by WorldTribune Staff, May 28, 2018
A British judge ordered a blackout on press coverage of the arrest of an activist who was live-streaming outside the court where a group of mostly Muslim men are on trial for being part of a pedophile gang.
Tommy Robinson, founder of the English Defense League, was arrested and reportedly jailed on May 25 after he filmed members of an alleged child grooming gang outside Leeds Crown Court.
In the UK, judges can ban the media from reporting on a case if there is reason to believe the reporting could prejudice a trial. The order in Robinson’s case prevents reporting until the conclusion of the trial the activist was covering.
A group of 29 defendants are being tried for sex offenses against children, split into three trials. Robinson was arrested at the second trial, while the first is ongoing.
The grooming gangs are accused of abusing over 700 women and girls
Video shows Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Lennon, being surrounded by as many as seven police officers as he live-streamed the incident on his phone. The police informed him he was being arrested for “breach of the peace,” Fox News reported.
Within hours of his arrest, Robinson reportedly received a 13-month prison term for violating a prior suspended sentence for a similar offense. A judge banned media outlets from covering the incident with several removing reports which had already been published, Zero Hedge reported.
Robinson was admonished last year by Judge Heather Norton for filming outside a gang rape case in Canterbury. He received a three month suspended sentence on the condition that he cease his coverage of the trials.
“This is not about free speech, not about the freedom of the press, nor about legitimate journalism, and not about political correctness,” Norton told Robinson at the time.
Upon hearing of Robinson’s arrest, UK Independence Party leader and European MP Gerard Batten tweeted: “I am hearing reports that Tommy Robinson has been arrested for ‘a breach of the peace’ while live-streaming a report on a grooming gang (sex slave) trial at Leeds Crown Court. Further reports say he has received a custodial sentence. What kind of Police state have we become?”
Actress Roseanne Barr tweeted: “Pedos and their agents are now arresting those who oppose them, in ENGLAND! #FreeTommyRobinson”
The UK has denied entry to a number of activists who have been critical of Islamic extremism, the Fox News report said.
Canadian activist and journalist Lauren Southern was turned away in March shortly after she had made a video in Luton, an English town with a relatively high Muslim population, and put out a stall declaring: “Allah is gay” as an experiment to see what the reaction would be.
Also in March, “Generation Identity” activists Martin Sellner and Brittany Pettibone were refused entry to the UK after being judged that their presence was also “not conducive to the public good.”
U.S. radio talk show host Michael Savage and blogger Pamela Geller have also been banned from entering the UK.
U.S. President Donald Trump has also faced calls from British politicians to be banned from the UK over his views on immigration and his travel ban. Trump is scheduled to visit the UK in July.
A full list of those on trial in the grooming gangs case was published by The Sun.