Jia Qinglin was born in March 1940 in Botou, Cangzhou, Hebei Province in China. He is the fourth ranking member of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chairman of the People’s Political Consultative Conference. Earlier he had served as the CPC Party Chief in the country’s southern Fujian province, and also as mayor of Beijing.
In 1962, Qinglin received a degree from the Hebei University of Technology in electric motor and appliance design and manufacture and later worked as a technician and chief of the Product Management Bureau in the Machine-Building Industry Ministry.
In 1985 he was elected member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Fujian Provincial Committee and subsequently served as a head of the Organization Department of the CPC Fujian Provincial Committee and later was promoted to the governor of Fujian Province.
Between 1996 and 2002 Jia served as Deputy Secretary of the CPC Beijing Municipal Committee, and mayor of Beijing.
On 30 October 1999, the National People’s Congress of China enacted an anti-cult law (Article 300, Criminal Act), effective retroactively, to remove a thousand religious sects in the country, including the Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline based on Buddhism consisting on moral teachings, meditation and exercises.
On 20 November 2001, practitioners of Falun Gong organized a peaceful demonstration in Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Many demonstrators were arrested, held without charges and without access to their families or legal advice. The demonstrators were violently interrogated, and allegedly beaten and deprived of sleep, to force them to reveal the names of other practitioners of Falun Gong and renounce their beliefs. Some inmates were allegedly sexually abused or tortured by the use of electric shocks and other prisoners were allowed to beat detained practitioners in exchange for a pardon or reduced sentences. These events took place under the supervision of the Mayor of Beijing, Qi Liu and Jia Qinglin, who at the time was serving as general secretary of Municipal Committee of Chinese Communist Party in Beijing and is believed to be involved in the crackdown on Falun Gong.
In November 2002 Jia became the fourth-ranking member in Politburo Standing Committee (PSC) of the Communist Party of China. Jias’s successful political career is often attributed to his good relations with his patron Jiang Zemin.
In March 2003, Qinglin was elected chairman of the 10th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
On 2 September 2004, members of the Falun Gong movement filed a complaint for genocide against Jia Qinglin, while he paid a visit to Madrid in his role as chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. The plaintiffs expected Qinglin to be arrested while he was in the capital of Spain, but the National Court rejected the complaint.
On 2 September 2004, members of the Falun Gong movement filed a complaint for genocide against Jia Qinglin while he paid a visit to Madrid in his role as chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. The plaintiffs expected Qinglin to be arrested while he was in the capital of Spain, but the National Court rejected the complaint.
The complaint was also filed against former Chinese President, Jiang Zemin; former Secretary of the Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Bo Xiali; head of the Public Security Bureau, Luo Gan and; Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee of the CPC, Wu Guanzheng.
On 6 May 2006, the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court admitted the complaint and ordered the National Court to investigate the alleged genocide committed against the spiritual movement Falun Gong in China.
On 11 November 2009, National Court Judge Ismael Moreno, who directs the Falun Gong movement lawsuit, issued a rogatory letter to China with the intention of questioning the five defendants. The judge took this decision after receiving reports during the investigations from organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and after having received the testimonies of several direct victims.
On 3 December 2009, Qinglin was indicted for genocide and torture. This is the first time a tribunal considered that the persecution by the Chinese Communist Party against members of Falun Gong could constitute genocide.
In February 2014, Spain’s Parliament adopted a law which diminishes the power of courts to try cases of genocide and crimes against humanity committed abroad. It allows courts to try the acts committed abroad, if the suspect has Spanish nationality, or acts by foreigners committed in Spain, or by foreigners whose extradition has been denied by Spain. The bill includes a clause that halts investigations including the arrest warrants issued for former Chinese leaders for their alleged involvement in the alleged genocide in Tibet.
Hence, the Spanish court lacks jurisdiction to prosecute Qinglin after the new law was adopted.
On 1st October 1949, Mao Tse-tung proclaimed the foundation of the People’s Republic of China. Soon after, the following year, the newly created Republic invaded Tibet.
In 1951, a seventeen point treaty established the sovereignty of China over Tibet. During the following decades several uprisings took place and were brutally repressed by the Chinese authorities.
In March 1959, a Tibetan insurrection was bloodily crushed by the Chinese troops. It was at this time that the Dalai Lama went into exile in India. According to certain sources, this massacre led to the death of some 87 000 Tibetans and to the exile of 80 000 of them to India, Nepal and Bhutan.
At that point, China set up a wide ranging ethnic cleansing policy by imposing the Chinese Communist regime on the Tibetan people: traditional Tibetan social structures were disbanded, religious practice was curtailed and Tibetan Buddhism was oppressed.
According to a Spanish based Tibetan Support Group (Comite de Apoyo al Tibet), a million Tibetans are said to have been assassinated or displaced since 1950 and more than 90% of cultural and religious institutions reportedly destroyed: Tibetan monasteries have been set upon and shrines destroyed. Those who refused to adopt Chinese communist ideology were killed. Chinese farmworkers were transferred to Tibet. Tibetan fiscal policy and social structures were restructured in line with Chinese systems.
Between 1966 and 1969, the Cultural Revolution activated by Mao Tse-tung spread to Tibet, bringing with it its share of destruction and persecution: Tibetan temples were looted and destroyed, and religious adherents were beaten, tortured, raped and killed in public.
The Development Plan for Western China, launched on 17 June 1999, was dubbed the “second invasion of Tibet”. It forced the Tibetan nomads to settle down in urban areas where they were no longer able to make a living through their traditional means of subsistence. Moreover the massive Chinese migration to Tibet driven by the Chinese authorities, transformed these Tibetans into an ethnic minority. The objective of the Chinese policy in Tibet was therefore aimed at assimilating the Tibetans and their ancestral culture into the Chinese social, political and economic model.
In Tibet, even today, there still exists persecution and restriction of religious beliefs and practices. Possession and distribution of images of the Dalai Lama are strictly prohibited and violence against Tibetan monks and nuns take place daily.