BAGHDAD (Reuters) - An Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at former U.S. President George W. Bush was arrested by security forces in Baghdad on Thursday for encouraging people to rally for better services.
A relative of Muntazer al-Zaidi said the reporter was detained in the northern Adhamiya district whilst voicing his support for a mass demonstration expected to be held on Friday.
Iraqis have been protesting for weeks against shortages of food, power and jobs, and against corruption as anti-government demonstration sweep across the Arab world.
“Security forces in Adhamiya district arrested Muntazer Zaidi and his brother Durgam. We don’t know where they took them,” Hashim al-Iraqi, a relative of Zaidi, told Reuters.
A security source confirmed Zaidi had been detained for “inciting people” to take part in protests.
Little-known Shi’ite reporter Zaidi, said to have harboured anger against Bush for the thousands of Iraqis who died after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, shot to fame in 2008 when he called Bush a “dog” in Arabic and threw his shoes at him during a news conference in Iraq.
Throwing shoes at someone is one of the worst insults in the Arab world.
(Reporting by Muhanad Mohammed; Writing by Serena Chaudhry)