Shoe throwing journalist reportedly injured

Tuesday 16 December 2008 15.29
George W Bush - Shoes thrown during Iraq visit
George W Bush - Shoes thrown during Iraq visit

The Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at US President George W Bush has a broken arm and ribs, his brother has said.

Durgham Zaidi was unable to say whether his brother Muntazer had sustained the injuries while being overpowered during Sunday's protest against Mr Bush's visit to Baghdad or while in custody later.

He said he had been told that his brother was being held by Iraqi forces in the heavily fortified Green Zone compound in central Baghdad where the US embassy and most government offices are housed.

‘He has got a broken arm and ribs, and cuts to his eye and arm,’ Mr Durgham said.

‘He is being held by forces under the command of Muwaffaq al-Rubaie,’ Iraq's national security adviser, he added.

Mr Zaidi, 29, a journalist for private Iraqi television channel Al-Baghdadia, was swiftly overpowered by Iraqi security forces after he threw the shoes at Bush in a gesture seen as the supreme mark of disrespect in the Muslim world.

Mr Bush ducked when the shoes were thrown and later made light of the incident.

However, Mr Zaidi's action won him widespread plaudits in the Arab world where President Bush's policies have drawn broad hostility.

An Iraqi lawyer has said Mr Zaidi risks a minimum of two years in prison if he is successfully prosecuted for insulting a visiting head of state.