Iraqi Shoe Thrower's Prison Release Delayed

Family ready to celebrate reporter's defiance
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 14, 2009 9:29 AM CDT
In this Dec. 14, 2008 file photo, Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi throws a shoe at President George W. Bush during a new conference with Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in Baghdad, Iraq.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
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(Newser) – The Iraqi reporter jailed for throwing his shoes at George W. Bush will not be released today as planned due to paperwork processing delays, his brother says. Muntadhar al-Zeidi's family had gathered at dawn outside an Iraqi army base where he was expected to be released from prison. After waiting more than five hours, his brother said al-Zeidi called to tell him he wouldn't be released until tomorrow.

The family said it will stage a sit-in outside the base tomorrow until he is released, and called for other Iraqis to join them. They had been preparing a festive welcome for the reporter after his nine months behind bars. At his family's home in Baghdad yesterday, relatives were already celebrating, waving Iraqi flags and hanging balloons and posters of the reporter. Al-Zeidi's act of protest last December made him an instant hero across the Arab world.