Man Who Shared Video of Christchurch Shooting Gets 21 Months in Prison


The man responsible for distributing a video of the Christchurch New Zealand massacre was sentenced to prison for 21 months Tuesday.

The video was originally live streamed by the gunman as he took 51 lives in two mosques in March, according to the Associated Press.

Philip Arps then sent the video to 30 of his associates.

Under New Zealand law, Arps originally faced up to 420 years of imprisonment — 14 years for each time he distributed what’s considered objectionable content, according to AP.

Christchurch District Court Judge Stephen O’Driscoll says Arps showed no regret for distributing the video.

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Arps reportedly compared himself to Nazi leaders Rudolf Hess and Adolf Hitler.

He openly displayed disdain for Muslims and described the video as “awesome,” the AP reported.

“Your offending glorifies and encourages the mass murder carried out under the pretext of religious and racial hatred,” the judge said.

Arps’s defense attorney Anselm Williams maintained that his client should not face jail time and has already filed an appeal against the 21-month sentence.

Should Arps go to prison for distributing the live stream video?

Williams expressed concern that the outcome of the trial may be the result of Arps’s opinions rather than his actual actions.

“It’s my submission that this court needs to be very careful to sentence Mr. Arps based on what it is that he has actually done, and what he accepts he has done, not on the basis of the views that he holds,” Williams said.

Arps argued he has the right to distribute the video as part of his freedom to pursue political beliefs.

Five others have been charged with illegal distribution of the live stream shooting.

The prime minister of New Zealand is leading what she has named the “Christchurch Call” to keep the internet free of material in the name of reducing hate according to AP. 

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