Muntadhar al-Zeidi, reporter and shoe thrower to be released early

al-Zeidi in the act of throwing the shoes

al-Zeidi in the act of throwing the shoes

The Shoe heard around the world

President Bush sees it coming, and veers to the left, shoe misses

President Bush sees it coming, and veers to the left, shoe misses

Muntadhar al-Zeidi was originally sentenced to three years in prison, then the sentence was reduced to one year, now he is being released three months early.

Many Iraqis protested the verdict, saying al-Zeidi is a national hero who was expressing his right to free speech with the intent to insult Bush, not assault him.

“It was an act of throwing a shoe and not a rocket. It was meant an an insult to the occupation,” said chief defense lawyer Dhiya al-Saadi. “He was only expressing his feelings.”

Throwing shoes is a major insult in Arab culture.

“What he could see was the blood of Iraqis at his feet when he watched the U.S. president speaking about his achievements in Iraq,” his lawyer said.

Iraqis packed the Iraq Central Criminal Court in Baghdad’s Green Zone for the verdict – including al-Zeidi’s family and a team of two dozen defense lawyers.

“This is a political court,” said al-Zeidi’s brother, Uday. “Muntadhar is being treated like a prisoner of war.”

His defense team said they would appeal the sentence, which was the minimum. Al-Zeidi faced up to 15 years for assaulting a foreign leader.

A poll released Thursday showed that 62% of Iraqis think al-Zeidi is a national hero for his actions.

“Al-Zeidi should have been honored and not sent to prison,” said Salam Omar, a mobile phone shop owner in east Baghdad.

The media watchdog group Reporters Without Borders called the sentence “cynical in a country where so many of the people who kill journalists are never brought to justice.”

Al-Zeidi was jailed on Dec. 14 after hurling both of his shoes at Bush’s head as he stood next to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki during his last visit to the country as president.

Advertisements

Tags: , ,

2 Responses to “Muntadhar al-Zeidi, reporter and shoe thrower to be released early”

  1. Tricia Says:

    I have to confess something–This was one of the few times I admired Bush for being quite the artful dodger.

  2. 25outof25centralasia Says:

    Thanks for the comment Tricia:

    It wasn’t hard to ditch the flying shoe. Bush had a lot of time, he first saw the guy stand up, then he screamed something as he threw the shoe. Plenty of distance between them to avoid being hit. One little person taking on the Leader of the Free World, with missiles,
    his shoes.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: