Self-immolation instigators may face homicide charges

By Bai Tiantian Source:Global Times Published: 2012-12-7 0:30:18

China has launched a new regulation to curb self-immolation after several Tibetans burned themselves to death over the past months, Gannan Daily from Northwest China's Gansu Province reported on Monday. 

The new regulation was said to have been drafted by the Ministry of Public Security, the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate, which pointed out that people who in any form plan, organize, incite or help others perform self-immolation will be tried for intentional homicide.

The regulation also stipulates that people who burn themselves in public places will be charged with a public security offense and those who parade a corpse through the streets or gather to watch the immolation without actively stopping the suicide will also be subject to criminal prosecution.

"To incite and help others commit self-immolation is in essence a criminal act depriving people of their lives," reads the regulation.

Xu Zhitao, a director of the United Front Work Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, told the Global Times on Tuesday that many of the people who perform self immolation have been brainwashed and lack basic judgment. 

"They act to some degree is very much like a suicide bomber. Many of those who set themselves on fire were coerced or tricked into burning themselves, believing by doing so their souls will be saved and they will be blessed in their next life," said Xu.

"It is just not in their religion to end their own lives in such an unnatural and abrupt way," Xu said. "The Tibetan Buddhism is long known for its advocacy of sympathy and leniency. They respect life more than anything and this new wave of self-immolation, sponsored by the Dalai Lama or not, is against the fundamental teachings of Buddhism and a severe violation of the law."


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