Connect to share and comment
A Spanish court has agreed to hear charges of genocide against former Chinese President Hu Jintao, according to media reports Friday.
The BBC said judges of the National Court, Spain's top criminal court, ruled that they were competent to handle the case because one of the plaintiffs, Tibetan monk Thubten Wangchen, is a Spanish citizen.
The lawsuit filed by Thubten and a Tibetan activist group, the Madrid-based Comite de Apoyo al Tibet, accuses Hu and other former state leaders including Jiang Zemin and Li Peng of committing crimes against humanity in Tibet, Tibetan news portal Phayul said.
The case was first dismissed by the National Court in 2005 for a lack of "national connection" in order for the court to apply the principle of universal jurisdiction.
After a second appeal, the court decided that the earlier decision had to be overturned because of Thubten's Spanish citizenship and because China had not carried out its own investigation into the allegations, Phayul said.
Being the party secretary in western China's Tibet Autonomous Region from 1988 to 1992, Hu oversaw a three-day crackdown on anti-Chinese protests by Tibetans in the capital city Lhasa in March 1989, leaving between 80 and 400 people killed and thousands arrested while as many as 40,000 Tibetans were expelled from the city, according to Tibetan concern groups.
"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," said Alan Cantos of Comite de Apoyo al Tibet.
More than 120 Tibetans have self-immolated since 2009 in protest against Chinese repression and to call for the return of the Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader vilified by Beijing as a separatist.
Copyright 2014 Kyodo News International.
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.