NAS to continue campaigning despite Gary McKinnon decision
The National Autistic Society will continue to publicise the hidden vulnerabilities of people with Asperger syndrome despite the Government’s decision not to block Gary McKinnon’s extradition on medical grounds.
The charity has been campaigning against Gary McKinnon being extradited to the US to face charges for hacking into US Government computers in 2001 and 2002.
McKinnon has a form of autism called Asperger syndrome. He says he had hacked into the computers to look for evidence of UFOs.
Home Secretary Alan Johnson has just ruled that despite reviewing new medical evidence, he cannot block McKinnon’s extradition to the US.
The National Autistic Society found out about the decision yesterday afternoon. It will meet lawyers this morning to put together a plan of action and media strategy.
‘The reason we got involved in Gary’s case is because people with Asperger syndrome can be much more vulnerable than appearances suggest,’ said head of PR and media Suzi Browne.
‘It’s a hidden disability, so it can be overlooked and not considered properly. We want to raise awareness of Asperger syndrome and explain to people how they can help and support people with this condition,’ she added.
The charity also released a statement which said it was ‘bitterly disappointed’ by the decision and said people with Asperger syndrome ‘can be highly susceptible to additional mental health problems’.
Litigation specialist Bell Yard has worked pro bono to help McKinnon in his fight against extradition as part of its wider efforts to highlight the ‘insidious nature of the US/UK extradition’.