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Agence France Presse

Shoe Demo Targets US Embassy in London


A Protestor holds a shoe up during a demonstration outside the US Embassy in London Friday, Dec. 19, 2008, by Stop the War coalition calling for the guaranteed safety and release of Iraqi journalist, Muntadhar al-Zeidi, who threw his shoes at US President George Bush during a press conference in Baghdad. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

LONDON - Protesters staged a shoe protest outside the US embassy in London on Friday, demanding the release of the Iraqi journalist held after throwing his footwear at US President George W. Bush.

Demonstrators voiced support for "courageous" journalist Muntazer al-Zaidi, who has been in custody in Baghdad since Sunday's dramatic shoe protest which made him an instant sensation in the Arab world.

Representatives of a group called Media Workers Against The War delivered a letter to the US embassy urging authorities to "guarantee his safe treatment and affect his immediate release from custody."

"We as journalists believe that our colleague Muntadar al-Zaidi... is guilty of nothing but expressing Iraqis' legitimate and overwhelming opposition to the US-led occupation of their country," it said.

Another protester, Sabah Jawad of Iraqi Democrats Against The Occupation, said: "This guy was courageous. He didn't think about the consequences of his actions.

"He went there fully aware that this might be an implication for him and for his safety. His life is in threat but he represented the Iraqi people by this action. We are demanding his immediate and unconditional release."

Scotland Yard said there were about 40 protesters at the demonstration.


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