Communist Regime Pressures Spain
to Restrict Universal Jurisdiction
On February 10 a Spainish High Court judge issued an
international arrest warrant for former Chinese leaders
Jiang Zemin and Li Peng on charges of genocide in Tibet.
While the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) firmly opposes the
court’s order, on February 11the Spanish Parliament began the
debate to constrain Spanish judges in prosecuting international
human rights cases.
Chinese human rights lawyers believe the Spanish parliament
was swayed by interest groups to restrain universal jurisdiction,
and indicate that it is a step backwards for the global cause of
The Wall Street Journal reported the restraint on exercising
the international human rights law won lower house approval
Tuesday by a vote of 179 to 163. It will next go to the Senate.
The bill specifies that only Spaniards or foreigners who reside
in Spain are subject to prosecution; mandating that plaintiffs
must be Spanish citizens at the time the torture was alleged to
The bill constrains the Spanish judiciary’s exercise of universal
jurisdiction, the principle Spanish judges have used to prosecute
international human rights cases outside of Spain.
These are genocide, the crimes of torture, war crimes, and
crimes against humanity.
Human rights groups including Amnesty International
consider universal jurisdiction an “essential tool" and issued
a joint statement on Monday strongly condemning the proposed
changes to Spanish law reported the New York Times.
Human rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong says that the Spanish
courts exercising the universal jurisdiction for crimes against
humanity is in full compliance with the spirit and the universal
values of the United Nations.
The change of the law is obviously what the Communist regime
has pressured the world justice with its taxpayers’ money.
Jiang Tianyong, human rights lawyer: “There are people in
some countries who could not resist the pressure.
Regardless of how the CCP has exerted pressure and how
some people could not resist the pressure, it is a step backwards.
However, trial of justice against these criminals will never be
No country has enjoyed more than Spain to use the doctrine
of universal jurisdiction with more confidence.
Spain adopted the universal jurisdiction in 1985.
The most famous example was in 1998, when the Chilean
dictator Augusto Pinochet visited London.
Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón Real ordered his arrest in
London, where he was detained for a year and a half before
being returned to Chile, where he faced criminal charges
While Spanish judges’ international activism has won them
praise from rights activists, it has often caused friction with
some of Spain’s key economic partners.
Alfonso Alonso, the spokesman for the Popular Party
delegation in Congress, said, Universal justice “promises a lot,
but doesn’t achieve anything more than diplomatic conflicts,"
reported the World Street Journal.
Jiang Tianyong refutes this argument.
He takes Pinochet’s case as an example saying the world sees
the end of a dictator, who was put on trial wherever he was.
Jiang Tianyong: “This rule tells the criminals that, it is a
dangerous place for them to be in any country with a treaty
Those criminals could only stay put and that’s a threat to them.
It also tells the world that crimes against humanity are subject
to justice trials.
The change of the law means the world is missing such justice."
Human rights lawyer Tang Jitian says that when the Spanish
politicians lose their sober minds by restricting the universal
jurisdiction under pressure from interest groups, it is a step
backward and a huge negative impact to global human rights.
The Spain will initiate a bad precedent.
In the long run, it is not conducive to the protection of human
rights in Spain.
Tang Jitian, human rights lawyer: “Facing right or wrong,it
is the MPs informed choices to abandon some adverse factors
and maintain the ethics, the human rights, and the Spanish
image as a country in protecting human rights.
Both domestically and internationally."
Spanish High Court Judge Ismael Moreno issued an arrest
warrant against former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin and four
other officials on Monday, for accused of genocide in Tibet.
However, the Spanish National Police spokesman refused
to say when the police will execute the command and
request Interpol to issue the “Red Notices."
Interview & Edit/QinXue Post-Production/ZhongYuan