Accused Christchurch gunman files formal complaint claiming he’s being denied basic rights in prison

Accused Christchurch mosque shooter Brenton Tarrant has filed a formal complaint claiming he is being denied his basic rights behind bars. 

Australian-born Tarrant, 28, has been jailed at Auckland Prison in Paremoremo since he was charged with murder for allegedly gunning down 50 Muslim worshippers at two mosques on March 15.

Tarrant has reportedly lodged a complaint with the Department of Corrections to contest his situation in prison where he currently is not permitted visitors, phone calls, or access to television or newspapers, Stuff reported. 

Accused gunman Brenton Tarrant has filed a complaint with the New Zealand Department of Corrections claiming he is being denied his basic rights behind bars

Accused gunman Brenton Tarrant has filed a complaint with the New Zealand Department of Corrections claiming he is being denied his basic rights behind bars

Accused gunman Brenton Tarrant has filed a complaint with the New Zealand Department of Corrections claiming he is being denied his basic rights behind bars 

Australian-born Tarrant, 28, has been jailed at Auckland Prison (pictured) since he was charged with murder, and currently is not permitted access to visitors, phone calls, or newspapers

Australian-born Tarrant, 28, has been jailed at Auckland Prison (pictured) since he was charged with murder, and currently is not permitted access to visitors, phone calls, or newspapers

Australian-born Tarrant, 28, has been jailed at Auckland Prison (pictured) since he was charged with murder, and currently is not permitted access to visitors, phone calls, or newspapers 

‘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 the publication.

According to New Zealand’s Corrections Act, inmates are entitled to making outgoing phone calls, sending or receiving mail, medical treatment, bedding, food and drink, access to visitors, access to information and education, among other things.

The law also states a prisoner can be denied these rights if there is an emergency in the prison, the security of the prison is threatened, or the health or safety of any person is threatened. 

It is unknown if Tarrant has fallen under these exceptions. 

A legal expert told the publication that Tarrant’s complaint could be well founded as the ‘rule of the law applies’ to all prisoners.  

Tarrant is currently under the watchful eye of prison guards and CCTV for 24 hours a day as he is kept in his cell segregated from other inmates. 

The gunman is accused of opening fire on two Christchurch mosques and killing 50 Muslim worshippers on March 15

The gunman is accused of opening fire on two Christchurch mosques and killing 50 Muslim worshippers on March 15

The gunman is accused of opening fire on two Christchurch mosques and killing 50 Muslim worshippers on March 15 

He is allowed access to small yard, made up of concrete walls and floors, connected to his cell for one hour a day, the source said. 

He has been described as ‘unlike anyone else we’ve got’in the jail, but has been ‘compliant.’

The suspected gunman was charged with one count of murder on March 16 but is expected to face additional charges when he returns to court on April 5. 

He will appear through an audio-visual link, and will represent himself. 

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