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Thursday, 21 May 2009

Please Help Gary McKinnon

Time is running out...

Dear Supporter,

My name is Janis and I am Gary McKinnon's mum. My son has Asperger syndrome and is facing extradition to the United States for hacking into American military computers, where he could be placed in a maximum-security prison for up to 70 years.

Gary's late diagnosis of Asperger syndrome explains much of his unusual behaviour and the irrational fears he has had since he was a child. My son's actions were intended as a voyage of discovery and he had no idea of the possible consequences of this, as no one has ever been extradited for computer misuse. If imprisoned in the United States, I know I would rarely see Gary, if at all, and the strain for him of being away from his family and familiar surroundings would be devastating. As I am in my sixties, it is doubtful if I would live to see my son free. Gary has always been terrified of travelling and as an adult never goes on holiday and has never left the UK. This may be part of the reason that he travelled in cyberspace.

Time is running out so I am urgently appealing to you to please take action with the NAS now by emailing your MP asking them to support my son. I'm not asking for special treatment for Gary, but simply that he has the right to be tried in his own country and - if convicted - be given a sentence proportionate to the crime. Gary needs to be where he can get the support he so desperately needs.

Many thanks and best wishes

Janis Sharp
Gary McKinnon's mum