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"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

Spanish Court Hears Testimony from Tibet monks in Genocide Case

May 21, 2008

May 20, 2008

MADRID (AFP) -- A Spanish court hearing a genocide case against seven
top Chinese leaders, including former president Jiang Zemin and
former prime minister Li Peng, heard testimony on Monday from three
Tibetan monks.

Judge Ismael Moreno of the National Audience, Spain's highest
criminal court, questioned Palden Gyatso, Janpel Monlam and Bhagdro
who spent time in prison in China for their "counter-revolutionary
activities" in Tibet.

Since June, 2006, the court has been hearing the case against the
seven Chinese leaders for torture and crimes against humanity as well
as genocide allegedly carried out in Tibet during the 1980s.

The case followed a complaint from the Barcelona-based Tibet House
foundation and the non-governmental organization Tibet Support Committee.

In October 2005, the Spanish judiciary adopted the principle of
"universal competence", which means Spanish courts can hear cases of
genocide and crimes against humanity wherever they occur and whatever
the nationality of the defendant.

"Tibet is under Chinese dictatorship," the director of the Tibet
House, Thubten Wangchen, an exiled Tibetan who is now a Spanish
citizen told reporters as he accompanied the three monks to court.

"Our hope is to spark a dialogue between the Dalai Lama and (Chinese
President) Hu Jintao," he said, adding he hoped the United Nations
would "not shut up" about Chinese repression in Tibet.

The three monks have all said they were tortured while in jail in China.

Gyatso was arrested in 1959 for organising demonstrations by a group
of monks and spent 33 years in prison. He wrote a book, "Fire Under
the Snow" which documents his experiences in prison and forced labour.

China has condemned the accusations of genocide in Tibet as slander
and it has accused Madrid of trying to interfere in its
administration of the Himalayan region.
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