Sunday, December 21, 2008

'Baghdad Clogger' suffered brutal beating after arrest

Muntazer al-Zaidi has not been seen in public since he hurled his shoes at President George Bush. In Baghdad, Afif Sarhan talks to witnesses who claim that a series of savage attacks left him with a broken rib and serious damage to his eye

Afif Sarhan
The Observer, Sunday 21 December 2008

"......His family, who have been denied access to him, have claimed he suffered far more extensive injuries and was subjected to a prolonged and vicious beating, suffering a broken arm, broken ribs and internal bleeding. The allegations appear to be borne out by those who have seen him since his arrest.

One police officer, who accompanied him to prison, said the journalist, a Baghdad correspondent for the Cairo-based Al-Baghdadia TV, had been subjected to violence throughout the journey. The officer, who asked not to be named, said he witnessed security forces beating Zaidi in the car with such force that his ribs were broken. "I felt sorry when I saw them beating him. His mouth was badly injured and he did not utter a single word throughout until one of the guards hit him in his left eye with a gun. Then he cried out that he couldn't see, and I saw blood inside his eye. I am a police officer but even I have to say I felt proud of what he did."

A doctor called to examine Zaidi said his right arm had been broken and he had haematomas - indicative of internal bleeding - all over his body, particularly on his left leg, shoulders, face and head. The doctor, who also asked to remain anonymous, said specialists called in to treat him warned security guards that they must make sure his eye was protected for fear of a further haemorrhage which could cause him to lose his sight......."

COMMENT: I wonder what is Iran's official position on all this? After all Maliki is their ally and puppet and his "security" forces are mostly tied to Iran.

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