2013-07-20

Chemical castration



Enigma codebreaker Alan Turing to be given posthumous pardon
Government indicates support for backbench bill to pardon mathematician who took his own life after indecency case
  Nicholas Watt, chief political correspondent 
  The Guardian, Friday 19 July 2013 20.03 BST

Alan Turing helped code-breakers to crack the German Enigma code
Alan Turing, the Enigma codebreaker who took his own life after being convicted of gross indecency under anti-homosexuality legislation, is to be given a posthumous pardon.
The government signalled on Friday that it is prepared to support a backbench bill that would pardon Turing, who died from cyanide poisoning at the age of 41 in 1954 after he was subjected to "chemical castration".
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, a government whip, told peers that the government would table the third reading of the Alan Turing (statutory pardon) bill at the end of October if no amendments are made. "If nobody tables an amendment to this bill, its supporters can be assured that it will have speedy passage to the House of Commons," Ahmad said.
The announcement marks a change of heart by the government, which declined last year to grant pardons to the 49,000 gay men, now dead, who were convicted under the 1885 Criminal Law Amendment Act. They include Oscar Wilde.
Ahmad told peers: "Alan Turing himself believed that homosexual activity would be made legal by a royal commission. In fact, appropriately, it was parliament which decriminalised the activity for which he was convicted. The government are very aware of the calls to pardon Turing, given his outstanding achievements, and have great sympathy with this objective ... That is why the government believe it is right that parliament should be free to respond to this bill in whatever way its conscience dictates and in whatever way it so wills."
The government threw its weight behind the private member's bill, promoted by the Liberal Democrat peer Lord Sharkey, after a debate that featured a contribution from a peer who worked at Bletchley Park. Lady Trumpington told peers: "The block I worked in was devoted to German naval codes. Only once was I asked to deliver a paper to Alan Turing, so ... I cannot claim that I knew him. However, I am certain that but for his work we would have lost the war through starvation."
Turing broke German ciphers using the bombe method, which allowed the code-breakers to crack the German Enigma code. His colleague Tommy Flowers built the Colossus computer. Ahmad described Turing as "one of the fathers, if not the father, of computer science".
Sharkey has campaigned for a pardon after being taught mathematics at Manchester University in the 1960s by Robin Gandy, Turing's only doctoral student, who became a close friend and was the executor of his will.
Sharkey said: "As I think everybody knows, he was convicted in 1952 of gross indecency and sentenced to chemical castration. He committed suicide two years later. The government know that Turing was a hero and a very great man. They acknowledge that he was cruelly treated. They must have seen the esteem in which he is held here and around the world."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk-news/2013/jul/19/enigma-codebreaker-alan-turing-posthumous-pardon


Alan Turing, le père de l'informatique moderne, devrait recevoir le pardon du Royaume-Uni à titre posthume
Publié par Christophe Martet
Pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale, ce mathématicien déchiffra le code secret des Allemands. Condamné à la castration chimique pour homosexualité, il se donne la mort en 1954.

L'information publiée par The Guardian devrait ravir tous les geeks de la planète mais aussi et surtout les LGBT. Alan Turing, père de l'informatique moderne, mathématicien de génie, qui aida à déchiffrer le code allemand Enigma durant la Seconde Guerre Mondiale, devrait recevoir le pardon du Royaume-Uni à titre posthume. Après la guerre, celui qui contribua à la victoire des Alliés sur les nazis fut condamné à subir en 1952 une castration chimique parce qu'il était homosexuel. Deux ans plus tard, il se suicide.
LE PARDON POUR 49000 HOMOSEXUELS?_Vendredi 19 juillet, le gouvernement britannique a indiqué qu'il était prêt à soutenir une proposition de pardon pour Alan Turing. Selon les observateurs, cela marque un changement dans l'attitude du gouvernement qui l'année dernière encore, avait refusé le pardon à 49000 homosexuels qui avaient subi les foudres de la justice et furent condamnés au titre de la loi de 1885 qui pénalisait les actes homosexuels. Parmi eux figure Oscar Wilde. Toujours en 2012, à l'occasion du centenaire de la naissance de Turing, le gouvernement avait refusé de lui accorder son pardon.
Selon un porte parole du gouvernement, le projet de pardon concernant Alan Turing,  pourrait être examiné au mois d'octobre.

http://yagg.com/2013/07/20/alan-turing-le-pere-de-linformatique-moderne-devrait-recevoir-le-pardon-du-royaume-uni-a-titre-posthume/