23:12 GMT18 May 2021
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    The co-founder of the right-wing English Defence League, Tommy Robinson, has been sentenced for violating a law on courtroom reporting after streaming outside a closed criminal trial.

    US Ambassador for International Religious Freedom and former Senator Sam Brownback has raised the issue of English Defence League (EDL) co-founder Tommy Robinson's imprisonment in talks with Sir Kim Darroch, the UK's ambassador to the US, Reuters reported on July 14. The news agency cited an anonymous British official and two other anonymous sources close to the organizers of the protests in London in support of freeing Robinson.

    According to Reuters, Brownback expressed concern at how Robinson's case has been handled, allegedly warning the UK envoy that if the EDL co-founder isn't treated "sympathetically," Trump's administration could criticize the UK government in regards to its handling of the case. Neither Brownback, nor Darroch have commented on the news, while a US State Department spokesman has said that the sources' information is "completely false," according to Reuters, but failed to provide further details.

    READ MORE: Tommy Robinson Supporters to March for His Freedom Amid Pro-Trump London Rally

    Tommy Robinson (whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon), co-founder and former leader of the anti-immigrant EDL, now a journalist and anti-Islamist activist, was arrested on May 25 accused of breaching the peace outside the Leeds Crown Court when he streamed an hour-long video outside the courthouse where a trial for a gang rape case was taking place. He was sentenced to 13 months in prison.

    Supporters of Robinson have set up an online petition for his release, which has gathered over 600,000 signatures. The petition claims that the activist was sentenced for "reporting on Muslim grooming gangs" and "informing the public of all the wrongs committed in the name of Allah."

    READ MORE: 'Trump is Welcome, You're Not': Tommy Robinson Supporters Lambast London Mayor

    Robinson's supporters also organized a rally in support of freeing him from prison, which subsequently merged with pro-Trump protests taking place in London on the day of the US president's visit to the city. Robinson will be appealing his sentence on July 18.


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    freedom of speech, lobbying, English Defence League, Donald Trump, Tommy Robinson, US, United Kingdom
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