Archive for January 9th, 2010

January 9th, 2010

Double standards, surely not?

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

How can a government stoop so low as to sentence a man without taking into account his mental state? So went our government a few days before a British citizen was executed for drugs smuggling in China.

I was struck by the glaring hypocrisy when compared to our governments treatment of one of its own citizens.

Gary McInnon is wanted by the American authorities for hacking into government computers. McInnon, who has Aspergers Syndrome, says he was looking for evidence of UFOs when he cracked the security of military computers by guessing passwords. The American authorities allege he caused hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage and have been seeking his extradition for several years

In stark contrast to the China case, ministers are falling over to carry out every wish of the United States government. Alan Johnson says there is nothing he can do to prevent sending McInnon to face trial & an extremely long prison sentence. This, despite the fact that his crime took place in the UK & that he is clearly not the full ticket.

This government has a problem sending murderers, rapists other ne’er-do-wells back to their own country at the first sniff of any potential mistreatment, but doesn’t appear to be the slightest bit concerned about sending one of its own citizens abroad to the prospect of a 100 year prison sentence. Supporters of McInnon say that if he needs to be taken to trial it is right proper to try him in the UK. The likelihood is that if he were to be convicted in a UK court, he may well not even get a custodial sentence. Yet the government are seemingly not prepared to lift a finger & happy to see him face hat in effect would be a cruel & unusual punishment. And Nu Labour deny being the lapdogs of the States. It’s not as if the USA has never been accused of human rights breaches (Guantanamo Bay, anyone?).

It would have been really interesting to see what they would have done had Akmal Shaikh been executed in America & China was seeking extradition of McInnon.

McKinnon has a ‘fan’ website (if that’s the right word) calling for him to be freed from extradition & given a fair trial in the UK