Christchurch mosque attack: Victims celebrate life without parole sentence

Warning: This article discusses the Christchurch mosque attack.

Victims of the Christchurch mosque attack emerged from court on Thursday praising not just the sentence given, but also the words of the judge.

In the Christchurch High Court on Thursday, Justice Cameron Mander sentenced Brenton Tarrant, New Zealand's worst mass murderer and first convicted terrorist, to the country's longest-ever prison sentence of life in prison without parole. 

Victims, including Abdul Aziz, left court expressing their relief at justice being served.

"It gave us a lot of relief - we've waited a long time. Justice has been served and we've waited a long time for this day," Aziz said.

Mustafa Boztas, who was shot during the March 15 attacks, praised Justice Mander.

"The judge did a good job. He called him not a murderer, a terrorist. Justice has been served only in this world and the punishment is waiting for him in the other world," he said.

Temel Atacocugu was also shot, and he also expressed how justice had been served.

"Today is justice day, and the judge showed today his ideology is not accepted in New Zealand. And he is locked down forever for the rest of his life, and his ideology also.

Another victim who was shot, Wasseim Daragmih, said Justice Mander "honoured" victims by reading the names of everyone who died or was injured, saying how many bullets were used and where they were shot.

"He has honoured us in front of him. And [Tarrant] remained speechless. He tried to show strength, but not like our strength," he said.

"Very happy, not just by the sentencing that he got, I'm happy by all these people coming here and supporting us. That's what makes us so much happier."

Ahmede Yesuf still has bullets in his body from the attacks, and he also praised Justice Mander for describing the gunman as a terrorist.

"That's his name and that's what he did. Finally we got justice and hopefully we heal after this," he said.

Mirwai Waziri, who was also shot, said he feels "grateful".  

"He has faced the music today, so we're glad. It takes the pain, it takes the load."

Ahad Nabi, whose father was killed after welcoming the terrorist with, "Hello brother", was pleased with the sentence.

"I got what I wanted."

Hamimah Tuyan lost her husband Zekeriya. She asked the judge for life without parole and got her wish.

"It was very touching the things that he touched on. It was gripping. We were all holding on to every word that he said, and he's given us what we hoped for."

Sara Qasem's dad died, and she also praised Justice Mander.

"I think it comes from a place of the judge really needing to make sure there are no loopholes and that something like this never happens again," she said.

"I think there was value in every word that he said. And I think he was very kind and patient with us."

There was further praise from Janna Ezat, whose son died in the attacks.

"I liked every single word he said."

The sense of relief created a new feeling for the victims of March 15 - happiness.