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Tibet-China-Yulshul-2014Dharamshala: - Sources coming from Tibet say, the former monk of the historic Karma Monastery, Lodoe Rabsel has been subjected to a secret detention for over a week soon after he was released after completing his two year and six month prison term.

The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD), based in Dharamshala stated that Lodoe Rabsel was released on 5 May 2014 from the high-security Powo Tramo Prison (also known as Bomi Prison) located in Pome (Ch: Bomi) County in Nyingtri (Ch: Nyingchi/Linzhi) Prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR).

Lodoe Rabsel was sentenced on 17 April 2012 by the Chamdo County People's Court with a fixed term of two years and six months. Two other monks of Karma Monastery, Lobsang Tsering and Dhondup Gyatso were sentenced along with Rabsel and received the same prison terms. However, there has been no information on Losang Tsering and Dhondup Gyatso since they were imprisoned over two years ago; they were detained on 30 January 2012.

They were arrested soon after empty government buildings in Karma Township were damaged by explosives and set on fire during the early hours of 26 October 2011, leaflets carrying protest slogans against the Chinese were also found. The local authorities claimed that monks from Karma Monastery were involved in the incident and detained Lodoe Rabsel along with Losang Tsering and Dhondup Gyatso for shielding the suspected monks' activities and helping them to flee.

TCHRD had earlier reported in January 2012 that Lodoe Rabsel was detained with another monk of the same monastery Namsey Sonam, around 29 October 2011. However, no information has been released on Namsey Sonam.

On 6 May 2014, a day after his release, when Lodoe Rabsel arrived in Chamdo, he was summoned by the County Public Security Bureau (PSB) office following which the senior monk disappeared. On 14 May 2014, a source who has contacts throughout the area revealed that the County PSB officers had in fact held Lodoe Rabsel incommunicado for more than a week.

The former monk has now been required to report himself to the authorities every week on his movements and activities, as well not being allowed to venture outside the perimeters of his own village. On the contrary to his human rights he should have received immediate medical attention and be reunited with his family.However, he has been warned by the County PSB against rejoining his religious practices along with wearing his robes and returning to any monastery. Lodoe Rabsel is now being cared for by his mother.

The three were charged under Article 310 of the Chinese Criminal Law that concerns willful concealment of criminal evidences and assisting suspected criminals to escape. Although there was no evidence, security officials had targeted Karma Monastery soon after the incident on 26 October 2011. Many monks were subjected to 'patriotic education' classes and underwent hours of rigorous interrogation.

TCHRD sources reported that the repeated visits and questionings by security officials put enormous psychological pressure on the monks many of whom fled the monastery. The mass departure of the monks led to the closure of the dialectics college where over 120 students were enrolled.

Urges have been made to Chinese authorities in Chamdo County to respect the lawful rights and freedoms of Lodoe Rabsel and refrain from putting him under any further surveillance and to allow him to practice his religious beliefs.

This case of and many others in Tibet are crucial reminders to the Chinese leadership that parroting slogans in favour of "rule of law" and "ethnic harmony" without honouring them in practice amounts to nothing more than a farce.

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