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Craig Murray Profile Page
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Craig Murray

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Craig Murray was the United Kingdom's Ambassador to Uzbekistan who was removed from his post on October 14, 2004. While in office, he criticised the Karimov administration of human rights abuses, which he argues was against the wishes of the British government and the reason for his removal. Murray claims he complained to the FCO in November 2002, January or early February 2003, and in June 2004 that intelligence linking the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan to al-Qaeda, suspected of being gained through torture, was unreliable, immoral, and illegal.

He accused Her Majesty's Government of "selling our souls for dross". In October 2002 Murray made a controversial speech at a human rights conference in Tashkent, in which he claimed that "Uzbekistan is not a functioning democracy" and the boiling to death of two members of Hizb ut-Tahrir, "is not an isolated incident." Later, Kofi Annan confronted Uzbek President Islam Karimov with Murray's claims.

He was summoned to London and, on March 8, 2003, he was reprimanded for writing, in a letter to his employers, in response to a speech by George W. Bush, "when it comes to the Karimov regime, systematic torture and rape appear to be treated as peccadilloes, not to affect the relationship and to be downplayed in the international fora ... I hope that once the present crisis is over we will make plain to the U.S., at senior level, our serious concern over their policy in Uzbekistan."

Murray was removed from his post in October 2004, shortly after a leaked report in the Financial Times quoted him as claiming that MI6 used intelligence provided by Uzbek authorities through torture. The Foreign Office denied there was any direct connection and stated that Murray had been removed for "operational" reasons. It claimed that he had lost the confidence of senior officials and colleagues.

The following day, in an interview on the Today programme, the BBC's flagship political radio show, Murray countered that he was a "victim of conscience," and in this and other interviews criticized the Foreign Office.[ A few days later he was charged with "gross misconduct" by the Foreign Office for criticizing it in public. Murray resigned from the Foreign Office in February 2005. The threat of legal action has resulted in significant publicity along with a very large number of people mirroring the documents on their own websites, releasing them via peer to peer networks, and making them available various filesharing services. Including Empire Burlesque.

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