The Iraqi reporter who found fame after hurling his shoe at former US President George Bush has been freed from jail. Muntazer al-Zaidi, who has spent the last nine months behind bars, was sentenced to three years for assaulting a visiting head of state, but his term was later reduced to one year.
He claims to have been tortured and beaten while in custody and, at a press conference this morning, appeared to have difficulty speaking because of a missing tooth. “Today I am free again but my home is still a prison,” he said going on to give thanks to those around the world who supported him. He also demanded an apology from Iraqi Prime Minister. Millions of people across the world saw online or TV footage of Zaidi throwing his shoes at Bush and calling him a “dog,” both insults in the Middle East. His act was widely praised throughout Iraq and he is now seen by many as a hero. Prior to his arrival for the press conference at the television station where he works, staff slaughtered three sheep in his honour.