On Wednesday, a Norwegian court stated that the government has violated Anders Behring Breivik human rights, due to his long-term solitary confinement, since they found it was threatening his mental health, which means that he has won part of a human rights case against the Norwegian state.
Breivik is a Norwegian mass murderer who killed 77 people in a bomb and gun rampage in 2011. He is a right-wing extremist, who killed dozens of young center-left political activists in an attack on the island of Utoya and who, earlier that day, set off a car bomb in the capital, Oslo, killing eight people.
Now, the 37-year-old man had sued the government, saying his human rights were being violated since he was being isolated from other prisoners, he was getting frequent strip searches, and was often getting handcuffed during the early parts of his incarceration. He also added that the government was also violating his right for private and family life because they were denying him contact with other right-wing extremists. However, the judge dismissed Breivik’s lasts claims.
During his first appearance in public since his trial, Breivik gave a testimony during the suit, saying that his isolation in prison was a “sadistic” attempt by Norwegian authorities to kill him.
Judge Helen Andenaes Sekulic of the Oslo District Court found that the treatments in prison against Breivik violated Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, that prohibits “inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” and ruled that his conditions must be eased.
“The prohibition of inhuman and degrading treatment represents a fundamental value in a democratic society,” the judge said. “This applies no matter what – also in the treatment of terrorists and killers.”
She ordered the government to reduce the extent of Mr. Breivik’s isolation, which right now is 22 to 23 hours a day in his cell, being denied contact with other inmates and only communicating with prison staff through a thick glass barrier, but the judge did now specify the amount. She also ordered the government to pay Mr. Breivik’s legal fees of 331,000 kroner, or about $40,600.
Breivik’s lawyer, Oystein Storrvik, said that he have already shown signs of emotional damage. Nonetheless, the psychiatric reports he submitted did not appear to definitively support the claim.
The officials disagreed with the court’s conclusions and were evaluating whether to appeal, a government lawyer, Adele Matheson Mestad, said.
Right now, Breivik lives in a three-room suite with windows that includes a treadmill, a fridge, a television with DVD player and a Sony PlayStation.
People that were in the courtroom expressed concern that Breivik was using his public appearance as a platform to publicize his extremist ideology. The man also gave a Nazi salute on his first day in court.
Source: CBS News