Begg a Political Prisoner Again
By Craig Murray
February 26, 2014 "Information
Clearing House -
first met Moazzam Begg in 2005 when he came to
support my campaign in Blackburn against Jack Straw.
I was immediately struck by how gentle he is. For
somebody who has been through Guantanamo Bay and
suffered torture and injustice, he is free of
bitterness and rancour to a degree I find quite
astonishing. It is an extraordinary spiritual
quality, comparable to that of Nelson Mandela. He
does not hate. That impression has only been
reinforced every time I see him, and comes over well
in his book.
What the British state did to me for opposing their
torture programme was bad enough, but nothing to
what Moazzam suffered. Yet he is much less
embittered than I am.
The fall of Libya further revealed the terrible
truth about the extraordinary rendition programme
and undeniable evidence of British complicity in
torture. This included of course the appalling case
of the Belhadj family, orchestrated by criminal
torturers Jack Straw and Sir Mark Allen. As Assad’s
Syria was even more involved than Libya in the
extraordinary rendition programme as a supplier of
torture for the UK and US intelligence services,
Moazzam sensibly concluded that evidence may now be
available there to be recovered from the chaos. He
has been to Syria to that end.
Last week my friend Ray McGovern called on Moazzam
and discussed Syria. Ray briefed me on the
conversation, and Moazzam’s take was one of great
regret at the bloodshed and despair at the ferocity
of inter-Muslim rifts. It was the opposite of
violent partisanship to support one side.
Moazzam Begg has not been arrested for terrorism in
Syria. He has been arrested to stop him digging for
further evidence of complicity in torture by senior
politicians and civil servants in the UK.
Murray is an author, broadcaster and human rights
activist. He was British Ambassador to Uzbekistan
from August 2002 to October 2004 and Rector of the
University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010.