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Richard O'Dwyer anti-extradition petition blasts past 200,000 signature mark

02 Jul 2012
Jimmy Wales Richard O'Dwyer petition day eight

A petition started by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales calling on UK home secretary Theresa May to halt the extradition of TVShack founder Richard O'Dwyer to the US has now received over 200,000 signatures.

The petition was started on 24 June with Wales claiming the US extradition request infringed on the British citizen's rights.

"Given the thin case against him, it is an outrage that he is being extradited to the US to face felony charges for something that he is not being prosecuted for here," he wrote in the petition.

"No US citizen has ever been brought to the UK for alleged criminal activity that took place on US soil."

The petition was welcomed by the mother of Richard O'Dwyer, Julia O'Dwyer, who has signed the petition herself and thanked Wales for his support.

"I'm blown away by the response to Jimmy's petition. It's been a tough year campaigning for my son but this outpouring of support from around the world has really made politicians sit up and take note of Richard's case. Now it's time for Theresa May to do the right thing by Richard," she said.

The petition broke the 200,000 milestone over the weekend, having hit 160,000 signatures on Friday. As well as O'Dwyer's mother, the petition has received support from several celebrities and politicians.

The most vocal advocates include Black Books and Father Ted writer Graham Linehan, Labour deputy chairman Tom Watson, Conservative MP Louise Mensch and Liberal Democrat MP Mike Crockart.

"It just seems to me that people like Richard are being punished for being able to navigate the modern world," said Linehan.

"The internet has changed everything. They're doing what comes naturally in these new uncharted waters and suddenly they're getting their collars felt by people who still have Hotmail addresses."

O'Dwyer is one of a handful of British citizens the US is seeking to extradite for alleged computer related crimes. Famously, the country is also seeking to extradite Gary McKinnon, accusing him of hacking into 97 US military and Nasa computers.

At the time of publishing, the Home Office had not responded to V3's request for comment on the petition.

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Alastair Stevenson

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

View Alastair's Google+ profile

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