SHAFAQNA- New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Monday ordered an independent judicial inquiry into the terrorist attack at mosques in Christchurch, to decide whether intelligence services and police could have prevented the March 15 attack.
Ardern said a royal commission — the most powerful judicial probe available under New Zealand law — was needed to find out how a single gunman was able to kill 50 people in an attack that shocked the world.
“It is important that no stone is left unturned to get to how this act of terrorism occurred and how we could have stopped it,” she told reporters.
In the wake of New Zealand’s worst terror attack since the 1940s, the island country’s intelligence apparatus has come under fire for having solely focused on Takfiri terrorism, while ignoring the threats of right-wing extremism.
“One question we need to answer is whether or not we could or should have known more,” Ardern said.
“New Zealand is not a surveillance state … but questions need to be answered.”
Ardern ruled out New Zealand re-introducing the death penalty for accused gunman Brenton Tarrant, 28, who was arrested minutes after the attack on the mosques and has been charged with murder.
The country abolished the death penalty for all offenses including murder in 1961, except for treason and a number of military offenses. The recent mass murder has renewed a debate on whether it was a right decision to scrap the death penalty.
The massacre also prompted an immediate ban on the sales of “military-style” semi-automatic and automatic weapons like the ones used in the mass shooting, Press TV told.
She said details of the royal commission were being finalized but it would be comprehensive and would report in a timely manner, France 24 reported.
Ardern’s call for such an inquiry was praised by members of New Zealand’s Muslim community.
“The announcement of an inquiry is a great call and the right thing to do. I hope that it will be an inclusive inquiry and that an opportunity will be provided to the Muslim community to feed into the terms of reference” for the probe, said Guled Mire, a Muslim community advocate.
“It’s important we get this right so we can learn from past mistakes,” he said.
Women all over New Zealand put on headscarves on Friday to show solidarity with Muslims a week after 50 people were killed at two mosques in the city of Christchurch, huffingtonpost told.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that she was humbled by the support and solidarity of the Muslim community while visiting an Auckland mosque. Wearing a hijab, Ardern greeted and hugged several of the attendees at Masjid e Umar mosque, irishtimes reported.
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