Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Aamer Anwar

According to the online magazine of the Law Society of Scotland the human rights solicitor, Aamer Anwar, is to appear for his contempt of court hearing on 29th and 30th April. Aamer Anwar was the solicitor acting for convicted terrorist Mohammed Atif Siddique and had described the verdict as "a tragedy for justice and for freedom of speech", and claimed the prosecution was driven by the state and that his client had been found guilty of doing what millions of young people do every day - looking for answers on the internet.

Judge Lord Carloway said the remarks made by Mr Anwar were his personal views and they had attacked every area of the trial process apart from the defence. A spokeswoman for the Law Society of Scotland told guidelines on commenting to the media were clearly stated on its website and in the solicitors’ professional handbook.

In response, Mr Anwar said the right to freedom of speech was one of the pillars of liberty and justice. Mr Anwar’s counsel added the solicitor believed he was expressing the views of his client. Politicians, writers and lawyers are among those protesting against the contempt of court referral against the outspoken solicitor. Author Iain Banks, Labour politician Tony Benn, Independent MSP Margo McDonald, Respect MP George Galloway, convener of the Muslim Council of Scotland Bashir Maan and human rights lawyer Gareth Pierce are among those who have expressed support for the lawyer.

No doubt the Law Society of Scotland will review the guidelines on commenting to the media in light of the courts final decision. I just hope the current restrictions which are aimed at protecting 'public morals' and children in family law cases will survive intact.


BBC News 23/10/07"Contempt issue after terror case"
The Herald "Freedom to speak out against the system"


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