DHARAMSALA, July 10: Following Beijing’s two-day detention at home of a well known Tibetan writer-activist, Tsering Woeser and her husband, the US is now investigating why the Tibetan writer was prevented from attending a private dinner on women’s issue at the US Embassy in Beijing during Secretary of the State John Kerry’s visit.
The US State Department spokeswoman said the US is “concerned” that Tsering Woeser who was given US State Department “International Woman of Courage Award” last year and another past recipient of the award, whose name she did not mention, had been placed under house arrest and prevented from attending the Embassy dinner.
“We’re looking into the matter to determine more details about what happened here and of course the reasons,” a Bloomberg report quoted Jen Psaki as telling a regular briefing in Washington.
On her facebook page, Tsering Woeser said state security officers arrived at her Beijing home late Tuesday evening, shortly after she and her husband Wang Lixiong returned from a trip outside Beijing.
Though the security officers refused to provide any reason for the house arrest, she believed that it is related to a dinner invitation she received from the U.S. Embassy over the phone during her trip, which she accepted.
The US Secretary of the State John Kerry is currently in Beijing along with US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew for annual talks with Chinese officials on political and economic issues.
Kerry raised the issue of human rights in a “direct, candid” way as well as US concern over the arrests and harassment of increasing number of individuals who express political views, the report quoted a senior US official as telling reporters after the first day of talks.
According to the same official, Kerry also urged China to respect and protect the religious, cultural and linguistic rights and characteristics of ethnic minorities, particularly in Tibet and Xinjiang,