Christchurch attack survivors offered New Zealand residency
Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, a suspected white supremacist, has been charged with 50 counts of murder for New Zealand’s worst peacetime mass shooting in which 50 other people at Friday prayers were wounded.
The government had said it was considering giving visas to survivors, however, no decision was announced.
Tuesday’s news was only released as a link on the immigration website, which some said was done to avoid any backlash by opponents of immigration.
Immigration New Zealand said a new visa category called the Christchurch Response (2019) visa had been created.
People, who were present at the mosques when they were attacked on March 15, can apply and immediate family members.
Applicants must have been living in New Zealand on the day of the attack, so the visa will not be available to tourists or short-term visitors.
Applications can be made from Wednesday.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the attack was an act of terrorism and passed firearm laws banning semi-automatic weapons.
A Sri Lankan minister said that the Easter bombings at churches and hotels that killed 321 people appeared to be retaliation for the New Zealand mosque attacks.
Police investigating threat against Christchurch’s al-Noor mosque
New Zealand police on Wednesday said they were investigating threats made against one of the two Christchurch mosques in which a gunman killed 51 people almost a year ago.
Canterbury Police executed a search warrant at a Christchurch address after a photo of worshippers at the al-Noor mosque with threatening content was shared on social media on Sunday.
The police said they were speaking to a 19-year-old man in connection with the threat.
The photo was posted two weeks out from the one-year anniversary of the March 15 massacre.
“The man has been charged on an unrelated matter and police have continued to gather evidence in relation to the al-Noor incident,’’ Police Superintendent John Price said in a statement.
“The further sharing of this image is causing significant distress and anxiety for members of our community,’’ Price warned.
“This type of imagery has no place in Aotearoa New Zealand.’’
The abhorrent image had been referred to the New Zealand’s chief censor for consideration as to whether it should be classified as objectionable material.
Police also said they located a number of items at the address where they conducted the search, including a vehicle.
They added the man was from the address but did not provide further details.
Police continued to work alongside al-Noor mosque, Linwood mosque, and other members of the community impacted by the terror attack and have increased patrols in the lead up to the anniversary.
In June, Australian Brenton Tarrant pleaded not guilty to terrorism charges as well as 51 counts of murder and 40 counts of attempted murder for the March 15 attacks.
His trial is set to start in June.
Edited By: Halima Sheji/Maharazu Ahmed
Christchurch gunman manifesto: New Zealand gov’t to contact Ukraine
Christchurch gunman manifesto: New Zealand gov’t to contact Ukraine
Ardern said that she would let foreign ministry officials reach out to Ukraine’s government, after reports has it that the accused Christchurch gunman’s “manifesto” was said being sold in hardcover copies there.
She added that the report said that the e-version of the 87-page, hate-filled document was sold for 4 U.S. dollars.
The “manifesto” was released by the accused gunman on March 15, just before the mass shootings that killed 51 people in two mosques in New Zealand’s Christchurch.
Edited by Hadiza Mohammed
German press watchdog reprimands Bild online for Christchurch scenes broadcast
German mass-circulation tabloid, Bild, came in for criticism from the country’s Press Council on Friday for showing scenes from the Christchurch terrorist attack in New Zealand on its portal.
The press watchdog acknowledged that Bild.de had not shown the violent acts themselves, but had broadcast the alleged terrorist on his way to the mosques and loading his weapon.
“These images were sufficient to generate associations going well beyond legitimate public interest,’’ the council, an association representing major news media, publishing houses and journalists, said in Berlin.
“Bild had thereby provided the perpetrator with the public stage that he was seeking,’’ it added.
Bild.de termed the reasons given for the reprimand “absurd.’’
The tools used by the Christchurch perpetrator had been his weapons and not the free press, according to Bild.
The council said that bild.de infringed a guideline in the press code in terms of which the media should not allow themselves to be turned into tools for criminals.
It added that the detailed and dramatic depiction in the accompanying text served primarily sensationalist interests.
A 28-year-old Australian has been charged with killing 51 people at two mosques that were packed on Friday worshippers in New Zealand’s third-largest city.
He broadcast his mid-March attack in real time over the internet through a helmet camera.
Edited by: Abigael Joshua and Olisa Ifeajika
New Zealand begins inquiry into Christchurch’s mosques massacre
New Zealand begins inquiry into Christchurch’s mosques massacre
A lone gunman killed 51 people at two mosques in Christchurch on March 15 while livestreaming the massacre on Facebook.
It was New Zealand’s worst peace time shooting.
New Zealand’s Royal Commission inquiry will look into the suspected gunman’s activities, use of social media and international connections, as well as whether there was inappropriate priority settings in counter terrorism resources.
“The commission’s findings will help to ensure such an attack never happens here again,” Ardern said in a statement announcing a second commissioner to the inquiry.
The Royal Commission’s website said it would gather information until August and report its findings to the government on Dec. 10.
Some in the Muslim community called for better communication about the inquiry.
“Many of us in the Muslim community have not received any information about the process for hearings…..so many of us in the community very much feel out of the loop,” said Wellington-based community advocate Guled Mire.
“Ultimately, we want our voices to be heard and to no longer be ignored, so hopefully steps are taken to ensure information is directly communicated to members of the Muslim community.”
The Royal Commission did not immediately respond to request for comment.
Ardern is in Paris this week to co-chair a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday.
The meeting seeks to have world leaders and chiefs of tech companies sign the “Christchurch Call”, a pledge to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online.
In an opinion piece in The New York Times on Saturday, Ardern said the “Christchurch Call” will be a voluntary framework that commits signatories to put in place specific measures to prevent the uploading of terrorist content.
Representatives from Facebook, Google, Twitter and other tech companies are expected to be part of the meeting, although Facebook head Mark Zuckerberg will not be in attendance.
Facebook said Nick Clegg, the former deputy prime minister of the U.K., and currently Facebook’s Vice President for Global Affairs and Communications would attend the meeting.
“These are complex issues and we are committed to working with world leaders, governments, industry and safety experts at this week’s meeting.
“And also beyond on a clear framework of rules to help keep people safe from harm,” Clegg said in a statement.
Suspected explosive device found, man arrested in New Zealand’s Christchurch
Police cordoned off streets in the Phillipstown area of the city on New Zealand’s South Island, with a bomb disposal team, ambulance, fire and emergency crews sent to the scene.
District Police Commander, Superintendent John Price, said in a statement “Police have located a package containing a suspected explosive device and ammunition at a vacant address in Christchurch.
“An explosives disposal unit rendered the package safe and a 33-year-old Christchurch man was arrested,’’ the statement said.
However, the police cordon was later lifted.
The New Zealand Herald said police were called due to “threats about an explosive device’’.
Fifty people were killed and dozens wounded in attacks on the Al Noor and Linwood mosques during Friday prayers in Christchurch on March 15, the worst peace-time shooting in New Zealand history.
Tuesday’s incident was about a kilometre from the Linwood mosque.
Authorities have charged Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, a suspected white supremacist, with 50 counts of murder.
Prince William gives emotional speech at Christchurch mosque where 50 were killed
The Duke of Cambridge spoke to about 160 survivors at the al-Noor mosque where a gunman opened fire six weeks ago, killing 42 worshippers.
“`You showed the way we must respond to hate – with love.
“May the forces of love always prevail over the forces of hate,’’ the Prince added.
William arrived in New Zealand on Thursday for a two-day visit to pay his respect to the survivors and families of those affected by the terror attack by a suspected white supremacists on two mosques in the South Island’s biggest city that left 50 dead
On Thursday, he attended Anzac Day services in Auckland and paid a visit to the children’s hospital, where a five-year-old shooting victim is still being treated before heading to Christchurch for a meeting with first responders.
On Friday, the prince visited Christchurch Hospital under tight security where several victims of the shooting are still recovering.
Prince William meets first responders in Christchurch attacks
Prince William meets first responders in Christchurch attacks
On the first day of his two-day visit to New Zealand, the Duke of Cambridge, who has worked as a pilot with the air ambulance service in Britain, paid his respects to the first responders.
He met with New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush and Canterbury District Commander John Price as well as several officers and paramedics.
They were the first to attend the scenes of the March 15 mass-shooting that left 50 people dead.
In the morning William had joined the country’s Anzac Day commemorations in Auckland before travelling to Christchurch.
He laid a wreath on behalf of his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II on the national day of remembrance, which commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders “who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations.”
Prince William has a strong connection with the region since his visits, following the Christchurch earthquakes in 2011 and during his tour of New Zealand with his wife Kate and son Prince George in 2014.
On Friday, the prince will visit the local hospital, where several of the 50 people wounded in last month’s attack are still recovering, before heading to the al-Noor mosque where the majority of the victims died.
New Zealand creates new visa category for Christchurch attack victims’ family
The special visa category is named Christchurch Response (2019) Visa, which allows people directly affected by the terrorist attack at the Masjid Al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch on March 15 to stay permanently in New Zealand, Immigration New Zealand said on Tuesday.
It is confirmed that the new visa category will open on April 24.
New Zealand government said the Christchurch Response 2019 category had been created to recognise the impact of the tragedy on the lives of those most affected.
It was also to give people currently on temporary and resident visas some certainty about their immigration status in New Zealand.
Applications can be made from Wednesday by anyone, who was present at either mosque when the attack took place and their immediate families.
The “immediate family” also includes dependent children, someone’s partner, parents and grandparents of children under 25.
New Zealand votes for gun law changes after Christchurch attack
All but one member of New Zealand’s Parliament voted on Wednesday to change gun laws, less than a month after deadly shooting attacks on two Christchurch mosques that killed 50 people.
The gun reform bill, which passed 119 to one after its final reading in parliament, must now receive royal assent from the governor general before it becomes law.
Brenton Tarrant, 28, a suspected white supremacist, was charged with 50 murder charges after the attack on two mosques on March 15.
Edited by: Abigael Joshua/Abdulfatah Babatunde
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