Spanish Court: Former Chinese Leaders Must Face Charges of Crimes Against Humanity

Interpol asked to arrest former Chinese President Jiang Zemin and others on allegations of genocide and torture in Tibet

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Frederic J. Brown / AFP / Getty Images

Former Chinese President Jiang Zemin

Retired Chinese leaders Jiang Zemin and Li Peng have been targeted by international arrest warrants issued by a Spanish court.

The warrants were signed Monday by High Court Judge Ismael Moreno on charges brought by Tibetan rights groups based in Spain. Interpol has now been asked to issue arrest orders for former President Jiang, ex-Premier Li and three other senior Chinese officials on charges of genocide, torture and crimes against humanity in Tibet.

However, progress in the case may be quelled by a bill before the Spanish parliament that is meant to put a stop to the judiciary’s long history of prosecuting crimes against humanity across borders.

The legislature is expected to debate and in all likelihood pass the bill on Tuesday. Last Friday, China’s Foreign Ministry called on Spain to prevent further lawsuits that seek to investigate alleged rights abuses in Tibet.

[Reuters, New York Times]