Utøya survivor: ‘he took the bullets meant for me’

A teenager who survived Anders Behring Breivik's massacre on a Norwegian island last July told his trial on Wednesday how she saw him methodically execute 14 people including a friend who sacrificed himself to save her.

Utøya survivor: 'he took the bullets meant for me'
Photo: NTB scanpix

"He took the bullets meant for me," Andrine Johansen, now 17, told Oslo district court

Johansen told the court on Wednesday how she saw the right-wing extremist methodically execute 14 people including several of her friends and only barely escaped death
Shot in the chest, she had fallen into the icy water surrounding the small, heart-shaped island northwest of Oslo where the governing Labour Party was holding a summer camp.
"I was drowning in my own blood when I saw him execute all my friends," she told the Oslo district court amid the sobbing of spectators on the 23rd day of Breivik's 10-week trial.
In all, 69 people died on Utøya on July 22nd, most of them teens, while another eight died when Breivik earlier the same day bombed a government building in Oslo.
The 33-year-old has confessed to the twin attacks but has refused to plead guilty, insisting they were "cruel but necessary" to stop the Labour Party's "multicultural experiment" and the "Muslim invasion" of Norway and Europe.
Johansen recalled seeing Breivik, dressed as a police officer, hold a gun just 10 centimetres (four inches) from the head of one of her friends, and pull the trigger.
Once he had made sure everyone around the shed was dead, Breivik had turned towards the already wounded Johansen and lifted his weapon, smiling, she told the court.
Bullets went through her jumper and whizzed into the water around her without hitting her.
"When he was about to fire the next shot, Henrik Rasmussen threw himself and sacrificed himself for me. He took the bullets meant for me," she said, as many onlookers in the courtroom again broke down in tears.
"I was sure that I would die myself," the young girl said, describing the bodies all around her in the water.
 "I wondered if I was a bad person who was allowed into heaven," she added. Johansen also recalled how Breivik had laughed with joy as he continued with the bloodbath.
Seated nearby, the accused shook his head at the description: Breivik is intent upon being found sane to ensure that his ideology not be written off as the ravings of a lunatic, and flatly denies that he showed any signs of joy or elation during his massacre.
Johansen described how she had lain in the cold water preparing for death.
She had thought about her funeral, and had even considered using her blood to write "white" on her clothing to communicate the colour she wanted on her coffin.
When she was finally evacuated by boat, she had been sure the rescue workers "were going to kill me."
Today physically fit, she said she was still struggling psychologically and that she could no longer eat anything red, which reminds her of the harrowing scenes she witnessed on the island.
Earlier another victim, an 18-year-old girl, who asked to remain anonymous, created a stir in the courtroom when she called Breivik an "idiot" as she told her story.
The killer, who has barely lost his composure since his trial started on April 16th, smiled broadly when he heard that.
He had also smiled when Ylva Helene Schwenke, who was just 14 when he shot her four times on Utøya, insisted that her scars were "the price for democracy."
"I am not afraid to show my scars," she said, revealing a large red mark at the base of her neck.
"I feel like it's a kind of victory. We have paid the price for democracy and we have won," the teenager added.
Shot in the throat, the stomach and both thighs, Schwenke, now 15, recalled how she had thought she was going to die on Utøya.
"I have seen films where people die from one bullet. So with four, I thought that it was impossible to survive," she said.
If found sane, Breivik will likely face Norway's maximum 21-year prison sentence, but that term can be extended for as long as he is considered a threat to society.
If he is found criminally insane however, he will be sent to a closed psychiatric care unit for treatment.

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Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday 

Find out what's going on in Norway on Tuesday with The Local's short roundup of important news.

Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday 
Oslo Operahus .Photo by Arvid Malde on Unsplash

Only one in ten Norwegians plan to travel abroad this summer 

Around ten percent of people in Norway are planning to take a holiday abroad this summer, according to a survey carried out by tourism organisation NHO Reiseliv.

Seven out of ten respondents said they still plan to holiday in Norway this year, even if they receive a vaccination before the holidays start.

READ MORE: ‘My arguments didn’t matter’: How I ended up in a hotel quarantine in Norway 

Viken and Vestland are this year’s most popular travel destinations for Norwegians planning a “staycation”. Young people were the most likely to want to remain in Norway this summer. Just under half of those aged between 18 and 29 said they wished to stay in Norway this summer. 

Third of Utøya survivors have received abuse or threats

A third of Utøya survivors have been victims of hate speech or received threats, according to a new survey. 

Three-quarters of respondents said that the reason they received the abuse was linked directly to the Utøya terror attack, the Norwegian Centre for Violence and Traumatic Studies (NKVTS) found. 

The massacre on Utøya was the second of two terror attacks carried out by Anders Breivik on July 22nd, 2011. Of the 69 people who died in the attack, 32 were under the age of 18. 

Fewer in Oslo willing to ditch cars 

A climate survey carried out by the city of Oslo has shown that fewer people than before are willing to cut back on using their cars. The proportion of those who think that Oslo city centre should be car-free has fallen to 45 percent from 52 percent last year. 

READ ALSO: Could Norway introduce mandatory inbuilt car breathalysers 

When asked whether Oslo City Council had gone too far in removing cars from the city centre, almost half said that they believed that this was the case. 

“A change in the attitude around these measures may be due to more people feeling dependent on cars during the pandemic. There has been a lot of debate about measures that have been introduced or are planned to be introduced,” Heidi Sørensen, Director of the Climate Agency, told the Dagsavisen newspaper

Tighter Coronavirus measures in Trondheim 

Gyms, museums and swimming pools have been closed, and alcohol service in hospitality has been stopped in Trondheim. The new measures come barely a week after restrictions were last tightened. 

“We need to shut down most of Trondheim to get control. It is only days since we last tightened measures, but we are in a situation where we must take even stronger action,” Morten Wolden, the municipal director for Trondheim, told state broadcaster NRK.

Norway reports 292 new Covid-19 cases

On Monday, 292 new coronavirus infections were registered in Norway. This is a drop of 52 compared to the seven-day average of 344. 

In Oslo, 48 cases were recorded, an increase of two on the capital’s seven day average of 46. 

The R-number or reproduction rate in Norway is currently 1.0. This means that every ten people that are infected, will, on average, only infect another ten people, indicating that the infection level is stable. 

Total number of Covid-19 cases so far. Source: NIPH