Bush shoe thrower Muntadhar al-Zaidi to be freed

August 30 2009

Al-Zaindi Muntadhar al-Zaidi (AFP)

An Iraqi journalist jailed after hurling his shoes at George Bush, the former US president, will be released in September.

Muntadhar al-Zaidi’s sentence was reduced for good behaviour, his lawyer said on Saturday.

Karim al-Shujairi, a defence attorney, said al-Zeidi will now be released on September 14, three months early.

Al-Zaidi was initially sentenced to three years after pleading not guilty to assaulting a foreign leader, then the court reduced it to one year because the journalist had no prior criminal history.

The act of the 30-year-old reporter during Bush’s last visit to Iraq as president turned him into a folk hero across the Arab world amid anger over the 2003 invasion.

The incident, which took place on December 14, embarrassed Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, who was standing next to Bush at the time during a joint news conference.

Neither leader was injured, but Bush was forced to duck for cover as the journalist shouted in Arabic: “This is your farewell kiss, you dog! This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq.”

Source

Added September 12 2009

Iraqi shoe thrower Muntadhar al-Zeidi to be released from jail

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Published in: on August 31, 2009 at 1:13 am  Comments Off on Bush shoe thrower Muntadhar al-Zaidi to be freed  
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Family says journalist who threw shoes at Bush beaten into apologizing

QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA

December 22, 2008

BAGHDAD – Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki moved Monday to undermine the popularity of the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at President George W. Bush.

In a posting on his website, Al-Maliki claimed journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi has apologized for the attack and confessed to carrying it out at the behest of a known militant.

However, the journalist’s family says al-Zeidi was tortured into apologizing for throwing his shoes at Bush – a gesture considered a major insult in Iraqi culture – and has told a brother that he would do it again if he had the chance.

Meanwhile, tensions over the case also spilled into parliament, as a move to oust the chamber’s abrasive Sunni speaker delayed a key decision on whether non-U.S. foreign troops will be allowed to stay in Iraq beyond New Year’s Eve.

Al-Maliki said that in a letter of apology to him, Muntadhar al-Zeidi wrote that a known militant had induced him to throw the shoes.

“He revealed … that a person provoked him to commit this act, and that person is known to us for slitting throats,” al-Maliki said on the prime minister’s website. The alleged instigator was not named and neither al-Maliki nor any of his officials would elaborate.

The journalist’s family denied the claim and alleged that al-Zeidi was coerced into writing the letter, in which he was said to have requested a pardon for “the big and ugly act that I perpetrated.”

Al-Zeidi’s brother Dhargham said that it was “unfair” of al-Maliki to make the allegation about the throat-slitter and described the prime minister as “a sectarian man who is destroying the Iraqi people.”

Earlier, another brother said he met the journalist in prison. “He told me that he has no regret for what he did and that he would do it again,” Uday al-Zeidi told The Associated Press.

He said he visited his brother Sunday and found him missing a tooth and with cigarette burns on his ears. He also said his brother told him that jailers also doused him with cold water while he was naked.

“When I saw him yesterday, there were bruises on his face and body,” Uday al-Zeidi told AP Television News.

“He told me that they used an iron bar to hit him when they took him out of the press conference room. He told me that he began screaming and thought all those at the press conference would have heard his voice.”

The investigating judge, Dhia al-Kinani, has said that the journalist was beaten around the face and eyes when he was wrestled to the ground after throwing the shoes at Bush during a Dec. 14 news conference in Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone. The judge said al-Zeidi’s face was bruised but he did not provide a further description.

There has been no independent corroboration that al-Zeidi was abused in jail.

Al-Zeidi’s trial on charges of assaulting a foreign leader is scheduled to begin Dec. 31. A conviction would carry a sentence of up to two years in prison. Al-Kinani said last week that he does not have the legal option to drop the case and that al-Zeidi can receive a pardon only if he is convicted.

The hurling of the shoes turned the little-known Iraqi journalist into an international celebrity and led to huge street demonstrations in support of him both at home and abroad, including Canada.

It also brought to a head a simmering dispute between the Iraqi parliament’s abrasive, erratic Sunni speaker and Kurdish and Shiite lawmakers seeking to oust him.

The speaker, Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, had irked legislators during a boisterous debate over the case last week by insulting some of them and saying, “There is no honour in leading this parliament” and threatening to resign.

On Monday, legislators unsuccessfully tried to vote al-Mashhadani out of office. Instead they gave him until Tuesday to resign or face an ouster vote later that day.

After the heated closed-door session, al-Mashhadani attempted to force the body to withdraw its opposition to him by threatening to call a recess until Jan. 7 – a week after the UN mandate expires on Dec. 31 for non-U.S. foreign troops to remain in Iraq. He backed down after opposition legislators gathered enough signatures to force a vote against him.

Britain plans to withdraw its 4,000 troops from southern Iraq by the end of May. Australia, El Salvador, Estonia and Romania also have far smaller contingents. U.S. troops can remain in Iraq until the end of 2011 under a separate agreement reached this year.

Shiite and Kurdish legislators believe they have the required 139 votes in the 275-member parliament to remove al-Mashhadani. If he is ousted, he will be replaced by one of his two deputies, and parliament can then approve the resolution.

Two years ago, the Shiite bloc ousted al-Mashhadani after a string of outbursts, but his fellow Sunnis forced them to reinstate him.

Al-Mashhadani clashed with Kurdish legislators this year over whether the oil-rich city of Kirkuk should be incorporated into the semi-autonomous Kurdish territory. Kurds wanted the city included, but al-Mashhadani supported Arabs and Turkomen who opposed the idea.

Source

Join the Calls to release Iraqi Journalist Muntadhar Al-Zaydi

Shoe-tossing journalist was abused, Iraqi judge says

Protesters shake shoes at US Embassy in London

White House Protesters Throw Shoes at Bush Effigy

Dec 17: Peace Activists Take Shoes to White House in Solidarity with Shoe-Throwing Iraqi Journalist

Iraqi MPs reject UK exit deal

Published in: on December 24, 2008 at 12:35 am  Comments Off on Family says journalist who threw shoes at Bush beaten into apologizing  
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White House Protesters Throw Shoes at Bush Effigy

White House Protesters Throw Shoes at Bush Effigy
December 17 2008

Anti-war protesters throw shoes at a fellow demonstrator wearing a prison uniform and mask of President George W. Bush outside the White House in Washington, on Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2008. (AP Photo)

By  Tom Fitzgerald

President Bush may have though he’d see the last of shoes being thrown his way, but the anti-war group Code Pink showed up at the White House Wednesday to stage a protest inspired by the President’s much-discussed shoe ducking incident.

The protesters took turns throwing shoes at a large puppet that was made up to look like President Bush. A shoe memorial was also laid out on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House to represent the Iraqi civilians who have been killed during the war.

The group’s founder, Meda Benjamin, says she views the Iraqi reporter who threw his footwear at the president as a role model, saying “We feel that the Iraq reporter is now a hero throughout the world because he has expressed the sentiment of millions of people who are so angry at George Bush’s policies”

Critics of Code Pink say the event was more publicity stunt than constructive discussion of the problems facing a post-Bush administration.

Brian Darling of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, says Code Pink may have to change its style once Barack Obama inherits both the White House and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, saying “There is a mainstream left which respectfully discusses what’s happened in Iraq and then there is Code Pink – no where near respectful – and their actions are out of the mainstream.”

The U.S. Secret Service stood by during the protests; however there were no conflicts with authorities and no arrests were made.

Source

Berkeley Code Pink activists support Iraq shoe-throwing reporter

December 17 2008

Code Pink members and supporters hold a “Farewell Kiss, Shoe-in” outside the Marine Recuitment…
Anti-war activists from the group Code Pink gathered at a Marine recruiting station in Berkeley this morning to show solidarity with an Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at President Bush on Sunday.

Members of the group and others marched around the recruiting station holding shoes in the air to show support for Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi, who hurled two shoes at Bush during a news conference in Baghdad.

In many Arab countries, showing the sole of one’s shoes, much less throwing shoes at another person, is considered extremely disrespectful.

Organizers said their demonstration was to show support for the Iraqi people who have been killed, tortured or maimed and U.S. soldiers who have died since the Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq.

The Code Pink protest didn’t effect operations at the Shattuck Avenue recruiting station, said Marine Corps spokesman Sgt. Matt DeBoard.

“Code Pink has been protesting at Shattuck Square for almost a year now,” he said. ”They don’t bother us and we don’t bother them.”

He repeated the Marine’s contention that their recruiting and military operations help defend Americans right to freedom of speech. “Our position is that we do what we do so that everyone can express their opinion.”

For more than a year, women from CodePink picketed weekly in front of the U.S. Marine recruiting center at 64 Shattuck Square in downtown Berkeley. They say the Marines are not welcome in liberal, anti-war Berkeley and that the office should shut its doors.

In January, the Berkeley City Council got involved when it officially stated that the Marines were “uninvited and unwelcome intruders” and granted CodePink a permit waiver and a free parking space in front of the Marine center for the weekly protests. The move angered people across the country, who flooded City Hall with about 25,000 letters and e-mails.

Source

Protesters shake shoes at US Embassy in London

Dec 17: Peace Activists Take Shoes to White House in Solidarity with Shoe-Throwing Iraqi Journalist

Please also sign Petitions at below link.

Join the Calls to release Iraqi Journalist Muntadhar Al-Zaydi

Dec 17: Peace Activists Take Shoes to White House in Solidarity with Shoe-Throwing Iraqi Journalist

Peace Activists Take Shoes to White House in Solidarity with Shoe-Throwing Iraqi Journalist
Call for his release and tribute to Iraqis who have suffered under US occupation

WHAT: Peace activists to gather with shoes in solidarity to Iraqi journalist
WHEN: 11 a.m., Weds. Dec. 17
WHERE:  In front of White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

WASHINGTON, D.C.

In solidarity with an Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at George W. Bush at a Baghdad press conference Sunday, peace activists will gather outside the White House with bags of shoes representing Iraqis and U.S. soldiers who have died since the Bush Administration’s illegal invasion of Iraq.

They aim to show support for Iraqi journalist Muntader al-Zaidi, who hurled his shoes at President Bush while he spoke at the conference on his “surprise” visit to discuss the war. Al-Zaidi is currently being held by Iraqi police and questioned on his actions. The peace activists are calling on the Iraqi government to release al-Zaidi without charges and have set up a fund to support him and his family.”

“It’s outrageous that al-Zaidi could get two years in prison for insulting George Bush, when Bush is directly responsible for the deaths of 1.5 million Iraqis and 4,200 U.S. troops, and 5 million displaced Iraqis,” says Medea Benjamin of CODEPINK. “The one who should be in jail is George Bush, and he should be charged with war crimes.”

The gesture of throwing shoes is considered a major insult in Arabic culture.

“Al-Zaidi’s act of civil disobedience expresses the disgust that so many Iraqis and Americans feel towards a man who has caused so much pain and suffering,” says Anas Shallal of Iraqi Voices for Peace. “It is indeed a fitting tribute to the end of the Bush reign of terror.”

U.S. veterans who served in Iraq will also participate in the shoe action at the White House.

“Having one shoe thrown at George Bush pales in comparison to the suffering that veterans and Iraqis go through everyday,” says Geoffrey Milliard of Iraq Veterans Against the War. “Perhaps if Bush can see some more of these shoes before he leaves office, he will feel some of our pain.”

For more information, please call Medea Benjamin at 415-235-6517.

Source

Farewell Kiss: Show Soles of Shoe Solidarity Stand
Wednesday, December 17th 2008 8:00am
Bush Farewell Kiss: Shoes in Solidarity with Iraqi Journalist al Zaidi Wednesday; CodePINK calls for his release and tribute to Iraqis who have severely suffered under US occupation

WHAT: CodePINK anti-war activists and allies to march holding shoes in the air around Marine Recruiting Station in solidarity with Iraqi journalist and all civil disobedience against war and torture
WHEN: 8 a.m., Weds. Dec. 17
WHERE: MRS/Marine Recruiting Station, 64 Shattuck Square, Berkeley

BERKELEY – In solidarity with an Iraqi journalist, Muntader al Zaidi – who hurled his shoes at George W. Bush during a Baghdad press conference Sunday – CodePINK activists and allies will gather outside the Marine Recruiting Station (MRS) holding shoes in the air and lining them up around the station Wednesday.

In addition to representing support for al Zaidi’s act of civil disobedience, the shoes will embody the Iraqi people who have been killed, tortured, maimed and U.S. soldiers who’ve died since the Bush Administration’s illegal invasion of Iraq, said CodePINK.

Showing the soul of shoes to someone is a symbol of extreme disrespect in Arab countries; throwing shoes is an even stronger statement. As he hurled his shoes at Bush, al Zaidi shouted “This is your farewell kiss, you dog”. He is currently being held, questioned, and tortured in jail.

Activists are calling on the Iraqi government to release al Zaidi immediately without charges and have set up a fund to support him and his family. They are also demanding Bush intervene for al Zaidi’s immediate release.

“It’s outrageous that al-Zaidi could get two years in prison for insulting George Bush, when Bush is directly responsible for the deaths of 1.5 million Iraqis and 4,200 U.S. troops, and 5 million displaced Iraqis,” said Medea Benjamin of CodePINK. “The one who should be in jail is George Bush, and he should be charged with war crimes.”

“Al-Zaidi’s act of civil disobedience expresses the disgust that so many Iraqis and Americans feel towards a man who has caused so much pain and suffering,” added Anas Shallal of Iraqi Voices for Peace. “It is indeed a fitting tribute to the end of the Bush reign of terror.”

CodePINK activists will bestow the “Farewell Kiss” on Bush, on Recruiting our Youth, and on Invading Afghanistan as well.

Source

What has not been so widely reported are the words Muntadar al-Zaidi, a correspondent for Cairo-based al-Baghdadiya TV, shouted out. As the first shoe was thrown at Bush, he said: “This is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, you dog.” And with his second shoe, which the president also dodged,  al-Zaidi said: “This is for the widows and orphans and all those killed in Iraq.”


Story and Petitions to sign for his release.

Join the Calls to release Iraqi Journalist Muntadhar Al-Zaydi

Published in: on December 17, 2008 at 2:46 pm  Comments Off on Dec 17: Peace Activists Take Shoes to White House in Solidarity with Shoe-Throwing Iraqi Journalist  
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Join the Calls to release Iraqi Journalist Muntadhar Al-Zaydi

Here is UNITED FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE Petition

The 50,000 Signatures Campaign for the release of Muntadhar Al-Zaydi

This signature campaign demands of the release of the Iraqi Journalist, Montadhar Al-Zaydi who hurled a pair of shoes at George Bush on 12/14/2008 in Baghdad in reaction to Bush’s immoral invasion of Iraq and the war-crimes committed by the occupying forces with the aid of local warlords.

We hereby sign below to demand the immediate release of the Journalist Montadhar Al-Zaydi, without any constraints or conditions.  We also hold Al-Maliki’s government and the Bush administration accountable and responsible for his life, dignity, and well-being.

للتوقيع اضغط على الرابط ادناه To add your signature, click on below link Everyone can sign

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/iwffomuntatharalzaidi


Here is a Care2 petition!

To Iraqi embassy in the U.S., Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch

We, the undersigned, sympathise with Mr. Montather Al-Zaidi’s action in throwing a shoe at George W. Bush. It was well deserved and symbolizes the sentiment of many people not only in Iraq, but around the world.

Bush’s policies have reaked havoc all over the world, and the Bush administration is responsible for unprecedented levels of violence worldwide, resulting in the death of large numbers of innocent civilians in Iraq and around the world. Instead of working towards peace and stability, the United States has become a rogue nation and has created

Everyone can sign

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/9/in-support-of-the-iraqi-shoe-throwing-journalist%20

Here is the  Code Pink Petition!

Sign-up below to support Muntadar al-Zaidi! Your signatures will be delivered to the Iraqi Embassy this week!

We, the undersigned, understand and sympathize with the sentiment expressed in the action of Iraqi journalist Muntadar al-Zaidi, who hurled his shoes at President Bush, shouting, “This is for the widows and orphans and all those killed in Iraq.

” We, too, feel for the widows and orphans and all those killed in Iraq, thanks to the policies of the Bush administration.

It’s outrageous that al-Zaidi could get two years in prison for insulting George Bush, who is directly responsible for the deaths of 1.5 million Iraqis and 4,200 U.S. troops, and for the displacement of 5 million Iraqis. The one who should be in jail is Bush, not Muntadar al-Zaidi.

We call on the Iraqi government to immediately release al-Zaidi without charges.

Canada and Us Only

http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/424/signUp.jsp?key=3909

You can sign all three if you wish to.

By now, you’ve all seen the footage of the Iraqi journalist hurling his shoes at George W. Bush during a press conference in Baghdad this past Sunday.

What has not been so widely reported are the words Muntadar al-Zaidi, a correspondent for Cairo-based al-Baghdadiya TV, shouted out. As the first shoe was thrown at Bush, he said: “This is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, you dog.” And with his second shoe, which the president also dodged,  al-Zaidi said: “This is for the widows and orphans and all those killed in Iraq.”

This bold statement also has to be understood in its cultural context. Showing the soles of your shoes to someone, let alone tossing your shoes at them, is a sign of contempt in Arab culture.

After throwing his shoes, al-Zaidi was wrestled to the ground by security personnel and hauled away. According to Democracy Now! this morning, “Muntadar al-Zaidi has been held without charge for over twenty-four hours and has been reportedly beaten in jail.

His brother said al-Zaidi has suffered a broken hand, broken ribs and internal bleeding, as well as an eye injury. Earlier today, al-Zaidi was handed over to the Iraqi military command in Baghdad.”


Call for leniency for Muntadar al-Zaidi after shoe throwing protest

December 16 2008

Reporters Without Borders today called for the release of Iraqi journalist Muntadar al-Zaidi, of al-Bagdhadia television arrested after hurling his shoes at George W Bush at a Baghdad press conference during a surprise visit by the US president on 14 December 2008.

“We obviously regret that the journalist used this method of protest against the politics of the American president”, the worldwide press freedom organisation said. “But for humanitarian reasons and to ease tension, we call for the release of Muntadar al-Zaidi who has been held by the Iraqi authorities for two days.”

“Given the controversy surrounding this incident, we urge the Iraqi security services to guarantee the physical wellbeing of this journalist, who was clearly injured during his arrest”, it added.

“While we do not approve of this kind of behaviour as a means of expressing an opinion or convictions, the relaxed way in which George W Bush spoke about the incident afterwards, should give the Iraqi authorities all the more reason to show leniency”, the organisation concluded.

Head of operations at the interior ministry, Abdel Karim Khalaf, told Reporters Without Borders that Muntadar al-Zaidi had been caught red handed and that he faced proceedings under Articles 223, 225 and 227 of the Iraqi criminal code. The journalist could be sentenced to up to seven years in prison for “insulting a foreign head of state”. Muntadar al-Zaidi is being examined by judges in connection with the investigation. Abdel Karim Khalaf said the he had not been subjected to any ill-treatment before concluding, “A journalist’s only weapons are words”.

Muntadar al-Zaidi achieved instant notoriety as a result of his gesture seen on television screens around the world.

Source


Angry Iraqis call for shoe thrower’s release

BAGHDAD
December 17 2008

Thousands of Iraqis have taken to the streets to demand the release of a reporter who threw his shoes at President George W.Bush. ! The protests came as suicide bombers and gunmen targeted Iraqi police, and US-allied Sunni guards and civilians, in a series of attacks that killed at least 17 people and wounded more than a dozen others, officials said.

An Iraqi official said the journalist, Muntadhar al-Zeidi, was being held by Iraqi security yesterday and interrogated about whether anybody had paid him to throw his shoes at Mr Bush during a press conference in Baghdad on Monday.

He was also being tested for alcohol and drugs, and his shoes were being held as evidence, the official said.

His brother said the reporter had a broken arm and ribs after being struck by Iraqi security agents. Durgham Zaidi was unable to say whether his brother had sustained the injuries while being overpowered during the protest against Mr Bush’s visit to Baghdad or while in custody later.

Showing the sole of your shoe to someone in the Arab world is a sign of extreme disrespect, and throwing your shoes is even worse.

Al-Zeidi was immediately wrestled to the ground by Iraqi security guards after throwing the shoes, But the incident raised fears of a security lapse in the heavily guarded Green Zone where the press conference took place. Reporters were repeatedly searched and asked to show identification before entering the compound, which houses Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s office and the US embassy.

Newspapers across the Arab world printed front-page photos of Mr Bush ducking the flying shoes, and satellite TV stations aired the incident, which was hailed by the President’s many critics in the region.

Many are fed up with US policy and still angry over Mr Bush’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003 to topple Saddam Hussein.

A doctor in the West Bank town of Nablus, Wafa Khayat, 48, called the attack ”a message to Bush and all the US policymakers that they have to stop killing and humiliating people”.

Al-Zeidi’s TV station, Al-Baghdadia, repeatedly aired pleas to release the reporter while showing footage of explosions and playing background music that denounced the US military presence in Iraq.

Source

Odd how someone is arrested for throwing shoes and Bush and company  get away with killing over million people in an illegal war, based on lies and propaganda.

There were no Weapons of Mass Destruction.

What is wrong with this picture?

Where is real justice?

I am sorry,  but I have to side with the shoe throwing Journalist.

I can only imagine, how many times he was a witness to the atrocities in Iraq,  perpetrated by the US.  One can only take so much death and destruction. He was watching the destruction of his country and fellow Iraqis  being  killed, maimed and living in a horrifying nightmare.

Bush and his cronies should be in jail for “War Crimes” among other things.

Number Of Iraqis Slaughtered Since The U.S. Invaded Iraq “1,284,105”
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/iraq/iraqdeaths.html

Dec 17: Peace Activists Take Shoes to White House in Solidarity with Shoe-Throwing Iraqi Journalist

Senate Report Links Bush to Detainee Homicides; Media Yawns

Media Search in the US

Write your local paper and denounce any possible planned pardons for crimes committed in the “war on terror”. Here are some sample letters and talking points you can follow.

Cheney admits authorizing detainee’s torture