Skip to content or view screen version

No to Torture - former British ambassador to Uzbekistan speaks out against UK/US torture collaboration

ab | 19.10.2006 12:47 | Analysis | Education | Globalisation | Repression | World

Craig Murray, former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan with over 20 years of foreign affairs experience, talks about torture and human righs abuses in Uzbekistan. He presented his book: "Murder in Samarkand - A British Ambassador's Controversial Defiance of Tyranny in the War on Terror" at the Edinburgh Independent and Radical Bookfair on Friday, 13th of October 2006, at the session on "Political Terrorism and the US Imperial Project".

Audio 5 min about a dissident trial in Uzbekistan - mp3 657K

Audio 15min about torture and US collaboration - mp3 2.5M

Craig Murray at a radio interview at the community radio station in NYC
Craig Murray at a radio interview at the community radio station in NYC

On a day when BBC News reports that a third of the world's population supports torture in some cases, it seems important to give you the opportunity to listen to this audio, where Craig Murray talks about human rights abuses and torture in Uzbekistan.
Most importantly, he gives examples about "false-positive" outcomes of torture cases, where people consent to any charges brought forward just to stop the pain on themselves or their families members.

He also gives examples on how Britain and the US support the torture by using the extracted, often false information, to back up their success rate on the War in Terror, and by backing the abusive regime of Islam Karimov.

Read more about torture at Craig Murray's Blog. More information about rendition from Scotland Against Criminalising Communities. More info also from Amnesty International and Liberty.

The BBC Video News report that:
"Nearly a third of people worldwide back the use of torture in some circumstances, a BBC survey suggests. But nearly 60% were opposed to the use of torture, even if it was to gain information that could save lives.
The countries in which the population supports torture most, are the countries in which practise torture already, such as Israel with 43 %, China with 37 %, Iraq with 42 % and the US with 36 % (rendition, Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib). The populations who are most against torture in any circumstances are Britain with 72 % and Italy with 81%."

This report hits the news one day after Bush signed the torture bill. Whilst BBC News claims that it would "enshrine defendants' human rights". the American Civil Liberties Union point out, that in fact defendants' rights are taken away.
""The president can now - with the approval of Congress - indefinitely hold people without charge, take away protections against horrific abuse, put people on trial based on hearsay evidence, authorize trials that can sentence people to death based on testimony literally beaten out of witnesses, and slam shut the courthouse door for habeas petitions. Nothing could be further from the American values we all hold in our hearts than the Military Commissions Act."



Hide the following 8 comments

Craig Murray willingly worked for Blair long after Blair's genocides had begun

19.10.2006 18:05

What do you think of a nazi (the original ones) who freely worked for Hitler, fully aware of the vile evil that nazism represented? What do you think of that nazi when he falls out with his boss, NOT over the nazi program of mass murder, but over some local issue effecting him personally?

Craig Murray is a New Reich nazi. No-one forced him to be this at gunpoint. Craig Murray, as an ambassador working EXPLICITLY to further the aggressive war abitions of Blair, is directly responsible for the acts of genocide in Chechnya (a Blair/Putin operation), Afghanistan, Iraq etc.

New Reich scum are opportunists. Murray never planned to lose his job as a consequence of the reports he made about Uzbekistan. However, like so many of Hitler's senior nazis, Murray lost his job when his master took exception to bad news.

Now Murray is in the job of demonising muslims. Oh, sorry, you didn't notice this? Well, let me explain...

There is the truth about a thing, and then there is that which most people perceive. Take Uzbekistan. The TRUTH is pro-muslim, and anti-Blair, BUT this is not the truth most people perceive. Instead, as Murray continues to spread the word WHAT MOST PEOPLE HEAR IS THAT UZBEKISTAN IS ANOTHER SHITTY MUSLIM STATE WHERE THE MUSLIMS, BECAUSE THEY ARE MUSLIMS, ACT LIKE ANIMALS TO ONE ANOTHER. In other words, a very good post-justification for the invasion of Iraq, and a very good pre-justification of the invasion of Iran.

What am I always telling you about the billions Blair and the NeoCons spend on psychological warfare? You (because you have that incentive) see only the message. YOU DO NOT SEE THE RESULTS OF THE MESSAGE. What you have to imagine is the thoughts in peoples heads after they have vaguely heard reports of Murray's words. In other words, ask your Mom, or ask your non-political brother. Ask the REAL audience of Murray's propaganda campaign.

The intent of Blair's people is simple. To have the masses of the West perceive muslim states in the same way they perceived (and still do) african states. To slander muslims as people so stupid, so vicious, and so criminal that it is insane to think of letting them rule themselves. A meme that Murray is pushing as hard as he can (why do you think he worked for Blair in the first place).

Of course, you stupidly object, by saying that if you listen to Murray carefully, he says exactly what you want to hear (like Benn and Galloway). However, that is called preaching to the choir. What you have to imagine is that which ordinary people get to hear, when Murray has been nicely filtered by the mass media. The casual listener (the vast majority of Humanity) hears something very different from the expert listener, and this is a central idea in psychological warfare.

In a just world, one day Murray will join his master in Nuremberg II, and that will be the last the world sees of them.


Who to believe?

19.10.2006 23:52

Twilight i've often seen your comments expressed on indymedia, but what if your an agent of the new reich? Sent here to make me (everyone) question what is truth or not?
I gather u believe chomsky is a agent of blair/bush/the new world order but he has a valid pont when he expresses what is 'news' and what we are feed is news.
Before u question/acuse me, i'd just like to say i believe in my friends, what i see with my own eyes and believe local community is the key.
messenger out


Twilight - finally exposed

20.10.2006 16:15

Having read Twilight's comments often, and sometimes with interest, on subjects about which I know little detail, I have often wondered what his or her agenda was.

Well, now I know. Having worked with Craig Murray, I can say with some confidence that this post shows Twilight to have one of the most divisive agendas I have ever seen on indymedia. I wonder who it benefits?

Murray is not a hero. Nor is he a Nazi. To call him one is like caling all the dissidents who evetually fled Germany Nazis. He tried to affect the part of the system he had first hand knowledge of, by speaking against it and exposing it. His contribution, far from being a further plan to "demonise Muslims", was exactly the opposite. He was trying to save Muslims in Uzbekistan who were being persecuted for their religion - sometimes by being boiled alive.

When that failed, and he was falsely accused by his "masters", Murray did not take his payoff and keep quiet. He kept fighting, standing against Jack Straw in Blackburn. Nor is his a selfish, single agenda. He has subsequently become one of the staunchest and most rational critics of this government, the Bush administration and this whole "War on Terror".

But readers can see for themselves, on his website Anyone ever tempted to nod at "Twilight"'s comments should visit it. In fact, it is worth visiting for the factual, horrifying and occasionally uplifting information it contains.



25.10.2006 21:00

Dear Twilight...
I have no idea where you come from, somewhere in a trailer park no doubt.
I also believe you have never read a book in your life, let alone Craig Murray's Murder in Samarkand, nor I believe have you ever been to Uzbekistan.
I have read the book and been to Uzbekistan.
To call craig a new nazi demeans a man that has worked ceacelessly for human rights in that country. You sir are now better then than viscous little prick who has no idea of geopolitics, unless of course, by the style of your writing and grammer, you are actually 12 years old.
By the way, Craig is my cousin.


Objections to Twilight

26.10.2006 10:16

As a citizen of Uzbekistan I can tell you that you are absolutely wrong. Murray is not a hero in the UK but he was amongst the ordinary people here. He was the one who could bravely say (apart from other ambassadors from european countries) that the government of Uzbekistan was evil. He tried to expose real face of the regime which had been accepted as a friend and ally in Washington and London. If he had not worked as an Ambassador or as you put it "for Blair" many people in the West would have never known the facts about torture, boiling the people or other atrocities in Uzbekistan. They would still continue in thinking that Karimov was perfect to cooperate with as an ally in the fight against terrorism. By the way EU is trying to do so now by offering negotiations and friendship to Kariomov.
I also object to your saying that Craig is demonising muslims because he was telling the world that muslim government in Uzbekistan is killing muslims. No, the government in Uzbekistan has never been islamic. They are former communists turned into so called democratic parties. They drink, they do not pray and they do evil things by boiling the people, separating the families and prisoning those who criticise them. Why do you think they do this? Isn't it because Karimov's government had a "go-ahead" approval from Washington, London before and now is having such an approval secretly from the EU, Russia and China. Who do you think should be on Nurenberg II trial? - Blair, Bush, Putin, EU officials? Or Craig, who has been criticising them by telling the truth? Or you, who is opposing against the truth and so giving a support to evils regimes such as Karimov's?


The Real Craig Murray

29.10.2006 15:37

Why is everyone attacking twilight?

Craig Murray worked for the British government. If you read "Web of Deceit" by Mark Curtis (, you will find out exactly what the British government stands for as regards its foreign policy. British ambassadors play an important role in implementing British foreign policy, in "opening up" markets for British firms, in assisting and encouraging other countries to privatize public assets, in furthering fundamentalist economic policies that ruin so many lives, in maintaining the public's ignorance.

Uzbekistan is not the world! Torture is not the only issue!

Twilight has the common sense to question someone who worked for a bunch of crooks.

Perhaps, confronted with people being tortured to death, knowing that his silence might mean more deaths, Craig Murray's conscience stirred. Perhaps Craig couldn't turn this much of a blind eye to the government's brutal foreign policy.

I don't know Craig Murray personally. Neither does Twilight. We both, therefore, have every right to question Craig's concern for others when, for so long, he said nothing about British foreign policy.

However, I'm not such a nasty person as to condemn Mr Murray based on mere supposition. Perhaps he's a decent guy who didn't realise what he was getting into. But, until he reveals more about his job and what he did over the years, I, and others, have every right to have doubts.

What he says and what he writes, however, is very much welcomed. Blair is not!

Recommend reading: "Tamerlane's Children (Dispatches from Contemporary Uzbekistan)" by Robert Rand.

mail e-mail:

Real Craig Murray - Part 2

01.11.2006 17:30

As an aside, I used to post regularly on Craig Murray's blog, but he deleted a post I made about one of Blair's kids attempted suicide. I wanted to know whether this was true or not, or just a rumour. I also wanted to know what kind of father Blair has been to his kids, given that he lectures everyone else about rights and responsibilities while butchering innocent women and children in Lebanon. But Craig deleted my entire post, and he wasn't even kind enough to leave a message explaining why.

A guy called "chuck unsworth" posts on Craig's site, and chuck implied that I should stop making posts because it is Craig's blog, not mine. I told chuck to start respecting human rights instead of property rights, that if Craig is serious about what he says, he won't be bothered by my posts.

I was making posts about Diego Garcia and other issues - issues I thought people ought to know about.

Craig goes on and on about Uzbekistan and torture. Time he started telling the public about what British ambassadors really do, and what British foreign policy is really about.

Craig's narrow focus makes me very suspicious. Is he still the consummate ambassador, I wonder? Revealing only what he wants to reveal, while giving the impression he is laying everything bare?

As for this attack on twilight. Let's keep in mind that these "saints" are members of the elite. Noam Chomsky is a member of the intellectual elite, while Craig Murray was - and still desires to be (he ran against Jack Straw, remember!) - a member of the political elite. If we want them to give us information, we must pay for it. Chomsky charges $12,000 to speak (that might be per hour) and his articles are copyRIGHT, while Craig charges £18.99 for a chunk of his words. Craig has also done speeches in America. Paid, I would presume.

I made an effort on Craig's blog, and all I got was abuse from chuck, and insulted by Craig.

That's how little people like me get treated in this world. I'm a nobody, and so for the effort I make, I receive nothing in return, least of all respect:

"The Branding of the World's Top Intellectual: Noam Chomsky"

In "The Guardian", Chomsky said he needs to be rewarded financially to give him the stamina to continue his "work". He fails to see the hypocrisy in encouraging others to become politically active, when all they get for their efforts is despair.

Go here for Chomsky's weak defence and other replies:

Politics is a very dirty business!

mail e-mail:

Craig Murray

26.11.2006 14:37

Twilight is obviously too small of brain to engage with anyone who does not subscribe to the precise views of his narrow sect. I imagine his/her social life is less than stunning.

To answer some of these criticisms. I am not a scoialist. I never said I was. I am an anti-imperialist liberal who believes in human rights, international law and the welfare state. Doubtless that makes me the enemy to Twilight. I really don't care.

As I am not a socialist I would therefore not be terribly defensive about a substantial income. I used to have one (on which I paid a great deal of tax). But it so happens that now I am very poor.

I do not charge £18.99 for my book, Murder in Samarkand. I get £2.70 per copy sold (£1 for the first 2,000). So far it has sold about 6,500. So I have made about £13,250, less production costs including the map and index which the author has to pay for - about £1, 300 - less my agent's fee - about £3,500. So I have made about £8,500. After my legal costs that's about £2,500. It took a solid six months work to write.

I have given 94 lectures against the "War on Terror", since July 1, including the one here. I have received a fee for just three, totlling £650. I have done 91 for nothing. For the one posted here, I did not even get my own travel expenses. I have to date spent about £90,000 of my own cash campaigning against the War on Terror in the last two years. I have no employer and very little income.

Richard did indeed used to post regularly on my blog as Richard III. Interesting and provocative. I did remove the post on Blair's kids. The child was a minor at the time of the alleged incident, and it's not her fault her father's a war criminal. House rule - no picking on kids. Euan Blair, however, shows promising signs of being an adult idiot in his own right.

I did contact Richard to say he's very weclome to post again, subject to our very few and unwritten rules (no racism, no picking on kids - I haven't had cause to invent any more yet.).

Craig Murray
mail e-mail:
- Homepage: