet, the Tibet railway, the 40th anniversary of the Cultural Revolution, the anniversary of the events in Tibet in March 1959, and other sensitive matters.

Oeser’s blogs prompted an increasing number of Tibetan and ethnic Chinese intellectuals, and many from other minority groups, to publicly debate topics relating to Tibet, including ethnic discrimination, environmental degradation, and cultural dilution as a result of migration.

Over the course of 2005 and 2006, some pages of were temporarily shut down and then reopened. Around May 2006, Oeser also was invited by a friend to blog on a list hosted by Although the blog hosted by was not as popular as the earlier one through, both blogs were shut down in late July 2006.

In August 2006, Oeser made a third attempt at electronic discussion via On September 21, Oeser took part from Beijing in a live broadcast on the U.S.-based broadcasting service VOA to discuss rare photographs she had recently published of the Cultural Revolution in Tibet. Her blog on was removed by authorities in late September.

In recent years, the Chinese government and Communist party officials have moved aggressively to shut down websites, blogs, and other electronic forums that discuss what the government considers sensitive topics, using a sophisticated network of human and technological controls. Journalists, bloggers, webmasters, writers, and editors who sent news out of China or who even debated among themselves about Tibet, Taiwan, and human rights, among other subjects, have faced punishments ranging from sudden unemployment to long prison terms. In an August 2006 report, “Race to the Bottom,” Human Rights Watch extensively documented Chinese government censorship of the Internet (

In January 2005 five Tibetan monks from Drakar Trezong Monastery in Qinghai received reeducation-through-labor sentences of up to three years for publishing a journal called “Great Rays of the Sun and Moon,” which authorities alleged contained “splittist” views. The monks were on the editorial team of the journal.

And in July 2006, the Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda department barred domestic media outlets from carrying stories about Princess Yabshi Pan Rinzinwangmo, the daughter of Tibet’s late 10th Panchen Lama. Panchen Lamas are second in importance only to Dalai Lama, and are seen by Chinese authorities as a symbol of resistance to their authority.

China has signed but not ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and it allows virtually no freedom of speech, assembly, association, or religion in Tibet. Those who oppose Chinese rule are frequently detained and tortured, and even those simply practicing their religion are often subject to harassment and worse.

“If China is serious about autonomy with respect to Tibet, it must permit free, unfettered debate about Tibet and conditions there,” said Richardson.

Posted in Blog, censorship, China, Culture, Journalist, Law, Life, People, Politics, Religion, Religious, Report, Social, Speech, Taiwan, Technology, Tibetan, Woeser, writer | Comments Off on China: Tibetan Intellectual’s Blogs Shuttered

China: seven websites shut down in the past few weeks

Posted by Author on August 11, 2006– China’s Communist party has launched a new crackdown on the Internet, with at least seven websites shut down in the past few weeks following a recent pledge by authorities to “take effective measures to place chat forums, blogs and search engines under control,” says Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF).

The crackdown began on 25 July 2006, when authorities closed the websites of Century China (Shiji Zhongguo) and the chat forum of the magazine “Life Week” (Sanlian Shenghuo Zhoukan).

Founded in July 2000, the Century China website (http:// is an important space for debate and discussion among intellectuals and dissidents. Articles about subjects ranging from sport to politics were frequently posted on the site.

“Life Week” is a Beijing-based cultural magazine that covers sensitive political issues such as corruption and allows visitors to post news reports from foreign news media. More than 100 Chinese intellectuals have signed a letter urging authorities to lift the ban on the websites (see:

On 28 July, two blogs belonging to Tibetan poet Woeser (also known as Oser and, in Chinese, Wei Se) were shut down by their host providers without explanation. Woeser used her blogs ( and to post her poems and essays about Tibetan culture, as well as articles written by her husband, Wang Lixiong, an independent Chinese writer. Most of the visitors to the blogs were Tibetan students, notes RSF. Woeser is one of the few Tibetan authors and poets who write in Chinese. Her book “Notes on Tibet” was banned in 2004 because of its favourable references to the Dalai Lama. She was fired from her job, evicted from her home and lost her social welfare entitlement. She was also forced to write articles recognising her “political errors.” Wang’s website (, has also been shut down.

Since late July, e-Wiki (, a Chinese collaborative encyclopedia based on the popular website Wikipedia, has ceased functioning, says RSF. Local sources told RSF that the decision was linked to posted articles that described James Lung, the head of the Hong Kong-based Southern Democratic Alliance, as a politician close to the Falun Gong spiritual movement and outspoken in his criticism of the Communist Party. Another recently posted article referred to the Taiwanese authorities as the “government of the Republic of China” and said they were not ready to give up their sovereignty and autonomy.

In the latest case, authorities withdrew the operating licence of the website Polls (Zhongguo guoqing zixun) on 3 August. The website ( had recently asked visitors to “cast votes” on the question: “Do you think the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China should be chosen from among several candidates in differential voting?” Nearly 75 per cent of those polled had answered yes.

The crackdown on websites comes in the wake of a new set of rules issued by Chinese authorities in September 2005. China’s stated policy goals underlying the new rules are to regulate Internet news, satisfy the public’s demand for news, safeguard national security, protect the rights of Internet news providers, and promote the “healthy and orderly” development of Internet news.


AI report 2006- China overview(2)
Undermining freedom of expression in China, Amnesty
China’s new wave of Internet censorship, RSF

Posted in Blog, censorship, chat, Human Rights, Internet, People, Politics, search engine, Social, Technology, website, Woeser, writer | Comments Off on China: seven websites shut down in the past few weeks

Tibetan poet’s blogs closed down

Posted by Author on August 1, 2006– Reporters Without Borders today condemned the sudden disappearance on 28 July of two blogs by leading Tibetan poet Woeser (also known as Oser and, in Chinese, Wei Se). They were shut down by the websites that hosted them –, a Tibetan cultural portal, and, a local blog platform – presumably on government orders amid a continuing wave of online censorship in China.

“We are appalled by the closure of Woeser’s blogs and we call for them to be reopened,” the press freedom organisation said. “As her poetry is banned in China, these blogs were the only way she had left to express herself. Their disappearance shows how the Chinese authorities go out of their way to limit Tibetan culture to folklore for tourists.”

Reporters Without Borders added: “Political control of the Chinese Internet is becoming more and more strict. The Chinese search engines recently updated their word filters while chat forums have been closed on government orders. We again appeal to the Chinese authorities to respect freedom of expression, a right guaranteed under their constitution.”

Woeser used her two blogs – and – to post her poems and essays about Tibetan culture, as well as articles written by her husband, Wang Lixiong, an independent Chinese writer. Most of the visitors to the blogs were Tibetan students who, like Woeser, had received their education in Chinese and who wanted to renew contact with their original Tibetan culture.

Woeser is one of the few Tibetan authors and poets to write in Chinese. She is committed to the defence of Tibetan culture and her book “Notes on Tibet” was banned in 2004 because of its favourable references to the Dalai Lama. She was fired from her job, evicted from her home and lost her social welfare entitlement. She was also forced to write articles recognising her “political errors.” But she has continued to work and several of her books have been published in Taiwan in recent years.

The disappearance of her two blogs comes a few days after the closure of the forum of her husband’s website, and that of a site that was very influential among Chinese intellectuals, Century China.

Related: Undermining freedom of expression in China, AI

Posted in Blog, censorship, Dissident, Human Rights, Internet, Journalist, People, Politics, Religion, Religious, Social, Speech, Technology, Woeser, Women, writer | 1 Comment »