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Public statement on the arrest of Mohamed Kamer


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Calling on Australian Govt. to ensure fair treatment and expedite investigations into the arrest

 

We the undersigned activists, human rights organisations and concerned citizens from Sri Lanka, are deeply disturbed to learn of the arrest and detention of 25-year-old Mohamed Kamer Nilar Nizamdeen. 

Kamer was arrested on 30 August by Australian authorities, and according to his family, he has since been placed in solitary confinement under high security. We understand that he is being kept in custody on suspicion of ‘collecting or making documents likely to facilitate terrorist acts’, an offence under Australia’s Criminal Code Act of 1995.

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 7 September, 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. 

We also call 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. 

Sri Lanka has undergone four decades of grave repression and gross human rights violations under its Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). The PTA is often described as one of the most draconian counter-terrorism laws in the world. Some of the most repressive practices under the PTA include, holding suspects incommunicado, and denying them communication with family members and access to legal counsel. In view of this terrible legacy, Sri Lankan activists have consistently called for the repeal of the PTA. In this context, we condemn that Australia has invoked its counter terrorism laws which are inherently against human rights and transparency. 

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. 

Further, we call 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.

Signed by;

Individuals

Abdul Ramees

Ameena Hussein – Writer

Ameer Faaiz

Anberiya Hanifa

Ando Anthappan

Angelica Chandrasekeran

Anithra Varia

Annouchka Wijesinghe

Anushaya Collure

Anushka Jayasuriya

Asita Amerasinghe

Asma Rahman

B. Gowthaman 

Bishop Duleep de Chickera

Bishop Kumara Illangasinghe

Cayathri D – Independent Researcher

Chandrika Gadiewasam 

– Freelance Writer

Chulani Kodikara

Dannelle Diaz

Deanne Uyangoda

Dinushika Dissanayake 

Dorin Rajani

Dr. Arjuna Parakrama

Dr. Kumudu Kusum Kumara

Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu

Dr. Suren Raghavan 

Dulan de Silva 

Emil van der Poorten 

– A supporter of civic and human rights for all

Ermiza Tegal

Faida Shums

Farah Mihlar 

Firdaus Zarook

Florine Marzook

Gavin Van Sanden

Gayathri Gamage

Geethika Dharmasinghe

Gehan Gunatilleke

Godfrey Malarnesan

Godfrey Yogarajah

Hasanah Cegu Isadeen

Herman Kumara

Hyshyama Hamin

Ian Ferdinands

Imaan Mohamed

Ishara Danasekara

Jake Oorloff

Jansila Majeed

Jayanthi Kuru-Utumpala

Jehanki Anandha

Jiffry Packeer Mohideen

Joanne Senn

Juwairya Mohideen 

Kalani Subasinghe

Kimaya de Silva

Kumudini Samuel

Kusal Perera

Kushlani Perera

Lakmali Hemachandra 

Lakshman Gunasekara – Journalist

Lasantha Mendis

Lucille Abeykoon

Mahaluxy Kurushanthan

Mahendran Thiruvarangan – Lecturer (probationary), University of Peradeniya

Marisa de Silva

Megara Tegal

Milleth Sheriff

Mira Philips

Mohan Nagarajah

Munza Mushtaq – Journalist

Nethmini Medawala

Nilshan Fonseka

Niyanthini Kadirgamar

P. Selvaratnam

P.N. Singham

Pearl Fonseka

Peter Rezel

Prabu Deepan

Prof. Jayantha Seneviratne

Prof. Qadri Ismail

Prof. Sumathy Sivamohan 

– University of Peradeniya

Rafil Hamid

Rajaretnam Anuratha

Rev. Fr. Aloysius Pieris, S.J.

Rev. Fr. Jeyabalan Croos

Rev. Fr. M. V. E. Ravichandran

Rev. Fr. Nandana Manatunga

Rev. Fr. Rohan Dominic 

– Claretian Missionaries

Rev. Fr. S.D.P. Selvan

Rev. Fr. Sarath Iddamalgoda

Rev. Sr. Helen Fernando

Rev. Sr. Nichola Emmanuel

Rev. Sr. Rasika Pieris

Riza Yehiya

Ruki Fernando

Rumaiza Faaiz

S. Prabaharan

S. Rajasegar

S.M. Anifa

Saarah Dean Ismail

Sabra Zahid

Sajini Fernando

Sam Perera – Publisher

Sampath Samarakoon

Sandun Thudugala

Sarah Arumugam

Sarala Emmanuel

Sharanya Sekaram

Shashika Bandara

Sheila Richards

Shenali De Silva

Shreen Abdul Saroor 

Silmiya Ashraf

Srinath Perera – General Secretary, Free Trade 

Union Centre

Subha Wijesiriwardena

Suren D. Perera

Swasthika Arulingam

Tanuja Thurairajah

Thyagi Ruwanpathirana

Udaya Kalupathirana

Vinushinie Mendis

Yajna Sanguhan

Yamini Ravindran

Zahabia Adamaly

Organisations

Alliance Development Trust (ADT)

Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA)

Human Rights Office (HRO)

INFORM Human Rights Documentation Centre

Liberation Movement

National Fisheries Solidarity Movement (NAFSO)

Women and Media Collective (WMC)


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