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Alisher Usmanov: Bloggerheads Bites Back And Murray Takes It To The Chins

by | 25th, September 2007

usmanov-free-speech.jpgCRAIG Murray, who lost his ambassador’s job in 2004 after alleging human rights abuses by the Uzbek government, has issued a challenge to Alisher Usmanov.

The story so far can be seen here.

“I stand by the truth of what I said and have every intention of posting it back on the net again,” he tells The Register. “If Mr. Usmanov wants to take me to court, he is welcome to do so.”

As Murray says: “They say my book [Murder in Samarkand] is ‘grossly libellous and defamatory’, yet it has been widely available for a year and has sold 25,000 copies, without their actually taking any legal action.”

As reported, the book is being made into a film by Michael Winterbottom. Thanks to Mr Usmanov and Schilligns, both book and film should get some good PR. Free too.

So he will not be cowed? No. He will stay on Usmanov’s back?

Says Murray: “There is room on Usmanov’s back for an awful lot of people. You could get even more on his stomach, and possibly lose some under the overlap of his chins.”

For pictures of Mr Usmanov, look here.

And there’s Tim Ireland. He’s got new site up – Bloggerheads: The Alisher Usmanov Affair:

“Detailing, investigating and discussing the circumstances that led to the temporary closure of the Bloggerheads.com site (and others) via the actions of Fasthosts, Schillings and Alisher Usmanov.”

For anyone who wants to read the allegations that got Murray turned off, search the web…

As for the legal position, Robin Hamman says:

What is difficult to understand is why UK law hasn’t evolved to the point where content producers, authors and bloggers are held directly responsible for their words – and those who host those words, whether it be a website, blog or post on a message board, can do so with immunity until which time the content has been shown by the courts to break the law or infringe upon someone’s rights.Anything less puts content hosts in the uncomfortable position of having to make extra-judicial decisions about what content is and isn’t a breach of the law; decisions which, in many instances, will pit the responsibility of the ISP’s decision makers to maintain corporate economic security against the rights of individuals to express themselves freely.



Posted: 25th, September 2007 | In: Reviews Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink