World War Two code breaker Alan Turing's great niece and nephew have announced they will be delivering a star-studded petition requesting a pardon for their late relative to U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron later this week (ends20Feb15).
Rachel Barnes and Nevil Hunt will travel to Downing Street in London to hand deliver the petition, which sparked a worldwide movement to demand pardons for the estimated 49,000 men who, like Turing, were convicted of consenting same-sex relations under anti-gay laws.
Newlywed Benedict Cumberbatch, who is Oscar nominated for his role as Turing in The Imitation Game, is one of the many celebrities whose names appear on the list.
He says, "Alan Turing was not only prosecuted, but quite arguably persuaded to end his own life early, by a society who called him a criminal for simply seeking out the love he deserved, as all human beings do.
"Sixty years later, that same government claimed to 'forgive' him by pardoning him. I find this deplorable, because Turing’s actions did not warrant forgiveness - theirs did - and the 49,000 other prosecuted men deserve the same."
Cumberbatch's co-stars Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Allen Leech and Rory Kinnear and Matt Damon, Bryan Cranston, James Corden, filmmaker Lee Daniels and Rosie O'Donnell are also among the 340,000 who have added their signatures to the petition.