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Iraqi lawmakers argue over shoe-thrower

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  • NEW: Anti-U.S. lawmakers demand support for shoe-throwing journalist
  • Muntadhar al-Zaidi likely to be charged with assaulting a foreign head of state
  • Al-Zaidi's brother says reporter hated U.S., Iranian influence in Baghdad
  • Shoe-throwing is a traditional insult in Arab culture
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- In a chaotic session, Iraqi lawmakers argued Wednesday over the fate of the man who threw a shoe at President George W. Bush.

TV reporter Muntadhar al-Zaidi, shown in a file photo, faces a trial for his shoe-throwing protest.

President Bush, left, ducks a shoe as Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki tries to protect him Sunday.

The head of the anti-U.S. Sadrist bloc, Aqeel Abdul Hussain, said lawmakers had a duty to stand up for the detained journalist, Muntadhar al-Zaidi prompting objections from other parliamentarians.

The dispute came on a stormy day in parliament as lawmakers also argued over draft legislation regarding the withdrawal of the remaining non-U.S. coalition forces, lawmakers said.

Meanwhile, Dhirgham al-Zaidi, told CNN his brother is scheduled to face trial next week. A source with the Iraqi Central Criminal Court said he will most likely be charged with assaulting a foreign head of state.

Dhirgham al-Zaidi also told CNN that Iraqi security forces beat up his brother following the shoe-throwing incident, saying his arm and rib were broken while in custody. He made the allegations despite not having seen his brother.

CNN cannot independently confirm the allegations or determine if the alleged injuries came as a result of the initial scuffle or while al-Zaidi was later in custody.

Al-Zaidi's cameraman also told CNN that Iraqi security personnel "beat up" the Iraqi journalist as he was wrestled to the floor shortly after throwing both shoes at the American president.

Iraq's Higher Judicial Council could not be reached for comment on al-Zaidi's status.

The detained journalist has been hailed a hero by many Iraqis who are protesting his detention.

A third day of country-wide protests against the journalist's detention took place on Wednesday.

Al-Zaidi threw both of his shoes at Bush while the U.S. president and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki were holding a news conference Sunday after Bush's surprise visit to Baghdad.

Neither hit Bush, and the journalist was knocked to the ground, hustled out of the room and arrested by security officials.

Shouting as he was pushed to the floor, the reporter called his shoe-throwing -- a traditional insult in Arab culture -- a "farewell kiss" to a "dog" who launched the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Dhirgham al-Zaidi said his brother hated the "material American occupation" and Iranian influence in Iraq.

He told CNN Tuesday he is worried his brother might be killed after he is released from custody.

"I am worried he will be hurt ... he is a stubborn person. Even if he comes out of detention on a wheelchair he will never leave Iraq," Dhirgham al-Zaidi said. "I am worried they will assassinate him in Iraq."

He said he did not believe his brother planned to throw the shoe, but it might have occurred to him when he was asked to cover the news conference, because his brother changed from foreign-made shoes into Iraqi-made ones beforehand. Video Watch Muntadhar al-Zaidi throw his shoes at Bush »

In Washington Tuesday, President Bush told CNN's Candy Crowley that he "didn't have much time to reflect on anything (when the shoes were thrown), I was ducking and dodging."

TV networks across the world continue to air the shoe-throwing scene, which has touched a nerve in the Arab world, where there has been an outpouring of support for the Al-Baghdadia reporter.


Al-Baghdadia TV -- which has been airing rolling live coverage about the incident -- is urging his release and has invited guests into its studio who support al-Zaidi.

Web sites and Facebook pages devoted to al-Zaidi have also been posted. Dhirgham al-Zaidi said while he is concerned about his brother's well being, the expressions of support have been uplifting.

-- CNN's Yousif Bassil and Jomana Karadsheh in Baghdad contributed to this report.

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