Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Treatment of Muntadhar al-Zeidi looking very suspicious

So now the Iraqi government is claiming that the shoe-thrower was put up to the act by an un-named (but definitely evil) "militant".
"He revealed ... that a person provoked him to commit this act, and that person is known to us for slitting throats," al-Maliki said, according to the prime minister's Web site. The alleged instigator was not named and neither al-Maliki nor any of his officials would elaborate.

No word from al-Zeidi himself at this stage, although his brothers have been allowed to visit him. They contradict the government's claims:
"He told me that he has no regret for what he did and that he would do it again," Uday al-Zeidi told The Associated Press."

Muntadhar al-Zeidi's brothers continue to say that he's being tortured while in custody, although the AP is at pains to point out that "there has been no independent corroboration that al-Zeidi was abused once in custody." However, there is confirmation that he received injuries in the process of being arrested:
The investigating judge, Dhia al-Kinani, has said that the journalist was beaten around the face and eyes when he was wrestled to the ground after throwing the shoes at Bush during a Dec. 14 press conference in the Green Zone. The judge said al-Zeidi's face was bruised but he did not provide a further description.

I've been trying to give the Iraqi government the benefit of the doubt over the torture allegations, but this admission that he received injuries during his arrest, combined with the claim that he did not appear in open court on Wednesday 17th December despite earlier expectations that he would, do not bode well.

No comments: