Kurd jailed for hurling shoe at Turkey PM in Spain

30th June 2010, Comments 0 comments

A Spanish court sentenced a Syrian Kurd to three years in prison Wednesday for throwing a shoe at Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in what he called a bid to highlight the plight of Kurds.

The 27-year-old threw the shoe as the visiting Turkish leader was leaving the city hall in the southern city of Seville on February 22, but did not hit him.

Hokman Joma, who has been in custody since the incident, was found guilty of "an attack against the international community" and also ordered to pay a fine of 408 euros (500 dollars).

The prosecution had asked for his expulsion from Spain, but the court decided against this after Joma said he feared reprisals.

Joma said during the trial that he never intended to hurt the prime minister but only to "draw attention" to the situation of the minority Kurds in Turkey.

The outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party is conducting a 26-year-old insurgency for self-rule in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast.

In December 2008 an Iraqi journalist threw his shoes at then US president George W. Bush during his final visit to Iraq, shouting: "This is the farewell kiss you dog." The 30-year-old was subsequently jailed for nine months.

© 2010 AFP

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