Muntaẓar az-Zaydī (born 15 January 1979) is an Iraqi broadcast journalist who served as a correspondent for Iraqi-owned, Egyptian-based Al-Baghdadia TV. As of February 2011, al-Zaidi works with a Lebanese TV channel.
On 16 November 2007, al-Zaidi was kidnapped by unknown assailants in Baghdad. He was also previously twice arrested by the United States Armed Forces. On 14 December 2008, al-Zaidi threw his shoes at then-U.S. President George W. Bush during a Baghdad press conference while shouting “this is a farewell kiss from the Iraqi people, you dog”.
Al-Zaidi suffered injuries as he was taken into custody and some sources said he was tortured during his initial detention.
There were calls throughout the Middle East to place the shoes in an Iraqi museum, but the shoes were later destroyed by US and Iraqi security forces.
Al-Zaidi’s shoeing inspired many similar incidents of political protest around the world.
Following the incident, Al-Zaidi was represented by the head of the Iraqi Bar Association at trial. On 20 February 2009, al-Zaidi received a 90-minute trial by the Central Criminal Court of Iraq. On 12 March 2009, he was sentenced to three years in prison for assaulting a foreign head of state during an official visit.
On 7 April, the sentence was reduced from three years to one year. He was released on 15 September 2009 for good behavior after spending nine months in jail.
After his release, Al-Zaidi was treated for injuries and later said he planned to “build orphanages, a children’s hospital, and medical and orthopaedic centres offering free treatment and manned by Iraqi doctors and medical staff.