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Spain court orders arrest of former China president

The Spanish National Court issued arrest orders for former Chinese president Jiang Zemin and four other Chinese officials on Tuesday, including former prime minister Li Peng, former security and police chief Qiao Shi [Britannica profiles], Chen Kuiyan, a former Communist Party official in Tibet, and Pen Pelyun, ex-family planning minister. The arrest orders [AP report] come as part of an investigation into alleged genocide by China against Tibet, but none of the officials has been formally charged. In October a Spanish court indicted another former Chinese president [JURIST report], Hu Jintao, on charges of actions amounting to genocide, but an arrest warrant has not yet been issued.

In July 2010 Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] reported [JURIST report] that Chinese authorities used excessive force in responding to the 2008 Tibetan demonstrations [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. The UN has expressed concern over the ongoing restrictions on Tibet, as well as the detention and disappearance of Tibetan monks [JURIST reports]. In March 2009 HRW reported [JURIST report] that the Chinese government has not accounted for hundreds of Tibetan protesters arrested in connection with the March 2008 demonstrations, revealing a thorough review regarding the numbers of arrests, detentions and trials of the protesters. There were allegedly several hundred protesters still in custody and documents have revealed that, contrary to information supplied by the Chinese government, several demonstrators died after the March 2008 demonstrations. In June 2008 the Chinese government released more than 1000 demonstrators [JURIST report] detained by authorities during the demonstrations against Chinese rule in Tibet, two days after Amnesty International [advocacy website] called on [JURIST report] China to free all detainees who engaged in peaceful protest.

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