The Queen has posthumously pardoned ‘Code Breaker’ Alan Turing under the Royal Prerogative of Mercy.
Alan Turing, a World War II hero has been granted a posthumous pardon by the Queen. He was prosecuted and sentenced to chemical castration in 1952 for ‘gross indecency’ after it was found he was in a relationship with a man.
Two years later in 1954, Turing killed himself.
David Cameron said,
‘Alan Turing was a remarkable man who played a key role in saving this country in World War Two by cracking the German Enigma code
‘His action saved countless lives. He also left a remarkable national legacy through his substantial scientific achievements, often being referred to as the father of modern computing.’
Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has written to the Prime Minister urging a new inquiry into the death of the scientist Alan Turing, who has just been granted a royal pardon for his 1952 conviction for homosexual relations.
‘The government should open a new inquiry into the death of gay war-time code-breaker, mathematical genius and computer pioneer Alan Turing, including an investigation into the possibility he was murdered by the security services,’ said Peter Tatchell, Director of the human rights advocacy organisation, the Peter Tatchell Foundation,
‘The security services would have been very fearful that Turing was vulnerable to blackmail and anxious that he might pass information to the Soviets, as did the British nuclear scientist Klaus Fuchs, who was convicted in 1950 of assisting the Soviet Union’s atomic programme. There was an irrational, paranoid fear that other leading scientists might also aid the Soviets.
‘Although there is no evidence that Turing was murdered by state agents, the fact that this possibility has never been investigated is a major failing. The original inquest into his death was perfunctory and inadequate. Although it is said that he died from eating an apple laced with cyanide, the allegedly fatal apple was never tested for cyanide. A new inquiry is long overdue, even if only to dispel any doubts about the true cause of his death.
‘Turing was regarded as a high security risk because of his homosexuality and his expert knowledge of code-breaking, advanced mathematics and computer science. At the time of his death, Britain was gripped by a MacCarthyite-style anti-homosexual witch-hunt. Gay people were being hounded out of the armed forces and the civil and foreign services’