A Spanish Court indicts five high-ranking members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) under the legal principle of universal jurisdiction

By Haggai Carmon

Charged in Spain with committing crimes of torture and genocide in China, five top CCP officials have been given 4-6 weeks to respond to the indictment issued in mid-November. A failure to respond means the five could face extradition if they travel to a country that has an extradition treaty with Spain.

The decision was taken under the legal principle of universal jurisdiction, which allows domestic courts to hear cases of genocide and crimes against humanity regardless of where they occur.

One of the defendants, former leader of the CCP Jiang Zemin, is widely known to have started the campaign of violence intended to eliminate practitioners of the spiritual practice called Falun Gong. Once practiced by 100 million people in China, Falun Gong is a traditional Chinese spiritual discipline that the CCP originally supported as a promoter of health and social harmony.

When the Party changed its mind and declared the practice illegal, violent persecution of practitioners began, amounting to severe human rights violations including torture and genocide.

In Spain, the attorney Carlos Iglesias of the Human Rights Law Foundation (HRLF) has been trying to bring justice to those who instigated and carried out the violence against the Falun Gong. Two years of investigation led the Spanish National Court Judge Ismael Moreno to indict.

According to the notice issued by the court, the defendants face up to 20 years in prison and may be responsible for financial reparations to the victims.

Attorney Iglesias has remarked: “When one carries out the crime of genocide or torture, it is a crime against the international community as a whole and not only against Chinese citizens. Spain is emerging as a defender of human rights and universal justice.”

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