Over the weekend the UK, and the social media connected world, witnessed the stunning arrest of Tommy Robinson for “breaching the peace” outside a Leeds court during an explosive grooming gang trial.
Robinson showed the accused men entering Leeds Crown Court in a livestream on Facebook, where he was “reporting” on the grooming gang case.
After more than an hour of broadcasting, footage showed police officers approaching to arrest him for alleged breach of the peace and “incitement” of court.
Robinson was under a suspended sentence for committing contempt of court over a similar gang rape case in Canterbury last year.
Judge Heather Norton handed him a three months imprisonment in May last year but suspended it for 18 months on the condition he did not commit further offenses.
Within six hours of his arrest, Robinson was sentenced to 13 months in prison.
Fox News reported that UK officials placed an unprecedented gag order on media to vainly keep the disappearance of Tommy Robinson hidden from the public.
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.”
The head of UKIP says the UK media gag order was beyond authoritarian.
“What kind of police state have we become?” tweeted U.K. Independence Party leader and European MP Gerard Batten.
“I am trying to recall a legal case where someone was convicted of a ‘crime’ which cannot be reported on.”
“Where he can be cast into prison without it being possible to report his name, offence, or place of imprisonment for fear of contempt of court,” he added.
On Saturday, hundreds of demonstrators descended on central London in support of Robinson, demanding he be freed. The demonstrations have even spread to Australia, with protests hitting the streets of Sydney and Melbourne.
A petition calling for his release has gathered more than 300,000 signatures.
The journalist and founder of the English Defence League, has been speaking out against the threat of Islamic extremism for nearly a decade.
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