“I am here because I am shocked and outraged. What happened in the United Kingdom last week is an absolute disgrace,” the Dutch parliamentarian said while standing outside the UK Embassy in the Hague. “Freedom of speech is being violated all over Europe, and also in Britain. The lights of freedom are going out. Islam critics are taken to court, jailed, or targeted with fatwas.”
Calling Robinson a “freedom fighter,” Wilders called on the UK – “once a bastion of freedom of speech” – to stop “behaving like North Korea and Saudi Arabia” and “gagging its people” while Muslims are “pampered, protected and defended.”
Tommy Robinson was jailed on Friday, after live streaming from outside the courthouse in Leeds, initially for a trumped up pre-planned “intent to breach the peace,” charge, though he did not actually have a chance to broadcast anything before he was hauled away. Robinson was then reportedly ordered by the judge to serve out a conditional 13-month sentence for contempt of court, handed down last year for a similar incident, in which he turned up outside a live court hearing as a “citizen reporter.”
There are fears for his well being as a price has apparently been put on his head by Islamist Extremists in jail. Robinson is currently believed to be in Hull Prison, according to social media reports.
In an extremely rare and over the top action, the judge ordered a media blackout of the coverage of the case Robinson attended “to avoid a substantial risk to the administration of justice in these proceedings.” More unusually, the details of the Robinson arrest and sentencing itself have also fallen under the media ban, at least until the end of the current trial.
This led to a situation where multiple outlets, including major UK media publications and RT, were forced to delete articles mentioning where he is being kept and for what crime, even if those pieces had no specifics about the proceedings he himself intended to report on.
UPDATE 2: Mirror's article on Tommy Robinson's arrest is ALSO GONE.
Media stories are being SUPPRESSED.
— Nick Monroe (@nickmon1112) May 25, 2018
This appears to have had the opposite of the intended effect, and not only have several outlets left their original pieces on the 35-year-old activist easily accessible, but hundreds of Robinson’s supporters held a widely-covered march on Downing Street on Sunday, demanding his release.
A petition asking Prime Minister Theresa May to free Robinson has collected over 416,000 signatures seen here:.
Robinson’s supporters, which included a UKIP MEP, have criticized the activist’s legally-mandated disappearance from news reports as “Orwellian.” Wilders, who was recently banned from entering the UK despite leading the largest opposition party in the Dutch Parliament, has made a diplomatic inquiry to British authorities over the jailing, particularly expressing concern about Robinson’s safety while in custody.
— Geert Wilders (@geertwilderspvv) May 26, 2018