Iraqi university expels three students for holding up picture of Saddam Hussein

The gathering during which the picture was held up is reported to have taken place hours after Saddam Hussein’s daughter Raghad published an audio recording on the internet, commemorating her father’s execution.
author_image Kosar Nawzad

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – An Iraqi university on Tuesday announced the expulsion of three of their students who were holding up a picture of the country’s former dictator Saddam Hussein during a gathering on campus the previous day.

The videos, taken on Anbar University campus, showed students from the department of agriculture crowding together, waiting for, and cheering on an individual to finish speed-painting a headshot of Hussein onto a canvas.

The university has “taken the legal proceedings to expel three of the students… permanently and punishing others by dismissing them for one academic year,” Anbar University President Khalid al-Najim told Iraqi media outlets.

Najim added that an “investigation is still ongoing with the students,” pointing out that “the delinquents will be referred to the competent authorities to receive their fair punishment.”

The Ba’ath party is constitutionally banned from any political activity in Iraq and any promotion thereof of its leader is prohibited by law.

The gathering is reported to have taken place hours after Hussein’s daughter Raghad published an audio recording on the internet, commemorating her father’s execution as the anniversary nears.

Led by Hussein, the Ba’ath party ruled the Iraqi state for over three decades before being overthrown in 2003 by an international coalition led by the United States. Three years later, the dictator was sentenced to death for his crimes against humanity. On Dec. 30 of that year, he was hanged.

Raghad is among Iraq’s most-wanted people for alleged activity as part of the Ba’ath party and support for the Islamic State (IS). Former Ba’ath members have long been alleged to have supported and even set up the entire structure of the terrorist organization.

Anbar is a Sunni-majority province and one of the earliest to fall to the onslaught of IS, aided by local Sunni militias in 2014.

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany