Appeal lodged in Supreme Court against shelving of Tibet case; PM Rajoy visits China – Sept 24, 2014

Filed in Universal jurisdiction by on October 2, 2014

PRESS RELEASE FROM THE CAT (Comité de Apoyo al Tíbet)
24th September 2014

  • The CAT lodges an appeal at the Supreme Court against the shelving of the Tibet case.
  • Spanish PM Rajoy visits China after completing his homework of annulling the Tibet case, dismantling universal justice in Spain, and ensuring a place on the U.N. Security Council.

Lodging the appeal

On 18 September 2014 the CAT (Comité de Apoyo al Tíbet) and the co-plaintiffs – the Fundación Casa del Tíbet and Thubten Wangchen – lodged an appeal in the Supreme Court against the staying of the Tibet case by Spain’s National Court (Audiencia Nacional).

The appeal

– Stresses that the lawsuit pursues crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, torture, forced disappearances, acts perpetrated against the Tibetan population, terrorism and war crimes.

– Denounces that the Special Court judges who stayed the case said nothing about Spain’s obligation to pursue war crimes according to the Geneva Conventions, which was severely commented on in the personal vote against by five of the investigative judges.

– Argues that, in agreement with international law, it is an obligation to pursue all the international crimes denounced in the lawsuit, and that Spain has the obligation to comply in good faith with international treaties.

– Also argues that as the lawsuit concerns acts of (state) terrorism and there is a Spanish victim – Thubten Wangchen -, the new law allows its pursuit in Spain.

– Lastly, the appeal warns that international crimes in Tibet cannot be pursued either in the International Criminal Court, which China does not recognise, or in Chinese courts whose judges follow the political dictates of the Chinese Communist Party. For all these reasons, the definitive closure of the case would mean upsetting the balance of justice retroactively in favour of impunity, while ignoring international law, which, since the Nuremberg Trials, states that people accused of genocide and torture must be prosecuted; something that the PP’s legal reform has ignored and that was appealed in the Constitutional Court by all Socialist MPs.

The Socialist Party’s appeal of unconstitutionality

The appeal presented on 12 June 2014 by all the Socialist Party MPs, for unconstitutionality of the reform of the law on universal justice, was admitted on 22 July 2014. In their appeal to the Constitutional Court, the Socialist Party maintain that the reform “clearly and flagrantly violates the right to judicial protection and many articles in the Constitution”, like the one forbidding arbitrariness of public powers and the one protecting judicial independence. Soraya Rodríguez, the Socialist spokesman who presented the appeal, remarked on the international shame generated by the reform and announced that when the Socialist Party reached power this would be one of the first laws it would revoke.

Rajoy’s trip to Beijing

It is hard to ignore the chronology of the “Express” reform of the law of universal jurisdiction in Spain (specifically, Article 23.4, which covers international crimes), and Rajoy and his economic entourage’s “business” trip to China. After scolding the Spanish Government and killing judicial independence in Spain, the Beijing Government finally allowed Rajoy to take a new trip to discuss business. The previous trip a year ago was cancelled until the Tibet case was “resolved adequately”. The international arrest warrants issued by Spain’s Special Court against five people accused of genocide, and the prosecution of former Chinese president Hu Jintao for a similar crime, did not go down well in China. The usual threats were not long in coming. Rajoy and his government, despite opposition from the rest of Parliament, complied and succeeded in getting the case closed for the moment, for which they were publicly thanked and granted a new appointment which starts tomorrow.

For more details see:

If there was any doubt about it: China thanks Rajoy for his efforts to put a stop to universal justice: “We welcome with pleasure the efforts of the Government and their relevant departments”, said a Beijing spokesman after the Tibet and Falun Gong cases were closed.”