A petition calling on the government to launch an independent review into the judicial treatment of ex-founder and leader of the English Defence Leader (EDL), Tommy Robinson, is gaining momentum. At the time of writing, the open letter to David Cameron has gained almost 3,000 signatures.
The petitioners claims that Robinson has been subject to unfair bail conditions, which are “completely unrelated” to his conviction for mortgage fraud, and are aimed at deliberately restricting his freedom or speech. The letter also accuses police of not taking threats made against him and his family seriously.
Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, was sentenced to 18 months in prison in January 2014 for conspiring with others to obtain a mortgage by misrepresentation. He argued that he merely lent some money to a friend.
Robinson was released and then recalled in October last year, days before he was due to address the Oxford Union. When he eventually spoke at the famous debating society at the end of December, he said that, “certain things I was going to say would result in me getting recalled back to prison.”
Adding: “I haven’t got the same freedom of speech as everyone else has got then… I was going to expose certain things about the police, but that will have to hold now.”
Bedfordshire Police recalled Robinson twice in July for “breaching his licence condition,” and the amount he is required to pay back to the court for the fraud conviction was increased without warning.
The IB Times reports that Robinson was explicitly forbidden from participation in free speech events such as the draw Mohammad competition until his bail conditions expired at the end of July – thus the date of the planned event.
However, the event was cancelled because of police pressure after Robinson was recalled to jail. Left-wing campaign group Hope Not Hate claimed in a report that his arrest “appeared to be an attempt by the authorities to prevent him from getting in the [London draw Mohammad] cartoon plot.”
In January 2013, Robinson was jailed for 10 months after being found guilty of using someone else’s passport to travel to the US. He spent almost the entire sentence in solitary and was moved to four different jails for his safety.
However, when he was locked up after being recalled for the first time last month, Robinson claims to have been put in a “wing full of Muslims” to put his life “deliberately” in danger and “ultimately be killed.”
He claims a bounty of £500 worth of drugs was put on his head because he is the “biggest trophy for any Muslim in the system wanting to make a name for themselves,” and that two men, including a murderer, accepted the challenge.
Robinson was involved in an altercation with one of the men, which he claims was in self-defence, as the man was allegedly planning to attack Robinson with boiling water. The man – a Somalian – says the altercation was racially aggravated and claims Robinson called him a “Paki.”
Robinson awaits trial.