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Craig Murray's web site: deleted by Fasthosts

censored | 20.09.2007 19:54 | Repression | Technology | Terror War

Craig Murray, the outspoken former British Ambassador in Uzbekistan has had his web site taken down by it's host, Fasthosts. This comes after an article by him attracted legal threats, "Alisher Usmanov, potential Arsenal chairman, is a Vicious Thug, Criminal, Racketeer, Heroin Trafficker and Accused Rapist":

At this stage it's not clear if he will be able to get a copy the data from Fasthosts in order to recreate it elsewhere.

In the meantime it can still be accessed via the Google cache:

And there are old copies of pages on the Internet Archive:*/

Some of the article and talks by Craig Murray on this site:

Legality, Morality and the War on Terror

Torture and The "War on Terror"

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

London Bomb - Cui Bono?

BBC News 24: Craig Murray on British marines captured by Iran

Craig Murray on the British Marines Captured by Iran

UK / Iran: Both Sides Must Stop This Mad Confrontation, Now


Craig Murray on the death of Robin Cook

Uzbek Opposition Leader Tortured, the West Does Nothing



Fasthosts' details

20.09.2007 22:29

If you want to pressure Fasthosts to restore Craigs website then you could contact them directly:

Discovery House
154 Southgate Street
United Kingdom

Sales helpline
+44 (0)870 888 3600

0870 888 3760
(+44 1452 304242)

Email sales

Or you could just contact all their new customers directly and ask them to boycott the company - a simple google on @Fasthosts gives you enough information to do that.

Spineless Hosts

Craig Murray site closed by Fasthosts due to legal threats

20.09.2007 22:42

As many of our readers will know, this site [ LFCM: Casualty Monitor ] was first launched in support of Craig Murray and his election campaign in 2005.

We have just heard that the company hosting Craig Murray's own web site have decided to close it after receiving threats from lawyers acting for Alisher Usmanov.

Fasthosts appear to have caved in under the pressure that has been applied to them following the posting of a number of articles on Usmanov. Craig has consistently maintained his position regarding the truth and validity of his comments regarding the Uzbek-born oligarch.

As detailed by Chicken Yoghurt, "the family of websites that Tim and Clive (whose site is also down) look after are also currently AWOL. So if you’re missing the online presences of Craig Murray, Bob Piper or Boris Johnson, now you know why they’ve gone."

Casualty Monitor
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God is an iron

21.09.2007 10:10 has now been removed from decent society.
This is one of Craigs articles they helped hide.

September 14, 2007
Yet More Schillings Bollocks

On my article about Alisher Usmanov which so incensed his lawyers Schillings, let me ask this question. Has anybody seen an argument posted or published from any credible source to argue that what I say about Usmanov is untrue?

I ask the question because one of the edits to this log my webhost made at Schillings' behest was to say that my claim was "regarded as false by many people". I have altered that edit, because there is no justification for such a claim. I have yet to see evidence of anybody, not one solitary person, arguing that I am wrong about Usmanov, other than his lawyers. Who are these "Many people", and why are they peculiarly silent?

I am very sympathetic to my webhost having to change things for Schillings, but not to the extent of altering things to become defamatory of me!!!

Posted by craig on September 14, 2007 3:14 PM in the category Uzbekistan


Craig's offensive article from 2005

21.09.2007 14:37

Paradoxically the post which has caused the problems is one Craig made in 2005 which was (conveniently and serendipitously or maybe even with the help of Gypsy Petulengro, who helps out a lot round this office)copied at ;

So those anxious to see what those who would want us not to see what it was they don't want us to see may see it, and maybe even copy it and distribute it around and about and up and down.

It is also entirely possible that it has already been copied elsewhere.

This is a case where singing from the same page of the same hymnal is essential.

Lord Patel
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Hide the following 5 comments

Two more political bloggers pulled

21.09.2007 01:19

Time Ireland's 'Bloggerheads' and another militant UK political blog have also been pulled having reposted Craig Murray's claims.


Boris Johnson pulled, Arsenal United

21.09.2007 08:54

Interesting turn of events - Boris Johnston has had his website pulled for discussing this. So hopefully we can expect a full discussion in parliament under privelege.

Half the Arsenal fan sites were offline last night - however, the ones that remain up have started to publicise it. Politicos sometimes slag football for being a distraction but they are showing solidarity in the face of this attack. There doesn't seem the slimmest chance of Usmanov being allowed to invest in any British sporting club. If only we could hold his other British investments accountable so easily.


Usmanov's slimey lawyers

21.09.2007 11:35

UPDATE: Tim Ireland has pointed out that only him and Craig attacked Usmanov. Bob, Boris and the others were held on the same server. This actually serves to emphasis just how Usmanov's slimey lawyers are using a sledge hammer to crack a nut.

The time has come for Usmanov and his team of lawyers who seem hellbent on bringing their profession into disrepute, to either sue over the truth of the allegations or to shut their mouths and stop using wealth as a means of combatting free speech. I call on the FA to investigate the fitness of Mr Usmanov to own a major football team. Sadly, there are other examples where they have shown no spine e.g. Manchester City!

It is imperative that newspapers committed to journalism investigate this matter as a matter of urgency. After all it is truth that matters and not the power of the wallet.

TurbulentCleric repost
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The Article In Question

21.09.2007 18:27

Sanjar Umarov - Craig Murray's recent meeting with him

Opposition Leader Tortured with Drugs

Craig Murray provides a background to the jailing and torturing of Sanjar Umarov.(see recent posts here about his arrest and treatment)

Today Sanjar Usmanov lies, unclothed, cold, drugged and beaten, on the bare floor of a dank solitary confinement cell in Tashkent.

Last month I had dinner with Sanjar Umarov at Old Ebbitt Grill in Washington, just across from the White House. Sanjar leads Uzbekistan’s newest and best publicised opposition grouping, Sunshine Uzbekistan, which had largely taken over the Peasants and Entrepreneurs’ Party, itself a fairly recent addition to the opposition ranks.

There was a great deal of suspicion about Umarov from longer standing opposition figures. Umarov was an oligarch, from one of the leading regime families. He had made money in oil and cotton trading, both sectors which cannot be accessed without an inside political track. He had also been involved in the Uzdunrobita mobile telephone company, in which the major Uzbek partner was Gulnara Karimova, the President’s daughter. In March 2004 Karimova sold her shares in Uzdunrobita to a Russian company for 212 million dollars, a figure which places a much higher than realistic value on the company.

This transaction was an important stage in the peculiar business dealings between Russia and the Karimov family, which culminated in last November’s deal to allocate the bulk of Uzbekistan’s natural gas reserves to Gazprom. This deal was negotiated between Gulnara Karimova and Alisher Usmanov, the Uzbek born Russian oligarch who bought a substantial number of shares in Corus, the British steel company. Usmanov is also a Director of Gazprom responsible for their affairs in the former Soviet Union outside Russia.

Gulnara received a large cash payment - $88 million, according to my sources – on completion of the Gazprom deal, with further payments to come as gas is exported. Alisher Usmanov gave Putin a sweetener of 40% of the shares in Mapo Bank, an important Russian business bank with a close relationship to several blue chip western firms operating in Russia. The shares were made over to Piotr Jastrejebski, Putin’s private secretary who was a college friend of Alisher Usmanov and shared a flat with him.

This web is closely associated with Karimov’s succession strategy. He is desperate for Gulnara to succeed him, and the cash and Russian support is building up her power base. Some sort of Alisher Usmanov/Gulnara Karimova alliance is Karimov’s first choice to take over, in six or seven years time. This is the background to the diplomatic revolution of the last six months, with Karimov abandoning the US and turning back to the embrace of Mother Russia.

It is worth recalling that the Karimov regime had been aggressively anti-Russian, in terms of both propaganda, and of practical measures of linguistic discrimination. Approximately two million ethnic Russians have fled Uzbekistan since independence in 1991; about 400,000 are left.

This reorientation towards Russia went along with fierce anti-enterprise measures designed to stifle any entrepreneurial activity not under direct control of the Karimov family. This explained the physical closures of borders and bazaars, the crackdown on crash transactions and the channelling of all commercial activity through the state banks.

These developments not only brought still greater economic hardship to the poor, they created losers among the wealthy elite. Sanjar Umarov is an archetypal example of such “New losers”.

Umarov had studied business administration in Tennessee on a US government scholarship. His trading interests had widened from their Uzbek base. He has a home in Memphis, and a green card. His children are US citizens. Among the Uzbek elite, a class had come into existence of people who could do business with the West. Their business was now being cut off by Karimov.

It would be wrong to credit Sanjar Umarov with purely selfish motives. Unlike so many of his countrymen, he has the education and experience to understand that Karimov’s policies are economically disastrous. Over dinner, we shared our frustration over this: Uzbekistan is not a naturally poor country. It is extremely well endowed with gas, gold, uranium, iron, coal and most rare minerals you can think of. It is historically fertile and could be so again once the government-dictated cotton monoculture is abandoned.

Uzbekistan’s plight is inflicted on it by appalling government. Umarov and I both believe it could recover surprisingly quickly once basic economic freedoms are established, of which the first must be to take the land from the state and give it to the peasant farmers. Over dinner we discussed other ideas, such as voucher privatisation schemes to enable the common people to benefit from Uzbekistan’s mineral wealth. I found Umarov attentive, interested and pro-active.

The outlawed Uzbek opposition has been fractured. There are genuine, historical differences between the Erk and Birlik parties, and those differences are vital to a democracy. But, until we achieve democracy, people need to work together against Karimov. The parties had moved to do that, to their great credit, but there was understandable resentment and suspicion from those who had suffered in opposition for years, towards a “Johnny Come Lately” like Sanjar Usmanov.

Well, he is certainly suffering now in his Tashkent cell. And, if Karimov is to be overthrown, in practice some reform-minded “insiders” are going to be needed to build the necessary national unity for reconstruction. That has to be faced. There are several prominent Uzbek opposition leaders, and Umarov now joins such figures as Mohammed Salih, Abdurahim Polat and others. One day let us hope the Uzbek people will freely choose between their politicians. For now, personal ambition needs to be subordinated to the need to end Karimov’s reign of terror.

The urgent need now is for all the opposition parties, including the Sunshine Coalition, to agree a platform of basic reform in the economy, the constitution, the police and judiciary, agriculture, education and many other areas. The broad lines of change need to be ready to roll out once Karimov goes. The most useful thing donors and foreign NGOs could do now would be to set up a programme outside Uzbekistan working with all parties to agree a plan of basic reform.

I found Umarov engaging and enthusiastic. I urged him to be cautious about returning to Uzbekistan, and was rather puzzled by his apparent confidence that he could pursue his political aims inside Uzbekistan without personal danger. Plainly he had good contacts with US official circles – since Karimov turned against the US, a pro-Western oligarch is a saleable commodity in Washington.

That Umarov was arrested at the time of the visit of Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov to Tashkent is a sign of the strength and ugliness of the current Uzbek/Russian relationship. Umarov is being kept in solitary confinement. Nodira Khidatoyova of his party claims to have been told by an inside source that the Prokurator’s office have been instructed to destroy his mind through psychotropic drugs.

That is certainly feasible. There have been many examples of prisoners being forcibly injected, and Elena Urlaeva, another dissident I know, is currently undergoing such “treatment” in a psychiatric institution. Sanjar Umarov’s lawyer seems to provide some evidence for this. He found him naked, in solitary confinement, making repetitive movements and unable to communicate coherently.

The response of the international community to the brutal treatment of an opposition leader has been pathetic, as always with Uzbekistan. The UK, as EU Presidency, issued a pious statement hoping that “International norms of treatment would be respected”, when plainly they are not being.

Umarov is now being charged with “embezzlement”, and the UK hopes these charges will be “properly investigated”. How stupidly, utterly, inadequate! There is no “proper” investigation procedure in Uzbekistan, where 99% of those tried are convicted, and dissidents are framed literally every day, usually with narcotics or firearms offences. To pretend there is a shred of legitimacy to this treatment of Sanjar Umarov is a nonsense. Why is an alleged embezzler naked in solitary confinement?

If corruption is the real concern of the Uzbek authorities, Karimov and his daughter would be the first arrested. The international community, and the UK in particular, needs a much tougher response before Umarov dies in jail.

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He is Sparticus - him, over there

24.09.2007 18:41

After much prompting, the Register has bravely followed from the rear and mentioned Usmanov online.

Blogosphere shouts 'I'm Spartacus' in Usmanov-Murray case

Bravely bold Sir Reg rode forth from Camelot.
He was not afraid to die, O brave Sir Reg !
He was not at all afraid to be killed in nasty ways,
Brave, brave, brave, brave Sir Reg !

He was not in the least bit scared to be mashed into a pulp,
Or to have his eyes gouged out, and his elbows broken;
To have his kneecaps split, and his body burned away;
And his limbs all hacked and mangled, brave Sir Reg !

His head smashed in and his heart cut out
And his liver removed and his bowels unplugged
And his nostrils raped and his bottom burned off
And his pen-

Brave Sir Reg ran away.
Bravely ran away, away !
When danger reared its ugly head,
He bravely turned his tail and fled.
Yes, brave Sir Reg turned about
And gallantly he chickened out.
Bravely taking to his feet
He beat a very brave retreat,
Bravest of the brave, Sir Reg !

He is packing it in and packing it up
And sneaking away and buggering up
And chickening out and pissing off home,
Yes, bravely he is throwing in the sponge...

Sir Reg