UK issues posthumous apology

2009-09-11 20:32

London - British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has apologised for the "inhumane" treatment of World War 2 code-breaker Alan Turing.

Turing, a brilliant mathematician, helped crack Nazi Germany's Enigma communications code - a turning point in the war.

But he was later convicted of gross indecency for having sex with a man and was sentenced to chemical castration by a series of injections of female hormones. Homosexuality was then illegal in Britain.

Turing committed suicide in 1954 aged 41.

Brown's apology appears in Friday's Daily Telegraph newspaper. It follows an internet petition that attracted more than 30 000 signatures.

Brown says Britain owed Turing gratitude and that he was horrified the scientist was "in effect, tried for being gay."

Brown said: "We're sorry, you deserved so much better."