Syrian Teen Who Won Tommy Robinson Libel Case Using Money To Set Up Charity
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The Syrian teenager who was awarded £100,000 following a libel case against Tommy Robinson has said he wants to use the money to set up a charity.
Jamal Hijazi brought the case against Robinson - real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon - after an incident in a school playground in Huddersfield in October 2018 in which he was beaten by other pupils was caught on camera.
After the video of the incident gained notoriety online, Robinson falsely claimed that Hijazi was ‘not innocent and he violently attacks young English girls in his school’ in Facebook videos that were viewed by nearly one million people.
The right-wing activist also claimed Hijazi, now 18, ‘beat a girl black and blue’ and ‘threatened to stab’ another boy at his school - although he could not present any evidence to support his claims - accusations that led to backlash against the boy’s family, eventually meaning they were forced to relocate.
In a high court judgment, Mr Justice Matthew Nicklin said as the consequences of Robinson’s falsehoods had been ‘particularly severe’ he was awarding £100,000 in damages.
The judge said Robinson had painted Hijazi as ‘a violent aggressor’ when he was in fact the victim, and that the language he had used was designed to ‘inflame the situation’ forcing Hijazi to abandon his education and his family to flee their home.
The teenager also became the target of death threats from the far right, with his lawyers saying he had been ‘entirely vindicated’ in his decision to sue.
Speaking to i, Jamal said: “I want to use this money to set up a charity to help young people of any race who go through problems at school or anywhere.
“Not just bullying, but racism or any other problems that young people experience. I have been through a lot and I want other young people to have the support that I had and I want to help people.”
Jamal's lawyer Tasnime Akunjee also commented on the case, saying it was disgusting that anyone with a platform like Robinson's ‘thought it was in any way appropriate to add to the burden of a child who had been seriously bullied’.
“This outcome shows there are limits to what society will tolerate and that when someone crosses the line, there will be support for the victim and that those responsible will be held to account,” he said.
“For Jamal and his family, it is a great relief that the horrific lies told about Jamal have been resoundingly put to bed and his name has been cleared.”
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