Man who shared NZ mosque shooting video jailed

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-48671837

Al Noor mosque, one of the mosques where some 50 people were killedImage copyright
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Image caption

Al Noor mosque was one of two mosques targeted during the Christchurch attack

A New Zealand man who shared a livestream video of the Christchurch mosque attacks has been jailed for 21 months.

Philip Arps sent the video to 30 people and to a friend, asking for it to be modified to include a “kill count”.

Christchurch District Judge Stephen O’Driscoll said Arps held “unrepentant views” towards the Muslim community.

A gunman killed 51 people in the attack on Muslims at a mosque and Islamic centre during Friday prayers in March.

At the Christchurch District Court on Tuesday, Arps pleaded guilty to two charges of distributing objectionable material for sharing footage that was livestreamed to social media during the attack.

The court heard that Arps had also intended to share a modified video – which included crosshairs and a kill count. He had described the modified footage as “awesome”, the New Zealand Herald reports.

Judge O’Driscoll condemned Arps’ actions, calling them a “hate crime”. He added that it was “particularly cruel” of Arps to share the video in the days after the attacks.

The judge added that a pre-sentence report raised other issues about Arps that were concerning, but said he did not want to mention them publicly as this could be seen by Arps as a “badge of honour”.

The 44-year-old businessman had pleaded guilty in April.

He was also convicted in 2016 of offensive behaviour for leaving a pig’s head at the Al Noor mosque – one of those targeted during the Christchurch mass shooting.

Australian Brenton Tarrant faces 92 charges in relation to the shootings at the Al Noor mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre in Christchurch. Earlier this week, he pleaded not guilty to all charges and is expected to face trial next year.

The 15 March attack was New Zealand’s deadliest mass shooting in modern times.

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Media captionAttack survivor Mazharuddin Syed Ahmed: “We were all praying… and I heard gunshots”