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The Damage and The Lies

Friday 4th February, grey quiet day, fairly mild. Happy New Year.

As the Chilcot inquiry sneaks to an end, here's another stunning injustice that ought to be addressed:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/jan/31/chilcot-ricin-plot-tony-blair

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/feb/02/ricin-and-other-terror-scares

Maude Casey, who wrote that first letter, is a friend of mine, a writer and an activist. Here's what she said to me in an email, reminding me that things are even worse than they look at first glance:

"The further point is that those four innocent young men (one was only 15 at the time of his arrest) would not now, in 2011, be given the jury trial which was their right in 2005. Today the case would be held in a secret commission in which even their barristers would not be allowed to see the evidence against them, and no doubt they would be dispatched to prison for life.

The jury foreman at their trial, Laurence Archer, has just published a book about the whole sorry affair. It has a foreward by Michael Mansfield, whose quiet and patient cross examination of the manager of Porton Down was instrumentental in revealing the chilling lie at the heart of this case."

Compare that female tv journalist who quit her job in Cairo yesterday, because the tv coverage was telling lies, she could see the very different scene that was unfolding out of her windows, but the public lies were becoming public truth.

For more on the Ricin prisoners and their fate, follow this link:

http://www.cageprisoners.com/our-work/opinion-editorial/item/1070-is-this-british-justice?

& please consider writing to your MP or to Kenneth Clarke at the Ministry of Justice (or both) raising the issue and appealing against this treatment.

Not at all connected, but I also have a link from Clarion for you. The estimable Clarion Foundation workshops are still looking for students, so if you thought it was too late, it isn't. Check it out and see if you would benefit. As you know, these gruelling immersion courses have been, and continue to be, a positive hotbed for future stars of sf and fantasy.

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