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    UK: Court-ordered News Blackout Lifted in Tommy Robinson Case

    UK: Court-ordered News Blackout Lifted in Tommy Robinson Case

    Who Was Arrested for Reporting on Sex Grooming Gang Trial

    https://twitter.com/CaolanRob/status/999936555862065152

    Very often happy to be an American, especially with things like this happening across the pond.

    Sunday, Fuzzy Slippers blogged about the Tommy Robinson case. Robinson, an activist, “was arrested Friday while filming alleged child sex grooming gang members entering court for trial,” Fuzzy blogged.

    Tommy Robinson, the outspoken English activist who founded the English Defence League (EDL) only to later leave when it became too extreme, was arrested Friday while filming alleged child sex grooming gang members entering court for trial.

    One of the arresting officers told Robinson that he was being arrested for “suspicion of breach of peace.”

    That same day, Robinson, who was on a suspended sentence from a contempt of court arrest last year, had his suspended sentence revoked and was apparently immediately jailed.

    Details are sketchy because the judge ordered a complete blackout on reporting of the incident, and as a result, news media—including Breitbart News—were required to remove their stories.

    The resulting confusion about Robinson’s arrest, freedom of speech and of the press in the UK, varying reports of Robinson’s 13-, 14-, or 18-month prison term, and concerns about his safety in prison have flooded the internet with outrage and indignation, some righteous, some not.

    …The list goes on.

    The deep and abiding irony is that the judge’s decision to instate a news blackout has brought far more attention to the case than had it been treated with transparency.

    Tuesday morning, the judge lifted the news blackout on Robinson’s arrest.

    With the news blackout lifted, outlets were able to confirm Robinson was sentenced to 13 months for contempt of court:

    Bruce Bawer writing for the Gatestone Institute, a portion of which was republished by Powerline, discusses the genuine concern coming from onlookers in England and Canada:

    Carl Benjamin, who produces video commentary under the name “Sargon of Akkad,” is a popular British YouTuber who has somewhere around a million subscribers, and who routinely criticizes Islam, identity politics, and political correctness with wit and panache. He is generally a lively, free-wheeling, sardonic fellow, but in the two-hour-plus video he posted on Saturday about the Robinson case, he was uncharacteristically sober, exceedingly cautious, and at times even sounded mournful.

    “I did tell you that Britain isn’t a free country, didn’t I?” he said a minute or so into his video. “I’ve been saying it for ages… and nobody listens.” He made it clear he was not about to violate the gag order — not, as he put it, about to “blunder into the jaws of the beast, in much the same way as I guess Tommy has,” and thus “deliberately put myself in the line of fire with the UK government, giving them just cause to arrest me.”

    Benjamin is a gutsy guy, so it was unsettling to hear him speak this way. The look on his face somehow brought home the dark reality underlying Robinson’s fast-track arrest, trial, conviction and incarceration. Benjamin emphasized that the most “sensible” thing for someone like himself [Benjamin] to do right now — he used that word, “sensible,” repeatedly — is to do his best to stay out of jail so that he can continue to speak up. “I am in a country that is not free,” he repeated gravely. “My options are limited… I feel jealous as hell of you guys in America. You don’t know how lucky you are.”

    The upside — and the irony — of this case is that the gag order, while silencing the British news media, has caused people around the world to take notice. To be sure, a quick tour of major mainstream newspaper websites in Western Europe, North America and around the Anglosphere turned up nothing. But on alternative news sites around Europe, the story was front and center. The Fox News website reported on Robinson’s arrest — but even Fox, frustratingly, insisted on calling him a “right-wing activist.”

    Judi McLeod, editor of the Canada Free Press, began her article:

    “Where is Tommy Robinson? A question whose answer should be demanded rather than merely asked…. Modern day Merry England has become far more nightmare than fairytale, as it steadily works its way toward ugly police state status.”

    McLeod also challenged Fox’s label for Robinson: “‘Right wing activist’? How about civil rights activist or humanitarian activist?”

    With so much focus on our own domestic cultural issues, it’s easy to forget just how lucky we are, as Benjamin point out, “My options are limited… I feel jealous as hell of you guys in America. You don’t know how lucky you are.”

    Lucky, indeed.

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    Comments



     
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    randian | May 29, 2018 at 7:25 pm

    A number of alleged things stand out about this case

    1) The police telling Tommy’s lawyer that he had been released
    2) The judge not allowing him his own lawyer, requiring him to use a public defender instead
    3) That public defender supposedly telling him that if he plead guilty he’d get a month or so at the most
    4) But there seems to have been no formal plea agreement, since those usually include a sentence guarantee in exchange for the plea
    5) Instead, he gets 10 months tacked onto the remaining 3, with no explanation
    6) If UK law is like US law, a guilty plea can’t be appealed, which means Tommy’s lawyer screwed him, possibly in collusion with the sentencing judge given the sketchy means by which that lawyer was appointed

      Who’s alleging it? I’m sure you’ve seen my interest in this case is high. We need accurate information and sourcing.


         
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        randian in reply to JBourque. | May 29, 2018 at 11:21 pm

        That Tommy’s lawyer was told he’d been released is straight from the lawyer himself, in an interview video on YouTube with Lauren Southern. He said he waited several hours without any communication from anyone about Tommy. He also said he didn’t know Tommy had instead been convicted and sent to jail until a Twitter message told him.

        That he had plead guilty and was assigned a public defender by the judge is a rumor circulating on YouTube. Many are saying if he plead guilty he must be guilty, never mind the extremely coercive situation he was in. The other possibility is he didn’t have a lawyer at all, he was sent to jail on a forged plea.

        As I said, the guilty plea detail is important, because he may not be able to appeal it.

          This nuttiness is a perfect example of court secrecy backfiring. There should be transcripts, an official account of the plea, the name of the state-appointed attorney, etc. Citizens of free countries should not have to guess what happened through rumor.


     
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    InEssence | May 29, 2018 at 11:04 pm

    There is a possibility that the judge was bribed by those who wanted Tommy in prison.


     
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    Zumkopf | May 30, 2018 at 10:57 am

    Am I missing something, or is the underlying news blackout regarding the Muslim rape gang trial still in effect? I’m not much impressed by the Court unblocking the news that Tommy Robinson was hustled off to jail for violating a pre-existing order, when the underlying order seems to be “Tommy, don’t you dare report about Muslim-linked crime in the UK.” Either way, the Star Chamber seems alive and well in Britain. [Hard to call it “Great” anymore…]

    There is another “side” to this story written by an English barrister which appears to be a very good explanation of what happened, why it happened, and how the outrage over this may not be fact based.

    https://thesecretbarrister.com/2018/05/25/what-has-happened-to-poor-tommy-robinson/

    There are differences in American and English law and it seems wrong in some ways to try and apply one to the other.


     
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    clayusmcret | May 30, 2018 at 10:02 pm

    This situation reminds me of D’Souza being quickly railroaded into prison by the obama administration.

      And the guy who made the anti-Muslim video the Obama admin tried to blame for Benghazi.

      We have so many laws, that anyone is likely breaking numerous laws each day without even knowing it. Here’s a chilling statement:

      “There is no one in the United States over the age of 18 who cannot be indicted for some federal crime,” retired Louisiana State University law professor John Baker told the Wall Street Journal in July 2011. “That is not an exaggeration.”

      https://www.nationalreview.com/2015/05/too-many-laws-means-too-many-criminals/

      Everyone, then, is ripe to become a political prisoner should they become a problem for the state . . . or should the state need a scapegoat.

      It’s scary business, particularly so if you think of a Hillary Clinton in the White House.

        Hey, Fuzzy, and by the way nice to speak with you (a first for me), but on a different website I was presented with a link to a British attorney purporting to “clarify” this whole mess. While I somewhat winced at the part about foreign news outlets defying the gag order (the gag order only applies to the sovereign territory of the UK, right…?) it still seemed packed with considerable information.

        https://thesecretbarrister.com/2018/05/25/what-has-happened-to-poor-tommy-robinson/

        To wit, the UK has procedures to try and convict for criminal contempt of court with extreme speed. This actually does not surprise me. Robinson picked a fight with a judge and the UK has taken a dim view of that for centuries. But, the gag order added a special level of craziness to the affair.

          Hey JBourque, I see what you are saying about the varying laws, but my point in response to clayusmcret was that such dealings are shifty and political. We can spend all day talking about whether or not a guy who defies a court blackout has committed a crime, but does anyone really think that if that person hadn’t been the celebrated and unjustly demonized Tommy Robinson, this would have happened?

          Did you watch the vid? What was he doing? Even the few people standing around didn’t even understand that he was being arrested until he said so. This was a political hit job, and it was designed to kill two birds with one stone: keep the UK’s “Muslim problem” under wraps and dispatch a high-profile political dissident.

          It’s worth remembering that no tyrannical government has violated laws to arrest, starve, torture, and murder political dissidents. What they do is “lawful,” and in a sense, that’s exactly what makes it tyranny.

          Oh, and as an aside, I am thrilled to be speaking with you, JBourque. I love your comments and can’t even believe that we’ve never interacted one-on-one before. So glad we are now. 🙂

            I didn’t see the vid yet. I have some background into how the UK deals with these cases from just paying general attention to the UK a few times over the last 20 years, but suffice to say I still find this story VERY strange, esp. Robinson being represented by legal aid and not his existing lawyer. A lot of people have an issue with that part and for good reason.


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