Jiang Zemin and Other Chinese Leaders Sued in Spain

By Radio Free Asia
Radio Free Asia
Radio Free Asia
July 4, 2005 Updated: July 4, 2005

MADRID – On June 28, a Madrid based non-governmental organization, Support Tibet Committee, sued former Chinese President Jiang Zemin, former Chinese premier Li Peng, and other Chinese government officials for genocide, national terrorism and torture.

According to The Associated Press (AP), Spain's laws allow prosecution of criminals responsible for crimes that occur in other countries and for them to be sued in Spain's courts. Support Tibet Committee said that this is for the first time the organization has sued Chinese government officials on Tibet issues. The organization also said that more than one million Tibetans have been killed or missing since the Chinese army entered Tibet in 1951.

AP reported that judges from the National Court of Spain need several weeks to make the decision on whether the case will be accepted. In 1998, Spanish judges found the ex-dictator of Chile, Augusto Pinochet, guilty, which resulted in his being arrested when Pinochet was visiting London.

Support Tibet Committee held a five-day forum on human rights called "Terrorism and torture" near Madrid. At the beginning of the forum, the organization revealed that it had filed a lawsuit in the Spanish Supreme court against Jiang Zemin, Li Peng and five other Chinese government officials.

Two well-known Tibetan dissidents Takna Jigme Sangpo and Palden Gyatso who participated in the forum strongly supported the lawsuit.

Due to his protest against China's invasion of Tibet, half of Takna Jigme Sangpo's life was spent in a Chinese jail. The 79-old man said, "We are not opposing Chinese trade and economic development; actually we welcome it. But my being here today is to tell the true stories of my life and of getting into Chinese prisons, in order to demonstrate that there are no human rights in China.

He told Agence France-Presse (AFP), "I feel frustrated that people are always talking about China and its development, yet nobody mentions the situation of Tibet."

Takna Jigme Sangpo continued, "China has been exploiting and destroying Tibet unceasingly."

Radio Free Asia
Radio Free Asia