Christchurch attacks: New Zealand inquiry to report back by end of year
WELLINGTON (Reuters) – New Zealand’s Royal Commission inquiry into deadly shooting attacks on two Christchurch mosques would report back to the government by December 10, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday.
The inquiry would look into the suspected gunman’s activities, use of social media and international connections, as well as whether there was “inappropriate” priority setting in state counter terrorism resources.
“The Royal Commission plays a critical role in our ongoing response to fully understand what happened in the lead up to the attack and to ensure such an attack never happens again,” Ardern told reporters at Parliament.
A suspected white supremacist has been charged with 50 counts of murder over the Christchurch shootings on March 15 and will next appear in court in June.
Ardern has said the man had not been on any watch lists in New Zealand or Australia.
New Zealand’s worst peacetime mass shooting has shaken the country to its core and prompted the government to quickly tighten gun laws.
Ardern said the inquiry would look into whether security agencies had applied scrutiny to Muslim communities at the expense of far right groups.
“It is aimed directly at trying to pick up what has been a question raised in the aftermath the terror attacks into whether or not resourcing was only focused on particular areas and whether or not that came at the cost of other areas, so yes we are directly trying to address that issue,” she said.
The commission, would be led by William Young, a judge on New Zealand’s highest court, who would be given security clearances to look at information held by New Zealand’s intelligence agencies.
The inquiry would start considering evidence from May 13 and another inquirer would be appointed in April, Ardern said.
Christchurch victim martyred Areeb laid to rest in Karachi
Earlier, Areeb, who martyred in the Christchurch attack, was laid to rest in Karachi. Funeral prayers for Areeb were offered at Sangam Ground Karachi.
Thousands of people, including Khawaja Izhar, Amir Khan, Sindh former governor Muhammad Zubair, attended the funeral. He will be buried in Sakhi Hassan graveyard.
Earlier, moving scenes were witnessed when the body of Areeb reached at his residence.
After completing his education, Areeb had gone to New Zealand for a better future. He had embraced martyrdom in the terror attack during the Friday prayers.
Areeb’s uncle said that the governments of Pakistan and New Zealand had cooperated with them. “Representatives of both countries are in contact with us and assured all-out cooperation,” he said.
Sindh Governor Imran Ismail said that relatives of Areeb will be provided all-out cooperation. He paid tributes to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
French Muslim group sues Facebook, YouTube over Christchurch footage
French Muslims said it was suing Facebook and YouTube, accusing them of inciting violence by allowing the streaming of footage of the Christchurch massacre on their platforms.
The French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM) said the companies had disseminated material that encouraged terrorism, and harmed the dignity of human beings. There was no immediate comment from either company.