Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Shoe Toss

Rex Babin

There is reported evidence that Muntader al-Zaidi is being tortured in jail:
Albaghdadia, the TV channel where the Iraqi Journalist Montather Al-Zeidi works, reports that an Iraqi MP (Ms. Zainab Al-Kanani) informed them that Montather’s hand was broken in jail.

This confirms a lot of reports and rumors about Montather being subject to torture while the Iraqi authorities are interrogating and detaining him in some unspecified location.

Code Pink to stage protest for the release of Muntader al-Zaidi:
The theatrical anti-war group Code Pink plans to gather outside the White House today to protest for the release of the Iraqi journalist who hurled his shoes at President Bush over the weekend.

The activists plan to show up with a "large supply of shoes" in order to show solidarity with Muntader al-Zaidi, who has been in custody since disrupting a weekend press conference with the size-10 projectiles.

It's unclear whether there are plans to actually throw the shoes at the White House, but there's been some discussion of setting up a cardboard cut-out of President Bush and offering prizes to anyone able to knock it over.

Update 12/18/08:
It didn't take long for other shoes to drop. Muntazer al-Zaidi, the Iraqi journalist who fastballed his shoes at President George W. Bush in Baghdad over the weekend, remains in custody, but his act of individual protest has feverishly rippled out across the country, sparking uproar in parliament and pride on the streets. The obscure correspondent for al-Baghdadiya, a satellite-TV channel that broadcasts from Cairo, could face from two to seven years' imprisonment for hurling his footwear at the U.S. President and for calling Bush a dog.

Within the above article we learn there is quite a bit of discord within the Iraqi Parliament over the issue:
...the Sadrists, in particular, are keen to exploit the massive public sympathy for the Shi'ite reporter to turn up the heat on Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki over the issue, especially ahead of provincial elections slated for Jan. 31.

"The Sadrists were saying 'We are talking about having immunity for foreign troops here while an Iraqi is in prison for insulting a foreigner,'" says Mahmoud Othman, an independent Kurdish lawmaker who attended the session.
Well Dah!!!

More from the illustrious Agent 99 on Muntader al-Zaidi's treatment and apology Here.

Update 2, 12/19/08:

A judge has confirmed that Muntader al-Zaidi has been beaten and is bearing visible evidence of the assault:

BAGHDAD (AP) — The Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at President George W. Bush during a news conference was beaten and had bruises around his eyes and other parts of his face, a judge said Friday.

Judge Dhia al-Kinani, the magistrate investigating the incident, said the court has opened a probe into the alleged beating of journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi during the news conference.


Al-Zeidi "was beaten in the news conference and we will watch the tape and write an official letter asking for the names of those who assaulted him," the judge told The Associated Press.

Update 3, 12/21/08

Muntader al-Zaidi is now planning to sue the gaurds who beat him:
"Muntazer has filed a complaint today (Sunday) against those who assaulted him," lawyer Dhiya al-Saadi told AFP, saying those responsible worked for the security forces of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's media office.

"There are bruises on his body. He has lost a tooth in his upper jaw, and his left eye is bloodshot," the lawyer said, adding that the list of injuries is backed up by medical checks.

More news: Link

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