New Zealand Charges 6 People With Reposting Video of Christchurch Massacre Online

Six people were charged in New Zealand for illegally redistributing the video that a gunman livestreamed last month as he killed 50 people in two Christchurch mosques, CBS News reports.

Businessman Philip Arps, 44, and an unidentified 18-year-old man appeared in court Monday and were denied bail. Four others appeared in court but are no longer in custody.

All six have been charged with supplying or distributing objectionable material, which carries up to 14 years in prison.

Along with sharing the video, the 18-year-old posted a still image of the Al Noor mosque where the first attack took place with the words “target acquired.” Prosecutors said they opposed bail for the teen because the words on the second image caused “significant concern.”

New Zealand’s top censor has banned the video of the attack and the manifesto written by the gunman, who faces 50 murder charges and 39 attempted murder charges in the March 15 massacre.

Facebook said that the original livestreamed video was viewed fewer than 200 times and added that the network “did not get a single user report.”

The video was viewed about 4,000 times before Facebook blocked it.

New Zealand bans most semiautomatic guns after attack:

New Zealand’s parliament voted 119-1 to ban most assault weapons just weeks after the attacks, The New York Times reports. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern issued a temporary ban just six days after the shootings to prevent the stockpiling of semiautomatic guns before the ban went into effect.

“New Zealand stands apart in its widespread availability of weapons of such destructive nature and force,” Ardern told Parliament Wednesday. “Today that anomaly ends.”

“The law outlaws military-style semiautomatic weapons and assault rifles, and violators face five years in prison,” The Times reported. “Some semiautomatic guns will still be allowed, including .22-caliber rifles with magazines holding fewer than 10 rounds, and shotguns with internal magazines that hold no more than five rounds. All of the weapons used by the Christchurch gunman will be banned, as well as parts and magazines that can convert lower-powered guns to higher-powered versions.”


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