Spanish Supreme Court asked to reinstate Tibet genocide lawsuits


Jing and Li

(, Sep28, 2014) – The CAT (Comité de Apoyo al Tíbet) and the co-plaintiffs Fundación Casa del Tíbet and Thubten Wangchen have on Sep 18 lodged an appeal in Spain’s Supreme Court against the National Court’s decision earlier this year to dismiss the crime against humanity cases against some retired Chinese leaders for their genocidal actions in occupied Tibet. The dismissal had followed Spanish parliament’s amendment of the law to deny jurisdiction in cases where the perpetrators or victims were not Spanish citizens at the time the alleged crimes were committed.

The appeal questions the High Court decision’s silence on Spain’s obligation to pursue war crimes according to the Geneva Conventions, even as five of the investigative judges had emphasized it in their dissenting notes.

The appeal also emphasizes that the victims in the Tibet genocide cases have no other forum to seek remedy, for China does not recognize the Hague-based International Criminal Court while the courts in China only follow the political dictates of the Chinese Communist Party.

The appeal further says that closing the case would mean upsetting the balance of justice retroactively in favour of impunity and would be tantamount to ignoring international law, which, since the Nuremberg Trials after WWII, states that people accused of genocide and torture must be prosecuted.

The CAT’s appeal follows a similar appeal filed by all the MPs belonging to the Socialist Party to the country’s Constitutional Court on Jun 12 this year and which was admitted on Jul 22.

The Socialist Party has maintained in their appeal that the parliament’s amendment, which was carried out with the support only of the MPs belonging to the ruling party, “clearly and flagrantly violates the right to judicial protection and many articles in the Constitution,” including those forbidding arbitrariness of public powers and protecting judicial independence.

The National Court had already issued international arrest warrants against five top retired leaders of China, including former President Jiang Zemin and former Premier Li Peng, and formally indicted former President Hu Jintao as well when the parliamentary amendment and the resultant dismissal of the cases came.


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