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Former Chinese president Hu Jintao is indicted for genocide in Tibet

posted Oct 10, 2013, 5:42 PM by The Tibetan Political Review   [ updated Oct 10, 2013, 5:44 PM ]
By Comité de Apoyo al Tíbet (CAT)
Madrid, Spain

10 October 2013

The CAT - Comité de Apoyo al Tíbet - informs:

"Ex-Chinese president Hu Jintao is indicted for genocide in Tibet.
Meanwhile, Chinese security forces continue repressing the Tibetan people at gunpoint."

The person who began the year as president of China, embraced by heads of state, kings and ministers of the economy throughout the world is since yesterday the number 1 accused of genocide in Tibet.

In a writ issued on 9 October 2013, Section 4 of the Criminal Court of Spain’s National Court (Audiencia Nacional) ruled in favour of the CAT and decided to indict former Chinese president Hu Jintao for genocide. The court ruling comes after the judge’s earlier rejection on 11 June 2013, with the support of the public prosecution, of the CAT’s request to extend the lawsuit to include the former president. After hearing the appeal on 29 July, in yesterday’s verdict the court now accepts the arguments put forward by the CAT to include Hu Jintao in the list of those accused of GENOCIDE (not “cultural” genocide), with emphasis on all the crimes described in the original lawsuit and the arguments for his indictment put forward by the CAT and the co-plaintiffs, Thubten Wangchen and the Fundación Casa del Tíbet.

With this verdict the CAT has kept its promise to the Tibetan victims and their families that it would not rest until one of the persons living who was most responsible for the brutal repression in Tibet was brought before the law.

Despite the public prosecution’s insistence on closing the case, alleging there was no national connection, the judges of this appeals court have neatly rejected this argument, declaring that the national connection is clear in view of one of the Tibetan victims and co-plaintiffs having Spanish nationality (Thubten Wangchen, director of the Fundación Casa del Tíbet in Barcelona), while reminding of this precedent to prevent further attempts to use this argument. The prosecution also requested that the case was closed, alleging the competence of the Chinese courts, but the judges of the Audiencia Nacional rejected this argument, saying there was no record “of Chinese authorities having begun any type of investigation into the facts that are the object of the lawsuit”. It must be remembered that in both lawsuits the persons indicted through the Chinese embassy answered the judges, saying they would not collaborate in the false lawsuits and adding menacingly that there would be “consequences” if the Spanish government did not withdraw the cases. Consequences that soon materialised in the shameful change of the law, which limited the application of universal jurisdiction in Spain.

The initial lawsuit, the evidence and testimonies taken and the expert findings presented by the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) and Human Rights Law Foundation have all duly accredited that Hu Jintao was responsible and can be indicted for international crimes committed in Tibet, not only while he was General Party Secretary for the Autonomous Region of Tibet (1988-1992), but also as President of China after 2003 “due to being the highest ranking person in both the Party and the Government”. 

The judges declare their decision is supported by “international evidence of the repression carried out by Chinese leaders against the Tibetan nation and its population (…) the Chinese authorities decided to carry out a series of coordinated actions aimed at eliminating the specific characteristics and existence of the country of Tibet by imposing martial law, carrying out forced transfers and mass sterilisation campaigns, torturing dissidents and forcibly transferring contingents of Chinese in order to gradually dominate and eliminate the indigenous population in the country of Tibet.”

This ruling implies a new recognition and description of acts classified as constituting genocide. Furthermore, it recognises that this genocide is against the country of Tibet and against the Tibetan nation, and the judges recognise that this indictment of Hu Jintao comes at the precise judicial moment “when his diplomatic immunity expires”. 

In short, the appeal submitted by the CAT has been sustained and the lawsuit for genocide has been extended to include Hu Jintao, due to evidence of his having committed the acts the evidence for which was submitted in the original lawsuit and in its extension.

We wish to take this opportunity to remember the Tibetan victims and their families in general, in and outside Tibet, and in and outside Chinese prisons, especially Palden Gyatso and Takna Jigme Sangpo whose fortitude and example have inspired us from the beginning, and all those who have supported us expressly or anonymously through the years, and in particular we wish to remember our friend Claude Levenson who also inspired and supported us and who is now no doubt watching us.

We wish to dedicate this judicial success not only to the victims, but also to the thousands of “freedom fighters” and to the memory of all those who self-immolated in and outside Tibet, and those who risk their lives and their freedom in the face of the passivity of the international community whose silence is an accomplice to the genocide. Their sense of justice and their determination for truth is enshrined in this judicial battle that believes in these values in a non violent manner.


To put this news into realistic context with the persistent and crude reality of the present, we wish to highlight some related and parallel news items:

A few days ago the CAT announced that on Wednesday 25 September 2013 a private member's resolution was introduced in the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile (Chitue Lentsok) for consideration. The private member´s resolution highlighted the importance of international law and universal jurisdiction as a method for pursuing the serious crimes that have affected the Tibetan people since that country’s occupation by the Chinese army. The resolution ends with an appeal to international Tibet supporters to denounce in their respective countries the international crimes committed in Tibet by using the mechanism of universal jurisdiction and to indict Chinese leaders responsible and accused of violating international law, thereby ensuring effective measures to protect the lives of Tibetans in Tibet and to obtain justice for Tibetan victims.The Tibetan government-in-exile's foreign minister, in a formal reply to the resolution, endorsed the Tibet cases in Spain. For the CAT’s press release on the above mentioned resolution go to:

El País, 9 October 2013: Las tensiones étnicas vuelven a estallar en Tíbet. (Ethnic tension erupts again in Tibet). Tibet support groups declare that security forces have fired on protestors, leaving 60 wounded.

Radio Free Asia 10 Oct 2013: UN Rights Body Helps Keep Spotlight on Tibet Abuses

CAT - Comité de Apoyo al Tíbet

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