Monday, December 15, 2008

Libyan group gives courage award to reporter who threw shoes at Bush

Last update - 18:20 15/12/2008       
Libyan group gives courage award to reporter who threw shoes at Bush
By Reuters
The Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at U.S. President George W. Bush on Sunday was given a bravery award on Monday by a Libyan charity group chaired by leader Muammar Gadhafi's daughter.
The charity group "Wa Attassimou" also urged the Iraqi government to release television reporter Muntazer al-Zaidi after he was detained on Sunday for hurling footwear at Bush and calling the American 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 Gadhafi, said in a statement.
The group said the Iraqi authorities should honor the journalist for his actions.
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.
Arab and Iran TV stations have gleefully replayed the footage of the incident, which for many in the region was seen as a fittingly furious comment on what they view as Bush's calamitous Middle East legacy.
Aicha, a lawyer by training, was fiercely opposed to the U.S. invasion of Iraq. She offered to defend Saddam Hussein after his capture by U.S. forces from an underground hideout at the end of 2003.
After years of tension between Libya and the United States there have been recent indications that ties between the two countries were warming.

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