Messages of Support to Robert Moth

Jul 30, 2001

Robert Moth is the father of Richard Moth, who was imprisoned in Italy after Genoa and has received  many messages of support.  He has asked us to reproduce them.


My heart goes out to your family – you have our support to ensure that Richard and Nicola get home save and sound.  I believe that people are beginning to take notice of the state of our World today and it is because of brave people like Richard and Nicola who care enough to make the effort to try and change the imbalance of these crazy times.

We know how good people can be misrepresented and bullied by those “in authority” and how you can be fobbed off with “Nothing we can do – sorry”. If you need any letters of support my partner Eamonn and I will be only to pleased to help.

You are in our thoughts.

Min Clifford & Eamonn Collinge

Dear Mr. Moth,

Richard is a friend of mine and thus I am very concerned about what has happened to him.  I saw him on Saturday evening just before I left Genoa – he was very calm and happy.  I will contact my UNISON branch at the London School of Economics and ask them to support all efforts to secure the release of Richard and Nichola, and I sincerely hope to see Richard back in Britain very soon – when he returns I will buy him a pint!

My thoughts are with him and with you.  Take care.

Ben Neal

We are SOAS students and staff and we are sending the following note and petition all around the school. Any suggestions, updates about Richard and Nicola’s situation in order to allow us to build the campaign at SOAS gratefully received. The Director has so far agreed to write to Richards parents. We are obviously pushing for more. We also intend to foward the petition to Peter Hain and request that he takes the matter up.

In Solidarity.

John Game (student)
Catherine Guest (Politics Department Secretary)

This petition concerns Richard Moth and his Partner Nicola Docherty. We urgently request that all those who know Richard sign the petition but would particularly urge the SOAS administration and those who taught him to put pressure on the Italian embassy in London by putting foward your names for inclusion in the fax to the Italian ambassador below (please include details of position). We would also urge people to ring the Italian embassy individually in London on 020 7312 2200. I would similarly urge more senior members of the administration to express their concern for an ex-SOAS alumni by contacting the British Consul in Genoa in an attempt to facilitate matters.

Many thanks
John Game

We are students and staff at the School of Oriental and African Studies London University and would like to express concern about the two Britons held by the Italian authorities following the raid on the headquarters of the Genoa social forum. The two Britons are Richard Moth, aged 31, and Nicola Docherty, aged 28. Richard Moth was a student here at SOAS for three years and was well known to both lecturers and students none of whom can believe he was involved in any kind of violence. We are deeply distressed at reports that Richard and Nicola were beaten and hospitalised before being taken into police custody and further distressed by the authorities refusal to allow communication with either the British Consul, their lawyer or families. We cannot understand the logic of this and would urgently request that the British Consul be given full access to Richard and Nicola, that they be allowed to communicate with their lawyers, and that their families be given information regarding their well-being immediately.

Dear Mr Moth

I am a friend of Rich’s who studied with him at SOAS, graduated with him, and last saw him and Nicola about a month ago.

I’ve been reading in the papers about what is going on, and my thoughts are obviously with not only Rich and Nicola but also you and the rest of your family.

What I was wondering was how I can help. Rich has many friends at SOAS (and who left SOAS the same year he did) and I was wondering if there was anything I could do through SOAS raising awareness of what is going on. What exactly do you need? Is there some kind of petition / lobbying going on? Are you planning to go out for the trial? Is there a fund being set up for legal costs etc??

Please let me know if there is anything I can do.

With good wishes

Narin Bahar

I would personally like to add my name to the petition about the appalling treatment of Richard Moth in Italy. I knew Richard for two years when he studied at SOAS (the School Of Oriental and African Studies) – in particular he was always active in the Students’ Union – in particular the Socialist Workers Student Society. He always preached non-violence whilst always being at the fore of protests and I find the treatment by the Italian police both unacceptible and ironic considering Richard’s firm non-aggression stance.

Please try and make this campaign heard, and pass on my good wishes and support to his family and the families of all those in this terrible situation.


Peter Baran
General Manager
SOAS Students’ Union
Health & Safety Steward SOAS Unison

Also supported
Liam Frost, Co-President Finance & Communications (Elect)
Rhodri Jamieson-Ball, Co-President Sports and Society (Elect)
Tytti Nahi, Co-President Finance & Communications
Lizzie Prior, Ex-President Finance & Communication
SOAS Students’ Union

Dear Mr Moth,

I’d like to offer my support to yourself, your son (and others held by the Italian authorities). I was at Genoa and was deeply shocked and angered to read of the police attack on the school. My thought, and I’m sure the thought of many thousands of those on the demonstration are with them tonight – it could just have easily have been me or anyone else on that demonstration experiencing this injustice – therefore his fight is also my fight.

I spent a lot of time talking to demonstrators from all over the world. Travelling, like your son and many others, long distances, harassed by police and customs, travelling with little sleep on train and in cars and coaches (even bicycles!). Sleeping in a car park, circled by police helicopters, tear gassed etc..Why? Because this is what it is to be a human being, united in a belief that there can be a better world – free from the brutalities of this capitalist system. It was a privilege for me to see it, I’m sure you must be very proud of your son.

The words of a Gambian man I interviewed at the GSF sums up for me the spirit of the demonstration, I’d like to quote you what he said, and I hope it offers some support for you at this time;

‘…The human being, the human life is very nice, we are very friendly people, the human being is very important. It’s very bad to see that we have to destroy one another only because of the interest of the other person…dominating us in all ways, but the brain, the brain of a human being you can never ever dominate it, they will destroy him in any way they want, but what I have here – no one can destroy it – it belongs to me..’

We will learn from the experience, we will gain strength and take this fight forward – part of this fight, right now is to fight for justice for your son and the others, and get them back home.

Clwyd Jones

Dear Sir,

I am a friend of Richard Moth, an activist who is currently under arrest for charges related to the violence at the G8 summit. I’ve known Richard for a whole and I have never known him to be violent. He is a political activist involved in third world issues and I studied with him at the School of Oriental and African Studies. He is a highly intelligent and likeable man and certainly not violent. I would bet my life on the fact that he was not involved in any violent action against any individual or police officer.

I can only assume that the charges against him are erroneous and that he is being used as a scapegoat by the Italian government. As a long-standing member of Amnesty International and as a journalist, I will campaign for him as a prisoner of conscience wrongfully held by the Italian government for his political beliefs.

I urge the Italian government to give Richard access to a lawyer and the British consul immediately, that a full investigation be carried out into the behaviour of the Carabinieri during the raid on the Genoa Social Forum and the Independent Media Centre, and that Richard receives a fair trial. I am convinced that a fair-minded judge will acquit Richard of any charge of violence.

Lastly, I would like to express my disquiet that Prime Minister Berlusconi has invited two neo-fascist parties into his coalition government. I come from a Slovene Jewish family who escaped from Genoa after Mussolini’s MSI thugs hounded them out. Despite being businessmen (and therefore ‘bourgeois’), the only friends they had were the communists and partisans who fought fascism. Now I see that the Carabinieri are torturing and killing people on the streets of my family’s home town, directed by a government that includes the direct descendents of the MSI and other neo-fascists. I think the behaviour of the Berlesconi administration last weekend set a dangerous prescedent in Italy and I really fear for what will happen next.

Daniel Brett

Dear Robert

I’m a friend of Richard’s. I’ve known him for about three years. I work in the Library at SOAS, and have campaigned with him on several occasions.

I would just like you to know that I have nothing but the highest regard for Richard, and he is in my thoughts constantly as he is undergoing this ordeal. Today, our union (UNISON) is holding an Executive Meeting to organise our efforts to do everything we can to help Richard and Nicola, and those others detained. A petition has been organized at the School and letters are being written to the Consul in Milan, the Foreign Office and other authorities, as well as to the School asking the Director to write on Richard’s behalf.

My partner, Alison, works in the same organisation as Richard and Nicola, and she is doing everything she can to try to safeguard their jobs.  The immediate managers of both Richard and Nicola are very supportive of them.

Once again, let me reiterate that Richard and Nicola are in the thoughts of everybody who knows them. They are an example to us all, and although you must be very worried and concerned about them, you must also be very proud.

If there is anything you need doing, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Ian Wollington


Like Richard and Nicola, I spent last weekend in Genoa peacefully protesting against the injustices perpetrated by our leaders. I am aware that I am very lucky to have returned home having only been tear-gassed. Our thoughts are with those who have been mistreated and detained by the police, and you their families.

As a member of Amnesty International, I will also be putting as much pressure on the Italian government as possibly to see that justice is done in the long-term, with an inquiry into the police conduct particularly on the night of Saturday 21st.

Hoping for a swift return of your son,
Robert Jackson

I am so glad your son is now released.  Both my wife and I were disgusted by the way the Italian authorities beat up your son and colleagues, and also by the attitude of our PM at the press conference where he referred to democratically elected leaders.

Best wishes
Richard Dargan

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