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 Mr. 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, the court says the Spanish legal system allows the suit to be heard because at least one alleged victim of genocide is a Spanish citizen.
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.