Al-Zaidi, Injured, Pleads Guilty; Mosul Still in Turmoil

Iraqi journalist Muntazar al-Zaidi suffered, according to his brother, “suffered a broken hand, broken ribs and internal bleeding, as well as an eye injury” and had to go to hospital after he protested Bush’s press conference in Baghdad by throwing shoes at the president. The Doha Center for Media Freedom has expressed concern about the injuries allegedly inflicted on al-Zaidi and has called on Iraqi authorities “to ensure that the rights of this prisoner are respected.”

Al-Zaidi appeared briefly in court on Tuesday and pleaded guilty. Although apparently Iraqi law specifies a jail term of up to 2 years for the infraction of insulting the head of state, prosecutors are speaking of a 7-year term.

What I am wondering is if the law under which al-Zaidi would be sentenced is a Saddam Hussein-era statute? Much of Iraqi law is still Baathist law, since the parliament has reviewed and reaffirmed much of the previous legislation rather than starting from scratch.

Al-Zaidi is apparently popular in Pakistan.

Iraqi crowds continue to stage rallies daily to protest al-Zaidi’s detention and to demand his release.

A Saudi man has offered to buy the shoes tossed at Bush for $10 million.

Aljazeera English reports on the al-Zaidi incident.

Al-Hayat reports in Arabic that the Sadr Movement is demanding that the upcoming provincial elections be monitored by international observers.

The article says that the race in the Shiite south is hard fought, and that over-zealous supporters of one Shiite party versus another have torn down campaign posters from the opposing party in cities such as Basra.

Jane Arraf reports for CSM that Mosul is still violent, with up to 10 attacks a day and a volatile ethnic mix between Arabs and Kurds.

Nick Turse at Tomdispatch.com puts the “industrial” in the “military-industrial complex.

McClatchy reports political violence in Iraq on Tuesday:

‘Baghdad

Three people were killed (two members of the national police and a civilian) and 13 people were wounded (two policemen and 11 civilians) by a roadside bomb in Karrada neighborhood in downtown Baghdad around 10 a.m.

A roadside bomb detonated in Qadisiyah neighborhood in west Baghdad around 10 a.m. No casualties reported.

Three people were wounded (a security member and two civilians) by a parked car bomb that targeted the convoy of the minister of science and technology in Karrada neighborhood in downtown Baghdad around 2 p.m.

Diyala

Four Iraqi soldiers were killed by a parked car bomb in Sadiyah, a city 50 miles east of Baquba around 9 a.m.

Two people were killed (a policeman and a civilian) and seven others (three policemen and four civilians) by a bomb.

Gunmen killed Sattar al Hadidi, a leader of the Sahwa council in Sadiyah while Hadid was leaving the mosque on Monday evening.

Nineveh

Four Iraqi soldiers were wounded when a suicide car bomber tried to attack a check point of the Iraqi army in Rabiaa area west of Mosul con Monday evening. The soldier opened fire and detonated the car before reaching the checkpoint.

Kirkuk

A policeman was injured by a roadside bomb that targeted his vehicle in Rashad area west of Kirkuk.

Sulaimaniyah

A source in the border police said that an Iranian force had chased liquor smugglers inside the Iraqi land in north Sulaimaniyah province and killed and Iraqi man and an Iranian Kurdish man.’