Renowned Former Tibetan Political Prisoner disappear after Police Arrest
A former Tibetan Political prisoner, well known for leading a protest inside the notorious Drapchi prison in 1995 has disappeared in Lhasa , two years after he was released from Chushul Prison in T.A.R
Lodoe Gyatso A.K.A Sogkar Lodoe went missing from Lhasa after he was presumed to be arrested by police authorities for allegedly staging a protest outside the great Potala Palace in Lhasa, the capital city of an independent Tibet, on 28 Jan. 2018.
According to local news outlets in exile, it is widely presumed that he was arrested by authorities after he was able to stage the protest as planned. However, it is unclear how the protest unfolded and what were his demands. His family was not informed of his arrest by authorities, leaving them unaware of his whereabouts and his physical conditions.
Lodoe Gyatso or Sogkar Lodoe was initially arrested and sentenced to 15 years for a criminal case on 17 Jan. 1993. While in prison, Lobsang met with a number of Tibetan political prisoners as inmates at the notorious Drapchi prison and staged a peaceful protest against the Chinese invasion and its misrule over Tibet, shouted slogans of freedom and peace while distributing around 300 handwritten notes on March 4, 1995.
His case grabbed international attention after local authorities called him to be executed in no less than three days after the protest in Drapchi. However, his death sentence was later commuted to six years in prison with an additional three years of all political rights deprivation after news of his execution sparked international condemnation, including intervention by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and leading Human Rights groups.
Lodoe Gyatso is believed to have been in and out of prison time and again after his release in May 2013. In one such incident he was briefly held for criticizing authorities’ order to summon monks and nuns who were studying in other provinces to return home or face dire consequences as unlawful.
Lodoe Gyatso was born in 1962 at Tsatak Township in Sog County and has five sisters and a younger brother. He was a member of Sog County’s traditional dance troop and has previously participated and won in athletics competitions on a county level. He is currently 57 years old and believed to be in a fragile health condition after serving two decades in Chinese prison undergoing harsh treatment and torture for a long time.