Russia calls for clemency in Aziz death sentence

The Russian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday made an appeal to the Presidential Council of Iraq to show leniency to former Iraqi foreign minister Tariq Aziz, who was sentenced to death by an Iraqi court on Tuesday.
The ministry statement said that "it is necessary to take [into consideration] the age and health status of Aziz,"who they said suffers from chronic diseases, exacerbated by his imprisonment since 2003.
Additionally, the statement emphasized "the trend towards abolition of the death penalty" in the international community. It said that by blocking the sentence, the Presidential Council would be contributing "to solving problems of national reconciliation, harmony and the stabilization" of Iraq.
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