By Huizhong Wu
Tibet’s Drapchi prison does not let go of its inmates easily.
Lobsang Tenzin, a political prisoner of almost 25 years in Drapchi was released from the prison in June of 2012 due to poor health, according to Radio Free Asia. However, the news was not announced until May 1.
“The release was purposely kept secret and I did not tell anybody,” Penpa Tsemonling, a former cellmate of Tenzin’s said to Radio Free Asia. “Now, more details are coming out about his release, so I am speaking out to the media.”
The information about Tenzin’s release had been kept hidden in fear of potential backlash from media coverage, Tsemonling added.
Drapchi prison is known for the brutal treatment of its prisoners with torture and beatings allegedly administered regularly.
Tenzin was originally arrested in 1988 for participating in anti-Chinese riots in Lhasa. He was charged, along with five others, with the death of a Chinese police officer and given a death sentence. This sentence was reduced to a 25 year term after China came under political pressure internationally.
Even while he was in prison, Tenzin remained active forming the “Snow Lion Youth for Tibetan Independence” with three other prisoners and those outside of the prison as well.
Tenzin’s 25 year sentence would have ended this April.