Outspoken Muslim lawyer Ataman Atlas has reportedly attracted the attention of Victoria’s “legal watchdog” for calling a “counter-terrorism police officer” a “coward”.
According to news carried in an article by the HeraldSun today, Mr Atlas is being investigated after “Victoria Police submitted a complaint about his “professional conduct” and handling of the high-profile case to the Legal Services Board”.
The comments and investigation relate to Mr. Atlas’ defence of his client Mehran Azami, whose treatment he has been vocal about for several months.
The case has become infamous for the notorious brutality with which police handled it. Established public facts, well known by the Muslim community, include that, during his incarceration and investigation by police:
- His nose was broken;
- He was physically beaten;
- Police attempted to force an “interview” with him without his support person;
- When he requested the presence of a support person, his phone was taken;
- His abhorrent re-arrest from the a psychiatric ward in which he was placed.
Mr. Atlas has spoken about these brutal police tactics on his social media accounts and at GIMC’s “Innocent Until Proven Muslim?” Conference in Melbourne late last year.
It would appear that Mr Atlas is being pursued by the Victorian police ostensibly for calling out their heavy-handed, and indeed cowardly, tactics in relation to a young Muslim man held without charge and arrested in a climate of heightened anti-Muslim sentiment. While the political machinations surrounding this incident are well-known, the deliberate attempts to undermine someone calling out police heavy-handedness indicate that even to question police brutality is a step too far in the eyes of the police.
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