Latest and updated photo of Lodoe Gyatso: Photo: TPI

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Dharamshala, India — A Tibetan man released from prison five years ago after serving a 21-year sentence for 'attempting to split the country' in 2000, has reportedly disappeared again, as of January 28, 2018. This will be his second detention in the past three years, as he was previously detained by authorities in 2016.

Tibet-Lodoe-Gyatso-Political-2018Dharamshala, India — A Tibetan man released from prison five years ago after serving a 21-year sentence for 'attempting to split the country' in 2000, has reportedly disappeared again, as of January 28, 2018. This will be his second detention in the past three years, as he was previously detained by authorities in 2016.

Lodoe Gyatso, 57, a Tibetan activist from Sok county of eastern Tibet was released from a Chinese jail after being imprisoned for two decades. Gyatso was born in 1962 in Sokkhar village in Tsardrok, Sokdzong in Kham province of Eastern Tibet. Gyatso disappeared on January 28, 2018 and has not been heard from since, Jinpa a Tibetan living in exile told the TPI, citing contacts in the region. 

In 2016, it was also reported that "Gyatso disappeared into Chinese police custody, in 2016. He was detained in Lhasa, Capital of Tibet around midnight on May 14, 2016 and has not been heard from since." This most recent detention is also for unknown reasons and his family has no information of his whereabouts or information about his detention.

He is the son of the late Jigme and Sonam Yeshe. A member of the local cultural committee, Gyatso was active in spreading aspects of Tibetan culture across the region, sources previously said. In 1993, one of Gyatso's five sisters was killed by a man who Gyatso reportedly later stabbed, allegedly in self-defense, after repeatedly informing the police, who failed to take any action. In 1994, he was moved to a prison in Nagchu and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment. Gyatso was later transferred to another prison in Drapchi.

While imprisoned in Drapchi, he reportedly staged protests and shouted slogans calling for the long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and about the human rights situation in Tibet and read it loudly. He also encouraged other inmates to join in on his slogans and distributed handwritten pamphlets. Gyatso was then reportedly tortured and kept in solitary confinement. After being transferred back, he repeated this and reports state that he was brutally tortured for a month in March 1995, causing severe health problems, including kidney failure. Reports also emerged from prison that he was going to be sentenced to death.

This information was reported to the Tibetan media and the Tibetan administration, with the help of various NGO's requested the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to intervene. As a result, the Chinese government commuted his sentence. The formal charge that was brought up against him was efforts to 'split the country.'

In 1998, there were mass protests inside the prison against the Chinese authorities and Lodoe Gyatso was shifted to the infamous Chushul prison, in the outskirts of Lhasa. He was released on May 2, 2013. 

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