Alisher Usmanov: A big, fat bully

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 Uzbekistan - and political blogger, Tim Ireland, who wrote about their experience and views of Mr Usmanov.
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 UK anyway) there is a legal process that is followed. Surely that process applies to bloggers too. If the offending comments were not libellous - and only a court can decide this - then Mr Usmanov’s actions could be deemed illegal. He would have to pay damages. There are all sorts of legal ramifications involved with this story."

Yes, indeed.
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 Murray's statements appear on their sites.
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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just found this on Craig's cache:

Yet More Schillings Bollocks

On my article about Alisher Usmanov which so incensed his lawyers Schillings, let me ask this question. Has anybody seen an argument posted or published from any credible source to argue that what I say about Usmanov is untrue?

I ask the question because one of the edits to this log my webhost made at Schillings' behest was to say that my claim was "regarded as false by many people". I have altered that edit, because there is no justification for such a claim. I have yet to see evidence of anybody, not one solitary person, arguing that I am wrong about Usmanov, other than his lawyers. Who are these "Many people", and why are they peculiarly silent?

I am very sympathetic to my webhost having to change things for Schillings, but not to the extent of altering things to become defamatory of me!!!