Cold coffee, microwave dinners: Norway’s worst killer Breivik wins ‘inhumane conditions’ verdict

Mass killer Anders Behring Breivik © Lise Aserud
The most dangerous inmate in all of the Norway, Anders Behring Breivik, has won a court case forcing the prison where he is serving his sentence to allow him social contact with other inmates, Norwegian TV reporter Finn Erik Robstad told RT.

The Oslo court ruled murderer Anders Breivik, was being kept in “inhuman and degrading” conditions, and that his confinement violates Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Breivik was imprisoned after killing 77 people in a gun attack in 2011, making him Norway’s most prolific killer.

Now the Norwegian government will pay Breivik’s court costs of 330,000 crowns ($13,900).

RT: A murderer who killed dozens of people wins his case including complaints about being served cold coffee in prison. How are people reacting to this?

Finn Erik Robstad: I think everybody was taken by surprise when we heard the verdict. There is such tremendous amount of emotion in this case. This murderer took 77 lives, most of them children or young adults. And when it came to their attention that he won his case against the government regarding the way he serves his time for these murders, of course, it was a surprise.

RT: Do you think Norway should expect similar claims from other prisoners not happy with microwave dinners?

FR: Nobody else in Norway has the same conditions as he does. I don’t think that would be the case. He is the only one serving under the conditions that he has sued the government for. He is the most dangerous inmate in all of Norway. And that is the problem because he has now won his case that says that he has to have social contact with other inmates in prison. And that will be a problem because no other inmate in Norway would want to serve together with him. So, to put him in a cell with another inmate would be nearly impossible at this stage. The Norwegian government has also been taken by surprise, I think, with the result of this case. So, it would be very interesting to see if they appeal or not. My guess is that they definitely will and cannot rest with this verdict. I think it is most definite that they will appeal.  

RT: One of Breivik's complaints was his solitary confinement. Is he trying to change his sentence?

FR: It is very important to separate the fact that he has been convicted for the murders; he got 21 years, so there is no question about shortening his time in prison. This lawsuit is regarding his prison conditions. How will he serve his time in prison? So, I don’t think there is any chance whatsoever of him getting out of prison or shortening his time in prison. This verdict reflects on something that we have never discussed or had a problem with: how do we treat the most dangerous of our prisoners?

So we will have to see some changes if this verdict sticks, then Norway has to reevaluate how we treat Anders Behring Breivik. He then has to have more contact with other non-professional people, like friends or family or maybe even followers out there. We don’t know how this will work, but what we do know is that if the verdict sticks, the Norwegian government has to do something about the way he serves time.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.