US campaigners join McKinnon fight

By Jon Ashford

The United States’ leading civil liberties organisation has joined forces with its British counterpart Liberty to demand action on the extradition treaty and the case of computer hacker Gary McKinnon.

Yesterday Liberty protested outside the US Embassy in London, brandishing copies of a letter sent by the American Civil Liberties Union (ALCU) to foreign secretary David Miliband.

Both groups are concerned about the plight of Mr McKinnon, a “tragic” case they believe highlights the inequities of the current extradition treaty.

“The recent tragic case of Gary McKinnon”, the ACLU’s letter states, “highlights the need to ensure that an individual’s case is properly judicially reviewed and the courts have the power to bar extradition if the interests of justice require it”.

“We call on the UK and US governments to review as a matter of urgency these unfair extradition arrangements.”

The ACLU has opposed ratification of the US-UK treaty since 2003. It argues the treaty “strips the court of their powers to refuse extradition”.