Shooter of Christchurch Mosque massacre starts legal challenge over prison conditions

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Christchurch mosque massacre gunman who killed 51 people launches legal challenge over multimillion-dollar prison conditions – says it ‘violates his human rights’

  • Australian white supremacist Brenton Tarrant killed 51 and injured 40 more
  • He was sentenced to life in prison without parole last year and is being held
  • The 30-year-old is manned by 18 guards in an operation costing 2.77 million
  • He will ask the Supreme Court to have the human rights restriction relaxed

The Christchurch mosque shooter has filed a legal claim to have the restrictions on his jail time relaxed and no longer be classified as a terrorist.

Australian white supremacist Brenton Tarrant shot 51 people dead and injured 40 more in an attack on two mosques in New Zealand on March 15, 2019.

He was sentenced to life in prison without parole in August 2020, the most severe sentence ever handed out by a New Zealand court, and placed in a special terrorist facility set up four months after the attack.

The 30-year-old is staffed by 18 guards in the Prisoners of Extreme Risk Unit, which is located in Paremoremo Prison, in a security operation that costs taxpayers about $ 2.77 million a year.

On Thursday, he will also ask the Auckland Supreme Court to withdraw his designation as a terrorist on human rights grounds. Stuff reported.

Pictured: Brenton Tarrant, who shot 51 people dead and injured 40 more in an attack on two mosques in New Zealand on March 15, 2019

Kiwis at an improvised monument along Rolleston Avenue in Christchurch on March 19, 2019 after the attack that killed 51 and 40 others.  The shooter now plans to appeal his prison terms

Kiwis at an improvised monument along Rolleston Avenue in Christchurch on March 19, 2019 after the attack that killed 51 and 40 others. The shooter now plans to appeal his prison terms

Tarrant is one of three people held in ‘prison in a prison’, but has his own wing.

‘The other two are in the same wing, but they are all handled separately, it’s a costly exercise,’ a source told the NZ Herald in March.

Under the country’s correctional law, inmates are entitled to exercise, bedding, a proper diet, one visitor per week, legal counsel, medical treatment, health care, mail, and phone calls.

But rights can be withheld for a variety of reasons, including when detainees are separated or placed in custody.

Following his August verdict, Nigel Hampton QC, board member of the International Criminal Court, said that Tarrant’s incarceration must be carefully managed, consistent with the health risks associated with isolation.

Police at Linwood Islamic Center in Christchurch (pictured) after Tarrant opened fire on March 15, 2019

Police at Linwood Islamic Center in Christchurch (pictured) after Tarrant opened fire on March 15, 2019

Risks include suicide, psychosis, anxiety, depression, fractures, blindness, weakness and weight loss.

His detention must also be in accordance with the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment, which discourages solitary confinement.

The New Zealand Bill of Rights also protects all citizens from torture and excessively harsh punishment.

The review does not affect the outcome of the criminal case, his sentence or conviction as a terrorist.

The 30-year-old is manned by 18 guards in the Prisoners of Extreme Risk Unit, which is in the Paremoremo Prison (photo)

The 30-year-old is manned by 18 guards in the Prisoners of Extreme Risk Unit, which is in the Paremoremo Prison (photo)

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