Saturday, 30 June 2012

E Mail to Your MP To Request They Ask Theresa May a Question in Parliament About the #Saverichard Petition

 Up until now Home Secretary Theresa May hasn't said anything publicly about my son's extradition. Even as Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales's petition has exploded to over 180,000 signatures -- including mine.
On Monday 9th July, that could change -- she'll have to face questions from MPs in the House of Commons.

Can you email your MP now? They have until Tuesday 3rd July to put their question to Theresa May so there's not much time left.

Click here to find out who your MP is.
Then send them an email like the one below (feel free to edit)
Thank you for your support,

Email to send to your MP: 
Dear (MP)

I recently signed the petition started by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales calling on the Home Secretary to immediately halt the extradition of student Richard O'Dwyer:

Theresa May is yet to respond to the petition which is why I am asking you to urgently submit the following question in time for oral questions on Monday 9 July. 

Theresa May: When will you stop the extradition of Richard O'Dwyer?

Thursday, 28 June 2012

My Letter to David Cameron

22nd June 2012

Dear Prime Minister  

I am writing to you about my son Richard and his extradition to the US for alleged copyright infringement. I would hope that you are aware of the case from the media coverage, from the Home Secretary and also due to the large volume of e mails and letters which have been sent to Nick Clegg, Theresa May, Dominic Grieve Ken Clarke and MP’s from members of the public which should have been brought to your attention.

Aside from whether Richard may or may not have committed any offence, although it is looking increasingly doubtful whether what he did is a crime in either country, the fact is that he never set foot in the US.  You must be aware that a Freedom of Information Request response from the Home Office dated 11th April this year states that: no American citizen has been extradited to the UK for a crime committed in the US under the current treaty.

It really does alarm me that this situation is allowed to continue unabated, British people being shipped off to the US some of whom will never be seen again, while the US quite rightly protects its own citizens. Promises and assurances have been made by many, reports and reviews have been commissioned and delivered. The Home Secretary will announce “shortly” her decision on extradition reform.                            

 It really is a shame that we are all outside on the street today protesting. It is shameful that our own government continues to do nothing to amend an extradition treaty which has been shown time and time again to be not fit for purpose and which despite protestations to the contrary could be easily corrected. The intellectual arguments on the need for change have been won repeatedly since this treaty came into force.

It is time for evidence based action, no more back door deals without parliamentary scrutiny. British citizens simply must have the same protections as their US counterparts. No favours are required from the US- just the same rights as US citizens who are not extradited to the UK for alleged crimes committed on their home soil – they have Forum and constitutional rights and that is what my son  should have.

Richard is a 23yr old university student not a common criminal, not a fugitive, never been to the US but this rotten law which provides little opportunity for him to prove that what he did is not even a crime in this country, is creating such a stranglehold on the Judiciary that they are almost helpless to do anything other than agree to his extradition. Even more galling I have a letter from Keir Starmer’s office stating that my son’s case “ is not  considered to be in the category of serious “ Forgive me but Extradition not a serious matter! 
 I wonder how you and Mrs Cameron would feel if this were to happen to one of your children in a few  years’  time, quite possible if this is allowed to continue with internet usage such a huge part of everyday life . I can tell you it is not a very nice place for a parent to be in. I am a Specialist Nurse to Children with palliative care needs. This is destroying my work and my life as well as Richards, I should not have to be doing this.

 I know the Extradition Act like the back of my hand, I have read and heard every report and debate on the subject and seen numerous canned letters from the Home Office about all of this, there is nothing I don’t know about it. I am asking for British justice for Richard, not suggesting that extradition is not necessary for fugitives from serious crime. The Forum amendment already agreed several years ago should be enacted to give Richard the same protections as a computer geek in the US would be allowed. Sorry to go on but I am so very angry and extremely upset with this situation.

Yours Faithfully

Julia O’Dwyer

Sunday, 24 June 2012


Today the Guardian Newspaper have published a whole series of articles starting with a leader by Jimmy Wales founder of Wikipedia and advisor to the UK Government. Jimmy Wales has spoken out in support of Richard describing him as "clean cut geeky kid" and one who he could see launching the next big thing on the internet.

Jimmy Wales support is an incredible development, as such an influential and respected figure I hope the government will wake up and listen to what he is saying.

There is a link in the article to a petition Jimmy has launched #saverichard petition at

James Ball Journalist at the Guardian has been working with Richard and produced some good pieces on the situation

Jimmy Wales Calls for Richard's Extradition to be Stopped

Richard O'Dwyer: Living With the Threat of Extradition

James Ball on Richard O'Dwyer's legal position: questions and answers


  • Tory MP Dominic Raab unearths damning figures
  • More Britons extradited in the last six months than US has sent back in five years
By James Slack

Seven times more British citizens have been sent to the US under the lopsided Extradition Act than there have been Americans sent in the opposite direction.
Home Office figures reveal how the treaty at the centre of the case against Asperger’s sufferer Gary McKinnon is being used by the US authorities far more often than their British counterparts.
Since 2004, 99 people have been extradited from the UK to the US. Yet only 44 have been extradited to the UK. When the figures are broken down by nationality, the picture is even more stark.
Some 35 British nationals have been extradited from the UK to the US. But as few as five US citizens have been extradited from the US to the UK.
Britain has extradited more of its nationals to the United States in the past six months – seven – than the United States has sent the other way in the past five years, according to data unearthed by the Tory MP Dominic Raab.
This is despite the fact the population of the US (311million) is five times greater than that of the UK (62million).
The figures will heighten calls for changes to the Act, which was passed by Labour in 2003 and is currently under review by the Home Secretary.
Critics say it is biased against UK nationals. Britain must provide US authorities with ‘such information as would provide a reasonable basis to believe that the person sought committed the offence for which extradition is requested’.
This is known as the ‘probable cause’ test and means US citizens have the right to a court hearing to examine the evidence against them. However, if the US wants to extradite a UK citizen, the authorities need only to outline the alleged offence, the punishment specified by statute and provide an accurate description of the suspect.
Tory MP Dominic Raab unearthed the alarming figures
Tory MP Dominic Raab unearthed the alarming figures
The most high-profile victim of the Act is Mr McKinnon,  who faces being hauled to the US for crimes committed from his North London bedroom.He hacked into NASA and Pentagon computers while looking for evidence of ‘little green men’ Medical experts say he is likely to take his own life if extradited.
As well as his, there have been a string of other controversial extradition cases.
They include Chris Tappin, a retired golf club president from Kent who was extradited to the US in February over allegations of arms dealing.
Student Richard O’Dwyer, of Chesterfield, is also fighting extradition on copyright infringement charges over a website he ran from the UK.
Last night Mr Raab, who has campaigned for changes to the extradition rules, said: ‘In 2012, we are surrendering our citizens to the US at the fastest rate since the new treaty came into effect, despite woefully inadequate safeguards.
Overall, we have extradited seven UK nationals for every American extradited to Britain. If we don’t reform our blunt extradition regime, we will see more appalling cases.’
Campaigners are also demanding changes to the controversial European Arrest Warrant (EAW), which allows people to be sent to other EU countries over even minor charges.
As with the Extradition Act, the country demanding a British or EU citizen does not have to make a substantial case against them.
The number of EAWs issued to the UK has risen from 1,865 in 2004 to 5,832 in the year ending March 2012. Britain is extraditing 11 times more people than are being sent to the UK by our EU neighbours. The number of British citizens surrendered under an EAW has risen from five in 2004 to 32 in 2011/12.
Mr Raab said: ‘Britain now extradites six times more of our nationals under the European Arrest Warrant than the US treaty. Too many face corrupt police, incompetent courts and appalling prison conditions.
‘The case for reform or withdrawal from this flawed measure is overwhelming.’
A Home Office spokesman said: ‘We have effective, fair and balanced extradition arrangements with the US and other international partners.
‘People who have committed serious offences such as murder, rape, other sex crimes and fraud, have been successfully extradited to the UK and convicted.

The Telegraph Published a similar piece here 
The US Embassy provides a comment of its own to try and explain the disparity in the numbers  

 “While the U.S. does send more extradition requests to the UK than it receives, this difference is largely due to the differences in the size of the respective populations. The number of U.S. requests is not disproportionate.”

The Home Office States 

‘People who have committed serious offences such as murder, rape, other sex crimes and fraud, have been successfully extradited to the UK and convicted.’

 "It should also be noted that our courts have refused to extradite nine people requested by the US since 2004, while US courts have not refused any of our extradition requests."

 This utterly canned statement is churned out at every opportunity to the media and in view of the refusal of the UK to extradite an American paedophile seem a tad disingenuous

Personally I am unable to grasp this rational as an explanation as to why the US which has a population 5 times that of the UK should be seeking greater numbers to Brits to extradite to the US. If the population is five times that of the UK shouldn't it have 5 times the number of criminals? In a highly technology focussed country shouldn't that mean 5 times the number of "cyber" criminals who can commit online crimes without ever leaving the US.
 ‘People who have committed serious offences such as murder, rape, other sex crimes and fraud, have been successfully extradited to the UK and convicted.’
The above (except fraud) are not crimes which can be committed against one country without going there so that response is not relevant to the issue in question i.e the extradition of citizens for crimes committed on home soil.
The home office states that the US has not refused any UK requests, this is obviously due to the fact that since the UK Home Office knows that a US citizen cannot be extradited to the UK for criminal activity conducted on US soil such extraditions are NOT requested by the UK hence the lack of refusals for such cases.
Nowhere is there any reference to the protections given to US citizens in their constitution and these are what is at the root of the imbalance. 

Latest news revealed only in a Freedom of Information request to the Home Office shows that No requests have been made to the US for American committing crimes against the UK while in the US 

Reported here in the Daily Mail


"We are all in this together"! Well we really are in this fight together - some may question why I would wish to align the campaign to fight against Richard's extradition to the US with the fight of Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan who are "accused" of terrorist related activities over the internet.

Well the reasons are because, it is not about guilt or innocence, it is not about the alleged crime - it is about the right to British Justice for British people who have never set foot in the US. America does not allow the extradition of its citizens for crimes which they are alleged to have committed on US soil.

Richard, Gary,Babar & Talha all deserve the right to British Justice no matter what the outcome of that might be.

Americans are protected by their own constitution and have the right to be tried in their own country whatever the alleged crime. As a consequence of this, the UK government does not request such cases to be extradited to the UK for the simple reason that it will not be allowed therefore it would be a waste of time asking!

We have to question why the US government does not want British citizens to have the same rights and protections as their own people? Some "Special Relationship"!

As this recent Freedom of Information request shows Not one American has been extradited to the UK for a crime committed in the US

Freedom of Information Request -UK Home Office 


ITV News 

BBC video below 

Twitter hashtag for this event #extraditiondemo

 What a fantastic day for our demonstration brilliant sunshine and no rain! There was a fantastic turnout of around at least 300 supporters all with some great banners, T shirts and other displays on support, anger and outrage at this great injustice.

 Here are a few images from the day

Sunday, 17 June 2012


Important Meeting on Extradition

Wednesday, June 20, 2012
6:00pm until 8:00pm
Committee Room 10,
House of Commons,


Caroline Lucas MP
John Hemming MP
Victoria Brittain
David Bermingham (Natwest Three)
Sir Iqbal Sacranie
Ashfaq Ahmad


Talha Ahsan:
Poet & writer with Aspergers syndrome detained 6 years without trial or charge. Never been to the US.

Babar Ahmad:
Longest detained without trial British Citizen in modern British History – detained for 8 years without trial or charge -assault and brutalised by police violence. Never been to the US

Gary Mckinnon:
Accused of hacking into US agency websites 10 years ago and fighting extradition ever since. Gary also has Aspergers Syndrome and has been assessed by experts in ASD Aas having a high suicide risk. Never been to the US

Richard O’Dwyer.
Accused of breaching US copyright laws,despite the fact that what he is accused of does not constitute a crime in the UK. Never been to the US.

All… may be extradited to US Solitary confinement under the
notorious and descredited 2003  EXTRADITION US-UK Treaty where NO prima facie EVIDENCE is required


All videos of this event have been produced by Gary Mckinnon's stepdad Wilson a truly talented man, so many thanks and much appreciation to Wilson

Saturday, 2 June 2012



           SATURDAY 23rd JUNE, 1pm to 3 pm 


  • Gary McKinnon, 
  • Syed Talha Ahsan, 
  • Richard O’Dwyer, 
  • Babar Ahmad 

   to the United States

         Venue: Whitehall, outside Downing Street 

Confirmed speakers: The families – Ashfaq Ahmad and Julia O’Dwyer – joined by Bruce Kent, John McDonnell MP, David Bermingham, Kate Hudson, Louise Christian, Unjum Mirza, Victoria Brittain, Farooq Murad, Avaez Mohammed…watch this site for further updates