As the US and UK accuse Russia of a "politically motivated sentence" and the Pope accuses China of lack of freedom for Christians, former Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Tariq Aziz, sits in Iraq awaiting execution. A Christian, victim of a politically motivated trial, he knows the truth of Western duplicity regarding Iraq.

The silence of the Pope, Archbishops, the Foreign Office (with William Hague putting human rights firmly central to his policies) has been woeful. All have been approached by many, and by some eminent people, including Bishops. None have even replied to correspondence.

Tareq Aziz is a symbol of the "democracy" brought to the "New Iraq." His trial was condemned by Human Rights Watch (who had called for it consistently) as "Fundamentally Flawed" and they opined that the "Court should over turn the verdict."

Tareq Aziz had at least a show "trial" - he is a symbol of the hundreds awaiting death in Iraq who have not even had that. He also was a nationalist, who begged the former Pope not to allow Iraq to be destroyed by an invasion - and refused to leave the country which, for all his alleged failings, he had devoted his life to.

Under Saddam Hussein, those over seventy could not be executed. Tareq Aziz is a seventy four year old stroke victim. It looks to many as if what the US and UK have wrought in Iraq makes the excesses of the former regime pale. One can only mentally, hang one's head in shame.

Saddam was executed - many viewed a lynching - on 30 December. Let us hope history does not repeat this shame - in our name.

by Felicity Arbuthnot

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