(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –A businessman in New Zealand has been sentenced to nearly two years in prison for sharing footage of the Christchurch mosque attacks, which saw a lone gunman livestream the massacre of 51 Muslims during Friday prayers on March 15.
Philip Arps, 44, was sentenced during a court hearing in Christchurch on Tuesday after having earlier pleaded guilty to two charges of distributing objectionable material.
New Zealand’s government has outlawed the sharing of videos of the massacre, with such an offence punishable by up to 14 years in jail.
In addition to sharing the footage with about 30 people, Arps also possessed a doctored clip of the attacks featuring crosshairs and a “kill count”, the court heard.
“Your offending glorifies and encourages the mass murder carried out under the pretext of religious and racial hatred,” District Court Judge Stephen O’Driscoll said.
O’Driscoll added that Arps – a self-described white supremacist who argued he had a right to distribute the video under the banner of freedom to pursue his political beliefs – had described the footage as “awesome” and possessed strong and unrepentant views about the Muslim community.