Friday, January 16, 2009
Shoe action and Muntader's status
First, the above sponsors are Act Against War and Courage to Resist (I don't think they're clickable above, so I'm putting the links in -- and Courage to Resist is also on our permalinks to the left). Those actions begin tomorrow.
Muntader al-Zaidi is the journalist who hurled the shoes at the Bully Boy.
One minute Bully Boy and puppet Nouri al-Maliki were grinning, the next minute shoes were flying. Bully boy had just got off this lie, "The war is not yet over -- but with the conclusion of these agreements and the courage of the Iraqi people and the Iraqi troops and American troops and civilian personnel, it is decisively on its way to being won." And the shoes were flying.
Muntader al-Zaidi threw both of his shoes, one after the other, while declaring, "This is a gift from the Iraqis. This is the farewell kiss, you dog" and "This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq." And that was December 14. Over a month later and what's happened?
Timothy Williams's "Family and Lawyer Fear for Reporter Who Threw His Shoes at Bush" (New York Times) reports that his family and attorneys aren't allowed to see him (the December 21st visit -- hailed in the press at the time as the first visit -- remains the only visit), do not know where he is held and do not know if or when Muntader will see justice but his family fears never and fears for his life. Attorney Dhiyaa al-Saadi explains that there is documentation of the torture Muntader has experienced while imprisoned ("two medical reports conducted by government physicians within a week of Mr. Zaidi's arrest described brusing that coverd the reporter's face and body, but was especially sever on his legs and arms; a missing tooth; a gash on the bridge of his nose; and what appeared to be a burn mark on his ear").
al-Maliki's legal adviser Fadhil Mohammed Jawad tells Williams (apparently for the laugh factor) that, "Judicially, Iraq is just and the law will handle this case with justice." Yeah, that is funny. (For a recent look at Iraqi 'justice,' see this article by Ned Parker.) The family is refused visitation and even the New York Times can't figure out where Muntader is being held despite High Judicial Council spokesperson Adbudl Satta al-Biriqday telling the paper that Muntader was at a specific prison "in the Green Zone, operated by the Baghdad Brigade, a military unit that answeres to the prime minister's office." Attempts to visit as al-Biriqday said was possible?
But during a recent visit to the complex, an Iraqi Army guard told a reporter who requested a visit to leave immediately. The guard also said it was "dangerous" to seek to meet Mr. Zaidi.
The soldier who did not identify himself, said he did not know whether Mr. Zaidi was being held there.
On Thursday, an e-mail message sent to Mr. Maliki requesting a visit with Mr. Zaidi received no reply.
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