Breivik files complaint over ‘aggravated torture’

Right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik, who is serving a 21-year jail sentence for killing 77 people, has complained to the Norwegian government over prison conditions akin to "aggravated torture", his lawyer said on Thursday.

Breivik files complaint over 'aggravated torture'
Photo: Haakon Mosvold Larsen/Scanpix

In his complaint to Justice Minister Grete Faremo and the governor of the Ila high security prison, Knut Bjarkeid, Breivik complained over being kept in isolation for too long.

For safety reasons, the 33-year-old has been kept away from other prisoners in a cell that has its own exercise yard, where he's entitled to spend one hour each day.

Breivik also lamented the lack of activities on offer, countless body searches and an "almost total" ban on expressing himself — all of which, according to his lawyer, violate Norway's law that prohibits acts of "aggravated torture."

"No matter what crime you have committed, you shouldn't be subjected to degrading treatment that there is no justification for," Breivik's lawyer Tord Jordet said.

"There are rules governing imprisonment and they should apply to all," he added.

In November, the killer sent a 27-page letter to prison authorities with a list of complaints ranging from everyday annoyances, like cold coffee and a lack of butter, to more serious issues, such as censorship of his correspondence, body searches and being kept in isolation.

But the letter only prompted some minor changes, his lawyer said. 

The Norwegian justice ministry said "the right to file a complaint is part of the rule of law, which also applies to people held in prison", and that it would cooperate with the police. It declined to comment on the content of Breivik's complaint.

Prison governor Bjarkeid was on holiday and told AFP he needed more information about the complaint before being able to comment.

Accusing the Labour party of facilitating multiculturalism, Breivik opened fire on the summer camp of the party's youth wing on July 22nd 2011, killing 69 people, most of whom were teenagers.

His attack began in Oslo, where he set off a massive bomb outside the main government building, killing eight.

He was in August 2012 found sane and sentenced to Norway's maximum sentence of 21 years in prison, a sentence that can be extended indefinitely if he is deemed a continued threat to society.

Breivik believed the strict regime was a way for Norwegian justice ministry officials to exact revenge for the 2011 bombing that targeted a government building housing the ministry, according to his lawyer.

"The supposed motive (for this treatment) is vengeance and an attempt to drive him to suicide by making the conditions of his detention unlivable," Jordet said.

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Norway mosque shooter ‘has admitted the facts’: Police

A Norwegian man suspected of killing his step sister and opening fire in a mosque near Oslo last weekend, has admitted to the crimes though he has not officially entered a plea, police said on Friday.

Norway mosque shooter 'has admitted the facts': Police
Philip Manshaus appears in court on August 12. Photo: Cornelius Poppe / NTB Scanpix / AFP
Philip Manshaus, 21, was remanded in custody Monday, suspected of murder and a “terrorist act” that police say he filmed himself committing.
Answering police questions on Friday, “the suspect admits the facts but has not taken a formal position as to the charges,” Oslo police official Pal-Fredrik Hjort Kraby said in a statement.
Manshaus is suspected of murdering his 17-year-old step sister Johanne Zhangjia Ihle-Hansen, before entering the Al-Noor mosque in an affluent Oslo suburb and opening fire before he was overpowered by a 65-year-old man.
Just three worshippers were in the mosque at the time, and there were no serious injuries.
Manshaus appeared in court this week with two black eyes and scrapes and bruises to his face, neck and hands.
Police have said he has “extreme right views” and “xenophobic positions” and that he had filmed the mosque attack with a camera mounted on a helmet. He had initially denied the accusations.
The incident came amid a rise in white supremacy attacks around the world, including the recent El Paso massacre in the United States.
Norway witnessed one of the worst-ever attacks by a rightwing extremist in July 2011, when Anders Behring Breivik, who said he feared a “Muslim invasion”, killed 77 people in a truck bomb blast near government offices in Oslo and a shooting spree at a Labour Party youth camp on the island of Utøya.