George Galloway recently appear on an Arab television station calling for the release of Saddam Hussein's bloodstained deputy Tariq Aziz.
Tariq Aziz will face charges for the crimes against humanity he committed as part of Saddam's regime. In words which will recall his infamous salute to Saddam, Galloway called him a 'political prisoner' and urged his release.
According to a witness statement to the human rights group Indict:
I saw that TARIQ AZIZ used a medium sized revolver. The victims were all shot at close range of no more than one metre."
"The following persons were informed of all major decisions prior to their implementation...they were informed of the intended attack on Halabja...these included...TARIQ AZIZ..."
Halabja was a crime against humanity with thousands of innocent civilians gassed by the regime in which Tariq Aziz was a leading figure.
Iraqis want Tariq Aziz to face justice and pay for his awful crimes against ordinary Iraqi and Kurdish people.
But speaking on Al-Jazeera television on March 18th Galloway said:
The obvious fact is that Mr Tariq Aziz is a more respectful man than the people who are holding him now. He is viewed with high esteem worldwide by figures like the Pope in the Vatican and other international figures who have valued his counsel, met him, discussed and negotiated with him. He is an eminent diplomatic and intellectual person.
Of course - you did know that Galloway was a friend of this killer? He even enjoyed a nice Christmas dinner
in Baghdad with his fellow Christian and attended conferences chaired by the leading Ba'athist.
All facts - check the links. Don't believe Galloway's lies that he had no relationship with Saddam's regime. He is still supporting the killers now.
(Full text of Galloway interview below)Galloway with Tariq Aziz who is now facing charges of crimes against humanity. The Respect leader told Al-Jazeera that Aziz was "an eminent diplomatic and intellectual person"Full text of Galloway interview:
British MP Galloway urges release of Tariq Aziz, political prisoners in Iraq
BBC Monitoring Newsfile
Text of interview via satellite with British Member of Parliament George Galloway in London, by Al-Jazeera presenter Khadijah Bin-Qinnah in the Doha studio, broadcast live by Qatari Al-Jazeera satellite TV on 18 March
[Galloway speaks in English with superimposed translation into Arabic, translated from the Arabic ]
[Bin-Qinnah] British Member of Parliament George Galloway has submitted a petition signed by more than 180 renowned international figures. The petition calls for the release of Tariq Aziz, former Iraqi deputy prime minister, and all the political prisoners in Iraq. The petition said that there was no ethical or human justification for the US forces' continued detention of Tariq Aziz, and that the war on Iraq is illegal in the first place.
Now we have British Member of Parliament George Galloway with us from London. Mr Galloway, why was this petition submitted at this time in particular?
[Galloway] Well, it is virtually two years since the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq. Mr Tariq Aziz and thousands of political prisoners are still held illegally as hostages by the occupation authorities at the Baghdad Airport, Abu Ghurayb and other places. We think it is time to raise this issue before the international community and call for their release from this illegal detention. The obvious fact is that Mr Tariq Aziz is a more respectful man than the people who are holding him now. He is viewed with high esteem worldwide by figures like the Pope in the Vatican and other international figures who have valued his counsel, met him, discussed and negotiated with him. He is an eminent diplomatic and intellectual person. It is shameful that he is being held in a very poor health and condition and under detention circumstances in which he is almost in total isolation from his family and his friends. It is time to raise our voice against this situation. We have assembled former presidents, prime ministers and ministers, eminent parliamentarians from the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain and other personalities from all walks of life who say it is time to release Mr Tariq Aziz and thousands of political prisoners who are illegally held in Iraq.
[Bin-Qinnah] It is clear, Mr Galloway, that you heavily focus on Mr Tariq Aziz. Why do you focus exclusively on Tariq Aziz among many other political prisoners?
[Galloway] Because we are all people who have attended at one time or another the Baghdad Conference, which was an international conference against the sanctions and the war on Iraq. Besides, Mr Tariq Aziz was the chairman of our conference. It is our duty to help the chairman of our conference. At the same time, it is clear in the title and the words of the petition that we are calling for the release of Mr Tariq Aziz and thousands of people held in the Abu Ghurayb prison, the Baghdad Airport and other places. I think it is time for the Arab public opinion to assert itself on this and employ pressure all over the world. In Guantanamo Bay, the Bagram Base in Afghanistan and Abu Ghurayb, the Americans are torturing prisoners and holding them in very bad circumstances and poor health conditions without any justification. As UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said, this war was illegal. Nothing legal can come from something illegal. Moreover, the puppet government they have installed in Baghdad has no right to try these prisoners. If the international community says that these prisoners have committed offences under the international law, there are many mechanisms, whether the International Court of Justice or other authorities, through which they can be tried. The group of people which absolutely have no right to hold them and try them are the occupation forces and the puppet government in Iraq.
Source: Al-Jazeera TV, Doha, in Arabic, 18 Mar 05