» 11/18/2010, 00.00
Archbishop Sako: the death penalty for Aziz and others is only an act of revenge
After Talabani refused to sign the death sentence for Tareq Aziz, the archbishop of Kirkuk invites him to pardon similar sentences: Saddam's former officers now in prison are no longer a danger to the country.
Baghdad (AsiaNews) – Cancel the death penalty in the new Iraq to allow the country's true development. In the aftermath of the Iraqi president’s order to halt the death sentence of Tareq Aziz, the Chaldean archbishop of Kirkuk, Msgr. Louis Sako, reiterates the need to stop these "acts of revenge that do not serve peace."
"The death sentence is an offense to the human person. Who has the right to take a person’s life?" the archbishop said to AsiaNews. "I do not say this because the former Iraqi vice president Tareq Aziz is a Catholic, but because the death sentence is an absurdity in itself. The international community has a duty to ask all the governments for its suppression".
Yesterday a window of hope was opened for the 74 year-old Tareq Aziz, the last surviving high ranking representative of the deposed Iraqi regime, condemned to death by the High Court three weeks ago in Baghdad. President Jalal Talabani, who has always opposed the death penalty, insisted he will not sign the execution order. Just as he had assured in the case of the former Rais Saddam Hussein, who was later hanged in December 2006.
Archbishop Sako said that "everyone in Iraq knows that Aziz and other officials of the government could not object to the opinion of former President Saddam Hussein. Those who dared to give an opinion other than their own were killed. Being a member of an authoritarian government is a trap".
The archbishop then confirmed the importance of a genuine democratic progress in Iraq: "We have made progress, albeit slowly, towards democracy. Elections, freedom of expression, media, travel abroad, now we must remove the death penalty. This will help the progress towards democracy and reconciliation, especially since Aziz and others do not represent a danger to national security. They can simply remain in jail". "The death sentences - concluded Msgr. Sako - are acts of revenge, a sign of weakness of a state, an initiative not worthy of the new Iraq. I pray and hope that these sentences will not be executed". (LYR)
Archbishop of Kirkuk: sectarian violence in Iraq "politically motivated"
A series of attacks across the country leave an estimated 100 dead and over 350 injured. The violent response to the death penalty imposed in absentia on Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi. Archbishop Sako: divided government, reconciliation project faltering, a fragmented nation and "common" traits with events in Syria, and strong impact of nearby countries. Hopes for peace and future prospects in Benedict XVI's visit to Lebanon.
Silence must not descend on Archbishop of Mosul
The appeal was launched by the Archbishop of Kirkuk, 12 days on from Msgr. Rahoo’s abduction. To the Bishops and Christians of the world: “do not remain indifferent to this suffering, do not leave us alone to face this trial”. Amid increased fears, today in Kirkuk 15 Muslim leaders ask once again that the prelate be released.
Advent in Kirkuk: young people help poor Christian and Muslim children
The response to the archbishop's initiative "really surprised everyone." Some of the money will go to the Sick Children's Hospital and people who need treatment and drugs. For Mgr Sako, bringing "Christ's joy to their hearts" at Christmas brings a message of "hope, dynamism and sharing".
Power struggle in Kirkuk elicits archbishop's appeal for peace and dialogue
Tensions are running high between the central government and the Kurdish administration. Baghdad rushes troops to the city to keep in check the peshmerga. Clashes are reported south of the city. Mgr Sako talks about the civilian plight, asking for "security and stability". He also urges political leaders to be "messengers of peace".
Iraq moving towards division, says bishop of Kirkuk
Mgr Louis Sako voices his concerns over the growing split between Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds. A divided Iraq will not have peace but may confine Christians in their own ghetto.
Pope Francis tells young people that “genuine love” is not a “soap opera”, but Christians’ real identity card
In his homily for the Jubilee of Teens, Pope Francis asked questions and gave answers to the 70,000 present. Stressing the great ideal of love as giving oneself “without being possessive”, he noted that freedom is “being able to choose the good”. He warned young people “who dare not dream,” telling them that “If you do not dream at your age, you are already ready for retirement”. He also received funds raised for the Ukraine, and appealed for the release of bishops and the priests held in Syria.
Odd alliance between the US and Iranian fundamentalists
Washington is still preventing the use of US dollars in transactions with Iranian banks, preventing business with the outside world in spite of the nuclear deal. This way, the US is helping Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards, who want to torpedo the agreement in order to maintain their hold on power. Meanwhile, most Iranians hold down two or three jobs just to make ends meet. An unstable and bellicose Iran is a boon for arms sales. A report follows.
29/04/2016 NORTH KOREA- USA
25/04/2016 HONG KONG - CHINA
26/04/2016 SYRIA - TURKEY
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.