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Tashi-Rabten-Machu-Tibet-2016Dharamshala — A Tibetan doctor, allegedly held by police for over a month in Machu County of north-eastern Tibet over suspected links to a self-immolation protest, was released last week after suffering beatings and torture in detention, a source from Tibet says.

50-year old Khedup was allegedly taken into custody on December 14th by police in Machu (in Chinese, Maqu) county in Gansu’s Kanlho (Gannan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, a resident of the area told TPI.

“He was held for over a month in Machu county, and during that time was interrogated and tortured, suffering beatings and other mistreatment at the hands of the police,” the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Police suspected Khedrup of sending photos and video clips of the December 8th, 2016 self-immolation protest of Machu resident Tashi Rabten to international media, the source said.

“But the authorities could not produce any evidence of his crime, and he was therefore released on January 21, 2017,” he said.

Before his release, authorities warned Khedrup, the resident doctor at Machu’s Mura monastery, not to discuss with “outsiders” any details of what had happened to him while in detention, the source said.

“They said they would be closely watching his daily movements and activities, and warned him that he could be arrested again.”

Police did not return Khedrup’s mobile phone or other belongings taken from at the time he was detained, he said.

Tashi Rabten, 33, set himself ablaze on Dec. 8 at about 7:00 p.m. local time on a road leading from the Machu county center to the Machu Bridge, local sources said following the protest.

"Rabten was protesting against Chinese policies in Tibet," TPI's sources said in previous reports, adding, "His charred body was taken away by Chinese police."

"He shouted slogans such as "Long life His Holiness the Dalai Lama", "The return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama return to Tibet," and "The release of Panchen Lama Gendun Chokyi Nyima," sources previously told TPI, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Tibet was invaded by Communist China in 1949. Since that time, over 1.2 million out of 6 million Tibetans have been killed, over 6000 monasteries have been destroyed and acts of murder, rape, arbitrary imprisonment, torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment were inflicted on the Tibetans inside Tibet. Beijing continues to call this a "peaceful liberation".