Christchurch Massacre: "The Age of Innocence is Over for New Zealand"
First, of course, we will talk about New Zealand who lived through the first 24 hours after 50 people died in the shootings in mosques. Back in the day, we, Vesti v Subbotu, did the first TV interview in Russia with the prime minister of New Zealand, We understand the nature of this country quite well. It is quite remote and calm. Today, we got in touch with our friends there. All of them are shocked.
Dmitry Khrustalev gathered all the latest news.
This is the very man who committed the massacre that is now known all over the world. Wearing handcuffs and prison garb, he didn't say a word in court but demonstrated Nazi gestures. They showed his lawyers only briefly. In this case, no one asked to release him on bail. For now, the judge accused the 28-year old man of murdering at least one person. The accusation of terrorism is also expected.
Then, off-screen, the judge stated:
«My temporary decision is to forbid the disclosing the name of the accused or any other information that may lead to disclosing his identity. Otherwise, an unjustified danger to his family members may appear».
In fact, the name is known: Brandon Tarrant. As it turned out, he didn't live in Christchurch, where he committed the shooting, but in the neighboring Dunedin. The whole quarter around his house was shut off for several hours. The police have even used the antimine robot. Once again, everybody knows about the so-called Tarrant's manifesto, where he postulates his antimuslim and anti-immigration views, which, among other things, were based on his understanding of the legacy of Radovan Karadzic, a Bosnian Serb.
Today it became known that 10 minutes before the mass murder, Tarrant has sent his manifesto to prime minister's office and 70 more addresses. The danger is that such ideas, leading to terrorist acts, are wandering on the Internet all over the world.
According to the latest data, 50 persons have fallen victims of the attack: a citizen of Saudi Arabia has died in hospital. At least 39 victims, including a 4-year-old girl and 2-year-old toddler, are still under the supervision of doctors.
Besides Brandon Tarrant, Australian, two more suspects have been arrested. Another man turned out to be uninvolved in the attack. He just carried a gun and intended to help the police. He has already been released.
New Zealand hasn't suffered so many casualties since WWII. Additional forces were drawn to Christchurch. There were messages in the morning that they shut off the hospital in Hastings because of a threat. This turned out to be a false alarm. The prime minister has also flown to Christchurch. First of all, she visited the local Muslim community, calling what happened a terrorist act. When she dropped her kerchief on her shoulders during the press conference, she announced that the country needs to change its laws regulating the arms traffic.
Jacinda Ardern: «The suspect had two semi-automatic guns, two shotguns, and a license for all of that. For now, the investigation on how he acquired the weapons and got the license for it is still ongoing. But I can assure you that our laws regarding weapons will surely change. There were attempts to stiffen the laws in 2005, 2012, and 2017. However, now it is high time for changes».
The weapon laws in New Zealand are truly more severe than in the USA but not as severe as in Europe or in neighboring Australia. According to the statistics, there are almost 1.5 million guns in hands legally. There is no general registry. Anyone who is older than 16 years can purchase a weapon. The firearms license costs only 25 dollars. Tarrant, for one, easily got the firearms license in 2017 and bought the guns. He visited Turkey twice and then Pakistan but caused no suspicion with the police.
David Parker, New Zealand's Attorney General: «We are going to ban the sale of semi-automatic rifles. It has no place in our society».
People bring flowers and light candles to the site in Christchurch all day. They stand either silent or praying, barely holding back their tears. As one local newspaper wrote today, the age of innocence is over for New Zealand.
Dmitry Khrustalev, Gleb Napara, Vesti v Subbotu.