The purge of Baath Party members began after Saddam Hussein’s fall in 2003. AFP photo.
BAGHDAD, Iraq – A committee in charge of purging the influence of Iraq’s ousted Baath Party following the 2003 ouster of Saddam Hussein is being dissolved, its head said.
Bakhtiar Amin, the head of the Iraqi Committee for Accountability and Justice, said the body will be dissolved as part of the agreement with Sunni factions who supported the formation of new cabinet under Prime Minister Haidar Abadi.
“We submitted a new draft to the government for a special law regarding accountability and justice in which we have asked to soften the legal measures against the former Baathists,” Amin told Rudaw.
“And then our committee will set a date for dissolution,” he added.
In early 2003, the new regime declared that all public sector employees affiliated with the Baath Party would be removed from their positions and banned from future government jobs. The policy was highly controversial among academics and institutions which feared the policy could target Sunnis with past Baath Party membership.
“We have annulled 60,000 government confiscations of former Baathist-owned properties and have retired 120,000 former loyalists,” Amin said, as he criticized the committee’s past “cruelty” against former Saddam loyalists.
He said the government has set up a special office to compensate victims whose properties were seized during Baathist rule before the Iraq invasion. He added that the office would offset former Baathists who lost properties to the committee.