HUANGNAN, Qinghai, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- A court in northwest China's Qinghai Province on Friday sentenced a man to 13 years in jail for inciting a monk to self-immolate.
The Intermediate People's Court of Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture convicted Phagpa, 27, of intentional homicide and inciting secession after an open trial on Friday morning.
Phagpa is also deprived of his political rights for two years, according to the court verdict.
The defendant indoctrinated Drolma Je, a monk at the Dowa Monastery of Tongren County in Huangnan Prefecture, from June to July 2012, convincing him to self-immolate to achieve "freedom and independence for the Tibetan ethnic group," the court found.
Phagpa told Drolma Je that "self-immolators sacrificed their lives for Tibetan freedom and independence and are ethnic heroes" and that "self-immolating is good for the freedom and independence of the Tibetan ethnic group."
On Nov. 18, 2012, Drolma Je checked into a local hotel, bringing gas and other materials in preparation for the self-immolation.
However, his female cousin learned of his attempt and dissuaded him from going ahead, the court found.
Phagpa said in the court he will not lodge an appeal.
"I know I have made a mistake," Phagpa told Xinhua. "I want to say sorry to every one."
He said he was born in a poor nomadic family with 10 children and could not afford secular education.
Phagpa said he can not wash away his sin even after 500 of the cycles of life on Earth believed in by Buddhists, who also hold killing to be the biggest crime under their religion.
Phagpa said he has been well treated during his detention and has developed more legal knowledge, adding that he will turn over a new leaf in the future.
The court also found that Phagpa propagated ideas related to "Tibetan independence" during visits to the homes of local self-immolators in November 2012. He also gave the self-immolators' relatives money, as well as portraits of members of the "Tibetan government-in-exile."
On the afternoon of Nov. 12, 2012, Phagpa convinced locals to stage an illegal demonstration in Dowa Township of Tongren County. He took the lead in chanting "Tibetan independence" slogans in front of a local police department.
When Phagpa was apprehended, many photos of "Tibetan government-in-exile" members, as well as books and video clips with inflammatory content, were discovered on his computer, according to the court.
The court found that Phagpa's efforts to convince others to self-immolate constituted intentional homicide. His efforts to spread ideas related to "Tibetan independence" were intended to incite a split of the state and undermine national unity, thus constituting the crime of inciting secession, the court added.
It said the verdict was made based on the facts, nature and circumstances of the defendant's criminal acts and the harm they brought to society.
The opinions of both the prosecutors and defendants were fully taken into account, according to the court.
More than 100 people, including Phagpa's relatives and friends, were present at the trial.