Monday, 16 March 2009

Green Party condemns harsh sentence for Iraqi shoe-thrower [Media release]

 

The Green Party is extremely concerned at the 3-year jail sentence that has just been handed down to Muntadar Al-Zaidi, for throwing his shoes at Former-U.S.-President George Bush.

 

Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner and Oxford East Parliamentary candidate for the Green Party, explained why the Party is backing the shoe-thrower:

 

"Mr al-Zaidi's protest was a courageous, symbolic gesture to challenge the US President's illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq, the mass civilian casualties caused by the war, the use of torture by US military forces and the US attempt to rip off Iraq's oil wealth.

 

"His heroic action was in the fine traditions of the young men who burned their draft cards to protest against the US war in Vietnam and of the Black Power salutes by Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Mexico Olympics in protest at the racist discrimination suffered by African-Americans.

 

"Mr al-Zaidi's action did not physically harm anyone or cause any damage – only embarrassment to President Bush and the Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki. Causing embarrassment should not be a crime. To send him to jail for three years over this protest is wholly disproportionate, and unbefitting of Iraq's new democracy," said Mr Tatchell.

 

Norwich Green councillor Rupert Read, the Green Party's lead candidate for the Eastern Region in the June 2009 European Parliament elections, who has posted a pair of his old shoes to Gordon Brown and George Bush [http://tinyurl.com/82tq8n ], added, "Is this why 'the allies' invaded Iraq? So that a journalist could be thrown into prison for three years for a brief and harmless bit of free speech?"

 

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The Green Party is extremely concerned at the 3-year jail sentence that has just been handed down to Muntadar Al-Zaidi, for throwing his shoes at Former-U.S.-President George Bush.

 

Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner and Oxford East Parliamentary candidate for the Green Party, explained why the Party is backing the shoe-thrower:

 

"Mr al-Zaidi's protest was a courageous, symbolic gesture to challenge the US President's illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq, the mass civilian casualties caused by the war, the use of torture by US military forces and the US attempt to rip off Iraq's oil wealth.

 

"His heroic action was in the fine traditions of the young men who burned their draft cards to protest against the US war in Vietnam and of the Black Power salutes by Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Mexico Olympics in protest at the racist discrimination suffered by African-Americans.

 

"Mr al-Zaidi's action did not physically harm anyone or cause any damage – only embarrassment to President Bush and the Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki. Causing embarrassment should not be a crime. To send him to jail for three years over this protest is wholly disproportionate, and unbefitting of Iraq's new democracy," said Mr Tatchell.

 

Norwich Green councillor Rupert Read, the Green Party's lead candidate for the Eastern Region in the June 2009 European Parliament elections, who has posted a pair of his old shoes to Gordon Brown and George Bush [http://tinyurl.com/82tq8n ], added, "Is this why 'the allies' invaded Iraq? So that a journalist could be thrown into prison for three years for a brief and harmless bit of free speech?"

 

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