Thousands of people have signed a Downing Street petition calling for a posthumous government apology to World War II code breaker Alan Turing. Writer Ian McEwan has just backed the campaign, which already has the support of scientist Richard Dawkins. In 1952 Turing was prosecuted for gross indecency after admitting a sexual relationship with a man. Two years later he killed himself. The petition was the idea of computer scientist John Graham-Cumming. <!-- E SF -->He is seeking an apology for the way the mathematician was treated after his conviction. He has also written to the Queen to ask for Turing to be awarded a posthumous knighthood. Alan Turing was given experimental chemical castration as a "treatment" and his security privileges were removed, meaning he could not continue work for the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). BBC NEWS | Technology | Thousands call for Turing apology This is the first I'm hearing of castrations being performed on homosexuals as "treatment". The petition is here for those who want to take a look, World Turing Petition Petition : [ powered by iPetitions.com ] I don't see this succeeding, in politics, politicians very rarely look at online petitions. Why? Because they realize only a fraction of those people will be showing up to vote. If you mail in a petition it shows more dedication on your part and the likely need for someone to respond. It's easy to type your name in and click a button, it shows a bit more determination to write out a petition, sign it, and mail it. Views on his lifestyle aside, it's hard to deny what he did during the war isn't significant.