Dharamshala — A Tibetan political prisoner has been secretly released by Chinese authorities in order to avoid public celebration of his arrival by local Tibetans in Serthang, Dashi county in the Tsojang Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture.
Samdup Gyatso, who is in his early 30s, was released on May 1 from Drapchi Prison, one of the most notorious prisons in occupied Tibet. He was escorted to his native town of Serthang on May 3.
Due to being brought back to Serthang in secret, "the local Tibetans could not provide a welcoming reception, and they could not assess his state of health," a source, who calls himself Phuntsok, said.
Gyatso was arrested on May 1 2010 after carrying out a solitary protest in front of Jhokang Temple in Lhasa, in which he called for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet and for the restoration of Tibetan property destroyed by a major earthquake in the occupied land.
Following Gyatso's arrest, his whereabouts remained unknown for several weeks. Phuntsok said: "Later, he was found in Drapchi Prison, serving a five year sentence."
Gyatso was also briefly detained in 2009 upon his return from a trip to India. He was charged with "possession of books comprised of the teachings of the Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama," among other allegations. He was subsequently released after three days of interrogation and fined 10,000 Chinese Yuan.