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Iraqi Shoe Thrower Says He Was Tortured In Jail

by @ 12:29 pm on September 15, 2009. Filed under Foreign Affairs, Iraq

Iraq Bush

Muntadhar al-Zeidi is out of jail and talking:

BAGHDAD — The Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at former President George W. Bush was released Tuesday after nine months in prison and in a defiant address, he accused Iraqi security forces of torturing him with beatings, whippings and electric shocks.

Muntadhar al-Zeidi, whose stunning act of protest last December made him a hero for many in the Arab and Muslim worlds, said he now feared for his life and believed that U.S. intelligence agents would chase after him

(…)

Al-Zeidi was wrestled to the ground by journalists and al-Maliki’s security men.

The reporter said Tuesday that he was abused immediately after his arrest and the following day. He said he was beaten with iron bars, whipped with cords and was subjected to electric shocks in the backyard of the building in the Green Zone where the news conference was held.

“In the morning, I was left in the cold weather after they splashed me with water,” he said.

He promised to reveal the names of senior officials in the Iraqi government and army who he said were involved in mistreating him.

An unrepentant al-Zeidi explained that his actions were motivated by the U.S. occupation and said that while he is now free, his country is still “held captive.” He said his work as a journalist brought him painfully close to the shattered lives of his fellow Iraqis, whom he said he wanted to avenge.

“Simply put, what incited me toward confrontation is the oppression that fell upon my people and how the occupation wanted to humiliate my homeland by placing it under its boots,” he said.

“The invasion came with the slogan of liberation, but the invasion divided brothers and neighbors and turned our houses into places for endless mourning and our streets and parks into cemeteries,” he said.

Something tells me we’ll be hearing from this guy again.

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