NATION

Christchurch Shooting: Grieving Fijian Family Grateful For News Of NZ Government’s Help

The grandson, of one of the victims of the 2019 Christchurch mosque shootings, is keen to witness the sentencing of the man responsible for his grandfather’s death. Mohammed Iftikar Ali
17 Jul 2020 11:29
Christchurch Shooting: Grieving Fijian Family Grateful For News Of NZ Government’s Help
Mohammed Iftikar Ali. Photo: Shreeya Verma

The grandson, of one of the victims of the 2019 Christchurch mosque shootings, is keen to witness the sentencing of the man responsible for his grandfather’s death.

Mohammed Iftikar Ali was yesterday grateful of the news that the New Zealand Government extended financial support to family members living abroad who wished to witness the sentencing in person.

The terrorist, Brenton Tarrant, will be sentenced on August 24 after pleading guilty to 51 charges of murder, 40 charges of attempted murder and a charge of committing a terrorist act.

The late Ashraf Ali Razat was one of three Fijians to die from the March 15, 2019 terror attacks in consecutive shooting at two mosques in Christchurch.

Mr Razat was the owner of Nabua’s Meads Taxis, which is now run by his grandson, Mr Ali.

Mr Ali said he would discuss the matter with family of the prospect of going to New Zealand.

“We were not aware that the New Zealand Government was paying for the flights and if we would’ve known it earlier, we would have already started the arrangements of flying out,” he said.

“We are grateful for this opportunity and we will give it a go.

He said he was happy that the NZ Government considered the Fijian grieving families important as well.

“My grandfather will get peace. He was serving Allah when he got shot,” he said.

“We are not angry, but feel pity on him (the shooter), for what he did was wrong, and he did not think before taking this sinful action.

“My grandfather taught me about his business and guided me in the right path when he was here with me in Fiji. It is very hard to accept that he is gone,” Mr Ali said.

Meanwhile, the family of the other two victims are understood to have migrated to New Zealand.

The New Zealand High Commission is expected to respond today.

According to Stuff, several victims overseas were anxiously waiting for details.

Stuff reported that the Victim Support spokesman said 11 families – 23 people – of the deceased and 19 of the injured had requested help to travel internationally for the sentencing and all were eligible for travel support, flights and visas.

All will be required to complete two weeks of managed isolation, as other international arrivals do, while New Zealand’s COVID-19 restrictions remain.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: shreeya.verma@fijisun.com.fj

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