Norwegian mass murderer Breivik to sue Norway, calls isolation ‘torture’
Lawyers for Anders Breivik, the Norwegian extremist and mass murderer, say their client intends to file a lawsuit against Norway’s Ministry of Justice, claiming that his solitary confinement is a “form of torture.”
“We are preparing a lawsuit against the government at the Ministry of Justice,” Breivik’s lawyer, Geir Lippestad, told Norway's Dagbladet newspaper. “The central part of the lawsuit is that he is in practice still sitting in solitary confinement, and that this is the time that it should cease.”
Lippestad said the decision to sue was made after efforts to end his client’s solitary confinement by appealing to prison officials over the past two years failed to produce results.
“Human rights also apply to him,” Lippestad said. “This is not about him getting an easy punishment. He will probably always be a special prisoner with special restrictions, but he cannot sit in isolation forever. He now wants contact with other inmates. The longer he sits isolated, the greater the chance that he will be harmed by it.”
Breivik, 35, was sentenced to 21 years in prison for two attacks he carried out on July 22nd, 2011, which left 77 dead and more than 300 wounded. After detonating a car bomb near government buildings in the heart of Oslo, killing eight people, he continued his rampage at a political youth camp where he opened fire on the participants, killing 69 of them.
Breivik, who reportedly carried out his horrific attack in response to Norway’s liberal multiculturalism, wrote in a manifesto released around the time of his rampage that talked about Europe transforming into a “Eurabia” – made up of Europe and the Arab world.
In December, prison authorities withdrew the far-right extremist's right to send letters because they believed he was attempting to build a neo-Nazi political party from his prison cell.
“When we take security considerations around Breivik, it is communication control that is most central,” Erling Fæste, the deputy director of correctional services for Norway’s southern region, told newspaper Verdens Gang. “This is where we believe that the danger is greatest, partly because we fear that he using letters to create a network that can commit criminal acts.”
Breivik’s attorney hopes get some leniency for his client by taking advantage of Article Three of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), which states that no one should be subjected to "torture, inhuman or degrading treatment."
However, according to his lawyer, Norway’s notorious killer is permitted to read newspapers, exercise on a treadmill and watches television – far more than Breivik would have received in many other countries for mass murder.
In November 2012, the public got some idea as to the conditions inside of the Norwegian prison system when Breivik sent a 27-page letter to prison authorities with a list of complaints ranging from the institutions “cold coffee and a lack of butter,” to being forced to play “outdated video games.”