McKinnon Extradition Blocked

by Penny Dreadfull
16 October 2012

Thank you, Theresa May MP, for finally blocking the extradition of Gary McKinnon, alleged computer hacker. This, of course, is the best news that those of us whom have been tweeting for Gary’s freedom could have today, yet, there is always a fly in the ointment.

Douglas McNabb, a federal criminal defence lawyer from Houston, Texas, US was just interviewed on BBC news saying that “the US has been attempting to procure Gary McKinnon’s body for 10 years” and, that they would be “inflamed” with the news of his blocked extradition. McNabb  went on to say that a “red notice” could be sent to 193 countries around the world and Gary McKinnon could be arrested if he traveled to one of those countries and would be extradited to US.  Essentially, now, Gary must stay in the UK for the rest of his life.

For me, it would be a small price to pay, as I could be quite happy to see out my days in England.  However, Gary McKinnon is a relatively young man and still probably has places he would love to see in the world. Yet, I am sure that he will just be thankful to be able to stay right where he is, with his friends, mother, and cat, knowing that he won’t be spending the rest of his life in a US SuperMax prison.

But, let us leave the dark bits out now and move on, for this is a day of thanksgiving and happiness, especially for Janis Sharp and Gary McKinnon. Today on BBC News at approximately 15:56 pm in Central London, Janis Sharp and her elite team including Karen Todner, Edward Fitzgerald QC, Ben Cooper, David Burrowes MP, and Mark Lever (National Autism Society), to name a few, went public with a news conference to give thanks to Theresa May MP for her “brave decision to block Gary’s  extradition” and “always knew she had the strength” to stand up to the US, also “thanks to the Human Rights Act of 1998, this would not have been possible”.  David Burrowes MP stated that “Gary was a unique and exceptional human being who needs to be given back his life” and that “it must never happen again to another UK citizen” as well as “a great day for compassion and common sense”.

After the official news conference, a tearfully happy mother, Janis, stated that “It’s been an emotional roller coaster” that she is “overwhelming happy”. She then went on to once again thank her entire time of defence lawyers, family, friends, David Gilmore, Bob Geldorf and others  for, without their “people power we couldn’t have done this” and “we’ve won for the little people”. Janis also went on to describe the state of Gary’s well-being after the happy news saying that “Gary literally couldn’t speak” that they hugged and cried and hugged and cried some more, but most heart-warmingly of all is that “Gary smiled for the first time in 10 years”.

Touching again on Gary’s Aspergers Syndrome, Janis said that Gary had felt like a dead person all this past time and that he now feel alive again, also saying that it’s not just due to Aspergers Syndrome, but that Gary would have prefered to be dead than to be sent away to the US where he would not have known anyone, nor would have had the ability to have any friends or family there to see him through the ordeal.  Logically, Janis says, he would have taken his own life rather than to leave all he’s ever known. You could see the pragmatic side of Janis Sharp show through at that time. She would never want her son to die, but would certainly understand if he had been sent to the US. Her strength amazes me.

Further remarks on how badly affected Gary has been over the last ten years, Janis told of a how a young 35 year old man had once enjoyed music, but had not picked up an instrument in all this time, yet today as a 46 year old man he has smiled for the first time in years. As a mother, I can well imagine it was as dear a feeling to Janis Sharp as the first time she ever saw Gary smile as a child. Perhaps more so.

Janis Sharp is an amazing, strong, pragmatic, loving, and patient woman. During all the time she has doggedly gone after politicians and newspapers to help her in her fight for her son’s freedom, she has never neglected others in the same position. She has fought for all British citizens on the brink of extradition. She’s marched on Downing Street, appeared on television, and more, speaking out repeatedly against the unfair Extradition Treaty that nearly got her son sent to the US and has gotten Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan extradited. Janis Sharp has campaigned for justice for everyone and “always believed it would come to this”. And, she won’t stop now.

Before I end this, Janis also gave thanks to “the people on Twitter, who have been amazing – sending emails and letters to Gary, giving them both support. The power of so many good people has been amazing”. A collective “You’re welcome, Janis” comes from us all. Congratulations to you and Gary!



Filed under Extradition, Gary McKinnon, Richard O'Dwyer, Talha Ahsan, Babar Ahmad, UK, US

Tomorrow Never Comes

Tomorrow Never Comes
by Penny Dreadfull
15 October 2012

Tomorrow never comes
Somewhere, Tomorrow is Today
And for Today, my friend
I shall pray.

I shall keep you in my heart
And you may feel me near
The day will come some day
When this Today has been a year.

Remembering this hard Today
Perhaps then we’ll both laugh
In happiness because
Today is finally in the past.

That is what we shall pray
For Tomorrow is,
After all, Today.


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Plante is now the third anarchist to be imprisoned in the last month for refusing to answer questions about their belief and behavior before a grand jury.. <<Facebook

The world HAS gone mad and it just figures that it is in the US. Next they’ll be rounding up “anarchists” and burning them at the stake. I may as well go queue up…


“…Plante says a Freedom of Information Act request she filed in the months after her apartment door was broken down by armed officials reveals that the grand jury investigating her was first convened in March, two months before the vandalism she is being accused of even occurred.

“They are trying to investigate anarchists and persecute them for their beliefs. This is a fishing expedition. This is a witch hunt,” she says this week.

On the day of her third meeting with the grand jury on Wednesday, Plante wrote on her blog that she’d almost certainly be jailed on charges of contempt for refusing once again to testify about herself but said she was willing to face the consequences for exercising her right to remain silent.

“I do not look forward to what inevitably awaits me today, but I accept it,” she writes. “My convictions are unwavering and will not be…

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Extradite Me, I Have A Website

Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan lose the fight against extradition

by Penny Dreadfull
24 September 2012

Just having gotten the news via @Twitter and seeing the BBC1 10:00 p.m. news, I am still unable to unattach my palm from my face. Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan are to be extradited to the U. S. within the next few weeks to be tried for “Jihad” websites. Since when did running a website in a country with freedom of speech become a crime?

When was the last time someone was extradited for running a paedophile website? Or any hard-core porn website? Or say, even one such as mine, where I support Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan’s right to run websites under their freedom of speech rights?

And, so far as I know, even if they were Jihad websites, I don’t believe there were any wording to the effect of doing anything to the U.S. So why in the hell can’t these two men be tried in the U.K. where they should be tried?

We can all thank the bullying of the U.S. and the rolling over of the U.K. for that. I’m just sick of all the presumption and judging and the back-patting Good Ol’ Boys and the Old Boy’s Club putting their heads together to the detriment of two entire families.

And next month, Gary McKinnon will learn of his fate. My heart is already aching and my mind is already racing with anger. I can’t imagine how Gary and his mother, Janis must be feeling. And, speaking of websites….poor Richard O’Dwyer and his mother, Julia…..An innocent mistake could land that poor young lad in a U.S. supermax prison for who knows how long.

All I can do for now is apologise as profusely as I know how, to Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan, as well as their families for not being able to pray hard enough or to yell loud enough or to write enough to help save them from this fate. I am so very sorry that no matter how hard we all supported you that it wasn’t nearly enough to change the minds of two governments whom still don’t know how to work with each other after 200 years of practise. All that matters to the U.S. is showing how large their bollocks are when it comes to their fight against terrorism by locking up or killing everyone they suspect and all the U.K. cares about is keeping their “special relationship” tidy. Full stop.

Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan have no business in the U.S. They should have been tried in the U.K. Jailed in the U.K. if found guilty. Now it’s just too late…

9 October 2012 Update:

As many of you are aware, last week, Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan were flown to the U.S. under orders of extradition for running “Jihad” websites on U.S. servers.  Babar and Talha were not, at least, lumped into the same bin with Hamza, but were sent to New Haven, Connecticut to state their pleas.  As I expected, they plead “Not Guilty”.  And they are correct.  They ARE NOT GUILTY and shouldn’t have been extradited, but then here we are.  My hope is that by being sent to New Haven and kept apart from Hamza that it is a sign that perhaps the U.S. doesn’t think they are so much a threat?  As ever, all we can do is keep them in our thoughts, and hope that if the U.S. will at least be fair, then maybe, just maybe they could be sent back to the U.K.?  Perhaps I’m just being too much a “Pollyanna” about the entire situation, yet, remaining hopeful is all any of us can do for now.  I’m sure it’s what they would have us do.

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The Mothering Heart

The Mothering Heart 

by Penny Dreadfull

25 July 2012

As a mother, there is only one question..

What if it were my son?

And I answer myself that by the intertwining of our humanity

That yes, all sons are my sons,

Just as my sons belong to all mothers, as well.

As I cry for you

Your mother would cry for my son, too

If she were to see him unfairly judged,

Deprived of his rights,

To be stolen from his home without a fight

From the country of his birth to a land far away

Whom will not judge him fairly.

They will say he must pay

Because they won’t see him through a mother’s heart.

But, I do, Gary, Talha, Richard, and Babar,

For you are my sons, too.

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Open Letter to Aung San Suu Kyi

written by Janis Sharp, mother of Gary McKinnon

18 June 2012

 18th June 2012

Dear Aung San Suu Kyi,

 As you make this historic return to England, forgive me for invoking a sense of shared suffering, for both you, and my son Gary McKinnon have endured a form of imprisonment for the past decade.
My son Gary has Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of Autism, and was arrested in London in March 2002 for computer misuse and has now been under virtual house arrest for over ten years while fighting Extradition to the U.S.
People find it hard to believe that this can be happening in England in the year 2012 but happening it is.
Gary was arrested more than ten years ago for allegedly hacking into NASA and Pentagon computers from his bedroom in London while searching for evidence of UFO’s and Free energy that Gary believed was being suppressed by the American Government.  He left cheeky cyber notes telling the U.S that their security was virtually nonexistent and that he’d continue disrupting by leaving such notes until someone at the top listened to him and installed passwords and firewalls that should have been there in the first place to protect their systems, but weren’t.
To his detriment Gary also left a cyber note saying that American foreign policy was akin to state sponsored terrorism. Had this been scrawled on a wall few would have noticed and to a young man with Asperger’s Syndrome, telling the truth as he saw it was as natural as getting out of bed in the morning. However Gary had now not only embarrassed the U.S by highlighting their lack of any basic security, but he had angered them.
Someone with Aspergers could never have realised the horrendous consequences that would arise from a country whose first amendment is one of Free Speech, or that an Extradition Treaty with America, yet to be written, could allow him (without any evidence being presented to a British court) to be forcibly removed from his home, his family and all that he has ever known, to be taken to a foreign land where he could be incarcerated in a foreign prison for up to sixty years of his life,  for a crime that according to the Crown Prosecution Service in 2002, would have attracted a sentence of six months community service in Britain.
My son has now been under arrest for longer than any British citizen ever has. He hasn’t raped anyone, he hasn’t murdered anyone so can’t understand how this can be happening to him, as no matter how much anyone may exaggerate his crime, the fact is that his crime was tapping on a keyboard in his bedroom in North London in search of information on Aliens from outer space.

Gary rarely ever leaves his home as he is traumatised to the core. A boy who cycled, swam composed music and sang, now sits in the dark with his cats and never wants to see or speak to anyone.
He has no life, and is broken, like a wounded animal with no outlet and no hope, seeing only the dark side and the cruelty that exists in the world.
My only child has lost ten years of his youth and has aged and died before my eyes.

Ten years of being in a constant state of limbo while fighting to stop my son Gary being taken from his home and family has made the days, months and years indistinguishable from each other, as hopes raised to the heavens come crashing down to Earth on a regular basis.

We were elated when in a bid to have Gary tried in the U.K David Cameron our Prime Minister raised Gary’s case with President Obama during two televised joint worldwide press conferences in 2010 and in 2011, but the American government remained unmoved and are still pursuing my son, and our Government seem afraid to upset them.

I wrote to the Queen during her Diamond Jubilee to ask her to bestow the gift of mercy on my son who was arrested before even her Golden Jubilee ten years prior, but in a response from Buckingham Palace, it seems only our Government are privy to the Queen’s powers which she herself is unable to use.

I constantly write letters in the hope that the pen really is mightier than the sword and that I can reach souls of courage and compassion in the heart of our Government, who can put an end to this decade of mental torture.
Whether the rain falls or the sun shines means little anymore, as we live in this unreal world where Gary sits in the dark and I spend each day and night until the early hours of the morning, working on trying to save my son from virtual death. I no longer have any other conversation as I’m unable to escape from this mental imprisonment grounded in fear.

I am hoping with all my heart that our Home Secretary Theresa May who is said to be a strong woman, will find in her heart, some of the courage that you possess that will allow her to do what is right and to give my son his life back.

Gary has lost more than ten years of his life and as his case draws closer to the end, the deterioration in his mental health is marked, as the mental torture becomes increasingly intolerable.
Gary does not deserve to be driven to suicide, or to suffer irreversible damage to his mental health, or to face the prospect of ending his life in a foreign prison, or dying in a mental institution as my grandmother did.
Gary does not deserve either a real or a virtual death sentence. I do not deserve to lose my only child.
I pray that one day I will see the light return to my son’s eyes and that this seemingly never ending torture comes to an end.

As you will be speaking to both our Houses of Parliament, seeing the strength you portray in your struggle for the Freedom of your country, and the sacrifices you have made while standing up to an oppressive government, will hopefully inspire our Government to once again become a proud and sovereign nation who is prepared to stand up, speak out and fight for the values that our fore fathers fought and died for, including the rights and the protection of the most vulnerable in our society.

If our Government is afraid to make a right and Just decision for fear of upsetting our friends, then something is wrong with that friendship which must be put right, or we as a nation are allowing our people to be enslaved, making us unable to command respect that by its very nature has to be earned.

You Aung San Suu Kyi, have earned the respect of the World and our hearts are with you.

I pray that one day your country will attain the freedom and democracy you crave, and that our country will remember who they are and will strive to regain and retain the Rights and Freedoms we have sacrificed in order to appease another nation.

With Sincere and Deepest Respect

Yours Sincerely
Janis Sharp (Gary McKinnon’s Mum)

Editor’s note:  permission via Twitter by Janis Sharp to reprint.  Thank you,  Janis, for sharing the most loving and heartfelt of  mother’s pleas.  You are the kind of mother that all mothers aspire to emulate.  For all your bravery, dedication and selflessness, you deserve to be rewarded by having Gary’s freedom awarded him.  Good luck, we are all with you.

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Filed under Extradition, Gary McKinnon, Richard O'Dwyer, Talha Ahsan, Babar Ahmad, UK, US

Demonstration on Downing Street, the day in pictures

 Thank you @knox_o and @fahadansari, both from Twitter, for posting the great pictures!!  

Taken by Fahad Ansari 23 June 2012<br />Julia O'Dwyer, mother of Richard O'Dwyer

Taken by Fahad Ansari 23 June 2012
Julia O’Dwyer, mother of Richard O’Dwyer

Janis Sharp & Julia O’Dwyer, courtesy of @knox_o, Twitter

Avaez Muhammed 23 June 2012, courtesy of @knox_o, Twitter

Babar Ahmad's father, courtesy of @knox_o, Twitter<br />23 June 2012

Babar Ahmad’s father, courtesy of @knox_o, Twitter
23 June 2012

Actress Julie Christie, courtesy of @knox_o, Twitter
Actress Julie Christie, courtesy of @knox_o, Twitter
Omar from @wearebabarahmad 23 June 2012, courtesy of @knox_o, Twitter   "They are not just a cause, they are human beings"
Omar from @wearebabarahmad 23 June 2012, courtesy of @knox_o, Twitter “They are not just a cause, they are human beings”
Janis Sharp, Gary McKinnon's Mum 23 June 2012 courtesy of @knox_o, Twitter

Janis Sharp, Gary McKinnon’s Mum 23 June 2012 courtesy of @knox_o, Twitter “No Way to the USA!!”

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Filed under Extradition, Gary McKinnon, Richard O'Dwyer, Talha Ahsan, Babar Ahmad, UK, US

Demonstration on Downing Street


Saturday, 23 June 2012


 TIME:  1:00 p.m. till 3:00 p.m. 

Flyer, courtesy of Hamja Ahsan

  • Gary McKinnon, 
  • Syed Talha Ahsan, 
  • Richard O’Dwyer, 
  • Babar Ahmad 
   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, and Avaez Mohammed.  Please check back for further information, should it become available, I shall post it here.  Thank you and #NoExtradition!  [Tweet it loud and tweet it often!]

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Filed under Extradition, Gary McKinnon, Richard O'Dwyer, Talha Ahsan, Babar Ahmad, UK, US