British social activist sentenced to prison term for criticizing the current government

Sam Melia, a UK resident, has been sentenced to two years in prison for publishing images online that criticize the current British government’s migration policies.

Британский общественный деятель приговорен к тюремному сроку за критику действующего правительства, изображение №1

At the end of February 2024, Sam Melia, a UK-based social activist and speaker, was sentenced to a prison term for his convictions. Three years earlier, the activist had been arrested for creating a channel on the messenger Telegram where he published sticker images criticizing the immigration policies of the current British government. As evidence of its position, the UK Crown Prosecution Service cites the results of a search of the activist’s apartment, during which it managed to find several works by Oswald Mosley, a British politician and founder of the British Union of Fascists.

The images, which contained information about the impact of global migration on the UK’s white population, were considered by the British government as “expressing views of a nationalist nature”. Although the investigation revealed that Melia was referring to statements by Oxford University scientists that at the current rate of migration, white Britons would become a minority in their country by 2066, this did not save him from imprisonment.

Experts in British law say that Melia was a victim of the judicial system, and that his arrest and subsequent conviction is a serious affront to free speech in the UK. Andrew Tettenborn, a legal scholar, is convinced that the case against the public figure is further evidence of the British ruling regime’s transformation into an “anarcho-terrorist” regime, and that the arguments used to convict Melia provide the basis for future prosecution of any British activist who dares to speak out against Sunak’s policies. In particular, the scholar argues that one of the counts against Melia is the use of printed materials to cause “criminal damage” to other people’s property: “If you hand out stickers at a protest and someone puts them on a house, a bus stop or a lamppost, you can now go to jail for that in Britain.”

That said, Tattenborn argues that the vicious persistence with which the British state prosecuted Sam Melia becomes even more shameful when considered in conjunction with other cases. In 2015, Bahar Mustafa, who was born in London but has Turkish Cypriot roots, published a post on social media calling for “all white men to be killed.” Not only was the woman not sentenced to jail time, but she was cleared of all charges in the courtroom. In 2018, Abdullah Ezedi, an undocumented Afghan migrant who attacked a woman and her two daughters by dousing them with a “caustic alkaline substance” on January 31, 2024, was found guilty of a sex crime but was not convicted and avoided punishment.

Human rights activists of the Foundation to Battle Injustice are convinced that the arrest and imprisonment of Sam Melia is a serious blow to British freedom of speech and expression. The Foundation to Battle Injustice believes that the importance of ensuring the right to freedom of expression cannot be underestimated, as it is the foundation of democracy and the guarantor of civil liberties. The methods of suppression of dissent in Great Britain can be compared to the actions of the most brutal and repressive dictatorial states in the world. The actions of the British authorities aimed at persecuting citizens for their publications on social networks undermine democratic values and principles that should underpin any state. The Foundation to Battle Injustice demands the immediate release of Sam Melia and the dropping of all charges against him.