A silent vigil was staged in Colombo today calling on Australia to free a Sri Lankan arrested on the charge of allegedly being involved in an attempt to carry out terrorism related activities in Australia.
It’s been more than 2 weeks since the arrest and detention of Kamer Nizamdeen, a 25 year old Sri Lankan who completed his studies at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Australia, and subsequently was employed as a business analyst at the same university.
He has been held in solitary confinement with no access to his family since his arrest on the 30th of August, his family said.
Concerned citizens, activists and family members of Kamer Nizamdeen took part in a silent vigil at Independence Square today (Tuesday), seeking justice for Kamer Nizamdeen.
In a statement to the media, the participants said that according to Kamer’s family, he was permitted to contact one family member at the time of his arrest, but was denied access to legal counsel and family members immediately thereafter.
He did not have legal representation when he was produced before judicial authorities to consider the granting of bail, and was thereafter denied bail. Kamer was granted access to an attorney on 7th September 2018, seven days after his arrest. However, his family claims that they still have no proper access to him.
“We are alarmed by the lack of information on Kamer’s situation in detention, on whether investigations into the allegations against him have been completed, and on whether he has been formally charged. We have witnessed an outpouring of sympathy and support for Kamer in Sri Lanka, particularly on social media, and reiterate the consistent calls by his family and friends for the expeditious conclusion of investigations,” the statement said.
They also called upon the Australian Government to ensure speedy investigations and justice for others detained under counter terror laws at numerous detention centres, including offshore detention centres, and denied due process like Kamer.
“We accordingly call upon the Australian government to ensure that investigations into allegations against Kamer are concluded expeditiously, and that he is guaranteed the right to communicate regularly with his family. We further call upon the Australian government to ensure that Kamer is provided with the full range of fair trial rights, including the right to frequently communicate with,and receive advice from his attorney,” the statement said.
They also called upon the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Sri Lanka, to continue to monitor Kamer’s case, ensure regular visits by the Consulate, obtain information from Australian authorities and update his family and the public on the case, and insist that the Australian government protect Kamer’s fundamental rights. (Colombo Gazette)