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Tariq Aziz confident asylum bid will succeed
27 Apr 2003 by Andrew Doe
Former Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz was looking forward to a comfortable life at the expense of British taxpayers yesterday after making an application for asylum in the UK.
He told reporters that he was "confident" that his application would succeed, pointing out that he had as strong a case as anybody he'd persecuted.
"Think about it", he said, "The Americans want to ship me off to Guantanamo Bay, and I'm at serious risk of persecution if I stay in Iraq. The British are bound to look after me."
"They know just how unpopular I am here," he continued, "they've been receiving applications from my victims for more than thirty years."
Douglas Ramsbottom of Amnesty International was quick to warn that Tariq Aziz and his human rights would almost certainly be violated if he was imprisoned at Camp X-Ray. He added that the former Deputy Prime Minister would have a good idea what he was in for, as conditions in the illegal Cuban Prison were very similar to those in the Iraqi jails that Mr Aziz was responsible for.
Home Office spokesman Gregory T Mullet denied that Aziz would be given special treatment, saying, "We review each application on a case by case basis. If Mr Aziz can show that staying in Iraq would place his life in danger, then naturally we would give him protection."
Political commentators have warned that a dangerous precedent could be set if Aziz wins his bid for asylum, with hundreds of Saddam's henchmen looking to start a new life in England. Residents near the former Sangatte refugee centre have already begun welcoming a large number of well-dressed Arab gentlemen on their way to the UK.
One local businessman told our reporter, "They're a much better class of refugee than the ones we normally get. The Iraqis we used to get round here were all impoverished peasants hoping to start a new life begging on the Piccadilly Line, but these guys are good customers."
The wealthy asylum seekers are not universally popular however. One Albanian asylum seeker told us, "This is a terrible situation. I have been here for three years, waiting to get on a truck into England. It was nearly my turn and all of a sudden, these Iraqis turn up and jump the queue."
"It used to cost £1,000 to get on a truck to Dover, but these bastards have put up demand and priced the Albanians out of the market. There are even a couple of genuine oppressed people here who can't get on a boat," he said.
"At least when all the Taliban turned up last year, they were broke too. I wish the Americans could stick to bombing civilians and third-world dictatorships."
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