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14may20102Dharamshala: A Beijing-based Tibetan writer, Tsering Woeser, has received the 2010 ‘Courage in Journalism Award'. Each year the award recognizes heroic women journalists from all over the world who risk political persecution and personal safety in their efforts to expose corruption and defend human rights. It is bestowed by the International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF), a global network founded in 1990, dedicated to strengthening the role of women in the news and media worldwide and promoting further freedom of press. The IWMF includes women and men in the media in more than 130 countries worldwide.

Woeser, a freelance writer and blogger for the site ‘Invisible Tibet', has been under constant scrutiny from the Chinese authorities since the publication of her book ‘Notes on Tibet' in 2003. The book was banned almost immediately as China saw it as a threat to their nation. Woeser was accused of writing sympathetic and favorable references to the Dalai Lama whom Beijing condemns as a ‘separatist', and she has not been allowed to publish in China since, although these restrictions have failed to deter her.

Born in Lhasa in 1966, Woeser is a quarter-Han Chinese and three quarter-Tibetan. She graduated from the South West University for Nationalities in Chengdu in 1988 and is celebrated as one of the few Tibetan authors to write in Chinese. In 2007, Tsering Woeser was granted the Norwegian Authors Union awards Freedom of Expression Prize but was effectively barred by Chinese authorities from leaving China for Oslo to accept the honour. She was also awarded an honorary ‘freedom of speech medal' by the Association of Tibetan Journalists (ATJ) based in Dharamshala. In her acceptance speech written from Beijing, she expressed, "If everyone gives up their rights out of fear, then there will be more unrestricted oppression from leaders. So, the best way to enjoy freedom of speech and expression is to break out of the restricted rules and regulation curtailing freedom."

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