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 September 1, 2009  Posted by  Misc, Non-U.S.

Thousands of people have signed a Downing Street petition calling for a posthumous government apology to World War II code breaker Alan Turing.

Writer Ian McEwan has just backed the campaign, which already has the support of scientist Richard Dawkins.

In 1952 Turing was prosecuted for gross indecency after admitting a sexual relationship with a man. Two years later he killed himself.

The petition was the idea of computer scientist John Graham-Cumming.

He is seeking an apology for the way the mathematician was treated after his conviction. He has also written to the Queen to ask for Turing to be awarded a posthumous knighthood.

Alan Turing was given experimental chemical castration as a “treatment” and his security privileges were removed, meaning he could not continue work for the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).

“This added insult and humiliation ultimately drove him to suicide,” said gay-rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, who also backs the campaign. “With Turing’s death, Britain and the world lost one of its finest intellectual minds. A government apology and posthumous pardon are long overdue.”

Read more on BBC

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