May 22, 2010 — Muntadhar Al-Zaidi from Beirut: I expected to be killed the day I threw my shoes at Bush.
Muntadhar al-Zaidi (Arabic: منتظر الزيدي Muntaẓar az-Zaydī) was an Iraqi broadcast journalist who served as a correspondent for Iraqi-owned, Egyptian-based Al-Baghdadia TV. Al-Zaidi’s reports often focused on the plight of widows, orphans, and children in the Iraq War. On November 16, 2007, al-Zaidi was kidnapped by unknown assailants in Baghdad. He was also previously twice arrested by the United States armed forces. On December 14, 2008, al-Zaidi shouted “this is for the widows and orphans” and threw his shoes at then-US president George W. Bush during a Baghdad press conference. Al-Zaidi suffered injuries as he was taken into custody and was tortured during his initial detention.
There were calls throughout the Middle East to place the shoes in an Iraqi museum, but the shoes were later destroyed by American and Iraqi security forces. Al-Zaidi’s shoeing inspired many similar incidents of political protest around the world. On February 20, 2009, al-Zaidi received a 90-minute trial by the Central Criminal Court of Iraq. On March 12, 2009, he was sentenced to three years in prison for assaulting a foreign head of state during an official visit. On April 7 the sentence was reduced to one year from three years. He was released on 15 September 2009 for good behaviour, after serving nine months of the sentence.
TRNN Exclusive: The man that “shoed” Bush
al-Zaidi: Beatings ended when my brother organized protests, but I was kept in solitary confinement
TRNN Exclusive: The man that “shoed” Bush Pt.2
TRNN Exclusive: The man that “shoed” Bush Pt3