Tommy Robinson (whose real name reportedly is Stephen Lennon) is one of the founders of the English Defense League, which opposes mass Islamic immigration. On Friday, he was standing outside a courthouse where several Muslims were on trial for sex-related crimes, “reporting” on the trial via Facebook live, when he was arrested for breaching the peace. You can see the arrest in this video; as far as I can see, everything looks quite peaceful:
Tommy Robinson has been arrested in Leeds court for reporting on grooming gangs. More updates to follow pic.twitter.com/iEPDoNOKHM
— Caolan Robertson (@CaolanRob) May 25, 2018
Robinson was hauled before a judge and, apparently, was immediately sentenced. I think what happened is that the judge imposed a 13-month prison term that had been suspended, arising out of a similar incident:
But shortly after his arrest, a source with knowledge of the case told Fox News that he had been jailed for 13 months on a contempt-of-court charge.
A court listing indicated the case was “closed” by Friday afternoon.
One source said he was jailed in Hull Prison. The prison declined to comment to Fox News on whether Robinson was there. Leeds Crown Court also did not return a request for information.
According to The Independent, Robinson was already on a suspended sentence for contempt of court over a gang rape case in 2017.
In that case, Robinson wasn’t one of the rapists, he was trying to film or photograph the rapists, in violation of notices posted around the courthouse.
The court in the current case has imposed a press blackout on Robinson’s arrest and apparent jailing:
The judge in the case on Friday slapped a reporting ban on the case. The order bans reporters from reporting on a case if there is reason to believe the reporting could prejudice a trial. The order prevents reporting until the conclusion of the trial Robinson was reporting on.
The gag order led to news outlets in the U.K. removing their reporting from their websites to comply with the order. Most remaining reporting in the U.K. comments on Robinson’s arrest, but not on his purported sentencing.
Sources with knowledge of Robinson’s case spoke on condition of anonymity in part because of fear they would be arrested for contempt. One told Fox that Robinson’s lawyer warned that, considering the presence of Muslim gang members in prison, a 13-month sentence was tantamount to a death sentence.
Robinson’s supporters have been demonstrating at Whitehall:
It is too early to say where this will end, but this thought occurs to me: we have pointed out many times the fallacy of categorizing all opposition to mass immigration as “far right,” as the European press has unanimously done. This description is evidently intended to rule debate over immigration out of bounds. But the truth may be worse than that: perhaps being labeled “far right” can be a precursor to groundless arrest, secret trial and incarceration, and a ban on reporting.
In the U.K., anyway. It could never happen here, as America’s liberals are far too tolerant and too devoted to free speech.