For Immediate Release
Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK co-founder, 415-235-6517
Jean Stevens, national media coordinator, 508-769-2138
At Iraq Embassy, Peace Activists To Call for Release of Shoe-Throwing Iraqi Journalist
WASHINGTON - Members of CODEPINK Women for Peace and other activists will go to the Iraq Embassy here TODAY to call for the release of Iraqi journalist Muntadar al-Zaidi, who was taken into Iraqi police custody Sunday after throwing his shoes at President George W. Bush during a Baghdad press conference. On behalf of peace organizations throughout the country, they will deliver a letter calling for al-Zaidi to be released without charges.
WHAT: Petition and protest at Iraq Embassy
WHEN: 2 p.m. Tues., Dec. 16 - TODAY
WHERE: Iraq Embassy, 1801 P Street, NW
"We sympathize with al-Zaidi's action, especially when he said he acted on behalf of 'the widows and orphans and all those killed in Iraq,'" said Medea Benjamin of CODEPINK. "So do many Americans who are horrified by the suffering Bush's actions have caused and want the war to end with troops and contractors out now. With a simple action, he struck a chord that resonates around the world."
Though people in the Middle East and around the world have lauded al-Zaidi for his bravery in speaking out against Bush and the Iraq War, the Iraqi government has called it an act that "sullies the reputation" of Iraqi journalists and could sentence him to seven years in prison. Meanwhile, al-Zaidi's television station has pled for his release, as have groups all over the world.
The Embassy protesters will carry shoes on sticks, as many protesters have done in Iraq. In addition for calling for al-Zaidi's release, they will call for the U.S. troops to leave Iraq.
For more information, please call Medea Benjamin at 415-235-6517.
CODEPINK is a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, stop new wars, and redirect our resources into healthcare, education, green jobs and other life-affirming activities. CODEPINK rejects foreign policies based on domination and aggression, and instead calls for policies based on diplomacy, compassion and a commitment to international law. With an emphasis on joy and humor, CODEPINK women and men seek to activate, amplify and inspire a community of peacemakers through creative campaigns and a commitment to non-violence.