Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, September 27th, 2020

Survivors, Families Describe Loss, Rage After New Zealand Attacks

Survivors, Families Describe Loss, Rage  After New Zealand Attacks

WELLINGTON - Survivors and relatives of victims from a mass shooting at two New Zealand mosques described in court on Tuesday how more than a year after the attack, they are still having trouble sleeping, enjoying life and providing for their families.
It was the second day of a four-day sentencing hearing for Brenton Tarrant, an Australian self-confessed white supremacist who murdered 51 Muslim worshippers and wounded dozens more during the March 2019 attacks.
The 29-year-old in March pleaded guilty to murder, attempted murder, and "terrorism", reversing an earlier "not guilty" plea. He could become the first person in New Zealand to be sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, the toughest sentence available.
The hearings have given many a chance to confront Tarrant, who showed little emotion as he sat in the dock surrounded by five officers.
Rashid Omar, whose 24-year-old son Tariq was killed at the Al Noor mosque, said he had desperately held out hope his son had survived until police and Muslim leaders read out a list of those who died.
"My body went completely weak and everything went silent," Omar said, breaking down into tears.
"As a parent, no matter how old your children are, they'll always be your baby."
Each day has become a burden to endure and he finds even simple tasks hard to complete, Omar said. He wakes up tired and with no energy. He once loved photography, he said, but now cannot bear to pick up a camera.
Omar's wife Rosemary said she functions from moment to moment, often in a fog. The loss and grief is debilitating, she said, and has cast a shadow over everything in their lives.
"It's like I'm broken, and I see my family as broken," she said. (Aljazeera)