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    UK Judge Orders News Blackout Following Arrest Of Tommy Robinson For Reporting On Sex Grooming Gang Trial

    UK Judge Orders News Blackout Following Arrest Of Tommy Robinson For Reporting On Sex Grooming Gang Trial

    Judge asserts his live streaming posed a danger to the trial integrity, and reports about the arrest were scrubbed from publications

    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.

    Fox News reports:

    U.K. right-wing activist and journalist Tommy Robinson was arrested and reportedly jailed Friday after he filmed members of an alleged child grooming gang entering a court for trial — but the details of his purported sentence remain murky after the judge ordered the press not to report on the case.

    Robinson, the former head of the English Defense League and a longtime activist against Islam and Islamic migration, was arrested after he was filming men accused of being part of a gang that groomed children. Britain has been rocked by a series of child sex scandals perpetuated by gangs of predominantly Muslim men.

    Video shows Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Lennon, being surrounded by as many as seven police officers as he livestreamed the incident on his phone. The police informed him he was being arrested for “breach of the peace.”

    Fox News continues:

    . . . .  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.

    The news blackout left many bewildered and angry.^tfw^tfw^tfw

    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.

    One aspect of all of this that has created a great deal of genuine concern is Robinson’s safety in prison.

    Fox News continues:

    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.

    “Tommy’s lawyer said he will likely die in jail given his profile and previous credible threats, and the judge basically said he doesn’t care,” the source said. “He sentenced him to 13 months in prison.”

    These are not idle or unfounded concerns.  In 2016, a man jailed in Britain for placing bacon sandwiches in front of the door of a mosque and a flag that had “no mosques” written on it was found dead in his jail cell.

    The Daily Mail reported at the time:

    A man jailed after leaving bacon sandwiches outside a mosque has been found dead in his cell.

    Kevin Crehan, 35, was halfway through a one-year prison sentence he received in July after admitting the racially-motivated attack on the Jamia Mosque in Bristol earlier this year.

    . . . . A St George flag with the words ‘no mosques’ was also tied to the fence outside the building in Totterdown, Bristol, and shouted racial abuse at a worshipper.

    In her ruling at Robinson’s sentencing last year, Judge Norton noted the defense’s concern about Robinson’s safety in prison but stated that “a very large part of me thinks, so what?”

    The judge ultimately suspended his sentence, but this is quite a chilling remark.

    Concerns about Robinson’s safety have been shared on Twitter, and a “free Tommy Robinson” petition has been started.

    Free Tommy protesters flooded Downing Street, demanding Robinson’s release.


    [Edited for clarity, FS.  5/27/18, 8:50 p.m.:  Clarifying that the judge in the 2017 case is Judge Norton, not the same judge who ruled Friday, Judge Marson]


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    davod | May 29, 2018 at 6:08 am

    Someone is going to appeal the gag order.

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