News / Asia

Spanish Court to Hear Rights Case Against Former Chinese Leader

TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
A Spanish court has agreed to hear a lawsuit alleging that China's former president, Hu Jintao, committed genocide in Tibet.

The suit, filed by the Tibet Support Committee in Madrid, alleges that Hu was responsible for repressive programs when he was the top Chinese official in Tibet from 1988 to 1992. It also says as China's president from 2003 to 2013, he was responsible for additional crimes against Tibetans.

In a ruling released Thursday, an appeals court said the Spanish legal system allows the suit to be heard because at least one alleged victim of genocide is a Spanish citizen.

The plaintiff in the case is a Buddhist monk, Thubten Wangchen, who spoke Friday with VOA's Tibetan Service. He calls the ruling a good decision.

“I think this will make the Chinese leaders to be more careful in the future and give a message that they can’t bury the truth about it,” he said.

China has criticized the court decision, saying Tibet's affairs are a domestic concern. The Foreign Ministry said it rejects interference by other countries in its internal matters.

Alan Cantos, with the Tibet Support Committee, said members of the group are "ecstatic" over the ruling.

“They are saying this case is well founded, the court is competent, the national connection is there, so there should be no attempts to derail it, you know, for other reasons or with bad arguments," said Cantos. "And they completely agreed with just about everything we had been saying against Hu Jintao.”

Cantos said there had been fears the court would be swayed by diplomatic or economic concerns, but those proved unfounded.

Many Tibetans say the Chinese government harshly suppresses their traditions and religious practices. They say Beijing also has allowed tens of thousands of ethnic Han Chinese to move into the autonomous region, and they are exploiting its resources and economically dominating ethnic Tibetans.

China says since it took control of Tibet in the 1950s, it has raised living standards. Beijing authorities consider the region's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, to be a separatist trying to create an independent Tibet.  The Dalai Lama, who lives in exile in India, denies this.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid