Colombo, September 4 (newsin.asia): Friends and well wishers of Kamer Nizamdeen, a Sri Lankan student arrested in Sydney on August 30 on suspicion that he had been plotting to kill top Australian leaders, are circulating a petition for signatures seeking justice for him on the grounds that the suspicion is baseless.
The petition, which has already got more than 8,000 signatures, began by saying that over the years, the Australian judicial system has gained the confidence of the masses for observing superior standards of integrity in the administration of justice. But it immediately went on to point out that “the only evidence taken into account in Kamer’s circumstances was a notebook that was found at his old workstation (not found in his possession) which he had misplaced months ago. In it were notes related to terrorism that are not even in his handwriting.”
The petition pointed out that “since then, he has been denied access to a lawyer as well as to his family and this continues to be the unfortunate status quo. Even as a mere suspect of an alleged crime, he has been stripped of his basic rights.”
“The media, both international and local have been extremely irresponsible in their coverage of this story. They have labelled him an “I.S.I.S. affiliate” even though he is not being charged with being a member of a terrorist organization, and where they have not, they have unfairly portrayed personal photos of him edited upon backgrounds of actual I.S.I.S. militants in action so as to influence the minds of the general public for the sake of media hype.”
“Additionally, the media have purposely been vague as to his travel history.For instance, certain newspapers have falsely stated that he traveled to Tunisia which never took place, whilst some newspapers state he traveled to a range of areas whereas he only visited family in the U.S.A. recently. It was said that his personal belongings such as his X Box, phones and laptops that were seized for investigative purposes were “electronic items”.
“He has had no criminal record whatsoever both in Australia and Sri Lanka, and is known by the community for being an affectionate, open-minded, jovial person who enjoys the simple things in life, and values family and friends above all. Kamer is friends with a range of people back in multi-cultural Sri Lanka, and has been an advocate for peace during times of political or religious unrest.”
Innocent But Won’t Intervene Says Lankan Minister Uncle
Meanwhile, Nizamdeen’s uncle Faiszer Musthapha, who is Minister of Sports and Local Government in the Sri Lankan government said that the young man is innocent.
ABC news reported that the family of the New South Wales student “is just like any other boy”.
Nizamdeen’s uncle Faiszer Musthapha, the Sri Lankan Sports and Local Government Minister, who spoke exclusively toHack,said he believes his nephew is innocent.
“We love him – when anyone has done something wrong they should deal with them – but as a family we believe he’s innocent,” Mr Musthapha toldHack.
“As a family we believe he hasn’t done anything wrong, we’re very confident of that but until the judicial system makes a finding we’ll have to wait and see.
“I don’t want to pre-judge things… all that we can say is that we have love, affection, and praise for him.”
The alleged list of targets also included the former speaker Bronwyn Bishop, the Sydney Opera House, major train stations and police stations across the Harbour City.
The student’s uncle said Nizamdeen had not spoken to any family members since he was arrested, charged and refused bail last week
“I think the Australian Government has a process with regards to at what stage [the family] would get access,” Musthapha said.
“We respect the judicial system, I know at the appropriate stage he will have access but the family’s praying he will get access [to them] as soon as possible.
Police have said Nizamdeen appeared to be an Islamic State Affiliate despite not charging him with being a member of a terrorist organization.
“I don’t think he was researching anything of that sort, if you look at how he conducted himself when he last came to Sri Lanka, he was a fun-loving, sociable, lovable, caring person,” Musthapha said.
“It’s a difficult time for the family… but I know any judicial system has to deal with this among a global phobia of terrorism, so the Australian Government would also be concerned if there’s any suspicion of any form.
Police allege Nizamdeen, who does not have any criminal history in Australia, was operating by himself, but do not believe he was capable of carrying out a terror attack.
If convicted, Nizamdeen could face up to 15 years in prison.
His uncle said despite his position in the Sri Lankan Government he would not be appealing to his Australian counterparts in regards to his nephew’s case.
“I may be a government minister but this is a personal matter and this needs zero governmental interference,” Musthapha said.
“Just because I’m a minister of the Government, it doesn’t mean the Sri Lankan Government should interfere and it would be wrong if they did so.”
Nizamdeen’s LinkedIn page says he’s been working as a Business Systems Analyst at UNSW since 2016, where he helped develop several projects aimed at stopping identity theft.
The commerce graduate was one of the faces of the university’s Hero Program and he was in Australia on a student visa which was due to expire at the end of this month.
“He’s just like any other boy, he plays, he dances, he sings, he parties – he’s not different to any other kid in Australia or Sri Lanka,” Mr Musthapha said.
“Let’s just wait and see, I’m very confident – as a family we’re going through a very difficult time because we believe he’s innocent…. we are very confident that with the right representation he’ll be able to state his case that he is innocent.
“Everybody in the family is shattered and broken but the fact that this happened in Australia, we know that you have a good judicial system and justice will prevail.”
(The featured image at the top shows the Sri Lankan student in Australia, M.Kamer Nilar Nizamdeen)