Viral Press Officers Needed 50

I am very busy now preparing for my appearance before the Parliamentary Joint Human Rights Committee. This will be at 1.45pm this Tuesday 28 April, in the Thatcher Room (!), Portcullis House. It is a public hearing and moral support would be welcome.

I have prepared the following press release:



Thatcher Room

Portcullis House

Tuesday 28 April 1.45pm

Formal Evidence Session on UK Complicity in Torture

Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights

Witness: Craig Murray, former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan

(currently Rector of the University of Dundee).

In 2004, Craig Murray told us that:

– The British Government was complicit in the most vicious forms of torture

– He had been the victim of a lurid smear campaign initiated by New Labour

– The government was lying about all this

In 2004, much of the public and media was not willing to accept that the government would cooperate with torture or with false allegations against an innocent man. Many still had trust in the basic honesty and decency of government.

The evidence that Craig Murray was telling the truth about torture has now become overwhelming, including from the case of Binyam Mohammed. The UK “benefited” continually from intelligence passed on from the CIA waterboarding programme and from torture in countries including Uzbekistan, Pakistan and Egypt.

Craig Murray suffered the most high profile sacking of any British Ambassador for a century. But in 2005 the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee refused to hear him in evidence, despite allowing Jack Straw to appear and attack him.

Astonishingly, this is the first time Craig Murray will ever have been allowed to give formal evidence in the UK on his grave allegations, and be questioned on the truth of his testimony.

As the Scotland Yard investigation proceeds into MI5 and MI6 collusion in 16 cases of torture, Craig Murray will argue that it is not the security service operatives, but the Ministers who set the policy ?” and specifically Jack Straw ?” who should be facing criminal charges.

Contact: Craig Murray on 07979 691085 or [email protected]

Transcript of Craig Murray’s formal evidence statement is at

I need help to get this out to the mainstream media. Can you spare half an hour on Sunday or Monday to do that? Things you might do are:

– Find email addresses or fax numbers for newsrooms at newspapers, press and broadcast media and news agencies

– Send them a copy of the press release, and then telephone to make sure that somebody reads it

– Research on the internet reporters who have covered torture and extraordinary rendition, and send copies to them

– Speak with any journalist you have any contact with, alert them to the story and get them to pass it on to a suitable colleague

– Do not forget the Scottish media, political magazines and journals, specialist broadcasters, regional media and international correspondents in London

– Send copies to relevant NGOs – again following up with a phone call

– Rope in anyone with media experience and contacts you know to help

– Spread the news on the internet

Do not worry too much about duplication – it may be helpful, and there is much greater danger of too little being done than too much. I am sorry I am always asking you for help, but there is only one of me!

The parliamentary TV service is filming the hearing, so there will be footage and pictures available. It will also be webcast by parliament, though whether live or not I do not know.

You can cut and paste the press release, or it should be available in word and pdf here.

Download file

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50 thoughts on “Viral Press Officers Needed

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  • ingo

    Good luck with the those who are supposed to listen and act.

    Do not be surprised if they are all very nice to you at first, it’ll be only to make you feel at home and is usually followed by pouncing on some unsuspecting comment of yours.

    They will try and tie your personal problems into the thread and make out that you cannot be taken for full, my guess, anything to throw you off course and confuse facts with some spin.

    I wish you well, ‘do different’, as they say in Norfolk.

  • Ron

    Good luck. Had planned to be there, but have to travel for work. Hope it goes well and don’t let them side track you.

  • gyges

    Mind Hacks has analysed the CIA psychology through the declassified memos:

    link here

    They even did the Orwellian cliche,

    “The memo also notes that Zubaydah “appears to have a fear of insects”. Assuming that detainees would not voluntarily disclose their phobias, we can assume that likely phobias are detected by exposing the detainee to photos or situations related to common fears and then monitoring the detainee for abnormal stress responses.”

    Of course, for Winston it was rats rather than insects.

    The analysis is incredible.

  • Zigmund Void

    We also still don’t hear about the thousands of American soldiers who are jailed in Iraq for putting down arms and refusing to fight, do we?

    The revolution will not be televised.

  • Alan Gray

    I wish you luck Craig, you are a very brave man. I just wish more were like you.

  • technicolour

    A quiet cheer from east London, and a louder one from the majority of people in this country.

  • anticant

    Very best wishes for Tuesday, Craig. Remember you will know a great deal more about the subject than anyone else in the room [unless Straw is lurking somewhere…]

  • Jaded

    I will contact my local rags tomorrow. Every little helps. I don’t see why they shouldn’t run with something national every once in a while.

  • Craig


    I just had a look, and it seems more geared to promoting commercial product – there isn’t a politics category

  • technicolour

    Emailed to Simon Carr (Independent) & Simon Jenkins (Guardian) but have no time to phone them today, if you’d like to follow up.

  • Jon

    I have just spoken to the supporter team at Amnesty UK, and after some persuasion they expressed some interest. They have promised to talk to their media team to see if they can take some action.

    I have suggested that they:

    * Write their own press release

    * Cover the item on their own website

    * Cover the story in their monthly supporter magazine

    * Send an official AI representative to monitor the evidence session from the public gallery.

    I will also be speaking to the AI International Secretariat office later today, in case they have any researchers on Uzbekistan interested in pressing for action within AI internally.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Craig ?” I would be pleased in you addressed the torture question via references to use of the Chagos Islands, and more particularly Diego Garcia as a torture centre. On the 6th April, 2009, I presented a set of recommendations to Her Majesty’s Government, and share here an extract from that presentation:-

    “The Chagos Islands: can be termed the colony that Britain disposed of. Following the Napoleonic wars Britain took the Chagos Islands from France. The islands are an archipelago neigbouring Mauritius, and include Diego Garcia. In 1965 Britain politically detached the Chagos Islands from Mauritius and established the British Indian Overseas Territory (BIOT). In 1971 Britain struck a deal with the United States of America to receive a $14m discount on the acquisition of Polaris missiles from America by making Diego Garcia available as a US military base. However, a small problem existed in that the Chagos Islands were inhabited. Britain simply forcefully expelled all the islanders and dumped them into Mauritius solving that impediment to the deal with the US. The islanders took Britain to court. They won cases at first instance and in the Court of Appeal. But, in the last quarter of 2008, the House of Lords by a 3 to 2 decision ruled against the Chagossians right of return to their homeland. The strong indications are that the legal dispute will continue on to the European Court of Human Rights. A central part of the legal issues will be the effecting of two orders in council on the 10th June, 2004 which banned the islanders from returning home.”

    By reference to the Orders in Council, there is a deliberate legal dodge to avoid addressing the obvious wrong. You might very well weigh questions, submissions and an approach that brings this issue to the front burned, in light of the presentation you are about to make.

    All the best for your presentation.

  • BGD

    Surprises me that someone hasn’t created a page somewhere online that list the newsdesk contacts nationally and locally somewhere. Even perhaps with a way for you to paste an item and hit send and forward to all..

    Perhaps someone with some time to spare could create one?

  • Jon

    @Jaded, following Craig’s request, would you be able to give them a call, or drop them a line? :o)

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