Maliki and his gang are slowly assassinating Tariq Aziz. Please take action
Statement of the BRussells Tribunal
April 3, 2013What follows is a letter that Tariq Aziz' son wrote to the BRussells Tribunal. We urge politicians, Human Rights Organisations and the media to finally take some decisive action for the release of Tareq Aziz and all other political prisoners. Human rights should be defended.
Tariq Aziz is being slowly assassinated by the current rulers of Iraq. Inhumane treatment that amounts to torture. The whole Western political class and human rights bodies should be held responsible if he dies in custody, because of their inaction and negligence.
We also republish the appeals of Denis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck, both Former UN Assistant Secretary Generals & United Nations Humanitarian Coordinators for Iraq:
It has been almost 10 years since my father had been taken into custody by the American forces, it is also the anniversary of the assassination attempt he survived in 1980. This attempt on his life, which led to the death of civilian bystanders, was planned and executed by the same people who are ruling Iraq today, and who are planning to execute him again, slowly and this time with nobody to see.
On the most recent visit to the prison he is being held at in Baghdad, my mother and sisters found out that he had suffered his fourth stroke since 2003, he fell on the floor in the middle of the night and was left in his cell for the whole time until morning. He has not been visited by a doctor, nor was he taken to the hospital, nor was he offered any medical attention of any kind since he had the stroke. Was it not for his cell mate who tried to take care of him to his best ability, and for the grace of God, I cannot think what might have happened.
His ability to speak coherently is basically diminished, my mother and sisters can barely make out what he was saying to them. there were also inflammations and diabetic ulcers on his feet and legs, which could lead to gangrene and, if no immediate treatment and care were to be provided , amputation.
He never had these ulcers before, and he is only having them now because of the neglect he has been treated with.
As I said above, the same people who tried to assassinate him in 1980, are trying to assassinate him now. They claim to be the beacon of human rights and democracy for the region, but they lack any compassion or humanity whatsoever. They have a specific agenda, they are not interested in justice, they only want revenge.
My family and I urge you to inform the international community and world press through your channels, of my father's situation. My father's situation is deteriorating by the day and I am truly afraid of what the future might hold if he is not provided with the proper care and treatment he desperately needs immediately.
I thank you in advance for any help you can provide, I trust you will try your best.
I thank you for lending a sympathetic ear and warm heart.
I wish you happy Easter, and i pray that god bless you and yours.
Ziad Tariq Aziz
Over the years, the BRussells Tribunal has published many appeals to release Tariq Aziz. We republish these appeals in the hope that International Human Rights Bodies can put pressure on the Iraqi regime against the inhumane treatment and for the release of Tariq Aziz.
Two former UN humanitarian coordinators for IRAQ appeal for the release of former deputy prime minister of Iraq Tariq Aziz
"The Iraqi President Jamal Talabani recently spoke of the democracy that had been introduced in his country due to the US invasion of 2003. Some Iraq observers, who do not know Iraq and probably understand only little about democracy, have hastily confirmed this. For them, the decreases of bloody attacks and of the number of victims prove that the six-year occupation was worthwhile. However, dead people cannot react but their descendants can do and they do so. Twenty per cent of the Iraqi population have become refugees in their own country or live under the most incredible circumstances as tolerated but unwanted people in Syria, Jordan or in countries farther away. Among them is the family of the former deputy Prime Minister, Tariq Aziz. They live scattered in Jordan and in Yemen and fear for their patriarch. Tariq Aziz has been seriously ill for a long time. Together with other political prisoners like the former Oil Minister, Dr. Amer Rashid and the Minister of Trade, Dr. Mohamed Medhi Saleh he is kept imprisoned at the US Camp Cropper in the outskirts of Bagdad. They have already spent there many years, often without accusation, without effective defense, without support in the sense of the Geneva Convention, without effective medical supply. International legal obligations do not signify anything in this context. The letter of Ziad Aziz, the oldest son of Tariq Aziz, to a concerned friend abroad makes clear, what the situation of political prisoners and their democratic fundamental rights in Baghdad is like."
Hans C. von Sponeck, UN Coordinator for Iraq (1998-2000)
In regard to your reply to our letter, it is my sad duty to inform you that you informations are inaccurate or perhaps you are ill-informed on the matter.
My father, Mr. Tariq Aziz, has been held in U.S. custody in Camp Cropper for more than 6 years till this date and he suffers several life threatening diseases that require constant, highly sophisticated and immediate medical attention.
Camp Cropper, as you may well know, is basically a holding facility, in which high-value prisoners are being held in the custody of the U.S. forces. It is highly inaccurate to say that a holding facility, i.e. a prison, of any kind can provide "state of the art medical care" for any sort of condition or disease.
For example, my father fell during taking a shower 2 years ago, and fearing that he had suffered a stroke, the moved him to the air base in Balad (200 kilometers north of Baghdad) to perform a C.T. scan.
I am sure, even to a layman, that it is obvious that if someone had suffered a stroke, he or she cannot wait to be transported into a hospital 200 kilometers away. My father, a 72 year-old man, is in danger of having a stroke plus having several other diseases.
The medical care you are referring to is nothing but a doctor who visits the detainees every once in a while and performs basic check-up, like testing blood sugar, measuring blood pressure, and administering drugs, which brings me to the fact that my father has lost a lot of weight during his imprisonment, which means that the dose of the drugs he is taking should be changed regularly due to his weight change, which never happened.
As for legal and family visitation rights, the U.S. forces have asked the all the lawyers, my father's lawyer among them, to leave the Green Zone in which they were residing, which made it virtually impossible for the lawyer to visit my father or even to attend the trial for fear of his life. As you may well know that the lives of the lawyers who defend high ranking officials like my father are constantly threatened, and indeed many of them were killed, some even in their offices, under U.S. protection, so I would like you to try and imagine the situation now without U.S. protection and outside the safety of the Green Zone.
As for the trial, I invite you to watch the proceedings as it is shown on Iraqi TV. I invite you to watch this mockery of justice where impartial judges show and admit unequivocally that they have grudges against the defendants. In any civilized and truly democratic country, and in any court that abides itself to the law, these judges would be immediately removed from the case and disciplined before an ethics committee. Add to that frequent verbal and physical abuse and denying the defendants their legal right of challenging their accuser and the evidence presented to the court.
I apologize for the lengthy reply but we are facing desperate times, and my father's condition is worsening by the day.
It was in the nature of former Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz to give himself up to the US authorities in Iraq in April 2003 rather than become a fugitive.
As two former UN Humanitarian Coordinators for Iraq, we had much contact with Tariq Aziz. In the context of our work, we knew him as a man of his word and a highly motivated Iraqi nationalist. He cooperated with the United Nations fully whenever he believed that the benefits of the humanitarian exemption for the Iraqi people could be enhanced. As we witnessed, h e also represented Iraq most ably in an international initiative in 2002/03 supported by Chancellor Schroeder and President Chirac to prevent what happened in March 2003.
You have had intensive dealings with Tariq Aziz at the highest level of contacts between the Governments of the United States and Iraq. The world will not forget your fateful meetings with Tariq Aziz in Geneva in January 1991. You know more than any other western leader who Tariq Aziz is and what he stood for as an Iraqi leader.
We are turning to you today in yet another attempt to bring about the release of Tariq Aziz from US custody. It has been five years that Tariq Aziz has been held in Baghdad without charges. We are in contact with his family and, therefore, are aware that his health has been deteriorating over the years of imprisonment. The danger of his death due to a poor heart condition, an earlier stroke and diabetes is a reality and is steadily increasing.
On two previous occasions, in 2005 and early 2007, we have voiced our concern and made public appeals for his release on humanitarian grounds. All of this has been to no avail. We are not asking for a waiver of justice, only for due process. This, in any case, should be the principle according to which all involved in the Iraqi case before and after 2003 are treated.
For Tariq Aziz this would mean ending his custody and giving him the medical treatment he requires while the judicial process takes its course.
As a statesman and an internationally respected person who knew Tariq Aziz, we are asking you to use your influence with the present Government of the United States to give Tariq Aziz this opportunity and release him into the protection of his family.
With respect and good wishes,
Denis J. Halliday Hans-C. von Sponeck
UN Humanitarian Coordinator UN Humanitarian Coordinator
for Iraq (1997-98) for Iraq (1998-2000)
Tariq Aziz has been imprisoned for the past three and a half years without charge. During this period his fundamental rights under international law have been disregarded, as in the case of other prisoners of war (POWs) and political prisoners in Iraq. We renew our appeal for Tariq Aziz because of his poor and deteriorating health and the resulting danger to his life.
We knew Tariq Aziz as the senior-most Iraqi official to whom we turned when our humanitarian work demanded his intervention for the betterment of the Iraqi people.
It was Tariq Aziz who supported us in making the case to the UN Security Council for an increase in the size of the UN humanitarian exemption to sanctions. It was Tariq Aziz who made it possible for us to collect information on the effectiveness of the equitable distribution of humanitarian supplies. It was Tariq Aziz who allowed a critical presentation to the then Iraqi National Assembly on the human rights situation in Iraq. It was Tariq Aziz who contacted the Kurdish authorities to facilitate our travels across the line of control for talks with Kurdish authorities. We have known Tariq Aziz as a defender of the Iraqi people's rights and as a person of high integrity.
The continued confinement of a sick POW is at the individual level one example of the tragic mishandling of a nation. We are asking the US government to show statesmanship and release Tariq Aziz on humanitarian, if not legal, grounds.
We turn to all those who have known Tariq Aziz in difficult circumstances to support this appeal, especially former US Secretary of State James Baker and US Representative Lee Hamilton. We hope that the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Dr El Baradei, and his predecessor Dr Hans Blix, who also served as the last head of the UN Monitoring, Inspection and Verification Commission in Iraq will support this appeal. We also call on incoming UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to share our position and use his influence with the US and current Iraqi authorities to secure the release of Tariq Aziz and other Iraqi POWs.
Denis J. Halliday & Hans von Sponeck
New York / Muellheim, 27 January 2006
The BBC has reported that Mr. Tariq Aziz has suffered a stroke and that his lawyer fears "he may not live more than a month" following a "cerebral embolism". The lawyer, Badie Arif Ezzat, has said that Mr. Tariq Aziz is being held in a two square meter cell that was "only fit to keep dogs in".
Given his apparent health situation and the fact that he has not been charged after giving himself up in April 2003, this is a request for his release from Hans von Sponeck and Denis J. Halliday, former United Nations Humanitarian Coordinators in Iraq (1997-2000).
In keeping with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Geneva Conventions and Protocols, Mr. Tariq Aziz, former Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq is entitled to humane treatment and should not be further held without charges after three years if incarceration.
At the age of 70 years, in a state of severely diminished health and now what is reported to be a stroke:
we express our distress at the inhumane treatment accorded Mr. Tariq Aziz and ask that he be released immediately by US/Iraqi authorities from custody in the absence of any charges, and be allowed to join his family in a location where adequate medical facilities can be provided.
We also ask that all other Iraqi prisoners being held without charge be released by US/ Iraqi authorities without delay. We likewise ask that all those civilians, journalists, aid workers and other innocents being held in Iraq by those involved in resistance to invasion and occupation also be released immediately.
In addition, we hope, indeed expect, that former and current high ranking officials in Washington and London, as well as Paris, Moscow and Beijing, and elsewhere, who in the recent past have had personal contact and communications with Mr. Tariq Aziz, including the present UN Secretary-General, will join in this request for humane treatment.
Denis J. Halliday & Hans von Sponeck
New York / Muellheim, 27 January 2006