“You Are Now in Hell & Only Fire Awaits You”, Christchurch Shooter Sentenced to Life Without Parole
According to The Guardian, New Zealand mosque gunman Brenton Tarrant is sentenced to life without parole over the attacks that killed 51 Muslim worshippers last year after survivors demanded he remained behind bars “until his last gasp”.
It is the first time under the current NZ law that a sentence of life without the possibility of parole has been imposed. The Australian white supremacist admitted 51 charges of murder, 40 of attempted murder and one of terrorism over the attacks, after reversing an initial plea of not guilty.
SCMP reported that the High Court Judge Cameron Mander said a finite term would not be sufficient.
“Your crimes, however, are so wicked that even if you are detained until you die it will not exhaust the requirements of punishment and denunciation… As far as I can discern, you are empty of any empathy for your victims,” Mander said when handing down the sentence.
In the days before the sentencing, the court heard many emotionally charged testimonies from the survivors of the attack. One of them came from Aden Diriye, who is the father to 3-year-old Mucaad Ibrahim, the youngest person to die in the terrorist’s rampage.
Diriye told Brenton to “know that true justice is waiting for you in the next life and that will be far more severe (than prison). I will never forgive you for what you have done”.
Ahad Nabi, whose father Haji Daoud Nabi was killed in Al Noor mosque, called Brenton a coward who should never be allowed to walk free.
“While you are in prison you will come to realise that you are now in hell and only the fire awaits you,” he said.
Meanwhile, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, welcomed the life sentence, saying Tarrant deserved a lifetime of “complete and utter silence”. She also acknowledged the strength of the Muslim community, whose members shared victim impact statements over the past three days in the Christchurch High Court.
“You relived the horrific events of March 15 to chronicle what happened that day and the pain it has left behind… Nothing will take the pain away but I hope you felt the arms of New Zealand around you through this whole process, and I hope you continue to feel that through all the days that follow,” she said.
The horrific crime which happened on 15 March 2019 was broadcasted live on Facebook by Brenton who even published an extremist manifesto online detailing his anti-Islamic views. It prompted an outpouring of grief around the world and generated debate about how to deal with white supremacist terrorism.