- By Joshua Keating
Joshua Keating is associate editor at Foreign Policy and the editor of the Passport blog. He has worked as a researcher, editorial assistant, and deputy Web editor since joining the FP staff in 2007. In addition to being featured in Foreign Policy, his writing has been published by the Washington Post, Newsweek International, Radio Prague, the Center for Defense Information, and Romania's Adevarul newspaper. He has appeared as a commentator on CNN International, C-Span, ABC News, Al Jazeera, NPR, BBC radio, and others. A native of Brooklyn, New York, he studied comparative politics at Oberlin College.
Muntazer al-Zaidi had been due to hold a press conference in front of the Iraqi capital’s Abu Hanifa mosque in the mostly-Sunni district of Adhamiyah when an Iraqi army unit took him away.
"I have orders for you to come with me," an army colonel told Mr Zaidi, who initially refused, demanding to see a written arrest warrant. He was eventually led into an army pick-up truck along with his brother Durgan.
Durgan al-Zaidi told AFP before the news conference that his brother intended to add his voice to calls for a major protest in Baghdad for Friday.
Zaidi claims to have suffered physical abuse including electric shocks and simulated drowning the last time he was in prison. His gesture started off a wave of global shoe-throwing that would eventually claim Zaidi himself as a victim. This form of protest has become so ubiquitous that the Economist has even created a "shoe-throwers index" to measure discontent in the Arab world. Even right-wing Israelis are getting in on it.
As for Zaidi himself, he’s been living in Beirut, penning a weekly column for the Al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper. He decided to return to Iraq in the wake of the protests sweeping the Middle East. His supporters should certainly know the best way to protest his arrest.