- Expedite investigations
- Access to family
A massive gathering which included family members, friends, human rights activists and other supporters, staged a silent protest at the Independence Square last Tuesday seeking fair treatment and to expedite the investigations into the arrest of alleged terrorist-accused Kamer Nizamdeen. The protesters claimed that Nizamdeen, who has been detained by the Australian authorities, has been framed and is innocent.
Nizamdeen, a 25 year old PhD student was arrested in Sydney on August 30 by the New South Wales Police. Since then his family and friends have come forward to show support claiming that Nizamdeen has been framed.
Speaking on behalf of Nizamdeen’s family, his maternal uncle, Dr. Khaleel Cassim said that the family is very alarmed at the manner in which the former’s arrest took place hastily based on flimsy evidence which was a notebook. The Police had allegedly found a notebook that named a number of locations and individuals as potential targets.
We have utmost confidence in the judicial process in Australia.Kamer has been framed and we have faith that he will be proved innocent
“The notebook was not found in Kamer’s possession at the time of arrest. It was found in his old work station where he had not been working at since August 2, 2018,” he said. “Since the time of his arrest up to now Kamer has reiterated consistently that the alleged notes in the notebook are not his hand writing,” he added. Placards held at the protest read ‘Handwriting is unique. Can be identified instantly. Why is it taking time?’, ‘Expedite investigation on notebook’ and ‘18 days and yet no signs of investigating the notebook.’
The uncle urged the investigators to apprehend the person who actually wrote the statements. “We have utmost confidence in the judicial process in Australia.Kamer has been framed and we have faith that he will be proved innocent. At the moment the matter is in the hands of the investigators. The actual culprit is at large and is a danger to life and property in Australia,” he said at the protest where around 750 protesters had gathered in support.
The family has not heard from him since the day he was arrested. “Family members have still been denied access to him. Kamer has not been allowed to access telephone calls which he is legally entitled to, and we are deeply concerned. This lack of communication between him and his parents and close family is causing mental agony, stress and hardship to the family. It is tearing our family apart,” said the uncle. Placards read ‘18 days, yet no phone calls allowed’.
Family members have still been denied access to him. Kamer has not been allowed to access telephone calls which he is legally entitled to, and we are deeply concerned. This lack of communication between him and his parents and close family is causing mental agony, stress and hardship to the family tearing our family apart
A public statement issued stated that Kamer Nizamdeen was permitted to contact one family member at the time of arrest, but was denied access to legal counsel and family members immediately thereafter. The statement claimed that he did not have legal representation when he was produced before court to consider granting bail and was denied bail. He had been granted access to an attorney only on September 7, a week after his arrest. It further stated that he has been placed in solitary confinement under high security.
Human Rights Activist Sandun Thudugala said that the protest was to ensure that Nizamdeen had access to a fair legal process, and his family. “Nothing has been proven yet. We are deeply concerned by how some media outlets have reported this incident,” he further said.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson Mahishini Colonne said that the Consul General was working with close cooperation with Australian authorities in this regard. “He has been provided consular access,” she said.
Protesters said that the travesty has to be addressed immediately. However, Nizamdeen is to appear in court only on October 24.
Former Principal of Asian International School (AIS), Goolbai Gunasekara writing in the Daily Mirror said that it was impossible to accept that Nizamdeen was ‘radicalized’.
“Kamer was gentle, sweet natured and comfortable with himself. He had no hang-ups. He had a happy home and projected an aura of personal calmness and self control. Perhaps he was too successful at what he did and that upset his contemporaries,” she stated.