Iraq: Shoe thrower sentenced to 3 years

March 14, 2009

An Iraqi court sentenced journalist Muntadar al-Zaidi to three years in prison on March 12.

Al-Zaidi achieved hero-status around the world after he threw his shoes at then-US president George Bush during a December media conference in protest against the US-led occupation of Iraq.

He pleaded not guilty to the charge of assaulting a foreign head of state during an official visit.

He described his actions as "a natural response to the occupation" according to the March 12 Guardian. "I thought about what the achievements [of Bush] were — killing about a million Iraqis."

Al-Zaidi told the court that he had been beaten and tortured while in the custody of Iraqi authorities. His lawyers indicated he will appeal the decision.

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