Tommy Robinson, the British activist known for his opposition to Islam, says he was physically and psychologically abused while in prison.
Robinson was released Wednesday after winning an appeal of his 13-month contempt sentence for making a Facebook Live video outside a trial of Muslim men accused of sexually grooming children as young as 11.
“What they tried to do was to mentally destroy me,” Robinson said in a Facebook video posted Wednesday night.
“That wasn’t a prison sentence, that was mental torture. If I was bitter and angry, I would accept my own victimhood. I’m not their victim, I’m their target.”
He was arrested May 25 outside Leeds Crown Court in the north of England after broadcasting his exchanges with some of the suspects in the sexual-abuse trial, capturing the moment of his arrest for the 250,000 people watching him on Facebook Live.
After two British news sites fought to lift reporting restrictions imposed by a judge, it was revealed that Robinson was sentenced for contempt of court laws by filming outside an ongoing trial.
Robinson told Ezra Levant of Canada-based The Rebel Media, Robinson’s former employer, that authorities moved him from the prison in Hull, with a 7 percent Muslim population, to the most densely Muslim-populated prison in the country.
He was not given an explanation for the move, but he believes it was used as an excuse to put him in solitary confinement “for his safety.”
He was kept in solitary for 23 and a half hours every day.
“Then for 30 minutes a day they open the door and you walk into a cage … and you walk around the cage on your own, and then they open the door and lock you back in,” he said.
“I had threats every day,” Robinson said, noting he had to keep his cell windows shut, even during a heat wave, because people would spit or put excrement through them.
Every other prisoner, he said, was let out of their cell at 8 a.m. and allowed to work, play soccer or pool and then return to the cell at 6 p.m.
He said he could not eat the food sent to his cell, because it was prepared by Muslim prisoners, who would taunt him with, “How’s your dinner, Tommy?”
Instead, he survived on one can of tuna a day, which came sealed.
Breitbart London reported a Republican congressman said he hopes the U.S. will intervene in Robinson’s case, calling the British court system “part of the problem.”
“I am well aware that England does not share our free speech values,” said Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz.
In a tweet, Gosar said the British government “seems more interested in covering up rape than seeking truth.”
“I certainly hope the United States intervenes and speaks up over the persecution of Tommy Robinson,” he told Breitbart.
Breitbart London editor Raheem Kassam said that whether “you agree with him on the issues, or agree with him on livestreaming outside of Leeds Crown Court, the abuse he faces in his new prison is a clear violation of Tommy Robinson’s human rights.”
“He was safely and peacefully serving out his prison sentence in HMP Hull, and was moved without warning or reason to a much more dangerous prison, where he is currently being treated in a manner befitting a prisoner of war,” Kassam said.
Robinson co-founded in 2009 the English Defence League, a counter-jihadist, street-based social movement opposed to Islamic extremism, and was a member of the British National Party from 2004 to 2005.
He said he left the EDL because he was unable to keep out racist and anti-Semitic influences.
Reuters reported last month that former Kansas governor Sam Brownback, the U.S. ambassador for international religious freedom, officially complained to the British ambassador in Washington D.C. about the government’s treatment of Robinson.