Tommy Robinson case gag order on British media lifted in the face of worldwide protest
When Tommy Robinson was arrested for live-streaming a report outside the Leeds courthouse where members of an alleged Muslim grooming gang who allegedly forced young British girls into prostitution, and the court quickly imposed a gag order on U.K. media reporting it, outrage (and an overseas legal defense fund) quickly followed. (See my writing about it here, here, and here.)
In the words of Washington Post writer Avi Selk:
The gag order backfired, turning English Defense League founder Tommy Robinson into a sort of free-speech martyr to conservatives such as Donald Trump Jr. and Roseanne Barr before the gag order was lifted Tuesday.
Selk's report, incidentally, drips with contempt toward Robinson, calling him "[o]ne of Britain's most notorious anti-Muslim campaigners" (emphasis added).
Robinson wants to halt Muslim immigration and focuses on the crime statistics and the violent jihad activity that have resulted from large scale Muslim immigration.
Selk presents the rationale for gagging reporting:
It's illegal in Britain to report the details of some trials before they conclude – a long-standing law designed to prevent the news from biasing juries and causing prosecutions to collapse, according to Leeds Live.
Oddly enough, even though the Washington Post's motto, "Democracy Dies in Darkness," appears at the top of the web page featuring Selk's article, he nowhere discusses this concept with regard to the gag order.
Not everyone thinks arresting someone for speaking and then forbidding any media discussion of the arrest is consistent with a free society. Zerohedge has collected some of the overseas support for Robinson and outrage at the gag order:
Free speech advocates and supporters of Robinson's movement from Melbourne to Berlin came out by the thousands to protest the Friday arrest outside of Leeds Crown Court while Robinson was reporting on a pedophile grooming trial via Facebook livestream. Within six hours of his detention, Robinson was slapped with a 13 month prison term for violating a prior suspended sentence for a similar offense. ...
Mass protests broke out following Robinson's arrest – the largest of which was a crowd of thousands in the UK, demonstrating at the gates of Downing Street to demand the release of the conservative activist. ...
Thousands protest the instant jailing of citizen-journalist Tommy Robinson, while social media goes dark after take-down notices. Is he out of order? Or does he have a point to make on free speech? Interesting Times for the UK. #FreeTommy #citizenjournalist pic.twitter.com/yk5qxCF3zT— John Leet (@JohnLeetAuthor) May 27, 2018
The protests were not limited to the English-speaking world. The problems associated with mass Muslim immigration have sparked protest movements in many European countries:
...including Europe's economic giant, Germany:
Ein guter Tag für Deutschland. Ein Albtraum für die #antifa. Für die #ZukunftDeutschland|s waren heute >5.000 Patrioten auf Berlins Straßen. Die Botschaft ist angekommen: die #AfD gibt unser Land nicht auf. @AfDimBundestag #AfDdemo #AfDwirkt pic.twitter.com/dcToRWOSHa— Petr Bystron (@PetrBystronAfD) May 27, 2018
The Google Translate version:
A good day for Germany. A nightmare for the # antifa . For the # future Germany | s today were> 5,000 patriots on the streets of Berlin. The message has arrived: the # AfD does not give up our country. @ AfDimBundestag # AfDdemo # AfDwirkt
And even in Israel:
The U.K. major media reports, now allowed, do not exhibit much sympathy for Robinson. See the Guardian, the BBC, and even the Daily Mail (which to its credit does mention Robinson's fears of a "price on his head" in prison).
The thing feared most by the U.K. political and media establishment (and those of other E.U. nations, notably including Sweden) is widespread discussion of the problems associated with mass immigration of adherents of a religion that teaches jihad as the obligation of its adherents, and which specifically sanctions violence to that end. They now have that. I hope they do realize that the death of Robinson while in custody would make him a global martyr and keep him isolated from the general prison population.