The national media center on Monday demanded al-Boghdadiya satellite television, for which Muntadher al-Zaydi who threw a pair of shoes at U.S. President George Bush during a joint press conference with the Iraqi premier, is working, to publicly apologize.
“At the time we condemn this act, we demand the facility the correspondent is working for to present its apology publicly for this act damaged the reputation of Iraqi journalists and journalism in general,” the center said in a statement received by Aswat al-Iraq.
…Secret Service and Iraqi security agents pounced on al-Zaydi. They wrestled him to the ground before dragging him from the room.
An Iraqi government official says al-Zaydi is being held for questioning by Maliki’s guards and is being tested for alcohol and drugs.
Bush brushed off the incident. “It’s like going to a political rally and have people yell at you. It’s a way for people to draw attention,” the president said.
Zaydi, a young man of no more than 30 years old, has worked for al-Boghdadiya since its establishment in the wake of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. He had been kidnapped two years ago by unidentified gunmen while stepping out of his home in al-Bab al-Sharqi area, central Baghdad. A week later he was found lying on the ground near auto selling stores in al-Nahda square, Baghdad, at a late night hour.
Zaydi is considered one of the journalists outspokenly criticizing the presence of U.S. forces in Iraq. He had written several reports opposing the U.S. military presence in the country.
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The Kurdish press syndicate also condemned the attack on President Bush by the Al-Baghdidia reporter.