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Tibetan man disappeared after holding lone protest before Potala Palace

Lodroe Gyatso, also known as Sogkar Lodroe, is shown in an undated photo. (Photo courrtesy; RFA)
Lodroe Gyatso, also known as Sogkar Lodroe, is shown in an undated photo. (Photo courrtesy; RFA)

(TibetanReview.net, Feb01, 2018) – China is suspected to have taken into custody a 56-year-old Tibetan man in Tibet’s capital Lhasa after he staged a protest on Jan 28, shouting protests against Chinese rule. Lodoe Gyatso, also known as Sogkhar Lodoe, was said to have disappeared after that protest which took place in front of the iconic Potala Palace.

Even his family at Sogkhar Village of Tsadog Township in Sog County, Nagchu Prefecture, has no clue on what has happened to him.

The man had previously been convicted in 1991 for killing another man who had stabbed one of his five sisters to death in a fight after police inaction. He was jailed for 15 year after conviction.

While incarcerated in the infamous Drapchi Prison in Lhasa, he, in Mar 1995, staged a lone protest, shouting slogans such as “Tibet is independent”, “China out of Tibet” “Long live His Holiness the Dalai Lama” “Unity among six million Tibetans”. As a result, he was given death sentence for attempting to ‘split the country’. This was later commuted to life sentence, which he served for a total f 21 year.

He was said to be a local cultural committee member before his arrest.

Following his release on May 2, 2013, Gyatso was placed under police supervision. Even so, he continued to carry out political activities, criticizing China’s “oppressive policies” in some of the eastern counties of Nagchu Prefecture. He called Chinese treatment of Tibetans “contrary to national and international standards of law”.

He was also reported to have openly criticized the Chinese authorities’ insistence that Tibetans wore traditional clothing lined with furs of endangered wild animals, a practice discouraged by the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, and being therefore abandoned by local Tibetans since sometime before.

These led to his arrest, beating and torture. He was eventually released in Jul 2016. He was reported to have vowed to fellow-inmates that once released, he would stage a peaceful protest in Lhasa.

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