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Spain court issues warrant for former China president

Spanish Judge Ismael Moreno issued international arrest warrants for several former Chinese officials Monday, including retired president Jiang Zemin and former prime minister Li Peng [Britannica profiles] as part of an ongoing investigation into alleged genocide by China against Tibet. Though the warrants were originally issued [JURIST report] last year, they were delayed by legal technicalities [AP report]. Moreno stated that Jiang "exercised supervisory authority over the people who directly committed abuses, which makes him responsible for acts of torture and other major abuses of human rights perpetrated by his subordinates against the people of Tibet." The decision is controversial, even in Spain where the ruling People's party is considering a rule [Guardian report] to limit the ability of judges to pursue international crimes against humanity based on universal jurisdiction.

In October a Spanish court also indicted [JURIST report] former Chinese president Hu Jintao [BBC profile] over the alleged genocide against Tibetans. 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 report]. 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 remonstrations. In June 2008 the Chinese government released more than 1,000 demonstrators [JURIST report] after pressure from Amnesty International [advocacy website] to release detainees who engaged in peaceful protest [JURIST report].

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