Christchurch Gunman Submits Complaint About Lack Of Amenities In Prison

New Zealand Shooting Suspect
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The man accused of killing 50 people and wounding approximately 50 more during the mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand, has made a formal complaint to the prison indicating that he has been deprived of basic entitlements, The New Zealand Herald reports. The alleged gunman is being held at Auckland Prison in Paremoremo, New Zealand.

According to the complaint, which the accused terrorist submitted to the Department of Corrections, he has been continually deprived of what he characterizes as basic human rights.

Under his incarceration, the man has been separated from other inmates and is monitored around the clock by a combination of live staff and security cameras. He is not allowed to have visitors and is prohibited from having newspapers, radio, or television. He is also disallowed phone calls.

According to sources within the prison, the complaint centered around not being allowed visitors or phone calls.

“He is being managed in accordance with the provisions set out in the Corrections Act 2004 and our international obligations for the treatment of prisoners,” a spokesperson for the prison said. “For operational security reasons no further information will be provided.”

According to the Corrections Act referenced by the spokesperson, inmates are entitled to certain comforts including exercise, bedding, warmth, and health. They are also entitled to an appropriate amount of nutritious food including drinks and at least three meals per day.

Prison officials indicated that the prisoner has been allowed access to a concrete exercise yard for one hour per day.

More relevant to the prisoner’s complaint, however, is the fact that each inmate is allowed at least one visitor each week for at least 30 minutes, as well as one outgoing phone call of up to five minutes. The act, however, also carries a provision in which the above entitlements can be revoked in case of an emergency in the prison or if the security or safety of the prison or any person is in jeopardy. Additionally, the prison director may deny a prisoner access to these entitlements if they are in segregation, as the rules indicate, “for purposes of security, good order, or safety; or for the purpose of protective custody.”

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According to prison staff, the prisoner has been described as “compliant” thus far and he is due to appear in the High Court of Christchurch in April. That appearance will likely take place remotely, via live video feed so that the prisoner does not need to be transported to Christchurch.

So far, the charge is limited to a single murder, but another 49 are likely at that appearance, plus additional charges.