Spain orders arrest of former Chinese president, others over Tibet

MADRID Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:39am EST

China's former President Jiang Zemin looks up while President Hu Jintao gives his speech during the opening ceremony of 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, November 8, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Lee

China's former President Jiang Zemin looks up while President Hu Jintao gives his speech during the opening ceremony of 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, November 8, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Jason Lee

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MADRID (Reuters) - Spanish High Court Judge Ismael Moreno on Monday sought international arrest orders for former Chinese President Jiang Zemin, ex-Prime Minister Li Peng and others on allegations of genocide in Tibet.

The case against the former Chinese leaders was brought by human rights groups under Spain's recognition of universal jurisdiction - the principle that crimes against humanity can be prosecuted across borders.

It is the same concept used by Spain's former judge Baltasar Garzon to bring about the 1998 arrest of Chile's ex-dictator Augusto Pinochet in London. Pinochet was eventually allowed to return to Chile for health reasons.

"Jiang exercised supervisory authority over the people who directly committed abuses, which makes him responsible for acts of torture and other major abuses of human rights perpetrated by his subordinates against the people of Tibet," Moreno wrote in his ruling.

The judge ordered Interpol to issue the arrest order seeking capture and imprisonment of Jiang for genocide, torture and crimes against humanity. He issued similar orders for Li and other Chinese officials in the 1980s and 1990s.

China's Foreign Ministry called on Spain on Friday to prevent further lawsuits that seek to probe alleged Chinese rights abuses in the restive region of Tibet.

Two Tibetan support groups and a monk with Spanish nationality brought a case in Spain in 2006 against the former Chinese leaders over allegations they committed genocide in Tibet.

Over the years a number of Spanish judges have charged international figures with human rights crimes and tried to have them arrested and brought to Spain for questioning.

Spain's ruling People's Party is pushing a reform of the country's recognition of the principle of universal jurisdiction that could restrict the capacity of judges to act beyond the country's borders.

Communist Chinese troops took control of Tibet in 1950. China says it "peacefully liberated" the Himalayan region it says was mired in poverty, exploitation and economic stagnation

(Reporting by Fiona Ortiz; Editing by Paul Day)

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Comments (4)
njglea wrote:
Good Job, Spain. Terrorists and murderers, governmental or otherwise, are Everybody’s Business. Wonder why, “Spain’s ruling People’s Party is pushing a reform of the country’s recognition of the principle of universal jurisdiction…” Is it the top 1% global financial elite “people’s” party? Good people of Spain need to make sure this law is not overturned, then go after mass-murderer Assad and his regime in Syria. Why wait and let him murder more Syrian citizens? Get rid of them now.

Feb 10, 2014 9:52am EST  --  Report as abuse
VultureTX wrote:
@njglea

because if Spain can do it , anyone can including China. And guess what their version of genocide/crimes against humanity/etc is likely wrong compared to Western Civ.

publish a book about China’s faults that cause people to revolt in die in China, well the DPRK (north Korea) will put your author on trial for mass murder and then send you the bill for the executioner’s bullet because you are guilty.

/it is just like trusting the UN, and abandoning the idea of sovereignty, someone else will claim it and judge you. And yes it will usually effect the 1% most, because the rest of us for the most part are never known for more than 15 minutes.

Feb 10, 2014 10:17am EST  --  Report as abuse
AmericanBison wrote:
Let’s see if anyone has the galls to go after Bush, Cheney, Powell, Rice, the gang of neo-cons, Blair & company, dead Sharon’s accomplices, Netanyahu’s & his accomplices for their war crimes.

Feb 10, 2014 11:01am EST  --  Report as abuse
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