Socialist Alliance in Victoria released the sttement below on September 25.
Authorities have inundated the media with “leaks” to portray Numan Haider, shot dead outside a police station in Endeavour Hills on September 23, as a terrorist in the making.
Statements in the media have been angled to present Haider as a terrorist, such as in The Age on September 25: “A suspected plot to behead two police officers by an 18-year-old terror suspect with links to international group Islamic State has elevated fears of further terrorist attacks just days before grand final weekend.”
Sean Brocklehurst, the Socialist Alliance's candidate for Pascoe Vale, said: “Messages and even photos don't prove that Numan Haider is a terrorist. These statements help cover up the facts behind his death.
“First, when Haider met the police, regardless of whether it was in the police station or in the park, he was technically under police custody and therefore, the police had a duty of care for him.
“Second, even if we take at face value the 'facts' presented by police, it doesn't explain the other aspects of the supposed investigation such as how much pressure was applied to him and his family. Why did the authorities cancel Haider's passport?
“And third, why did Numan Haider have to die? Even if the police version is true, why wasn't everything done to prevent the loss of someone's life? Why did the police shoot to kill?”
Sue Bolton, a Socialist Alliance councillor for Moreland in Melbourne, said the case was a death in custody: “His death has a lot in common with the case of 15-year-old Tyler Cassidy, who was shot and killed by the police in Northcote in 2008. In the 1990s, the Victorian police had a reputation as being the state where police were most prepared to shoot to kill, usually mentally ill people.
“The prejudice against Muslims that is being whipped up by politicians, the media and right-wing race-hate groups, is being used to prejudice any investigation of the facts about how Numan Haider came to die.
“It will be difficult to uncover the facts of Numan Haidar's case, because police will be investigating police. As we have seen in many cases across Australia, the police force is a racist institution which engages in racial profiling. We couldn't have any confidence in the police investigation, especially as the police have already been feeding information to the media which is designed to prejudice the public against Numan Haidar.”
Brocklehurst and Bolton called for an independent investigation into the police shooting of Numan Haidar.
Socialist Alliance also calls for:
• The attacks on Muslims to cease,
• For the government to stop stripping people of their passports,
• No new anti-terrorism laws be passed,
• The existing anti-terrorism laws to be repealed and the usual laws against violence and murder to be applied instead,
• No discrimination against women on the basis of what they choose to wear and no further attempts to “ban the burqa” or any other form of Muslim dress.