Fact Check: Was Tommy Robinson Moved to Another Prison?

British Politics, Law, Media, Police, Rundown, Social Media

Fact Check: Was Tommy Robinson Moved to Another Prison?
*Story is still developing but is now UNCONFIRMED – Updates are posted at the bottom of the article.

A story has been circling on social media claiming that Tommy Robinson, UK activist who was sentenced to 13 months in prison for reporting on a child grooming trial, had been moved from a relatively safe UK prison to a prison with less security and a high Muslim population. The reason the Muslim population matters is because a fatwa was reportedly issued against Tommy Robinson.

The story began on Twitter where an associate of Tommy Robinson tweeted out the following tweets:

Soon after these tweets were released, stories and videos began to pop-up across the internet, including by Australian personalities like Avi Yemini and The Young Conservative. The most notable coverage, however, was by Alex Jones and Paul Joseph Watson of InfoWars. Though the story has reached a lot of people and caused a good amount of outrage, the facts and reporting seem vague and unsubstantiated. Take for example the InfoWars report:

This report claims to have information regarding the wing of the prison that Tommy Robinson was moved to but provides no information regarding the name of the prison or the source of the aforementioned information. Similarly, one of Raheem’s tweets claim that the order to move Tommy Robinson was sent directly from the UK Home office, yet no press release or communication from the UK home office has been revealed to substantiate this nor is a source familiar with the matter cited.

The website “Dangerous,” a Milo Yiannopoulos website released an article written by Chadwick Moore claiming Tommy had been moved to a “Muslim Gang Prison” which may, though not necessarily, induce that the prison is of high Muslim concentration and unsafe.

This ties in with the claims that the new prison had a Muslim density of 71%, yet the figure regarding the unknown facility was walked back hours later by Raheem.

Later a small number of articles and videos began to spread the news that the unverified prison was in Leicester, UK, one of which can be viewed below:

The only prison located in Leicester is HM Prison that houses young men with a capacity of 411 inmates.

This prison has come under scrutiny in the past for high suicide rates and over-crowding. This prison would fit the description of the unsafe prison Tommy Robinson has been reported to have been moved to, due to it’s high rates of violence and suicide. In a report about the prison, an inspector wrote:

“The reception area was grim but staff were welcoming and efficient. Too little attention was paid to safety and vulnerability issues during prisoners’ early days. Too many prisoners felt unsafe. Levels of violence and intimidation were very high and not enough was done to make the prison safer. The number of prisoners at risk of self-harm was high and we were not confident that they were adequately cared for. The control and accountability of prisoners were poor and the wings frequently felt chaotic. Drugs and alcohol were easily available but supply reduction arrangements were poor. The level of use of force was high and governance was weak. Living conditions in the segregation unit were appalling but staff managed some very challenging prisoners well. Substance misuse arrangements were good. Outcomes for prisoners were poor against this healthy prison test.”

Though The Unshackled was not able to confirm the demographics of the prison, many areas in Leicester are densely Muslim, and so a high Muslim population would not be surprising to find in the prison. Though this is the most crediting piece of information surrounding the subject, the source of the claim that the prison Tommy Robinson is being moved to is located in Leicester is unknown. *Updated* The demographics of HM Prison have been found. It is not majority Muslim:

*UPDATE June,14,18 9:50 PM

Tommy Robinson’s page has published the following post:

This is the most substantiating piece of information yet. That being said, the post contains a video that is unrelated to the supposed prison transfer and provides no details regarding the new facility. This may be the first piece of communication from Tommy Robinson’s associates regarding the transfer, but due to the lacking in substantive information in the publication we cannot affirm the transfer took place quite yet.

UPATE June,15,18 8:30 AM
Mainstream News Coverage of Tommy Robinson’s transfer remains nonexistent, but some smaller outlets have reported conflicting stories. “Arutz Sheva” reported that the prison transfer meant certain death for Tommy despite a lack of substantiating information regarding the transfer or any other players, while “Mirror” blatantly claimed Tommy was not moved but proved nothing, as the article did a lot of fact-checking but managed to provide no evidence to debunk the theory. The story remains unconfirmed.

*The story is still developing and this article will be updated when more information becomes available.

Emilio Garcia
Deputy Editor, The Unshackled
Host of the Front and Center Podcast