Iraq orders probe into pro-Saddam chants at local university

Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein

Diyala ( – Iraqi Minister of Education and Scientific Research Qusay Al-Suhail has ordered a probe into chants shouted by some university students in Diyala province in commemoration of former president Saddam Hussein and his Baath Party.

A number of students chanted pro-Baath slogans during a ceremony marking their graduation from the University of Diyala’s Faculty of Law.

“The repeated incidents of glorifying the tyrant (Saddam Hussein) and his Baath party during ceremonies held at universities are very dangerous,” Alghad Press news website quoted Suhail as saying in a press release on Monday.

“We do not rule out that some external and internal powers drive the youths to do such acts in violation of the law and the Constitution,” the minister added.

Suhail further called on the security staff to “keep a watchful eye on the celebrations” held at the universities so as not to be exploited by the parties hostile to Iraq and its people.

After its interference in Iraq against Saddam Hussein in 2003, the U.S. issued a list of 55 wanted figures from Saddam’s government. Five of those, including Saddam, were executed, six were killed, eight died in jail and 16 were released before U.S. troops pull out in 2011.

Five Saddam aides are still at large, including his deputy, Ezzat al-Douro, who was declared dead several times but appeared recently in a video commemorating the establishment of Saddam’s now-defunct Baath Party.

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