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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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