Jailing Tommy Robinson is a Direct Assault on Freedom of Expression

Many thanks to Henrik Clausen for translating this op-ed from the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten:

Jailing Tommy Robinson is a Direct Assault on Freedom of Expression

By Aia Fog and Michael Pihl
Chairman / Board member, the Danish Free Press Society

Many aspects of the Tommy Robinson case should cause all kinds of alarm bells to go off. There is every good reason to take interest in this case, for this can turn out to be the canary in the coal mine.

[Photo caption (not shown): Everyone who has watched Tommy Robinson’s reporting from Leeds must admit that it did not constitute an attempt to interfere with just and proper court proceedings.]

Many were angered in England, Europe and the United States when the British free-speech activist and Islam-critic Tommy Robinson, in the course of just five hours, was arrested, convicted and sentenced to 13 months in prison, and subsequently jailed in a prison in Hull. The conviction was for “contempt of court”, because Robinson was live-streaming from a location outside the court in Leeds, reporting on a rape case.

According to his supporters, the verdict is wrong, and jailing Robinson is in reality due to the British authorities’ desire to shut up a critic for his reporting of inconvenient truths about developments in Great Britain.

But no, say the authorities and the mainstream media — Robinson had been warned, and jailing him is merely an instance of effective enforcement of the law. The only possible relevant aspect of this case is as a textbook example of how “Fake News” can rapidly whip up strong emotions.

The latter is a severe misrepresentation of the case, which certainly does not constitute “Fake News”, although it is quite a bit more complicated than most have presented it — and that includes proponents as well as opponents of Tommy Robison.

So let us look through the background of the recent jailing:

Back in June 2017, Robinson was convicted and sentenced to three months in prison, suspended, for contempt of court, with a trial period of 18 months. He had been filming some of the accused Pakistani men in front of the Canterbury Court building, in a case connected to the rape allegations in the so-called “Grooming Scandal”. During his reporting, he had expressed an opinion about their guilt by asking them questions such as “Why do you rape English girls?”, before the accused had been convicted.

Back then, Robinson was certainly out of line.

The question then is this: Was that also the case on Friday 25th of May in front of the Leeds court building? Was he acting in such a manner that one could say, without doubt, that his reporting constituted an attempt to influence the jurors, or interference with a fair trial and due process?

The only possible response to this question is a clear-cut ‘No’.

Everyone who has seen the reporting Tommy Robinson did from Leeds is bound to acknowledge that it did not constitute an attempt to interfere with the court proceedings. The judge who convicted Robinson could have ascertained this personally by taking the time to go through the reporting.

The absurd assumption behind jailing Robinson for more than a year — that his mere presence and peaceful reporting outside the court building would influence jurors and due process — is obviously absurd: Robinson only gave information that was freely available to anyone reading the public information from the court. He was not physically close to the jurors, and he made no attempt to influence the decision of the court.

Quite to the contrary, Robinson was showing great concern by systematically using the term “alleged criminals” about the defendants. On a similar note, the questions he asked outside the court building to the men accused of rape were only open questions, such as “How do you feel about the charges against you?” and “Are you feeling any remorse?” The latter question was the one that the judge, unreasonably, claimed to constitute an attempt to influence due process and take a position on the guilt question in advance.

Furthermore, even if one accepts the foolish claim that any reporting from a public road in front of a British court building inherently constitutes a “substantial risk” of influencing an ongoing case, the treatment of Robinson is unprecedented: Nobody has ever been sentenced to 13 months of prison for violating a ban of this type.

To make a comparison, if someone is given a suspended sentence for breaking the speed limit, he is obviously only to be jailed if he breaks the law again. Merely sitting down in the driver’s seat is not sufficient reason to jail him. Likewise, Tommy Robinson should also be sentenced to prison only if his suspended conviction for contempt of court is followed by more similar behaviour that has the potential to influence due process at court.

There are many circumstances surrounding the case against Tommy Robinson that should make every alarm bell go off. The very fact that Robinson was convicted in a summary trial — witnesses say that the case was over in just a few minutes — and the refusal to let him choose his defence are by any measure scandals against the rule of law.

But why would the British authorities be so keen on “dealing with” Tommy Robinson? There is no doubt that Robinson is a thorn in the side of the British authorities, whom he tirelessly has confronted with the consequences of the failed British multicultural experiment. That very much includes the incredibly disturbing and vile grooming scandals.

Over the last few years, Great Britain has witnessed a series of rather gruesome rape cases against young girls that take place in Muslim immigrant sections of society. It was subsequently discovered that the police, the legal system and the social authorities had made extensive politically motivated efforts to hide the true extent of these sexual crimes from the general public.

This was due to the fear of offending the Muslim immigrant sections of society by appearing to be racist. It would thus seem that those in power in Britain have, for political reasons, consciously and deliberately repressed information about violence and crimes against young, vulnerable women.

This is also true of the conviction of Robinson, and he has not exactly been quiet about it, just as he continuously and fearlessly has pointed out the significant problems with Islam, multiculturalism and integration that Britain suffers.

This has made him a hugely controversial character — hated by Islamists and so-called “anti-fascists” alike — Anti-fascists always on the spot to create violence and trouble when Robinson speaks in public. But rather than cracking down on those creating the unrest — Islamists and Antifa — the authorities perpetually opt for the easy way out: To shut him up for speaking an inconvenient truth. The recent conviction of Robinson therefore looks like yet another attempt by the British authorities to enforce an authoritarian violation of his right to free expression, in order to deprive those he speaks for from having a public voice.

For this is far from the first case of harassment from the authorities: Back in 2014, he was sentenced to 18 months in prison for having given incorrect banking information regarding a mortgage, a rather brutal punishment for a minor offence. Robinson warned the prison authorities against placing him in a cell with Muslim extremists — which the authorities nevertheless did right away: He was placed in the Woodhill prison in a cell with violent Islamists who — as soon as the cell door shut closed — assaulted him and attempted to kill him.

When in 2014 Robinson was invited to speak at the student society at Oxford University, his social advisor and municipal handlers insisted on limiting what he could say. In particular, they tried to keep him from saying anything about Islam. Later, she put pressure on him to abstain entirely from participating in the event, by implying that they might forcibly remove his children, based on her claim that they had some mysterious wounds on their knees.

The police have repeatedly attempted to put pressure on him by harassing him in front of his wife and his children: In connection with the case last year at the Court of Canterbury, the police woke the entire family up at 3 o’clock in middle of the night, in order to arrest Robinson — this in front of his wife and his terrified kids. An act entirely unheard of, considering the magnitude of the offence and the non-existent risk of escaping trial. The police also appeared at a pub where Robinson was having dinner with his family before going to watch a soccer match. In spite of Robinson’s protests and the pub owner’s insisting that Robinson was a peaceful guest, he was evicted from the pub.

Jailing Tommy Robinson is a direct assault on fundamental principles for rule of law — not least freedom of expression. This assault is even greater because it originates with the authorities, the police and the justice system, who have as their primary responsibility the defence of citizens against arbitrary rule and violations. There is every possible reason to follow the case against Tommy Robinson closely, for it can easily turn out to be the canary in the coal mine. It is a clear example of what can happen when authorities — due to a blend of ill-conceived respect for Muslim sentiment and fear of terrorism — are willing to sacrifice everything in order to maintain peace and order.

Freedom of expression may very well be one of the sacrifices of this process.

12 thoughts on “Jailing Tommy Robinson is a Direct Assault on Freedom of Expression

  1. You want to get really sick to your stomach, or, alternatively, have your head explode, watch Ezra Levant’s full interview with Tommy.

    The entire UK should be on suicide watch after seeing this. I sincerely believe it is too late to save that country, they are too far gone.

    I do not want to see Tommy become another Braveheart and lose his life for scum that don’t even appreciate the fact that he is trying to save them from a fate worse than death, i.e. being raped, assaulted and then murdered by the Muslim savages who have been allowed to take over the country.

    The thugs who are running the UK won’t rest till Tommy is dead. It is high time that Tommy take his beloved family and apply for political asylum in the USA. That is his only hope. Next time they get him in their clutches, they will be sure to do the job and kill him as soon as he goes back to jail. It is as clear as day that that’s what will happen.

    I hope and pray that Ezra or someone will talk some sense and help him escape from that hell hole of a miserable excuse for a country.

    https://vladtepesblog.com/2018/09/12/full-interview-with-tommy-robinson-by-ezra-levant/

    • Hey Baron,
      Why don’t you invite Tommy and his family for a two month visit during the holidays and pull a couple of strings to get a 60 day visitor’s visa. Once he is here safe and sound we can fill out the rest of the paperwork.

    • We are on the edge of WW3. Those “scum” as you call them are about to push Russia too far. Tommy Robinson and anybody still able to get out of UK and Europe better do so now. The political class will be far too concerned with the war they are about to unleash over Idlib to worry about Tommy Robinson and “Thought crime”. Theresa May and her ilk are naive and stupid to understand where their increasing arrogance has led them. The same arrogance that drove them to imprison Tommy and screw Brexit and the allow the Islamic takeover of Europe, that is now totally immersed in a 1400 years old internecine struggle for control of Islam- shia or sunni-Iran vs Saudi Arabia.

      Saudi Arabia’s behaviour in Yemen is a disgrace, as is the support and funding of Islamic State founded by them and the Obama administration. Israel is involved too, it seems. The obsession with Assad is utter folly. We are talking about nuclear war by the way. Russia has an economy the size of Italy.

      Russia faced with NATO on its borders will quickly resort to the nuclear option. It has no choice if it wishes to survive. Merkel meanwhile adds to her already folly laden madcap race to invite in more African “migrants” (colonists) despite the huge public demonstrations going on in Germany but unreported in MSM. We have in front of us the “perfect storm”. It seems the Socialist leftovers of the Cold War have finally achieved their aims to destroy Europe.

      I have been smeared for reporting the Chemnitz murders by a Leftist site pro-Jewish website, devoted to exposing hate crimes like reporting fact. It seems Israel too has its own traitors and “Useful Idiots”. I have family in Germany and they keep me informed from the “Horse’s mouth” as it were. They say the situation in Germany is terrible.

      Merkel is a DDR leftover. These people are incapable of admitting their mistakes so are quite prepared to throw humanity to the wind.

      • What makes you think the US will stay out of a nuclear exchange?

        The US seems to be developing some extremely effective weapons, including weapons designed to take out hardened underground sites. But, the US has almost no investment at all in civil defense, including population shelters and hardening of vital electronics and communications.

        So, a few stratospheric nuclear bursts producing strong EMT signals can cripple or eliminate US communications, transportation, electricity generation, and especially all operations dependent on satellite communications. There will be 350 million people, a large bulk of them in cities totally dependent on transportation of food and fuel, left to exist, and likely die, on their own.

        The fact that the US has a predominance in offensive weapons, and efficient anti-missile networks, indicates to me that the prospect of actual hostilities will put Russia on a hair trigger: the use-it or lose-it mentality that was discussed so much during the actual cold war. I actually can’t think of anything more dangerous than surrounding Russia with hostile, armed neighbors protected by a NATO pledge to go to war.

  2. And all this in Britian the so called bastion of freedom. This is the same “social credit” system as is written about in to-days” Gatestone Institute” blog. On this blog it tells how China is useing it’s 670 million surveylance cameras to punish or reward its citizens for their interaction with the state. Forget Nostrademus ….Orwell was right.

  3. Under Sharia Law, nothing can be said that in any way impugns the good name of the Prophet, challenges anything that he might have said, or question the veracity of what Allah has said or has revealed to the prophet. All of this falls under the heading of blasphemy against Allah and the prophet. Questioning the authority, reliability, or the content of the Qur’an is likewise forbidden. The penalty for even the slightest, or perceived infraction is death, usually by beheading.
    Given the present state of England in which any public expression is required to support the narrative in place as evinced by this article implies that Sharia Law is already in place with de facto, if not de jure, status. It has become rather obvious recently, both in Europe and America, that it is not what is written as law but what is enforced, and upon whom. What we have now in England and Europe is what Messrs. Orwell and Huxley foretold. What we have in America is beginning to resemble the opening chapters of Fahrenheit 451 in which the dictatorship of corporate managed consumerism has replaced representative government. We were warned in the aftermath of World War II about what could come to pass. The warnings, as were Cassandra’s, were dismissed as so many fairy tales with teachers saying that such things could never happen here (High School, Class of ’71). Well, it has, and we were warned, but in our hubris we never bothered to fully inspect the horse we were given. Now it quite likely too late as some would prefer to see as dead any who would disagree with them. The Lord God help us all, we be in for a blow, Florence not withstanding.
    BTW, our prayers for the good Baron and his family for their continued safety, health, and well-being.

  4. “It is a clear example of what can happen when authorities — due to a blend of ill-conceived respect for Muslim sentiment and fear of terrorism — are willing to sacrifice everything in order to maintain peace and order.”

    A very good point. That is what Britain has become, papering over the cracks, sweeping under the carpet all evidence the multicultural immigration experiment has failed.

    • I’m sorry to say you are quite right. This recent tweet from the South Yorkshire Police shows them not only ignoring real crime in favour of trivial crime but threatening to use powers they don’t have to stop non-crimes:

      “In addition to reporting hate crime, please report non-crime hate incidents, which can include things like offensive or insulting comments, online, in person or in writing. Hate will not be tolerated in South Yorkshire. Report it and put a stop to it”.

      https://www.breitbart.com/london/2018/09/10/uk-police-urges-public-report-non-crime-hate-incidents/

      I find this staggering and marking a serious step toward something like totalitarian thinking in which the authorities have lost their understanding of what they are allowed and obliged to do as opposed to enforcing their own political agenda.

      I wonder what will happen when they truly misuse their powers to stop someone saying something they are quite entitled to say. Will Liberty (I think the US equivalent is the ACLU) and all those lawyers who know the difference between law and not law make a noise? I doubt it because they haven’t when the police paid people a visit to intimidate them over disobliging comments they made on Facebook about a certain religio-political ideology.

      ps. when was hate ever a crime? I always tried to avoid hate but if the Police Force who allowed Rotherham to happen under their noses are against it I may have to consider taking it up.

  5. A couple of Danish reporters grew enough common sense to see that the Tommy Robinson imprisonment was wrong, and enough balls to actually report it…incredible!

  6. To fear of Muslims and their terrorism, it might be added government corruption. There are those apparently in England who are benefiting by allowing this to continue. Are they clients? Are they paid off? We know they have covered it up and we know they are corrupt. How corrupt and in how many ways corrupt – those are the questions. And that is why the government hushes this up. This is why life is so dangerous for whistle-blowers such as Robinson.

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