Iraqi shoe thrower rearrested ahead of planned protest

Muntazer al-Zaidi, the Iraqi journalist who was arrested back in 2008 for throwing a shoe at George W. Bush, has been put in jail again, this time for supporting Egypt-style protests in Baghdad:

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.



FP nominated for three Digital National Magazine Awards

It's a big day here at FP. Not only is our new eBook available for download, but we just learned that we've been nominated for three Digital Ellies from the American Society of Magazine Editors. And the nominees are…

The AfPak Channel for Best Online Department: This partnership between Foreign Policy and the New America Foundation is a carefully curated hub of sharp opinion and on-the-ground reporting from America's deadliest war zone. Led by Peter Bergen, the bestselling author and expert on al Qaeda, the channel has also emerged as a hub of social media, with a vibrant following not only for the site but for its active @afpakchannel Twitter feed as well. Also be sure to sign up for the must-read AfPak Daily Brief, prepared each morning by New America's Katherine Tiedemann. Highlights from this year included Anna Badkhen's series of dispatches from northern Afghanistan, an eye-opening photo essay of Kabul in the '60s, and Fatima Bhutto's "Zardari's Katrina."

Turtle Bay's Colum Lynch for Best Digital News Reporting: In its first year, this daily, reported blog written by the Washington Post veteran U.N. reporter has proved that Turtle Bay is filled with important stories waiting to be broken, from the private email condemning the U.N.'s response to the Haiti earthquake to the leaked exit memo by a senior official excoriating Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's tenure to the exposé on an Italian businessman ("The Peace Profiteer") who improperly secured insider information from U.N. procurement officials. And Lynch's dogged, careful reports have been quick to have a real-world impact, as with his exposure of a $3 million UNESCO science prize named for the dictator of Equatorial Guinea that soon led to the award being suspended. for Photography, Digital Media: Our distinctive photo essays, published in a large format and driven by smart, informative captions, are a trademark of the new, so much so that we turned them into an iPhone app of their own in 2010. Standouts over the last year include "Postcards from Hell," a gut-wrenching tour of the world's most failed states, and "Once Upon a Time in Afghanistan," a rare window into a time when Kabul was full of Mad Men furniture and women in pencil skirts. We also published unique, exclusive works by top photographers, from Marcus Bleasdale to Andy Spyra to Tomas van Houtryve. Throughout, we were guided by the idea that foreign policy -- and Foreign Policy -- doesn't have to be deadly serious. "The Devil Wears Taupe," a look at the bizarre fashion choices of the world's dictators, and "How Vova and Dima Spent Their Summer Vacation," a bit of visual Kremlinology on Russia's ruling tandem, are laugh-out-loud funny. But even a romp like "The World's Ugliest Statues" has a message to impart.


We'd love to follow up on Tom Ricks's win for best blog last year with another victory, though we're up against some very stiff competition in all three categories this year and are extremely honored to be considered. Congratulations as well to our partners at Slate on their well-deserved four nominations, including general excellence. The awards will be presented in New York on March 16.

As if that weren't enough, we've also recently learned that FP has received an Award of Excellence in the Society for News Design's 32nd annual worldwide competition. Our March/April 2010 cover, "Killer Apps," created by former art director Bryan Erickson, was recognized for its cover design. Out of more than 10,500 entries, SND's judges chose only 832 winners. Of these, only 41 awards went to magazines.

Congratulations to all the nominees, and thanks again to you, our readers, for a year of amazing growth.