Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP
10 Downing Street
27 February 2009
Dear Prime Minister
Re: UK Extradition Legislation
I have been an international business man all of my life and, as such, have taken an extremely keen interest in the insidious and unbalanced extradition treaty your government agreed with the United States of America in 2003.
I have always believed that the primary duty of any government is the protection of its citizens. I would hope that any Member of Parliament would share this belief, especially its Prime Minister. Sadly however, it seems you do not, since the protection of British citizens was thrown out of the window when your government agreed the unfair US extradition treaty.
The changes to the UK's extradition legislation in 2003 were said to protect us from terrorists. Yet whilst we protect foreign nationals, accused of terrorism from the dangers of torture if returned to their home countries, there are no longer adequate safeguards to protect our own vulnerable citizens from the treatment they may face in the United States - a country whose tarnished reputation is not limited to the horrors of Guantanamo Bay.
Both Gary McKinnon, who suffers from Asperger's Syndrome, and Ian Norris who suffers from prostate cancer are vulnerable citizens. Here in the UK we have the necessary powers to prosecute them but we declined to do so, thereby compounding their suffering. Does the British government's humanity only extend to fellow politicians, not citizens?
The bottom line here is that with Gary and Ian, and countless others who follow them, you have the opportunity to reassure your electorate that your government has not abandoned its primary duty.
The principles of fairness and decency should be the backbone of any government, not least a Labour one. It's not too late to do the right thing.
Karl Watkin MBE
cc: Rt Hon Jacqui Smith MP, Secretary of State for the Home Department
Home Secretary, Home Office, 2 Marsham Street London SW1P 4DF