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Iraqi archbishop urges president: stop executions

Catholic World News - November 18, 2010

After Jalal Talabani announced that he will not sign an order for the execution of Tarik Aziz, Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Louis Sako of Kirkuk urged the Iraqi president to stop other executions as well, describing them as “acts of revenge that do not serve peace.”

Archbishop Sako applauded the president’s move to spare the life of Tarik Aziz, who was once deputy to the deposed leader Saddam Hussein. The archbishop said that despite his high rank Aziz did not bear full responsibility for the brutal policies of the former regime because it was well known that Saddam Hussein killed any colleagues who opposed his wishes. Now, he added, Aziz is an elderly man serving a life prison sentence, who poses no threat to Iraq’s current security.

"I do not say this because the former Iraqi vice president Tareq Aziz is a Catholic,” Archbishop Sako said, “but because the death sentence is an absurdity in itself.”

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