Your Help Needed – Reveal Torture to Stop It 57

On Tuesday 10 March the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights will discuss whether or not to hear my evidence on the UK government’s policy of using intelligence from torture. They discussed whether to hear my evidence on 3 March but failed to reach a conclusion.

The government is lobbying hard for my exclusion. I need everybody to send an email to [email protected] to urge that I should be allowed to give evidence. Just a one-liner would be fine. If you are able to add some comment on the import of my evidence, or indicate that you have heard me speak or read my work, that may help. Please copy your email to [email protected]

Please also pass on this plea to anyone you can and urge them to act. Help from other bloggers in posting this appeal would be much appreciated.

The evidence I am trying to give the parliamentary committee is this:

I wish to offer myself as a witness before the Joint Commission on Human Rights on the subject of the UK government’s policy on intelligence cooperation with torture abroad.

I appeared as a witness in person before both the European Parliament and European Council’s enquiries into extraordinary rendition. My evidence was described by the European Council’s Rapporteur, Senator Dick Marty, as “Compelling and valuable”.

The key points I wish to make are these:

– I was British Ambassador in Uzbekistan from 2002 to 2004.

– I learned and confirmed that I was regularly seeing intelligence from detainees in the Uzbek torture chambers, sent me by the CIA via MI6.

– British Ministers and officials were seeing the same torture material.

– In October/November 2002 and January/Februray 2003 I sent two Top Secret telegrams to London specifically on the subject of our receipt of intelligence gained under torture. I argued this was illegal, immoral and impractical. The telegrams were speciifically marked for the Secretary of State.

– I was formally summoned back to the FCO for a meeting held on 7 or 8 March 2003 specifically and solely on the subject of intelligence gained under torture. Present were Linda Duffield, Director Wider Europe, FCO, Sir Michael Wood, Chief Legal Adviser, FCO, and Matthew Kydd, Head of Permanent Under-Secretary’s Department, FCO.

– This meeting was minuted. I have seen the record, which is classified Top Secret and was sent to Jack Straw. On the top copy are extensive hand-written marginalia giving Jack Straw’s views.

– I was told at this meeting that it is not illegal for us to obtain intelligence gained by torture, provided that we did not do the torture ourselves. I was told that it had been decided that as a matter of War on Terror policy we should now obtain intelligence from torture, following discussion between Jack Straw and Richard Dearlove. I was told that we could not exclude receipt of specific material from the CIA without driving a coach and horses through the universality principle of the UK/US intelligence sharing agreement, which would be detrimental to UK interests.

– Sir Michael Wood’s legal advice that it was not illegal to receive intelligence got by torture was sent on to me in Tashkent (copy attached).– On 22 July 2004

I sent one further telegram on intelligence got by torture, with a lower classification, following FCO communications on the subject. Copy attached.

It was my final communication before being dismissed as Ambassador.

In conclusion, I can testify that beyond any doubt the British government has for at least six years a considered but secret policy of cooperation with torture abroad. This policy legally cleared by government legal advisers and approved by Jack Straw as Secretary of State.

Craig Murray

2 March 2009

57 thoughts on “Your Help Needed – Reveal Torture to Stop It

1 2
  • Strategist

    Craig, I’ve just cross-posted to those two titans of the British left blogging world Lenin’s Tomb & Socialist Unity. Good luck. Off to write my own email now.

  • Strategist

    Text of my email

    “To members of the UK Parliament Joint Committee on Human Rights

    I urge you to hear the evidence of Craig Murray, former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, at your next hearing.

    Craig Murray’s evidence, which is obviously material to your present inquiry, is all detailed in his book “Murder in Samarkand”, which I have read and can be bought from any good bookshop across the country. The documentary evidence underpinning the story told in the book is downloadble from numerous websites. It would be absurd for this publicly available evidence to be denied a hearing in front of a parliamentary committee. If the Committee does not stand up for itself against Government pressure on this matter, then it and its members’ reputations will be irreparably damaged.”

  • john



    I really think you should hear what Craig Murray has to say about the use of information gained with torture.


    Of course they might say since Craig’s information is already all over the internet and available in print they don’t actually need to talk to him.


    We are appalled by the evidence emerging

    showing the British government in collusion

    with CIA-lead torture in Uzbekistan.

    Any such suspicion needs to be cleared unambiguously.


    This matter needs your urgent and immediate attention.

    Craig Murray’s testimony is shocking, you should invite him to testify.

    We expect you as leading members of Her Majesty’s Parliament

    investigate fully and put a stop to the practice without delay.

    The world’s eyes are fixed on your action right now.

  • George Dutton

    My e-mail…

    To the UK Parliament Joint Committee on Human Rights,

    I would like to inform you that not to accept Craig Murray’s evidence on the alleged UK government’s policy of using intelligence from torture hearing would show that the UK parliament joint committee on human rights final judgment on this will not be considered to be a balanced judgment by many.

    I would also like to point out that by not receiving all revelant evidence for consideration would lay the UK parliament joint committee on human rights open to accusations of complicity in the use of torture if the final report were to clear the UK government of using intelligence from torture having not heard all the evidence that was available to it.

    Your’s sincerely,

    George Dutton.

  • Mike

    Hi Craig,

    I have emailed the jchr and put up a post on my blog and a comment on RickB’s Ten Percent blog.

    And at risk of sounding picky you have a couple of typo’s in your fourth ‘key point’. You know the tame mainstream media hacks will only focus on such things to avoid dealing with the real content of what you have to say.

    And as another aside to everyone else. I would recommend avoiding using the .ru email address on the ‘Invite Craig to Speak’ page. I tried using that and I have had a mass of Russian spam on my blog ever since. It might be a coincidence, hard to tell.

  • Pete Jordan

    So done:

    “I would like to urge the Honourable members of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights to accept evidence from Craig Murray, the former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, on the matter of government knowledge of (and potential complicity in) rendition and torture of prisoners, and in usage of intelligence so obtained.

    “For public trust in the processes of government and parliament to be maintained, there can be no question of expert evidence on so important a matter being ignored or suppressed; it is vital that all available data be examined and considered by your committee, with full public disclosure. Any pressure from the government to prevent this, even where it misrepresents its own potential embarrassment as a threat to national security, must be resisted.”

  • Craig

    Thanks everyone. Mara, I have been deliberately breaching the Official Secrets Act for the past five years, but part of the government’s stategy to bury this information and to avoid publicity has been not to prosecute me.

  • Mike

    Hmm, it seems the Chair, Andrew Dismore MP, of this Committee you want to appear before has a voting record that I don’t find too impressive. All courtesy of They Work For

    # Voted very strongly against a transparent Parliament.

    # Voted strongly for introducing a smoking ban.

    # Voted strongly for introducing ID cards.

    # Voted moderately for introducing foundation hospitals.

    # Voted moderately for introducing student top-up fees.

    # Voted strongly for Labour’s anti-terrorism laws.

    # Voted very strongly for the Iraq war.

    # Voted very strongly against an investigation into the Iraq war.

    Voting against transparency and investigations isn’t the action of someone who wants to get to the truth. Or at least not to me.

    He is also involved with a couple of pro-Israel organisations.

  • Polo

    Ambassador Murray’s Evidence on information obtained under torture.

    There is no need for me to recap on Ambassador Murray’s qualifications to present evidence on this matter. It is well known to you already.

    Any opinions from the Committee without hearing his evidence will clearly be defective and not worth the paper ithey are written on.

    It is time to stand for truth and put aside the political gloss that has bedevilled this subject for years. There is no forgiveness without acceptance and remorse.

  • Paul birchenough

    Dear Committee members,

    I have read Craig Murray’s autobiographical histories and find them compelling evidence of Britain’s complicity in the use of torture. I request that you summon him to give an account of his evidence in front of your committee.


    Paul Birchenough

  • mary

    Request for Mr Murray’s evidence to be seen and heard sent to JCHR committee (Chairman Andrew Dismore – Labour Friend of Israel and European Friend of Israel)

    Ref. Israel, the British Embassy in Tel Aviv will now not become tenant of Uzbeki emigre Leviev.

    Ref Uzbeki emigres, what news of Alisher Usmanov? Once all over the rags, now nothing.

  • ingo

    Done, whether they take notice is another question, this Government is heavily back pedalling and is prepared to lie for their salvation, more than once.

    The jhrc does not realise that they will be negating the standing of human rights worldwide, not just here in the UK, it will taint each and every body that is campaingning for the abolition of torture and murder.

  • Denise Morton

    I am writing to you as I believe that you will be discussing at your meeting on March 10th, whether or not to hear the evidence from Craig Murray, former British Ambassador in Uzbekistan from 2002 to 2004.

    His evidence was described by the European Council’s Rapporteur, Senator Dick Marty, as “Compelling and valuable”, when he appeared in person as a witness before the European Parliament and Europeans Council’s enquiries into extraordinary rendition.

    Your committee has a responsibility to hear Craig Murray’s, “compelling and valuable”evidence.

    The pursuit and practice of Justice and Transparency are

    necessary and vital in a healthy democracy.

    I expect you agree.

    Please listen to what Craig Murray has to say.

    Denise Morton

    Apologies for the copy and paste,in a rush.

    All the best Craig.

    Denise Morton

1 2

Comments are closed.