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The Week So Far With Yvonne Ridley – Tommy’s Hate fuels British hate, Spains Black comedy and HRH Baby Brexit

Yvonne Ridley says the rise of the far right in Britain matches spike in hate crimes, especially against Muslims as new police figures reveal

Human rights trashed in the name of terrorism

The world basically looked the other way as more than a million Rohingya were driven from their homes in Myanmar throughout 2017 and most of this year.

It took a full 12 months for the United Nations to call out the atrocity for what it was: genocide and yet still none of the Myanmar generals or the country’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi seem to be unduly bothered!

So I doubt if China will be ruffled by accusations that it is committing similar atrocities on its own Uighur population, like the Rohingya another Muslim minority group.

In fact leading official Shohrat Zakir from China’s Xinjiang region has given the most detailed description so far of the existence of internment camps designed specifically for Uighur Muslims.

Read more Human rights trashed in the name of terrorism

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Robinson courting trouble again?

That vile little man, giant Islamophobe and founder of the bigot-infested English Defence League, Tommy Robinson, will face a fresh contempt of court hearing at the Old Bailey next week.

The 35-year-old – real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon – stands accused of breaching reporting restrictions by filming defendants in a trial at Leeds crown court this year.

It took about 30 seconds for Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC to confirm that he would hear Robinson’s case on 23 October. Mercifully the circus around Robson was absent this time as was the ringmaster himself.

Robinson was not required to attend. He was released from prison on bail in August with the only condition that he keeps a distance of at least 400 metres from Leeds crown court, where his original hearing took place. Three appeal court judges said his original sentence was “flawed” when they ‘quashed’ the case.

The good news is Robinson could still be sent back to prison if he is again found in contempt for filming outside Leeds crown court on 25 May, when he filmed defendants in a live video on Facebook while making what appeal court judges described as “generically derogative remarks on [their] ethnic and religious backgrounds”.

The bad news is the fools who claim to be his supporters have indicated they will turn up at the Old Bailey in their thousands on 23 October according to chatter on the social networks.

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Hate crimes on the rise 

It is no coincidence, I believe, that the recent surge in hate crime directed at people because of their religious beliefs coincides with the rise of the Far Right.

Police in England and Wales admit to an increase of 40 per cent in hate crimes compared with last year’s figures with a staggering 52 per cent being directed at Muslims.

Between April 2017 to March this year 94,098 incident of hate were reported with 76  per cent classified as “race hate”. The crime is defined as an offence driven by hostility towards a person’s race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity.

The number of hate crimes has more than doubled since five years ago when 42,255 were recorded.

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Roll up, roll up for Spanish black comedy

It seems stupidity knows no bounds in Spain’s public prosecution service as a decision has been taken to charge former Catalan police chief Josep Lluís Trapero with rebellion, according to the La Razón newspaper this week.

The charges against Trapero will match the charges Supreme Court prosecutors are going ahead with against the main pro-independence activists and politicians in the trial to start at the end of 2018 or in early 2019.

Apparently, the then-National Audience court judge Carmen Lamela had investigated Trapero on two charges of sedition for the events of 20th and 21st September 2017 outside the Catalan economy ministry and one charge of a criminal organisation for his role during the 1st October referendum.

In both cases, the Mossos d’Esquadra (Catalan police) are accused of having been too passive. The 20th and 21st September saw Spanish police officers searching the ministry trapped inside by a large crowd that gathered outside in protest.

The same charge could also be brought against other senior Mossos officers. Their former director, Pere Soler, and interior ministry official César Puig were both investigated on a charge of sedition. Superintendent Teresa Laplana was also investigated for sedition for the events in front of the Catalan economy ministry last September.

The truth is Spain’s public prosecution service has landed itself in a deep hole as it tries to appease Madrid. Can someone remove the shovel from the hands of the prosecutor who is continuing to dig that hole … it’s only getting deeper and turning the judiciary into a laughing stock.

I expect some impresario will be selling tickets soon for what should prove to be the most entertaining and hilarious trial in Spain’s history. However, this black comedy has a tragic side too … innocent men and women have been locked up for many months on these trumped up charges.

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Ant and Dec: The future?

I see troubled Geordie TV presenter Ant McPartlin and his estranged wife Lisa Armstrong were granted a divorce on Tuesday.

As with the break up of any marriage, the news from the Central Family Court in London is sad but what we are all really interested in is what is happening to the partnership of Ant and Dec?

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Make way for HRH Baby Brexit!

So some wag down under has suggested that since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced Meghan’s pregnancy at the start of their Australian tour, the Royal sprog, due in the Spring, should be called Sydney! Of course, that’s plain stupid and since its arrival will coincide with the UK’s departure from the European Union may be a better name should be Brexit. Anyone get any better suggestions?


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