Alisher Usmanov is a big, fat bloke with an interest in Arsenal Football Club. I’ve never met him – but I’ve just seen his picture on SimonSays. And I think “big, fat bloke” is an accurate description – and is also an honestly held opinion so there are no worries about any claims for libel.
He’s also an Uzbekh oligarch – a person whose political influence effectively rests on his wealth. I would have liked to read more about him on the blogs of Craig Murray – the former British ambassador to
Unfortunately, both their blogs have been closed down following threats from our fat friends’ lawyers. SimonSays points to Ellee Seymour who notes that:
"lawyers letters followed which led to the webhost pulling the plug… Newspapers are not shut down if they face libel allegations, (not in the
Murray is the author of Murder in Samarkand - A British Ambassador's Controversial Defiance of Tyranny in the War on Terror – an account of the post-USSR Uzbekistan - relaying the problems of living in a brutal dictatorship but also because it shows to what depths the Blair sunk in its attempts to spin the truth and cover up torture (including boiling people alive).
Schillings, the lawyers acting on behalf of Usmanov, was allegedly successful in getting Murray's host to alter some of his posts to present Usmanov in a different light before taking down the site completely.
They also appear to have sent threatening emails to owners of Arsenal Football Club fan sites (Usmanov is an Arsenal shareholder), threatening libel action if any of
The Google cache of Murray's blog makes for some interesting reading.
I think the answer to this censorship – as pointed out by Simon – is to get as many bloggers writing about the episode. This is my contribution to the big, fat bloke’s story.