Shoe-throwing reporter receives Bravery award from Libyan charity groupSubmitted by Hannah2 on Tue, 12/16/2008 - 01:47
Shoe-throwing reporter Muntazer al-Zaidi gets bravery award
THE Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at George W. Bush has been given a bravery award by a Libyan charity group chaired by leader Muammar Gaddafi's daughter.
The charity group Wa Attassimou also urged the Iraqi government to release television reporter Muntazer al-Zaidi after he was detained for hurling footwear at Mr Bush and calling the president a "dog" - both severe insults in the Middle East.
"Waatassimou group has taken the decision to give Muntazer al-Zaidi the courage award ... because what he did represents a victory for human rights across the world," the group, headed by Aicha Gaddafi, said.
The group said the Iraqi authorities should honour the journalist for his actions.
Mr Zaidi, accused by the Iraqi government of a "barbaric and ignominious act" will be tried on charges of insulting the Iraqi state, said the Iraqi prime minister's media advisor, Yasin Majeed.
Saddam Hussein's former lawyer today said he was forming a team to defend the Iraqi journalist.
"So far, around 200 Iraqi and other lawyers, including Americans, have expressed willingness to defend the journalist for free," the Amman-based Khalil al-Dulaimi said.
"I took the decision on Sunday night to defend the man after the incident. I am currently contacting Arab bar associations to form a defence committee."
"It was the least thing for an Iraqi to do to Bush, the tyrant criminal who has killed two million people in Iraq and Afghanistan," said Dulaimi.
"Zaidi should be released immediately."
In January Mr Mr Zaidi was reportedly arrested by American soldiers who searched his apartment building.
He was released the next day with an apology and the experience contributed to his deep opposition to the US military's presence in Iraq, Associated Press has reported.
Arab and Iranian TV stations have gleefully replayed the footage of the shoe-throwing incident, which for many in the region was seen as a fittingly furious comment on what they view as Mr Bush's calamitous Middle East legacy.