[JURIST] Former Saddam Hussein-era Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] is threatening to go on a hunger strike, his son Ziad Aziz told AFP Thursday. Ziad says that Aziz and 14 other detainees are threatening to initiate a hunger strike next week if Iraqi authorities do not allow Aziz's preferred lawyer, Badih Aref Izzat, to enter Iraq and be present during Aziz's interrogations. Ziad says that Izzat is currently prohibited from returning to Iraq for unspecified reasons.
Last Saturday, Izzat said that Aziz had fainted several times while in detention and was taken to a US military hospital [JURIST report]. Aziz, who surrendered to US forces in 2003, has complained of health problems [JURIST report] throughout his detention. In March, Aziz denied [JURIST report] that Hussein's government had ever carried out attacks while testifying before the Iraqi High Tribunal [official website] in the Anfal genocide trial [JURIST news archive; BBC trial timeline]. AFP has more