Aussie extremist complains jail is too hard
The man allegedly responsible for killing 50 people and wounding almost the same number in the Christchurch terror attacks has reportedly made a formal complaint from prison about being deprived of his entitlements.
Australian man Brenton Tarrant is being held at Auckland Prison in Paremoremo under tight security, after he was flown up from Christchurch on a New Zealand Defence Force plane following his first court appearance.
The alleged gunman has been segregated from other prisoners and is able to be observed 24 hours a day, either directly by staff or via CCTV camera.
He has been denied the right to have visitors and has no access to newspapers, radio or TV.
It emerged today that he had made a formal complaint to the Department of Corrections, claiming he was being deprived of his basic rights.
A Corrections source told New Zealand news website Stuff the inmate's complaint included that he was not being allowed any access to visitors or phone calls.
A Corrections spokesperson confirmed today the man has "no access to television, radio or newspapers and has no approved visitors".
"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," the spokesperson said.
"For operational security reasons, no further information will be provided."
According to the Corrections Act, inmates have a "minimum entitlement" to certain things including exercise, sufficient bedding for "warmth, health and reasonable comfort", a sufficient quantity of wholesome food and drink, and at least three meals a day.
Every prisoner is entitled to receive at least one private visitor each week for a minimum duration of 30 minutes and at least one outgoing telephone call of up to five minutes duration per week.
The Act also states that these entitlements can be withheld "if there is an emergency in the prison or the security of the prison is threatened or if the health or safety of any person is threatened".
A prison director may also deny a prisoner access to the minimum entitlements if they are in segregation "for purposes of security, good order, or safety; or for the purpose of protective custody".
The prison source told Stuff the accused was allowed outside into a concrete exercise yard for one hour a day.
He was said to be "compliant".
The accused is due to reappear in the High Court at Christchurch next month.
It is likely he will appear via audiovisual link.
His image has been suppressed but he did not seek name suppression.
He will represent himself in court.
Police have charged him with one count of murder but further charges are expected to be added at his next appearance.
Another 49 murder charges are likely and it's possible he will also face a raft of attempted murder or wounding-related charges.
Police have yet to comment on whether he would face any terrorism-related charges.
This article originally appeared in the New Zealand Herald and is republished with permission