Judge rules on meaning of Tommy Robinson Syrian refugee comments

Mr Robinson has been accused of libel

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

A High Court judge has ruled on the meaning of comments made by Tommy Robinson about a Syrian refugee who was filmed being attacked in a school playground.

Video of Jamal Hijazi being pushed to the ground and threatened with drowning at Almondbury School in Huddersfield provoked outrage and public sympathy for the then 16-year-old.

Mr Robinson posted videos on Facebook in which he claimed Mr Hijazi was “not innocent and he violently attacks young English girls in his school”.

He also said Mr Hijazi “beat a girl black and blue” and “threatened to stab” another boy at his school, allegations the teenager denies.

Accusing Mr Robinson of libel, Mr Hijazi’s lawyers claimed his “racist invective” led to their client and his family being targeted by “far-right activists”.

Mr Robinson did not deny he made the allegations and claimed he was “trying to present the other side of the story.” 

Mr Justice Nicklin ruled the political activist’s comments meant Mr Hijazil had “as part of a gang, participated in a violent assault on a young girl which had caused her significant injuries” and also “threatened to stab another child”.

The comments would be understood as a “specific allegation” of violence, he added, while noting that Mr Robinson had advanced a defence that the comments were truthful.

Mr Hijazi and Mr Robinson were advised that unless they resolved the dispute, those issues and others would be determined during a trial at a later date.

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