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tv   BBC News  BBC News  March 17, 2019 4:00am-4:31am GMT

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this is bbc world news. i'm sharanjit leyl in christchurch. the headlines. new zealand's prime minister has again pledged tougher gun controls following the attack on two mosques in christchurch. we cannot be deterred from the work that we need to do on our gun laws in new zealand. they need to change. regardless of what activity may or may not have happened with gun retailers, babel change. —— they will change. earlier, she held emotional meetings with islamic leaders and other members of the islamic community in wellington. all sing. meanwhile, crowds have been gathering in christchurch to pay their respects and lay flowers. 50 people are now known to have died, while 13 remain in critical condition.
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i'm reged ahmad in london. also in the programme: president macron has condemned violent protests by yellow vest protestors in paris. shops were looted and barricades set alight. hello and welcome. within the past hour, new zealand's prime ministerjacinda ardern has been giving an update on the shootings at two mosques in christchurch on friday. my colleague, sharanjit leyl, is in christchurch. let's go there now. it's 5 o'clock in the afternoon here in christchurch and it's a day of mourning and remembrance, as the people of christchurch turn out to show their rejection of the hate that inspired friday's horrific attacks.
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iam standingjust i am standing just a short distance away from al noor mosque on deans avenue, the site of one of the attacks and all—day, people, hundreds of people, have been coming here leaving floral tributes and m essa 9 es here leaving floral tributes and m essa g es of here leaving floral tributes and messages of support —— all day. i have been —— chanting, as well as performing haka maori dance is. they have been rejecting the show of hate that was of course, we saw on friday incident —— dances. we also heard from the prime minister's —— upon minister who had a busy day, visiting kilbirnie bosque earlier and then with several islamic leaders there. it was an emotional gathering for many people left shocked by the attack. the prime minister laid flowers and shared some emotional moments. she went from there to parliament to give the update on the ongoing status of the
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victims, security operations, and criminal proceedings in the wake of the attack. many of you will know, today i went to kilbirnie mosque delay flowers with wellington mayorjustin lester and to meet with islamic community leaders and the message of one of gratitude to the outpouring of love that they have experienced from the people of wellington. and an acknowledgement of the grief that the community feels. as the police commissioner confirmed this morning, 50 people have been killed and 3a people remain in christchurch hospital. 12 of them in the intensive care unit in critical condition. a four —year—old girl remains ina condition. a four —year—old girl remains in a critical condition at starship hospital in auckland. i can confirm that the bodies of those who have died are beginning to be returned to their families from this
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evening. it is likely, however, to bea evening. it is likely, however, to be a small number to begin with. it is the expectation that all bodies will be returned to families on wednesday. to help ensure this happens as quickly as possible, we are receiving support from six disaster victim identification staff from australia. she also gave details of the manifesto that was emailed to more than 30 organisations across the country. i was one of more than 30 recipients ofa i was one of more than 30 recipients of a manifesto that was mailed out nine minutes before the attack took place. it did not include a location. it did not include specific details. i am advised that within two minutes of its receipt, in at least my office, it was
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conveyed directly to parliamentary security. the insurance i want to give is had it provided details could have been acted on immediately, it would have been. but there, unfortunately, we know such details in the e—mail. there, unfortunately, we know such details in the e-mail. if that pretty chilling for you to receive, ina pretty chilling for you to receive, in a broader sense, as i understand it was a general e—mail? in a broader sense, as i understand it was a general e-mail? it was, it did not go directly to me, i did not directly receive it. and as i say, it went to over 30 e—mails, including media, including the parliamentary tourism desk, it went quite widely. but again, the fact that there was an ideological ma nifesto that there was an ideological manifesto with extreme views attached to this attack, of course, is deeply disturbing. she also addressed reporters question about
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the facebook live streaming of the shooting that the murder suspect had shared on the social media site. certainly, i have had contact from cheryl samberg. i have not spoken to her directly but she has reached out. and an acknowledgement of what has occurred here in new zealand. and this is an issue that i will look to be discussing directly with facebook. now, i believe there is yet another press conference today, there have been several, of course, and this is one that has been held by the police, we heard from the less commissioner mike bush earlier today. —— police commissioner. they have been giving an update on the number of dead. returning all the victims to their loved ones. this is
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oui’ victims to their loved ones. this is our priority. and we are doing everything possible to get this done as quickly as possible. the past a0 hours have been totally traumatic for these families. and many of them have not slept. to add to the trauma, they have been unable to bury their loved ones according to the muslim traditions. and we are working very hard to ease the pain of that. we have more than 70 disaster victim identification officers working to identify and returned the victims to their families. they are based here at the operation headquarters and also at watery at christchurch hospital. which has been temporarily expanded. —— mortuary. in the past hour, another 20 specifically trained dvi officers have arrived from other
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parts of the country. we are also being assisted by staff in the new zealand defence force and the disaster victim identification process. but a foot in mouth. we continue to work closely with all of the friends and families that have been affected by this horrific event. this is totally unprecedented in our history, in our modern history. we are working closely with arms of closely and nationally and we have assembled them all here in christchurch —— imams. the support of the muslim leaders in the communities has been exceptional. in the past few hours, myself and judge marshall, chief coroner, have met with the leaders from the muslim community to discuss the process from here on in. in terms of how we manage the release of their loved
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ones. many of their families know that although they have not been formally identified, they are missing, presumed deceased. 0ursole focus is to get their loved ones back and to follow the cultural traditions, such as the washing and shrouding of their loved ones, and we have made progress is available to carry out these sensitive cultural issues. we are working closely with christchurch hospital and funeral director is within the christchurch area. —— directors. the only comfort we can provide to these grieving families is to return their family members to them as expediently as we can. and we are working very hard to make this happen. i'm now going to hand over tojudge marshall, happen. i'm now going to hand over to judge marshall, a happen. i'm now going to hand over tojudge marshall, a chief coroner, who can speak further to you about the coronial quotes is up for
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process. thank you. i would just like to start by offering my condolences to those who are suffering from the loss of their loved ones. we are very aware, in the coronial service, of the cultural issues surrounding this. and we are doing everything that we can to manage the process in a culturally appropriate way. the police, forensic pathologists, and the coroners, are working as quickly as possible to allow the families to have their loved ones back. we have five coroners available in christchurch this purpose we also have numerous support staff available. ijust have numerous support staff available. i just want have numerous support staff available. ijust want to touch on the disaster victim identification process so the disaster victim identification process so you the disaster victim identification
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process so you can the disaster victim identification process so you can understand what is happening. behind the scenes. this is a process which follows international best guidelines. it is to make sure that we are sure of the identity of the deceased person. there could be nothing worse than giving the wrong body to the wrong family. and we find, from overseas examples, that when you try and speed up a process or miss out steps, that is exactly what happens. and it is not going to happen here. so we have a process which is followed internationally. all of the deceased have had a ct scan. their fingerprints are taken. the property they were wearing or had with them is removed. and photographed. forensic apologists are available to compare dental records with the
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deceased. and we conduct a postmortem examination. so what we are looking for is what we call antecedent in postmortem, thorough, antemortem and postmortem information. antemortem is information. antemortem is information we may get from the families, so their loved one weighed this much, is this tall, when a lift home they were wearing this. their favourite watch is like this. i have a scar. i have had the appendix removed. so we get that from a range of people, including their doctors, dentists. then when they go through the disaster victim identification process, but is the postmortem information, a pathologist may be able to say this person has an appendix missing. this is the watch they were wearing. this is the close they were wearing. this is the close they were wearing. this is the close they were wearing, this is helpful they were wearing, this is helpful they are, this is how much they weigh. role of the coroner and police is then together all that information is brought together, and
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the coroner must be satisfied that the coroner must be satisfied that the identity has been established. once that occurs, the coroner will formally release the body and we will advise them watery we are satisfied that that identity and we will advise the family —— the mortuary. at that stage the body can be released to the family. so this isa be released to the family. so this is a process we have to go through and we will be going through it with every single body. thank you. any questions? how many of the 50 people who have died had actually been formally identified? we started the postmortem is this morning. and we understand that later on tonight, we may be releasing the first body. so the identification is part of the postmortem process. unaudible
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question. i will leave that to the police. we have undertaken a very thorough process, we have identified the names of the ai injured, which we released on friday evening. we went through a very thorough process of reconciling the names of those missing against the names on our database. the a9 people plus the later one that has since passed. they have also been identified alongside families. bar for which we still need to confirm. as a part of the missing persons process. so we have used the families to work with us. have used the families to work with us. can you confirm the age range of
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people involved? the chief coroner has mentioned that the first person may be released this evening and hopefully without setting a time frame to lift the expectations of the grieving families, we have not said a timeline. all i can say is we are working hard to make it happen quickly. how many children were involved? as i understand it there are ten children involved. so confirming the age range? three to 16? yeah, about that. to clarify the
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numbers there are 19 total? staff working? yes. and that will help to expedite the process. 20 have come from overseas and have arrived today. inaudible they have been added to the a0 as part of the 50. at this point i cannot give you any information about those for except they have been missing. can you tell us they have been missing. can you tell us how many children are still in hospital? we would not comment on who is in hospital here. when you talk about the families facing the trauma of not being able to bury
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theirfamily trauma of not being able to bury their family according to tradition, could you outline the tradition for us? according to muslim tradition they normally buried their loved ones within 2a hours. we have had lengthy discussions about the process and we have met with muslim leaders and had the chief coroner outline the process to him. to our teams and ourfamily outline the process to him. to our teams and our family liaison personnel and they now understand that given that this is an unprecedented event in this country they are very supportive in terms of they are very supportive in terms of the length of time it takes to do this. this is a criminal investigation unlike anything we have had before and we do not wish to compromise that investigation. so we're taking our time to ensure did it right. final questions? in terms of the police response can you talk us of the police response can you talk us through how long it took to get
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there and your thoughts on the police response? i don't particularly wish to get into the details of that. it is still being looked at as part of the wider investigation. thank you. and that was the deputy police commissioner speaking along with the chief coronerjudge marshall. they spoke about what is being done to support the families and how they are getting a lot of extra support from the police force, from the defence force as well as disaster teams. from the coroner we heard her talking about the sensitive cultural issues, the need to return the bodies to the loved ones and their families how that process simply cannot be rushed because they are determined to make sure that these are the right people that are being
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identified and returned to the right families. she said that this is an international process that is followed. she confirmed that the first body will be returned this evening. 50 people have been confirmed dead. we heard from the prime ministerjacinda ardern earlier stressing it is still an informal list until the identities of everyone can be determined and so this is why they are being so careful with a process. of course, the police commissioner went on to say that this is, the deputy police commissioner, sorry, went on to say that this is a criminal investigation unlike anything they have done before and they are doing this incredibly carefully, to make sure that they are meeting with the muslim leaders to ensure that all those cultural sensitivities are taken care those cultural sensitivities are ta ken care of. those cultural sensitivities are taken care of. of course, the concern amongst the muslim community is that the bodies of their loved
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ones are returned as soon as possible. funeral arrangements need to be made as soon as possible. of course there has been a loss of detail about the attack on the victims of the attack including some at of bravery as well that have emerged. the brother of one of the victims spoke about his pain and his pride at the fact that his brother was seen on that social media page being shot but also trying to tackle the gunman as he went on the attack. so many of those killed had moved to new zealand to find peace and tranquillity. but instead, they were all victims of a violent attack as they prayed. naeem rashid had been living in new zealand for nine years. his family say he loved his life there. both he and his 21—year—old son, talha, were killed. originally from pakistan, the government there confirmed their death. in a video of the attack, naeem
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was seen confronting the gunman. i saw that video and the first thing i wanted to see was the look in his eyes. i did not see an iota of fear in those eyes, and that made me proud. what a brave man he was. i heard from people there, there were a few witnesses who said he saved a few lives there by trying to stop that guy. the stories of those killed continue to emerge. sayyad milne was 1a and wanted to be a footballer. the police have told his father that his son died in the mosque. hosni ara was originally from bangladesh and officials there said she had been killed. she was looking for her husband in the men's section of the mosque when she was shot. khaled mustafa, a refugee from syria, moved with his family last year to the safety of new zealand. officials have told his wife that he was killed
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during friday prayers. one of his teenage sons is also missing. haji daioud nabi was 71. he ran the afghan association at the mosque. relatives have described his death as an act of cowardice. the family of farhaj hassan in india were told of his death today by the authorities in new zealand, the country where he and his wife were raising their two young children. nobody believed, nobody was even imagining that in new zealand, which is a peace—loving country, such a situation arises. in the coming days, we will learn more about the lives lost and the anguish of the families who grieve. daniela relph, bbc news. rachel o'connor from the new zealand red crossjoins me now from wellington.
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first we heard the prime minister, jacinda ardern, speak about how the red cross is helping in this awful tragedy, particularly to help with the victims. can you tell us what you are doing? currently we are providing social support to some of the families and friends of the victims who are waiting outside the hospitalfor victims who are waiting outside the hospital for news. were also the main providerfor hospital for news. were also the main provider for refugees hospital for news. were also the main providerfor refugees in new zealand so we are supporting the needs of families who have just arrived in christchurch two weeks ago. we also set up an online website to allow people to log in and identify themselves as safe and well, or loved ones can identify and make enquiries about people who are missing. and tell us about what sort of resources you have. we keep hearing from the prime minister and from the police commissioner and others that more support is required
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from the various teams, the disaster teams, the defence forces, the police, for instance. you feel like resources a re police, for instance. you feel like resources are stretched or are you giving enough support?|j resources are stretched or are you giving enough support? i think at the moment it is a word you have heard many times, it is unprecedented. this is a new world for us. we have never had to deal with something like this before. red cross point of view we have hundreds of volu nteers cross point of view we have hundreds of volunteers around the country who have quickly put their hands up and said they are ready to mobilise. at the moment we have enough volunteers providing support and staff on the ground providing support. but this will be a no clear map poll of community support and the muslim community support and the muslim community is leading the way. —— this will be a whole of community support effort. we are hearing about how important is to engage the leaders of the islamic community.
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how was the red cross helping with that? do you have volunteers from the community? absolutely. we have staff and volunteers from that community who have been directly and personally affected themselves and we are providing them with support and a lot of our team are from a variety of communities, migrant and refugee, has that enables us to work closely with the community. going forward we will have to be listening closely to what those communities are saying that they need so that they can feel safe again in the future. you talk about the support that your organisation and many others are giving in your opinion what do you think is the priority in terms of what the new zealand red cross is doing? at the moment what is unbearable for people is not having information and not knowing and that is why we are focusing on the online platform and we are cooperating with police in terms of
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being able to share information so we can get information and answers out to people as quickly as possible. that is quite crucial, isn't it? we hear about how this list of the 50 who were killed is only a provisional list, an informal list until identification can be made. wejust heard list until identification can be made. we just heard from the deputy police commissioner as well as the chief coroner saying that they are taking this process as carefully as they can to make sure that the identification of all the bodies is correct and they are returned to the correct and they are returned to the correct families. how difficult is this process? you heard from the police and the coroner about the process they go through and it does not make it any easier for families. 0utings are providing the families with support and aid and as much
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compassion as we can possibly provide in this moment because, you know, this reality is a difficult burden forfamilies. know, this reality is a difficult burden for families. from the families that you have been helping, what have you heard specifically. what are some of their real concerns. i think for families who have just arrived and they are in the community less than 12 months this is a different world than they we re this is a different world than they were expecting. we provide support to refugees arriving in the community and usually it is about rebuilding a life here in new zealand after fleeing violence. this has turned it upside down. 0ne zealand after fleeing violence. this has turned it upside down. one thing we have seen which has been amazing is this outpouring of support from the community. from across new zealand in terms of showing love and ca re zealand in terms of showing love and care and compassion to the muscle community in new zealand. i spoke to
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a woman this morning who was muslim andi a woman this morning who was muslim and i asked her how she was feeling and i asked her how she was feeling and she had been incredibly shocked, obviously, and she was scared she said the first time she cried was when she saw the numbers of people who had gathered in her town to show support. and so that community reaction, that visible offering of caring compassion and making sure that people know they are welcome here and they belong here, that is what will help us rebuild. that is right. we have been here all day, not far from the al noor mosque and it is extraordinary to see that sort of outpouring of support and solidarity for muslim neighbours and friends. this is something that people keep stressing here in new zealand. is that a surprise to you? not at all. this has been such a
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shock waves across all of new zealand and i don't think anybody could have believed that this could have happened here and i think this outpouring of love and support that you see is the true new zealand. this is a claiming back that we are safe country and that we show care and compassion to others. do you feel like it has changed the global perception of new zealand, perhaps? how people perceive this as a welcoming place? i don't really know the answer to that. i'm afraid for the answer to that. i'm afraid for the last two days we have been heads down trying to get hold of everybody and making sure that everybody has support and getting that assistance on the ground. the times we have been able to look up and see what is happening internationally, ithink we have seen the support coming in and the new zealand flag put on buildings and the eiffel tower going dark... that means so much.
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that was rachel o'connor from the new zealand red cross. thank you so much forjoining us to date on what is presumably a busy day for your organisation and many others as well. we can he now from prime ministerjacinda ardern yet again. as we mention she gave a press conference in the last hour. 0ne as we mention she gave a press conference in the last hour. one of several that she has been giving over the last few days since the attack took place. today i went to kilbirnie mosque to lay flowers with wellington were —— mayorjustin lester and lay flowers with wellington were —— mayor justin lester and met lay flowers with wellington were —— mayorjustin lester and met with this in the community leaders and their message was one of gratitude to the outpouring of love that they have experienced from the people of wellington. and an acknowledgement of the grief that the community feels. as the police commissioner confirmed this morning, 50 people have been killed and 3a people remain in christchurch hospital,

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