Freedom of Religion, Press, and Speech under Assault in U.K.: Though Brits May Have Many Freedoms under the Law, Government Is Increasingly Cracking Down on Unwanted Public and Private Speech, Especially Targeting Christians
Newman, Alex, The New American
Longtime pro-life campaigner Edward Atkinson, 81, was handed a three-month suspended jail sentence in September for his activism against abortion last year, and it was not the first time he had been prosecuted and even jailed for his work defending the unborn. In fact, Atkinson has been in prison more than a dozen times for his efforts over the years.
Atkinson's most recent supposed "crime" involved violating a so-called anti-social behavior order (ASBO) by sending a letter with pictures of aborted children to a government official in charge of the Queen Elizabeth hospital. "I was trying to tell her about the abortion holocaust, all the murdered babies, but she couldn't face the truth apparently. so she went to the police and got me arrested," the soft-spoken pensioner told THE NEW AMERICAN in a recent interview.
In 2006, Atkinson was prosecuted for a similar "offense" under the 1988 "malicious communications act," which purports to ban sending letters and electronic communications aimed at causing "distress" or "anxiety." He was eventually handed a massive fine, sentenced to prison, and slapped with the ASBO, he explained. The pro-lifer was also knocked off the waiting list in 2006 for a much-needed hip replacement at the hospital in question, sparking outrage worldwide and even among members of Parliament.
In violation of the court order, Atkinson sent another letter to healthcare officials with more pictures this year. According to U.K. news reports, the hospital staffer who opened the letter was "distressed" by the images of aborted children inside. "I suspected that they were murdering babies in there but I wasn't sure, now I know they've been murdering several babies per day in there." Atkinson said, pointing out that the troubled consciences of hospital steers were a good sign that they recognize evil when they see it. "Something like 500 babies a day are murdered every single day in this country."
If it had been the first time sending pictures of aborted innocent babies--a controversial tactic that Atkinson and other pro-life activists believe is crucial to showing people the truth about abortion and eventually ending it--he might have been able to escape serious punishment for exercising his right to free speech. For the life-long pro-lifer, however, it was not the first time: The court had already ordered him not to distribute his materials in the case six years earlier, when U.K. authorities imposed what they refer to as an "ASBO."
The dedicated activist, undeterred, had already been jailed multiple times for refusing to pay activism-related fines and for protesting outside abortion clinics, too--17 times in total, he recalled. All of the trips to prison. Atkinson told THE NEW AMERICAN, were linked to his activism. And they were worth it he said, to help stop what he repeatedly referred to as the "abortion holocaust" throughout the interview.
This time, instead of sending the octogenarian to prison, authorities put an electronic monitor on his ankle and placed him under virtual house arrest. His ASBO order was extended to 2017, meaning he can be immediately sent to prison for violating it again. Still, despite his age and the relentless persecution, Atkinson has vowed never to give up.
"I hope to accomplish the abolition of abortion; it should be considered first-degree murder. In this country we've abolished the death penalty for the guilty but instituted it for the innocent. Can you think of anything more Satanic than that?" Atkinson said. The "kangaroo courts," meanwhile, are run by officials who have "disgraced their office by aligning themselves with a gang of professional child murderers," he continued.
One day, Atkinson said, those officials will have to "face judgment by almighty God," so they should repent now. "We're living in a country where all the laws have been inversed," he continued. …