Right-wing English Defense League's (EDL) former leader and anti-Islamist activist Tommy Robinson has been freed on bail after winning an appeal on contempt of court charges. The London court ruled that the process, during which the activist was convicted, was flawed and conducted too hastily, ordering his release from custody.
Robinson's case now will be re-heard at England's Old Bailey court within a "reasonable" timeframe. At the same time the court dismissed the activist's appeal against charges for attempting to film defendants during a rape trial in May for which he received a suspended sentence.
Robinson's supporters, standing outside the court clapped upon the news of his release as police kept them apart from protesters at the site standing under a "Stand up to Racism" banner.
Tommy Robinson (whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) is a co-founder and former leader of the anti-immigrant EDL, and now works as a journalist and anti-Islamist activist. He was arrested on May 25 and accused of breaching the peace outside the Leeds Crown Court, when he streamed an hour-long video outside the courthouse where a trial for a gang rape case was taking place. He was sentenced to 13 months in prison.
Supporters of Robinson set up an online petition for his release, which gathered over 600,000 signatures. The petition claimed that the activist was sentenced for "reporting on Muslim grooming gangs" and "informing the public of all the wrongs committed in the name of Allah."
US Ambassador for International Religious Freedom to the UK Sam Brownback also championed the release of the activist urging London to treat his case "sympathetically" and warning the Trump administration might otherwise criticize the UK government, according to Reuters. The US State Department hasn't confirmed this information.