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Sunday, June 20, 2021

$2.1 million Qatari donation finally reaches Christchurch terrorist attack victims

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Victims of the 2019 shooting receive long awaited donations.

A $2.1 million donation from Qatar Charity has finally reached victims of the Christchurch mosque shooting and their families, 18 months after the money was donated, New Zealand-based media, Stuff News, reported on Thursday.

Qatar Charity had donated the money weeks after the 2019 attacks, but distribution was reportedly held up by disputes regarding the eligibility of the funds’ recipients and leadership disagreements within the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand (FIANZ).

Ibrar Sheikh, the new FIANZ president, said the funds were kept in a separate bank account until they were transferred to the Christchurch Foundation in September, who then distributed them.

The news report also stated that the foundation liaised with Qatar Charity and kept FIANZ informed throughout the distribution process.

“The charity’s requirement that the money should go only to next-of-kin and the bullet-injured had been honoured,” said Sheikh.

Read also: Qatar Charity: a lifeline for those in need

Among the recipients was Dr Mohammad Atta Alayan, who was shot in the back and shoulder during the attack and whose son Atta Elayyan was killed. Alayan has said that the “generous” donation was  appreciated.

Staff at one of the mosques that were attacked also reported that there “are still large numbers of people who are struggling and have not recovered to any place of stability”.

On March 15, 2019, a white supremacist terrorist opened fire on Muslim worshippers in New Zealand as they prepared for Friday prayers in multiple mosques in the city of Christchurch.

The criminal has pleaded guilty to 51 charges of murder, 40 charges of attempted murder and one charge of committing a terrorist act. Murder convictions carry a mandatory sentence of life in prison, a sentence that has never been used in New Zealand.

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