Richard O’Dwyer petition reaches 200,000 signatures

The petition calls on the UK government to stop O’Dwyer’s extradition to the US

An online petition against the extradition of Sheffield Hallam student Richard O’Dwyer to the US has gained over 200,000 signatures in less than a week.

O’Dwyer, 24, faces up to ten years in an American jail for alleged copyright breaches involving TVShack.net, a website which provided links to sites that host TV shows and films.

The petition, which is the fastest growing Change.org petition in the UK, was launched by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.

It calls on the Home Secretary, Theresa May, to cancel her permission to extradite O’Dwyer. 

In a statement Wales said: “America is trying to prosecute a UK citizen for an alleged crime which took place on UK soil.

“The internet as a whole must not tolerate censorship in response to mere allegations of copyright infringement. As citizens we must stand up for our rights online.”

O’Dwyer’s extradition to America has attracted criticism from several public figures after his TVShack.net website was not hosted in the US.

The hashtag #SaveRichard has also been seen trending high on Twitter for days, after the petition picked up a large amount of US support on Change.org.

As of 8pm July 1, the petition had accumulated over 201,417 signatures.

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