War veteran’s family a victim of racially-motivated attacks

War veteran’s family a victim of racially-motivated attacks

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Gosnells local, Azad Alizada was shot in combat fighting against the Taliban.

Staying at home during this time hasn’t been easy for many, but for a local family of six in Gosnells, leaving the house has been a terrifying experience.

Fourty-one-year-old Asad Alizada contacted The Examiner this week in the hope of getting help from the community and local police.

Originally from Afghanistan and having spent time as a refugee in Pakistan, Mr Alizada and his family were relieved, six years ago, to be told they would be able to move to Australia.

After leaving Pakistan and having a welcoming experience in Tasmania for four years, Mr Alizada said all that happiness faded away when he moved to Greenough Way in Gosnells.

“Since we moved to Gosnells two years ago, children from around the neighbourhood have been constantly abusing us and throwing rocks at our house,” he said.

“I don’t sleep and I don’t let my kids play in our local playground because they are verbally abused and they have even told us to leave the country.

“We are citizens, but sometimes we don’t feel like we belong in this country.”

The former soldier who suffered a gunshot wound to the head while he was fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan was left permanently vision impaired.

Mr Alizada said coming to Australia was an opportunity for his children and wife to have a better future, but without much social life and constant abuse, it is uncertainty that scares him the most.

“Before coming here, I had plans to offer my military knowledge to the Australian Army and also contribute ideas for education.

“Things in Afghanistan are very different, it is not safe, women can’t do many things and education is not good.

“I would like my family to be happy and feel at home here, knowing my children will be safe playing in the playground, but at the moment that just hasn’t been possible.”

Mr Alizada has contacted the police previously who advised him about CCTV cameras to be able to target the underage group but the local resident believes the issue is much bigger.

“When I took the matter into my own hands with some of the children’s families and asked for them to teach their children, they told me to leave them alone.

“There needs to be programs for these underage kids other than a warning or just telling them to stop, the government needs to get involved, because something like this shouldn’t happen here.”

Officer in charge of Gosnells Police, Senior Sergeant Craig Stephen said nobody should be living in fear and stressed the importance of reporting these incidents to police.

“It is important they call us as soon as it happens so we can directly get in contact with them and stop this kind of behaviour,” he said.

“He could also get a Misconduct Restraining Order made by the court, and in cases where underaged people are involved there is access to juvenile teams which are a way to handle young people to take responsibility for their actions.

“But we won’t tolerate any form of abuse and the police are here to help stop that.”

Mr Alizada said he has requested help from the council and sent a letter to the mayor David Goode with the hope of getting a visit from him to discuss the issues in his neighbourhood.