Muntathar al Zaidi was sentenced to three years in prison today, for throwing his shoes at George Bush last December. Bush, who was not harmed, observed at the time that al Zaidi was engaging in a form of self-expression. The showing of the soles of the shoes considered an insulting act in Arab cultures. As he threw his shoes, al Zaidi remarked that they were a "farewell kiss" adding also, "this is from the widows and orphans and all those killed in Irak."
Aswat al-Iraq reports that the journalists union is appealing to President Talabani and PM al Maliki for "fatherly mercy," and that al Zaidi be released. Two years ago, al Zaidi was kidnapped and briefly held by terrorists. This week, two of his al-Baghdadia news agency colleagues were killed, when a bomb exploded at a reconciliation conference the reporters were covering.