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Persecution of Human Rights Activists and Anti Fascists

Persecution of Human Rights Activists and Anti Fascists The leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) Nigel Farage.

The United Kingdom has one of the highest standards for freedom of speech and expression. Therefore, most such cases were related to public events where physical clashes occurred between politically opposed groups.

However, a discussion blaming antifascists for the aggressive behaviour of the neo-Nazis did appear in the media. UKIP leader Nigel Farage said on May 11 that he was forced to hire bodyguards due to violent antifascist activists. UAF denied these allegations.

On 14th March, 2016, Peter Herbert QC, the Chair of the Society of Black Lawyers, instigated a case alleging that the Ministry of Justice was guilty of race discrimination after it recommended that a formal warning be issued against him for comments made by him about racism at a public meeting. Herbert, who holds a prestigious Order of the British Empire (OBE) award, “is a human rights barrister who sits as a part-time recorder and as a judge in employment and immigration tribunals”, was complained about after a speech he made at a rally in Stepney, east London, in April 2015. Specifically, Herbert criticised the decision that had been made to bar the former mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, from holding public office for five years. He stated in the speech that: “Racism is alive and well and living in Tower Hamlets, in Westminster and, yes, sometimes in the judiciary ... They came out with racism, when they didn’t even know what it meant. So don’t let anybody fool you that just because you have a judgment in a court it is somehow sacrosanct. It is not … Do not put your faith in a system that is not designed for you. You are not regarded as British. You are not regarded as part of here or now.”

The complaint made about Herbert’s speech was to the judicial conduct investigation office, and the Lord Justice nominated to look into the affair, Lord Justice Underhill, decided that “Herbert should be issued with a written warning because the judge was straying into politics and implying that the Rahman judgment was tainted by racism. The guide to judicial conduct states that judges should “refrain from any activity, political or otherwise, which could conflict with their judicial office or be seen to compromise their impartiality”. The case is with the justice secretary, Michael Gove, and the lord chief justice, Lord Thomas, and a final decision is awaited.”

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