AMMAN (AFP) – Ailing former Iraqi deputy premier Tareq Aziz, sentenced to death for murder and crimes against humanity, has gone on hunger strike, his son said on Friday. “My father and 25 other prisoners have been on a hunger strike since yesterday (Thursday),” Ziad Aziz said in the Jordanian capital Amman where he lives.
“They are protesting because they could not receive the only monthly visit from friends and relatives set for the last Friday of each month,” he said.
On Tuesday, Iraq’s supreme criminal court found the long-time international face of the Saddam Hussein regime guilty of “deliberate murder and crimes against humanity,” sentencing him to death.
Ziad Aziz said his father and the other prisoners were still at the site of the court in Baghdad’s heavily-fortified Green Zone and had not been transferred back to prison where they could have received their monthly visit.
“The authorities are using the excuse that the security resources necessary for accompanying their convoy are otherwise occupied because of the death in prison of Ibrahim Abdul Sattar,” Saddam’s former armed forces chief of staff.
“My father has not been able to receive a visit from our friends, who were going to take him medicines, magazines and books that we sent him from Amman,” the younger Aziz said.
“He will now have to wait until the end of November to get his medicine, which is unacceptable.”
Aged 74 and in poor health, Aziz has been in prison since surrendering in April 2003, a month after the US-led invasion of Iraq.