LONDON – Tommy Robinson, a British far-right activist, on Thursday lost a libel case filed by a Syrian teenager who was filmed being attacked at his school, after Mr Robinson falsely claimed the boy had himself violently assaulted his classmates.
Mr Robinson will have to pay 100,000 pounds in damages, or about $ 137,000, according to the judgment handed down by Judge Matthew Nicklin in a remote hearing in the High Court of Justice in London.
Mr Robinson, 38, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, was the founder of the far-right English Defense League, a nationalist group known for its anti-Islam and anti-immigration stance, and its violent protests by Street. Although considered on the fringes of British life, he has also become a leading figure internationally for supporters of similar ideologies, with links to the far right in Europe, the United States and elsewhere. .
The teenager, Jamal Hijazi, now 17, was caught on camera being attacked in his school in the north of England in October 2018, and after the video was released online, Mr Robinson claimed in two videos posted to his Facebook page that the teenager was “not innocent and he was attacking violently from young English girls in his school “.
In one of the clips, Mr Robinson said the teenager “beat a black and blue girl” and “threatened to stab” a boy at his school, which Mr Hijazi denied.
Mr. Robinson represented himself at the trial, arguing that his comments were true on the merits. His two articles on the video have been viewed together over a million times, according to court documents.