New Zealand shooter demands access to visitors, phone calls in prison, says he's being treated unfairly
The 28-year-old Brenton Tarrant has lodged a complaint with the Department of Corrections stating that he is being denied his basic rights behind bars
Brenton Tarrant, the prime accused in the Christchurch mosque shooting, has reportedly made a formal complaint saying he is being denied his fundamental rights in prison.
The Australian-born 28-year-old was charged with murder for allegedly gunning down 50 Muslim worshippers at two mosques on March 15 and is currently being held at Auckland Prison in Paremoremo, according to a Daily Mail report.
Tarrant is currently not permitted visitors, phone calls, or access to television or newspapers, thus prompting him to lodge a complaint with the Department of Corrections to contest his situation in prison. "He's under constant observation and isolation. He doesn't get the usual minimum entitlements. So no phone calls and no visits," a prison source told Stuff.
Inmates are entitled to sending or receiving mail, medical treatment, food and drink, bedding, making outgoing phone calls, access to visitors, education, as well as information, according to New Zealand's Corrections Act.
However, if there is an emergency in the prison, or if the security of the prison is threatened, the rights can be denied to a prisoner, the law states. However, it is unclear if Tarrant has fallen under these exceptions.
Nonetheless, Tarrant's complaint could be well founded as the "rule of the law applies" to all prisoners, a legal expert told Stuff.
The alleged killer is currently kept in his cell segregated from other inmates and is constantly under the watchful eye of prison guards and CCTV 24 hours a day.
The source further informed that Tarrant is allowed access to a small yard made of concrete walls and floors near his cell for up to an hour a day. According to authorities, Tarrant is "unlike anyone else we've got" in the jail, but has been "compliant" thus far.
On March 16, the suspected shooter was charged with one count of murder. However, he is expected to face several other charges in his next hearing scheduled on April 5, where he will appear via video link and will represent himself.