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Posts Tagged ‘Syria

Red-Brown Professor, Paul McKeigue, close comrade of David Miller, “fake Russian spy and the undercover Syria sting.”

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Eliot Higgins on Twitter: "Here's just some of the things Paul McKeigue got  up. Fortunately for the people he was reporting on it he wasn't actually  speaking to Russian intelligence, but people

Assad Apologist and Close Comrade of David Miller

Observer : The UK professor, a fake Russian spy and the undercover Syria sting

This story is the depths. One of the leading members of David Miller’s red-brown “Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media was prepared to inform on people, with potentially life-threatening consequences, to the Putin regime. There is little doubt, had the agent been real that the Assad regime would have heard as well.

Who is this creature?

A more sceptical academic than Paul McKeigue might perhaps have wondered if the emails flooding into his inbox from “Ivan”, a purported Russian spy, were too good to be true.

The Edinburgh genetics professor – who devotes large quantities of his private time to pursuing fringe theories claiming that attacks on civilians are staged to smear the government of Bashar al-Assad – dived eagerly into his new correspondence.

Over three months he filled hundreds of pages with speculation, including accusing journalists, researchers and diplomats of working as conduits for western intelligence agencies. He revealed the identity of a confidential source, and shared information she gave him.

Ivan appeared to share many of McKeigue’s own personal obsessions, particularly his desire to discredit investigators who compile evidence of war crimes committed in Syria. And he claimed access to both ready cash and secret intelligence.

But McKeigue was not writing to a Russian spy, or even a man called Ivan. The email account was controlled by a group of staff at one of the organisations he hoped to discredit, who say they went undercover because of concerns over the tactics McKeigue and his allies were prepared to deploy in an effort to defend the Syrian government and its Russian allies.

diplomat at the Geneva embassy, first secretary Sergey Krutskikh, was corresponding with fellow members of the “Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media” on encrypted systems.

This is an alliance of far-left academics and researchers who claim western journalists, NGOs and others act on behalf of the CIA and MI6 to undermine the Syrian government, including faking evidence of civilian deaths and chemical attacks.

It includes the controversial Bristol University professor David Miller, who has been accused of antisemitism by his own students, a claim he denies, and the blogger Vanessa Beeley, who has frequently visited Syria on government-sponsored trips.

Group members have questioned the veracity of chemical weapons attacks in Syria and claimed Russia was framed for the poisoning of Sergei Skripal in Salisbury in 2018.

They were also part of a years-long public campaign against the White Helmets, a civilian rescue organisation that enraged pro-Syrian and Russian factions by recording atrocities as they tried to save lives, then sharing the footage.

Shiraz has an excellent report on the story, which began with a report in the Times and then the BBC and is still unfolding: Pro-Assad academic tried to grass up human rights activists to Putin.

Meanwhile fellow Red-Browner Chris Williamson retweets another pro-Assad tout; (Chris Williamson Retweeted

Written by Andrew Coates

March 28, 2021 at 1:47 pm

Syrian Intelligence Officer Sentenced in Germany for “complicity in crimes against humanity”.

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Syria: Government official Eyad al-Gharib sentenced in Germany in landmark torture verdict | Middle East Eye

Intelligence officer sentenced to four and a half years in prison over complicity in crimes against humanity  (Middle East Eye).

The conviction of a Syrian torturer in Germany, an “historic” first

Le Monde

Eyad Al-Gharib, 44, a former member of the intelligence services, was sentenced to four and a half years in prison for “complicity in crimes against humanity” in the framework of the first trial linked to the abuses of the regime of Bashar Al- Assad.

Syria torture: German court convicts ex-intelligence officer


A German court has sentenced a former Syrian intelligence officer to four-and-a-half years in jail for complicity in crimes against humanity.

Prosecutors in Koblenz successfully argued that Eyad al-Gharib, 44, had helped to arrest protesters in 2011 who were later tortured and murdered.

The case was unprecedented for its hours of witness testimony describing widespread torture in Syria.

Another Syrian – Anwar Raslan, 58 – remains on trial.

Both fled Syria’s civil war and got asylum in Germany – but were arrested in 2019.

German prosecutors invoked the principle of “universal jurisdiction” for serious crimes to bring the case.

The agency the men worked for played a crucial role in suppressing the peaceful pro-democracy protests that erupted against President Assad’s regime in 2011.

Prosecutors argued that the two men were “cogs in the wheel” enabling a vast state torture machine to operate.

Mediapart gives some more context,

This is a world first. As the tenth anniversary of the popular uprising in Syria approaches on  March 15 , 2011, the government of Syrian despot Bashar al-Assad has finally been named as the perpetrator of “crimes against humanity” in legal proceedings, thanks to German justice which sentenced on Wednesday  February 24 to imprisonment, Eyad al-Gharib, ex-agent of ”  branch 251  ” of the Syrian general intelligence services.

As the Guardian reports

“This decision is historic because it condemns the entire criminal system that is the Syrian regime. Gharib is one man but he was part of an organised machine with orders to arrest peaceful civilians, disappear them, torture them, kill them and hide their bodies in mass graves,” said Anwar al-Bunni, a witness for the prosecution who was once arrested by Raslan and was shocked to bump into him by accident in Berlin in 2014.”

While this welcome story made the headlines, underlining the universality of human rights,  this, sadly, appears to the case.

The Independent.

The Syrian civil war is being “forgotten and ignored”, a charity has warned, as it released data suggesting less than two-thirds of Britons knew the conflict was still going on.

Syria Relief said that people caught up in the war “cannot afford for us to treat this anniversary as a history lesson” because millions there lack sufficient food and shelter.

It has released the polling data, compiled by YouGov, to mark 10 years since the conflict broke out.

Just 58 per cent of Britons surveyed said they knew the war was still raging a decade on, while 4 per cent believed it had ended and 38 per cent were not sure. YouGov questioned 1,753 adults between 16 and 17 February.

It is not only the general public who seem to have forgotten the war.

What has the ‘anti-war’ left to say on this?



It would hard to find any report or comment, from ‘alt-news’ sites and Blogs to campaigns such as the Stop the War Coalition.

You certainly won’t find anything on the German Court case or these events in the Morning Star.

This is about their most recent story:



Written by Andrew Coates

February 25, 2021 at 12:51 pm

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As Accusations of “Assad Apologist” Emerge, Call to Defend Professor David Miller Against “full spectrum of Zionist organisations.”

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Old friends rally to Miller’s Cause.

Not everybody agrees with Miller’s approach:


This has been launched:

Defend Freedom of Speech – Defend David Miller!

This is the group behind it.

On February 13 2021, an online conference of over 300 people set up the Labour Campaign for Free Speech. We agreed a ‘Charter for Free Speech‘, a ‘Charter for Labour Party members’ rights‘ and elected a steering committee of 10 people :

Anita Bennett (Chair of family learning disability charity Rescare, Stockport. Bristol NUJ Exec.) Kevin Bean (Expelled member, Wavertree 4, Merseyside Labour Left Alliance)  John Courtneidge (Co-operator, socialist& Quaker) Terry Deans (Plymouth and region Labour Left Alliance). Deepa Driver (chair Momentum Camden, Free Julian Assange campaign) Esther Giles (suspended CLP secretary, Bristol North West CLP)  Tony Greenstein (author, blogger, expert (!) on Israel/Palestine) Jackie Walker author and anti-racist campaigner Tina Werkman (co-chair, Labour Against the Witchhunt) and…

Chris Williamson (former Labour MP, Resistance Movement).

This is their latest initiative:


Professor David Miller of Bristol University called for an End to Zionism and said that the Union of Jewish Students, which is affiliated to the racist World Zionist Organisation, is using Jewish students as pawns and playing on their fears of anti-semitism.

David Miller has come under vicious attack from the Jewish Chronicle and a full spectrum of Zionist organisations including the Board of Deputies of Zionist Jews, the Union of Jewish Students and a multiplicity of Zionist organisations.


David Miller is part of the Syria Working Group, a red-brown organ of support for Assad in Syria.



The ‘Useful Idiots’: How These British Academics Helped Russia Deny War Crimes At The UN.


Dear Diane,

We are deeply concerned to learn that you are to take part in the launch today, 5th September, of a CAGE publication co-authored by David Miller, a notorious pro-Assad atrocity denier. You previously appeared on a panel with him at a ‘Spinwatch’ panel event back on the 26th March.

David Miller, a professor of political sociology at the University of Bristol, is part of a group that systematically denies high profile Assad regime crimes against civilians in Syria, particularly the Assad regime’s repeated use of chemical weapons. David Miller has also sought to deny Russia’s responsibility for the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal. Evidence of this is included below.

Labour’s 2017 manifesto, when referring to Syria, committed to work for justice for the victims of war crimes.

As Home Secretary in a future Labour government, you would have responsibility for policy towards Syrian refugees in the UK who are victims of—and witnesses to—the Assad regime’s crimes. You would also have responsibility for the UK’s own investigations into war crimes, currently dealt with by SO15, the Counter Terrorism Command of the Metropolitan Police.

If you associate yourself with a committed war crimes denier such as David Miller, this must undermine confidence in the willingness of Labour to work for the investigation and prosecution of those responsible for crimes in Syria, including some of the worst war crimes and crimes against humanity seen this century.

We hope you will reconsider appearing on this panel and be more careful about who you associate yourself with in future given your responsibilities as an MP and as Shadow Home Secretary.

Yours sincerely,

Batool Abdulkareen and Bronwen Griffiths, Syria Solidarity UK

David Taylor, Vice-Chair, LCID


Diane Abbott letter tweets of Miller

This is Beely’s latest campaign:



Written by Andrew Coates

February 22, 2021 at 1:11 pm