February 21, 2014
The International Campaign for Tibet and the Spanish Tibet Support Committee, Comité de Apoyo al Tibet (CAT) are targeting Spanish lawmakers to challenge the recent move in Madrid to limit the power of the judiciary to investigate and prosecute serious crimes under international law. This development follows pressure from the Chinese authorities on Madrid over two lawsuits focusing on China’s leadership for its policies in Tibet, and which has led to arrest warrants being issued by the Spanish courts for several Chinese officials. (Details in ICT report, Spanish Parliament ruling following arrest warrants for Chinese leaders ‘should be of concern to all European citizens’).
This new initiative follows the 100th meeting of the Tibet Intergroup in Brussels on February 19 (ICT press release, European Parliament marks its 100th meeting on Tibet with strong statements and a message from His Holiness the Dalai Lama) in which MEPs from all parties expressed their strong support for the Tibetan cause. Speakers Dr. José Elías Esteve Moltó, lawyer and author of the two ground-breaking law suits in Spain and Mr. Alan Cantos from Comité de Apoyo al Tibet (main plaintiffs), raised the importance of a unified front in Europe to support Spanish lawmakers who are seeking to prevent a change in the law that would limit courts in trying cases of the most serious crimes regardless of where they were committed and the nationality of the perpetrator and/or the victim. This development would put Spain in breach of its international obligations and offer the prospect of impunity to many responsible for serious crimes.