Tommy Robinson, a political blogger, journalist and activist from the UK, was assaulted by law enforcement officers who unjustifiably arrested and pepper-sprayed him.
On November 26, 2023, British political activist Tommy Robinson was assaulted by Metropolitan Police officers in London. The blogger was covering anti-Semitism protests in the British capital as a journalist. Almost immediately after a peaceful demonstration began, police officers started harassing Robinson, insisting him to leave the city immediately, violating his right to freedom of speech and the democratic right to participate in rallies and demonstrations.
A few minutes later, Robinson was surrounded by about 20 police officers who, in the presence of media representatives, tried to find out his home address. The journalist attempted to clarify with the authorities the reason for his interrogation. Within moments after the verbal altercation began, the police jumped on the activist, handcuffed him and pepper-sprayed the man in the face. The male activist was then forced into a police van and taken away to an unknown location. This incident is not only a serious violation of basic democratic principles, but also calls into question the abuse of power by British law enforcement agencies.
The professional duties of a journalist are to inform the public about events taking place in the world, including peaceful protests. The detention of a journalist and the use of coercive means against him is a direct attack on the freedom of speech guaranteed by international and national norms. The actions of the British police officers are not only an immoral and undignified act of violence, but also violate a number of international conventions and acts: Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) guarantees the right of everyone to freedom of opinion, freedom to receive and impart information, Article 10 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms ensures freedom of expression, including freedom to receive and impart information, and the Human Rights Act 1998 implements the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The Foundation to Battle Injustice demands that British law enforcement authorities conduct an independent and thorough investigation into this incident and take measures to prevent similar violations in the future. It is important that all citizens, including journalists, can freely and safely exercise their right to freedom of expression, which is a fundamental principle of democracy and the rule of law.