Tibetan Writer Woeser Detained on Arrival at Lhasa Airport

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Woeser in an undated photo.
Updated at 2.45 p.m. ET on 2014-08-08

Beijing-based Tibetan poet and writer Tsering Woeser said Chinese authorities detained and “intimidated” her during three hours of interrogations on arrival at the airport in the Tibetan capital Lhasa.

She said on her Twitter account that security personnel searched through all of her personal belongings and interrogated her after detaining her as she was about to leave the departure gate at Lhasa Gonggar Airport at 11 a.m. local time.

“Chinese security personnel stopped me before I left the main departure gate,” Woeser said.

“They interrogated me and went through my personal belongings in my handbag, taking pictures of my lingerie, medicine, cosmetics, books and DVDs, and even copying all the contents of my computer. They also thoroughly checked my cell phone.”

Woeser said that airport security had “intimidated” her during the three-hour interrogation.

“Last year I had the same problem, but this time the one thing I couldn’t tolerate was that they even interrogated my 72-year-old mother yesterday [Aug. 7],” she said.

Her mother lives in Lhasa, the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR).

Woeser told RFA’s Mandarin Service via Skype that it was inconvenient for her to be interviewed because “the authorities told me that they would ‘take actions’ if they found my conduct during my stay in Lhasa unacceptable.”


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