Controversial anti-Islamic activist Tommy Robinson was freed from the Onley Prison in Warwickshire, England, on Wednesday after an appeals judge ruled that his trial had been rushed and he was not allowed to properly defend himself for allegedly defying a gag order on an ongoing court case. In May, Robinson was arrested, tried, and imprisoned for 13 months — all in a space of 24 hours — for live streaming footage of Muslim defendants accused of sexually abusing children.
“It is unclear what conduct was said to compromise a breach of that order and the appellant was sentenced on the basis of conduct which fell outside the scope of that order,” the judgement that released Robinson said.
Robinson will be retried on the charge later this year, but for now he is free and plans to join his family on vacation in Tenarife.
“Home sweet home,” an emotional Robinson declared on a YouTube video after his release. “I’ve got so much to say … but I feel axious.”
Robinson was reportedly segregated in the prison due to the high percentage of Muslims in the prison population and the fear that he would be assaulted or even killed. “What they tried to do was to mentally destroy me,” Robinson said. “That wasn’t a prison sentence, that was mental torture.”
Reporters attempted to interview Robinson as he left Onley Prison, but Robinson, a frequent target of the British press, was having none of it. “Why would I have anything to say to you? All you do is lie,” Robinson told one journalist. “The British public no longer believe you.”
Robinson, 35, first came to be known almost a decade ago when he co-founded the English Defence League, a group that spoke out against the growing presence of Islamic radicals in the United Kingdom. More recently, he has been acting as a citizen journalist exposing the growing problem of Islamic “grooming gangs,” which look to target and rape young English girls and women. For a time, the mainstream media ignored the issue of grooming gangs, but Robinson’s reporting and an increase in the number of these gangs throughout the country has forced Britain to address the problem.
On May 25, Robinson and his crew were live streaming outside Leeds Crown Court, where a grooming case was ongoing. Robinson showed live footage of several of the accused serial sexual abusers and read their names and charges to his audience. The end of the video shows Robinson being arrested by police.
Robinson’s arrest and subsequent imprisonment sparked international outrage and huge organized protests in Great Britain. Money to assist in Robinson’s legal battle began pouring in from all over the world via crowd-funding sites. Robinson’s case put a glaring spotlight on Great Britain’s intolerance of free speech when it comes to the country’s exploding Muslim population.
Charles Walker, a conservative member of parliament for Broxbourne, broached the subject directly to Prime Minister Theresa May last November. “When people make fun of Christianity in this country, it rightly turns the other cheek,” Walker said. “When a young gymnast, Louis Smith, makes fun of another religion widely practiced in this country, he is hounded on Twitter, by the media and suspended by his association. For goodness sake, Mr. Speaker, this man received death threats and we have all looked the other way. So, my question to the prime minister is this: What is going on in this country? Because I no longer understand the rules.”
May’s tepid and contradictory response is illustrative of the problem. “We value freedom of expression and freedom of speech in this country. That is absolutely essential in underpinning our democracy. But we also value tolerance to others. We also value tolerance in relation to religions.”
But May’s tolerance appears to be a one-way street. Recently, three friends of Robinson’s were denied entry into England simply because of their political views. Activists Lauren Southern of Canada, Brittany Pettibone of the United States, and Martin Sellner of Austria were all detained for two days before being allowed to leave the country.
What many British and international suppporters of Robinson are saying is, in a nutshell: Muslim mass immigration into Great Britain and much of Europe is causing problems. It’s fine to take in refugees, but those refugees have to realize that they are in a new country. They must adapt and assimilate to the laws of that country. Otherwise, it’s not immigration. It’s a slow and certain invasion. Tommy Robinson brings that very important issue out into the daylight, while many British political leaders prefer to keep it in the shadows, where they can’t be accused of racism and bigotry. But it’s neither racist or bigoted to insist that people, regardless of their religion, follow the laws of the country they live in. In fact, it’s crazy not to insist that.
Certainly, Tommy Robinson is a flawed individual. Besides this most recent imprisonment, he has run afoul of the law before, pleading guilty to two counts of fraud in an attempt to secure a mortgage. But he has done Great Britain and the world a service by exposing Muslim grooming gangs and the “no go” zones in England.
Ironically, Robinson's most recent prison stint may have only expanded his audience globally. And the crusader doesn’t seem to have any plans to go away soon.
“If I was bitter and angry I would accept my own victimhood,” Robinson said. “I’m not their victim. I’m their target.”
Image: screenshot from Tommy Robinson YouTube video