Britain’s Prime Minister and Attorney General have been asked to confirm what Lauri Love’s supporters have long suspected, that despite widespread public concern, Theresa May has yet to ask Donald Trump to allow the British electrical engineering student to be tried in the UK.
Lauri Love faces extradition to the United States and a possible 99 year prison sentence, for his alleged participation in the series of online protests that followed the death of Aaron Swartz almost four years ago. Love has diagnoses of Asperger Syndrome, major depression and physical conditions including antibiotic resistant eczema. In September last year, a District Judge accepted the evidence of family and eminent medical experts that Lauri presented a real risk of suicide should he be extradited.
Confirmation from Downing Street is sought in response to a new letter from 73 Members Of Parliament, which requests that Prime Minister Theresa May and the Attorney General Sir Jeremy Wright ask their American counterparts to cede jurisdiction in Love’s case to the UK. The three initial signatories are Barry Sheerman, Heidi Allen and Culture Minister Matt Hancock, signing in his capacity as Lauri Love’s constituency MP.
Myself and 70+ MPs from across the House are deeply concerned for Lauri’s life if his extradition order goes ahead. We strongly urge that the Attorney General make representations to the US to ensure that Lauri’s extradition is halted and he is instead tried at home #TrialatHome
— Barry Sheerman (@BarrySheerman) November 20, 2017
Read the letter to the Attorney General and see who signed it here:
This is not the first time Parliamentarians have expressed concerns about Love’s case. Another cross-party letter was sent to Barack Obama a year ago and David Burrowes, then MP for Enfield Southgate, raised the case at Prime Minister’s Questions.
Naomi Colvin from the Courage Foundation, which runs Lauri Love’s defence fund and support campaign, said:
To the best of my knowledge, and that of Lauri’s legal team and his family, the UK government has not made any kind of representation to Donald Trump asking for us to be able to try Lauri here instead of him being extradited to the United States. More than a hundred MPs signed a letter to Barack Obama last year about Lauri and I don’t think the government did anything to act on those concerns either.
One week to go: get involved
Lauri Love’s appeal hearing will be heard on 28-29 November at the Royal Courts of Justice in central London, before Lord Chief Justice Sir Ian Burnett. Liberty are intervening in the appeal and Love’s legal team is expected to offer new evidence. Courage has produced a media briefing about the appeal.
For the three Sundays leading up the appeal date, supporters have been running tweetstorms calling for a #TrialAtHome. More actions are planned for the coming week. If your MP didn’t sign the latest letter, you can still write to them expressing your concerns for Lauri.
Donations to the defence fund are hugely appreciated. And, of course, showing support at the court on the 28th and 29th really makes a difference. There’s a facebook event if you think you can make it – be prepared to come early with banners and artwork!