Tarik Aziz, Christian deputy to Saddam Hussein, faces hanging
October 26, 2010
Tarik Aziz, the deputy prime minister of Iraq under the regime led by Saddam Hussein, has been sentenced to death for participating in a violent purge of Shi’ite Muslims.
Aziz, a Chaldean Catholic, was the only Christian in the top echelon of Saddam Hussein’s government, and became the public face of that regime. He had appealed to the Vatican for protection after he was arrested in 2003.
Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, said that the Holy See would oppose the execution of Aziz, in line with the Vatican’s clear stand against the use of the death penalty. He said that clemency could promote reconciliation in Iraq.