The Muslim Legal Network stands firmly with the Australian Muslim community and the Australian non-Muslim community against terrorism and all forms of hate crimes. We also respect the legal safeguards of the Australian legal system and believe in the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. Every Australian deserves to be afforded due process and the full protection of Australian law.
Whether they are anti-Muslim terrorists who threaten to blow up mosques and behead Australian Muslims or pro-ISIS terrorists threatening to behead Australians, they must be informed of their rights and afforded due process so that these serious allegation are proven in a court of law and not a court of the prosecutors’ opinion.
We owe it to the peaceful majority from both the Australian Muslim and non-Muslim communities to ensure fairness and even-handedness defeats the politics of hate and hysteria.
We must protect innocent civilians regardless of their religion from all forms of terrorism and hate crimes.
The following guidance is provided by MLN Victoria and MLN Western Australia for those seeking information on their rights when ASIO, AFP or State Police come to visit?
- Remain calm;
- Ask them to identify who they are and to explain what they want;
- If they want to search you or your premises, ask to see their warrant;
- If they do not have a warrant, tell them that you object to being searched;
- If they insist, make your objections clear but do not attempt to stop them;
- If they are ASIO officers and they do not have a warrant for questioning, you do not have to answer their questions. But if they do have a warrant for questioning or detention, you have to cooperate;
- If they are AFP officers or state police officers, you should provide your name and address. “You are not obliged to make a statement or give an interview to the police, particularly if you have not talked to a lawyer first”;
- If possible, contact a lawyer or ask someone in the house to contact a lawyer immediately. You can call 0426 845 306 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for help finding a lawyer. Make it clear that you need URGENT assistance;
- Request that a friend sit in with you;
- If you have any trouble understanding anything they say, always ask for an interpreter. In the meantime do not say anything, except to confirm your name and address;
- If they say they have a warrant, ask for a copy;
- If they have a warrant, check that the warrant has not expired;
- Take note of exactly what the warrant authorises the officers to do;
- You do not have to do any more than what is stated on the warrant;
- Check if there are any restrictions or conditions on what the officers can do;
- Keep a record of the names and identity numbers of the police officers visiting you, the date and the time;
- Keep a detailed record of any contact, touching, harassment or intimidation by any officer that you experienced.
The above information reflects the law as it stands on 1 January 2007 an and may have changed since then. You must check with a lawyer for changes to the law.
Disclaimer: If you find yourself in a difficult situation, always seek advice from a lawyer. This is not intended as legal advice, and should not be relied on as a substitute for legal advice. We exclude liability for any loss suffered by any person resulting in any way from the use of, or reliance on, this material or its text.