The British government has rejected calls for computer pioneer Alan Turing to be granted an official pardon for criminal convictions regarding his homosexuality dating back to the 1950s.
An online petition of over 23,000 signatures had requested the pardon because today, its no crime to be gay. Britain's Justice Minister Lord McNally however, dismissed the motion in the House of Lords.
"A posthumous pardon was not considered appropriate as Alan Turing was properly convicted of what at the time was a criminal offence," he said.
In 2009 former Prime Minister Gordon Brown issued an official apology to Mr Turing, labelling the treatment he had received as "utterly unfair" and "appalling".
Mr Turing was one of the key members of the staff at Bletchley Park that worked to crack the German's Enigma codes, and Lord McNally acknowledged that in light of this work he had been treated harshly by the authorities.
"It is tragic that Alan Turing was convicted of an offence which now seems both cruel and absurd, particularly... given his outstanding contribution to the war effort," he said.
"However, the law at the time required a prosecution and, as such, long-standing policy has been to accept that such convictions took place and, rather than trying to alter the historical context and to put right what cannot be put right, ensure instead that we never again return to those times."
Mr Turing committed suicide in 1954, two years after his conviction. He was probably the first person in modern times commiting suicide because of being bullied. This time however, he was bullied to death by the same country he had helped to win the 2nd World War.
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