Syrian teenager Jamal Hijazi has sued far-right activist Tommy Robinson for turning his bullying case into an anti-muslim campaign and distorting the evidence to prove that Jamal is at fault while the evidence clearly suggests otherwise and shows that Jamal is victim at the case here.
Far-right activist Tommy Robinson is being sued by a Syrian Teenager for libel and is seeking at least £150,000 in damages.
Back in 2018, footage of a schoolboy, 17-year old Jamal Hijazi getting attacked went viral and garnered attention from the public who called out the attack and condemned the shameful attack. The attack was also condemned by the then PM Theresa May.
Hijazi was attacked by a teenager who pushed him to the ground and poured water on him, however, he got away only with caution dnRobisonson at the time claimed that the 17-year was 'not innocent.'
In two videos posted to his Facebook page, Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon posted two video clips on his social media account and in these clips, the man claimed that Hijazi ‘violently attacks young English girls in his school’ and that he once ‘beat a girl black and blue’ in a gang.
Hijazi denied the allegations and sued Robinson for libel, with his lawyer, Catrin Evans QC, calling for ‘substantial damages’ between £150,000 and £190,000 if the teenager wins the claim, The Guardian reports.
The 17-year-old is said to have had to flee the town of Huddersfield after Robinson made the ‘entirely distorted anti-Muslim’ claims about him.
Speaking at a high court case in which Robinson is representing himself, Evans said, ‘In relation to the allegations, which the defendant has sought to prove as substantially true, we suggest that he has not proved either of them.’
Throughout the trial, Robinson presented himself as an independent journalist and told the court that the media ‘simply had zero interest in the other side of this story, the uncomfortable truth’.
The trial also witnessed testimony from 18-year-old Charly Matthews, a former student of the school where the video of Hijazi was taken, who claimed the teenager hit her in the back with a hockey stick and left her with long-term injuries.
According to The Independent, Robinson told the court, ‘In order for this claimant to win this case, the court has to believe this young girl is a brazen liar.’
The activist further added that Hijazi ‘might have been a victim’, but that it ‘does not automatically mean he himself couldn’t be a nasty, foul-mouthed and often violent young person, particularly against girls and smaller, younger boys’.
Addressing the court in his closing remarks, he said: "I am far from perfect, however this case is not about me, as much as the claimant’s representatives would like to make me, my history or my views a focus of their attention.
My political beliefs are not on trial, it’s whether my reporting on publicly available information was a matter of truth or not."
On the other hand, Evans argued that Robinson had suggested the case was ‘somehow a travesty of justice and that a white schoolboy has been scapegoated’.
The lawyer added that Robinson's claim is not supported much because of a clear lack of evidence from his side: "We do rely on the defendant’s agenda, which we say is an anti-Muslim one, which is why he waded into this… Jamal was the victim of that.
Not only has the defendant sought to try and prove a case that he was never going to be able to do, but he has even, in his closing submissions, … continued to exacerbate the hurt and distress the claimant has experienced."
After the trial, Mr. Justice Nicklin said that he would give his judgment at a later date.