Tibetan Dissident Launches Rare Lawsuit Against Chinese Government

A Beijing-based Tibetan writer has launched a lawsuit against the Chinese government this week, in a rare act of protest.

Tsering Woeser (who normally uses one name - Woeser) filed the lawsuit after being prevented from traveling overseas to accept an award for her writing earlier this year.

The poet and activist told foreign reporters the government has not provided an official explanation for why she has been denied a passport for the past three years. But she said she was told unofficially that she poses a threat to state security.

In March, Woeser reported being placed under house arrest when protests began in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa. She published information on the Internet about the sometimes-violent Tibetan protests and resulting government crackdown.

Her Chinese-language blogs have been disabled by hackers and shut down by the Chinese government, which has banned her books.

In a separate development, human rights groups called Thursday for the immediate release of Chinese Internet writer Du Daobin.

The overseas rights groups say Du was arrested earlier this week as part of a pre-Olympics crackdown on political dissent.

Also Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives moved closer to passing a resolution calling on the Chinese government to halt human rights abuses, including those against Tibetans and Uighur minorities. The House is expected to vote on the non-binding measure next week.

The resolution calls on U.S. President George Bush to make a strong statement about human rights in China during his visit next month to the Beijing Olympics