For those of you who don’t know, former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, and current alt-news blogger, Craig Murray is on his way to prison.
We haven’t covered the story much here, being mainly concerned with the global autocratic power-grab and being cursed with only so many hours in the day, but nevertheless, the case is a travesty.
The crime he’s convicted of? Contempt of court, through “jigsaw identification” of anonymous accusers during the (farcical and corrupt) case against Scotland’s former First Minister Alex Salmond.
Without getting into the details, Murray was said to have published enough information that it would become possible to identify said accusers. It was exactly as contrived as it sounds, and was nothing but an exercise in singling out one of the few voices a) defending Salmond, and b) reporting the obvious political machinations behind the trial in the first place.
The eventual (unprecedented) conviction – as in all cases where the state is exerting power for its own sake – was a foregone conclusion. And Mr Murray is on his way to reside at Her Majesty’s Pleasure for eight months. The first time a British court has jailed a journalist for contempt in over fifty years.
And he has already been denied the right to launch an appeal.
A tearful farewell to Craig Murray with his supporters singing ‘Auld Lang Syne’ as he hands himself in to the police at St Leonards Police Station, Edinburgh to begin his 8 month sentence for reporting on the Alex Salmond case. Journalism under threat in Scotland and the UK. pic.twitter.com/X38Rf8opwA
— Ragged Trousered Philanderer (@RaggedTP) August 1, 2021
Nay-sayers will likely say that it’s “only eight months”, or that he’s a “civil prisoner” (meaning he gets to wear his own clothes, and more access to books and visitors), but that’s not really the point.
The point, as always, is the precedent.
Scottish law has found a journalist guilty for a contrived reason, purely because he was gain-saying the state. Further, in her ruling the Judge found that bloggers and small independent outlets should be held to different standards than larger, traditional media outlets.
Just as with Julian Assange, whether you like or agree with Craig Murray is not the issue. The point is, officially, they are both journalists in jail for publishing.
If it were happening in Russia or Iran, the mainstream press would be all over it…but it’s happening here, so they clap along.
In a way, Murray’s loss of freedom mirrors that of entire nations under lockdown, or travellers forced into jail-like “quarantine hotels” at their own expense. There is an all-out assault on freedom going on, at every level of society. And those who champion Craig Murray now, but remain silent on the bigger picture, should perhaps take this chance to open their eyes and see how the world is changing around them before it’s too late.
The war against freedom has many theatres, some big and some small, but they’re all important.
Any reader who wants to send a letter of support can do so at using the e-mail address: craigmurrayjustice[at]gmail.com
There may be a physical mailing address in the future if you prefer.