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Muntadar al-Zaidi released from jail -- Celebrate with `Sock and Awe'

September 15, 2009 -- BBC -- The Iraqi man who threw his shoes at former US President George W Bush, has been released from jail in Baghdad, his brother has told the BBC.

Muntadar al-Zaidi's act of protest made him a hero in large parts of the Arab world and beyond.

Zaidi was convicted of assaulting a foreign leader.

The TV reporter's three-year prison sentence was reduced to one because he had a clean record. He was released three months early for good behaviour.

Zaidi's family has been preparing to hold a party for him and he has received offers of money, jobs and even marriages from sympathisers across the Arab world.

His brother, Dargham al-Zaidi, says the journalist was beaten while in prison, suffering a broken arm, broken ribs and internal bleeding. Those allegations have been rejected by the Iraqi military.

The previously little-known journalist worked for the private Cairo-based al-Baghdadia TV.

As he flung the shoes, Zaidi shouted: "This is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, dog. This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq."

His action was celebrated in internet games and on T-shirts and some people have offered him their daughters in marriage.

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