• September 16, 2009

Al-Zaidi: I was tortured

Al-Zaidi: I was tortured

Muntadhar al-Zaidi was released from prison today (a day late) and quickly held a press conference, where he claimed that he was tortured in prison.

He claimed that he was beaten with pipes and steel cables and that he received electric shocks while in custody. He added that he believed there were many who would like to see him dead, including unidentified American intelligence agencies.

That’s a hard claim to prove, and some people will inevitably dismiss this as a publicity stunt. But I don’t see why al-Zaidi needs the publicity; he’s already the toast of the Arab world. And it’s not unrealistic to think that the Maliki government, which was deeply embarrassed by the shoe-throwing incident, would torture al-Zaidi in prison.

Al-Zaidi has promised to name names, and he says he’s fleeing to Greece because he’s worried about his security in Iraq.