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Iraq: US hands over Tariq Aziz, other detainees

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BAGHDAD (AP) - The U.S. this week handed over nearly 30 former members of Saddam Hussein's inner circle, including the longtime international face of the regime, Tariq Aziz, officials said Wednesday.

The announcement comes a day before U.S. authorities are to transfer authority of Camp Cropper, the last American-run detention facility to the Iraqi government.

The transfer marks a major step toward restoring full sovereignty to Iraq as the U.S. military prepares to withdraw its forces from the country by the end of next year. But it also raised concerns about the fate of Aziz and the other detainees at the hands of a government whose venom for the previous regime has not lessened in the seven years since Saddam was overthrown.

Underscoring the challenges, the military said around 200 will remain in American custody, including eight former regime members, at the request of the Iraqi government...

Defense attorney Badee Izzat Aref, who is based in neighboring Jordan, said Aziz feared the transfer was a death sentence.

"Mr. Aziz told me the following: 'The Iraqi government will certainly kill me. I fear for my life. I expect I won't live except for days. I'm afraid they'll poison my food or won't give me my medicine to silence me. President Obama is no different from Bush, who has Iraqi blood on his hands'," Aref said.

The lawyer said he planned to appeal to Pope Benedict XVI to intercede on Aziz's behalf.

He said Aziz's health condition "seriously deteriorated in the last few days." In January, Aziz suffered a stroke and was rushed to a hospital in Balad, about 40 miles (65 kilometers) north of Baghdad...

As the American military pulls out of Iraq and hands over responsibility of prisoners to the Iraqi government, there have been persistent concerns of mistreatment of prisoners at the hands of Iraqi officials.

The U.S. military confirmed that some detainees had been handed over in preparation for Iraqi authorities to take control Thursday of Camp Cropper, which holds about 1,800 Iraqi prisoners...

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D9GUUVDO0&show_article=1

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Philippines
Timeline

The announcement comes a day before U.S. authorities are to transfer authority of Camp Cropper, the last American-run detention facility to the Iraqi government.

The transfer marks a major step toward restoring full sovereignty to Iraq as the U.S. military prepares to withdraw its forces from the country by the end of next year. But it also raised concerns about the fate of Aziz and the other detainees at the hands of a government whose venom for the previous regime has not lessened in the seven years since Saddam was overthrown.

Defense attorney Badee Izzat Aref, who is based in neighboring Jordan, said Aziz feared the transfer was a death sentence.

As the American military pulls out of Iraq and hands over responsibility of prisoners to the Iraqi government, there have been persistent concerns of mistreatment of prisoners at the hands of Iraqi officials.

Nobody cares if Iraqi prisoners are tortured or killed as long as it's not the West Virginia National Guard putting panties on heads, having jerk off contests or naked human pyramids.


David & Lalai

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Greencard Received Date: July 3, 2009

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