DHARAMSHALA, Feb. 6: A former political prisoner from Sog County who was reported missing from Lhasa on January 28 has been traced to a Chinese prison in Sog County.
Sogkhar Lodoe or Lodoe Gyatso had reprtedly carried out a solo protest in front of the Potala Palace in the Tibetan capital before being arrested by the Chinese police, a Tibetan exile who knows him told Phayul.
Lodoe had served 21 years in Chinese prison on charges of killing a man while defending himself in 1993, according to rights group Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democrarcy. He was also re-arrested in May 2016 without any explanation from Chinese authorities and released two months later in poor health.
In March 1995, while being imprisoned at Drapchi Prison, Lodoe Gyatso undertook a lone protest and shouted slogans such as “Tibet is independent”, “China out of Tibet” “Long live His Holiness the Dalai Lama” “Unity among six million Tibetans”.
Consequently, the Tibet Autonomous Region Intermediate Court sentenced him to death. However, following intense objection by international rights groups and the United Nations, the Chinese government commuted his sentence to 21 years in prison.
Lodoe Gyatso is from Sogkhar Village of Tsadog Township in Sog County, Nagchu Prefecture in the Tibet Autonomous Region.
His protest in Lhasa called for the return of exiled Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama, demilitarisation of Tibet, and transformation of Tibet into a “zone of peace”, according to sources.