Former Iraqi deputy premier Tareq Aziz was sentenced to death in 2010
Former Iraqi deputy prime minister Tareq Aziz testifies for the defence during Saddam's trial held in Baghdad in 2006. Aziz, now on death row, is no longer allowed to telephone his family from prison in Iraq, his son says. © Marco Di Lauro - AFP
Former Iraqi deputy premier Tareq Aziz was sentenced to death in 2010
AFP
Last updated: December 25, 2011

Iraq's Tareq Aziz barred from calling family

Tareq Aziz, Saddam Hussein's ailing former deputy premier now on death row, is no longer allowed to telephone his family from prison in Iraq, his son said on Sunday.

"The Americans used to give my father 30 minutes a month to call his family. He was also allowed to make phone calls on Christmas and New Year's Day," Ziad Aziz, who lives in Jordan with his family, told AFP.

"Now all of this is history. My father can no longer call his family or grandchildren."

Aziz, 75, a Christian who was sentenced to death in 2010 after having been found guilty of "deliberate murder and crimes against humanity," was moved a year ago from Camp Cropper, a US army detention centre, to the Iraq-run Khadimiyah jail in Baghdad.

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani has refused to sign his execution order.

"My father has lost his ability to walk after his health significantly deteriorated. Inmates are taking care of him, making food for him and washing his clothes," Ziad Aziz said in Amman.

Tareq Aziz has been in prison since surrendering in April 2003, days after the fall of Baghdad in the US-led invasion of Iraq.

His family has repeatedly called for his release on health grounds, particularly after he suffered a heart attack in late 2007.

He also suffers from high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes and ulcers.

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