Former Tibetan prisoner disappears again in Lhasa

Lodoe Gyatso
Lodoe Gyatso
30th January 2018

Renowned former political prisoner Lodoe Gyatso is the latest victim among the hundreds to be ‘disappeared’ for resisting Chinese authorities

UPDATE 7 February 2018: Free Tibet has since learned that Lodoe Gyatso is being held in detention in Sog County, Nagchu Prefecture, having carried out a demonstration in Lhasa before his disappearance.

A former Tibetan prisoner has disappeared from Lhasa, less than two years after his release. Lodoe Gyatso, also known as Sog Khar Lodoe Gyatso, went missing in the Tibetan capital on 28 January 2018. 

Although the reason for Lodoe Gyatso’s disappearance is currently unclear, local Tibetans believe that he has been arrested and removed, possibly because he was planning to protest against the Chinese military occupation of Tibet.

Local sources who knew Lodoe Gyatso say that he wanted to organise a peaceful demonstration that would call for the return of the Dalai Lama, who he saw as a leader of world peace, to Tibet. The demonstration would also call for the demilitarisation of armed forces worldwide, including those of China, and for Tibet to become a zone for world peace. 

Struggling for freedom, inside and outside prison

Lodoe Gyatso is one of many Tibetans who have ‘disappeared’ after protesting against the occupation or raising concerns about human rights in occupied Tibet. 

Born in 1962 in Sog county in central Tibet, he was first arrested in 1993 in a criminal case and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.

On 4 March 1995, while he was in the notorious Drapchi Prison, Lodoe Gyatso wrote about his wish to protest against the Chinese occupation of Tibet. He subsequently read out loud a letter on this theme, distributed 300 hand-written letters and shouted pro-Tibet slogans.

Following this protest he was subjected to torture and finally put forward for execution. After the intervention of the United Nations and other human rights groups, the death sentence was commuted to a further six years imprisonment.

In 2013, after over two decades of imprisonment and in very poor health following the torture he experienced, Lodoe Gyatso was released. However, in 2015 and 2016 he was repeatedly arrested and detained after expresseing strong criticisms of the actions of Chinese authorities. 

Information supplied by Tibet Watch

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In Tibet the Chinese Communist Party oversees what some have called the world's largest open air prison. The authorities have the power to switch the light on and off, peering into Tibetans' emails one moment and making political prisoners vanish from their families and friends, apparently into darkness, the next. Help us push for Tibet's hidden political prisoners to be found and released.