Akunjee must consider himself to be above the law. He has tweeted repugnant things in relation to Lee Rigby, who was beheaded by jihadis on a London street, blaming the British government for creating his killers, and likening his client, the ISIS bride Shamima Begum, to innocent 13-year-old British rape victims. He has gotten away with it all, too, until his recent reprimand from the SRA. Further action has been promised by the SRA for Akunjee’s next breach of online etiquette. Writes Joshua Winston
ISIS bride Shamima Begum’s lawyer Mohammed Tasnime Akunjee is being investigated by the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority (SRA) again. Two weeks after having been warned by the SRA that if he doesn’t better control his online behaviour, they will take further action, Akunjee tweets about Kabul. Under a picture of the new Taliban leadership sitting inside the Presidential palace, Akunjee tweeted “The boys are back in town.” He also included a link to the Thin Lizzy song of the same name, and he wrote “enjoy.” If you listen to the song lyrics, the “boys” are a wild and crazy, drink and drug-loving gang who steal people’s women, and who like to fight and party.
Akunjee says we aren’t understanding his tweet because we have “no concept of irony.”
Just two weeks ago, the SRA concluded an investigation into him in relation to online abuse he was giving out to a trans user on Twitter. The SRA, as a result of their findings, contacted Akunjee and “offered guidance” as to what constitutes good online behavior for him from that moment on. This warning to Akunjee builds on a previous notice the SRA put out in 2017, alerting lawyers to be careful with their tweets as they can be considered to be “malicious communications.”
Akunjee must consider himself to be above the law. He has tweeted repugnant things in relation to Lee Rigby, who was beheaded by jihadis on a London street, blaming the British government for creating his killers, and likening his client, the ISIS bride Shamima Begum, to innocent 13-year-old British rape victims. He has gotten away with it all, too, until his recent reprimand from the SRA. Further action has been promised by the SRA for Akunjee’s next breach of online etiquette.
And already, in two short weeks, Akunjee has disregarded this warning in spectacular fashion in relation to a human rights situation. People in Afghanistan are fleeing for their lives from Islamic jihadis. There is footage of bodies falling out of planes as people have tried to stow away in cargo holds; their fear and desperation are that great. All Akunjee can do is be ironic and liken the event to a 70s song, and then tell us to lighten up. If only Akunjee could lighten up about Muhammad or Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons, or criticism about his beloved ISIS bride.
Nor does Akunjee show any sign of being willing to comply with advice from any regulatory body, so let’s see where things go from here. He is promising to bring down the Met police after a friend of his died in Wood Green. Police attended a scene where a man, acting erratically, was brandishing a knife. He was handcuffed and expired in custody.
Akunjee is a man on a mission, to bring down the Met police or get himself struck off. Let’s see which happens first. Maybe he thinks of himself as being one of the “boys” in the song – above the law, wild, out of control and uncontrollable. If he were willing to respect regulations, he would be keeping his mouth shut on Twitter, and behaving in a more professional manner. In keeping with 70s songs, I’d like to slightly modify the title of a song by The Clash and apply it to the law and Akunjee – should he stay or should he go?
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