On December 30, Harakt al-Baath (Baath Movement), a pan-Arab socialist party, celebrated the 5th anniversary of the death of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein.
The party’s regional office in Sidi Bouzid organized the event in collaboration with other pan-Arab parties such as Harakt al-Chaab (People’s Movement).The celebration included a presentation on Saddam Hussein’s life, a photo exhibition, and a live band performing nationalist songs.
Othman Belhaj Amor, secretary-general of Harakt al-Baath, said that the party is celebrating the memorial of a patriotic martyr and a symbolic figure. “Hussein’s execution was symbolic, they did not kill a person but rather the ideas he represented and fought for. Hussein was killed for being against colonization and for being a defender of Arab unity and independence of Arab countries.”
Belhaj Amor also mentioned the death of Muammar Gaddafi, the former ruler of Libya. He went on to explain that killing Gaddafi in such a horrible manner is a message that the Western world is sending to pan-Arabists and anyone with the dream of a unified, independent Arab nation. “After all, Gaddafi is a human being and should be treated with justice and enjoy a fair trial,” he said.
Belhaj Amor also believes that the United States may be behind Gaddafi’s death. “It is the US and the West in general that is behind this scheme. They killed him, then they hypocritically showed the world that they condemn the way he died.”
The Tunisian Baath party has covertly operated in Tunisia since the 1950′s, and has been legally active since January 22, 2011.