Law enforcement in the United Kingdom arrested right-wing activist Tommy Robinson. Robinson was holding a Facebook live stream, where he claimed to be reporting on the case. After an hour passed, police officers approached Robinson and arrested him for breach of the peace and incitement.
Robinson immediately asked his viewers to get him a solicitor. Police searched him and later escorted into a police van. Robinson said he did nothing. Robinson said the verdicts were due on Friday, but the court reported that the trial was ongoing. Robinson was reporting on a trial involving 29 defendants who were facing charges in relation to child sex abuse and neglect.
Tommy Robinson is the founder of the English Defense League. He said this was not contempt of court. In the United Kingdom, contempt of court is a criminal offense that can land people in jail for speeches and publications that allegedly risks the “course of justice” in the proceedings will be impeded or prejudiced. Last year Robinson was sentenced for committing contempt of court in Canterbury.
Last May, Judge Heather Norton sentenced to three months imprisonment but suspended it for 18 months with the rule being he will not commit further offenses. At the time Judge Norton said the issue was not about free speech but about justice and making sure a trial is fair and not being affected by irresponsible and false reporting.
Robinson originally broadcasted his work on Twitter but was recently banned from the platform. Since he launched the English Defense League, he has been arrested multiple times during fights and demonstrations. In 2014, he was sent to jail for mortgage fraud.
Tommy Robinson’s producer Caolan Robertson said that Robison was just reading information that was already made publicly available. Robertson even said they were careful and spoke in a way to not risk being held in contempt of court. Published videos show Robinson walking past the accused rapists and goading them.
Independent journalist and activist Lauren Southern reported via YouTube that Robinson was being sent to prison and said that it was a death sentence, because of the massive Muslim population in the prison. It’s unclear where Robinson currently is right now, but the reality of how the United Kingdom is censoring its own people, for simply speaking out on certain issues. Apparently, free speech only applies to those who the UK approves of.
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