Cairo: Iraqi director Ghanem Hamid has angered government officials after he reportedly glorified late dictator Saddam Hussein.
Iraqi Culture Minister Hassan Nazem ordered the cancellation a gala, which was planned to honour Hamid, after he had “glorified” Saddam’s now-banned Baath Party in front of a group of young artists, Iraqi media reported.
“He has glorified the Saddam Baath, which is an outlawed act according to the constitution,” the ministry was quoted as saying. “The essence of the ministry’s approach is to preserve the unity of Iraqi society,” it added.
In reaction, Hamid said in a terse statement that the gala had been cancelled because he said in public: “May Allah have mercy on Saddam Hussein”.
Iraqi constitution bans glorifying the Baath Party and its leaders including Saddam.