Ex-British diplomat detained after backing Hamas 'armed resistance'

Former ambassador turned activist Craig Murray had said on social media he was willing to go 'back to jail' over his views

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 6:   Craig Murray Former Ambassador, whistle blower and supporter of Julian Assange at The City of Westminster Magistrates Court on January 6, 2021 in London, England. Assange has been held in HMP Belmarsh since his conviction on May 1, 2019, for breaching bail conditions. On Monday this week district judge Vanessa Baraitser denied his extradition to the United States citing him a "suicide risk". He faces charges for hacking computers and violating the country's Espionage Act. The US has confirmed it will appeal the decision. (Photo by Guy Smallman/Getty Images)
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A former British diplomat who says he supports “every act of armed resistance by Hamas and Hezbollah” has been questioned by police.

Craig Murray, an activist who has previously been sentenced to prison for contempt of court, had said on social media he was willing to go “back to jail” for his views on the Israel-Gaza war.

His friend and fellow campaigner Mark Hirst said Mr Murray was detained under terrorism laws on returning from a protest in Iceland, and has since been released.

The detention was also reported by the Campaign Against Antisemitism, which said it had alerted police to a social media post by Mr Murray, 65.

“I have always viscerally opposed war. I have dedicated my life to conflict resolution and reconciliation,” Mr Murray wrote on Sunday.

“But in the coming Gaza genocide, every act of armed resistance by Hamas and Hezbollah will have my support. If that is a crime, send me back to jail.”

Mr Murray is a former British ambassador to Uzbekistan who fell out with his bosses after going public with allegations over human rights in the country.

In 2021 he was sentenced to eight months in prison on contempt of court charges, linked to posts about the trial of former Scottish first minister Alex Salmond.

A supporter of Julian Assange, he was involved in a dispute with the Ministry of Justice over whether he could attend the WikiLeaks founder's wedding to lawyer Stella Morris in Belmarsh Prison in London.

Updated: October 18, 2023, 8:29 AM