PRESS RELEASE BY THE COMITÉ DE APOYO AL TÍBET (CAT), March 22, 2013
Yesterday morning 21st March, less than a week after Hu Jintao stepped down as China's leader and lost his immunity from prosecution, the CAT, the Fundación Casa del Tíbet and the private accusation of Thubten Wangchen, lodged an extension to the initial lawsuit at the Audiencia Nacional’s nº 2 court.
The now former President of China, Hu Jintao, who left office on 15th March 2013, is accused of committing the crimes of genocide and serious violations of the Geneva Conventions against the Tibetan people that are being tried by this court. Despite conclusive proof of his direct responsibility in the case, he was not included in the list of accused until yesterday because of his immunity.
The document lodged is based on documented evidence, expert reports and depositions already presented to the Audiencia Nacional’s nº1 and nº2 courts and on the original lawsuit for genocide. Of particular importance are the two most recent expert reports by the International Campaign for Tibet and the Human Rights Law foundation. The international expert Kate Saunders, when ratifying the above mentioned report before the judge in December 2012, specifically put forward and extended the description of the chain of command that existed in the People’s Republic of China. In her deposition she also referred specifically to Hu Jintao as being directly responsible for the repression in Tibet.
Hu Jintao held the important post of Party Secretary of the Tibet Autonomous Region from 1988 to 1992. During his years in that post he supervised and gave orders, to violently repress the Tibetan people. What is more, these criminal acts were recognised and applauded by Party leaders at a meeting of the Politburós Standing Committee in October 1989 at a time when martial law in Tibet was having its most repressive results.
Similarly, Hu Jintao, as was denounced in ICT’s report presented to the Spanish court, formed part of the core of top Chinese leaders who met in Beijing in July 1994 at the Third Work Forum on Tibet to draw up the policies aimed at rapid economic development in Tibet whilst trying to undermine loyalty to the Dalai Lama; and he took part as president in July 2001 in the Fourth Work Forum on Tibet, where similar policies were consolidated under the imperative of “vigorously adapting Tibetan Buddhism to socialism”.
This accusation is also based on declarations by other witnesses at the Spanish central court nº 1 on 22 April 2009; a case that was shelved due to a lack of national connection and absence of Spanish victims - two highly controversial reasons bordering on inconstitutional given the Universal nature of the law - and whose appeal is still pending resolution by the Constitutional Court.
This denouncement is a solemn promise that the CAT’s team made to the victims who took part in the legal process as witnesses and to the many Tibetans who have followed the process and who have asked us why we had not accused him before for what was obvious to those who suffered indescribably during Hu Jintao´s mandate.
CAT’s concluding remarks:
The CAT has always acted on these legal cases according to basic principles, the precepts of international law and motivated only by the victims and the hope of truth, accountability and "never again" on behalf of Tibetan victims. We are well aware of the permanent clichés of whether international law is slow or ineffective or not, that money is all that matters, that these cases are merely symbolic and the rumble of what is the measure of success in these highly politised cases. All that is background noise to us. The only measure of success is doing your best to seek truth and accountability and staying away from the changing winds of political convenience. The rest is out of our hands. Thus, all the classic distortions, clichés or speculations of a political and economic nature are part of our surroundings but not part of our job. We believe that not doing anything is the only measure of failure.
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Published by permission.