Breivik's lawyer wins 'human dignity' prize

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Geir Lippestad and Signe Husebye Lippestad, pictured during the trial. Photo: Berit Roald/NTB Scanpix
13:12 CET+01:00
Anders Behring Breivik’s defence lawyer Geir Lippestad and his wife Signe Husebye Lippestad have won a top Norwegian prize for promoting ‘human dignity’.

The Menneskeverds Livsvernpris (Human Dignity Life Protection Prize) is handed out annually to people or organisations that have ‘made a positive contribution to the protection of human dignity.’

In the citation explaining why the couple had won the prize, the organization praised the couple’s work with disabled people:

“Their commitment to people with disabilities is exemplary - their work for diversity and inclusion of disabled people in employment and the media. This reflects a set of values based on respect and an unwavering belief in human life, no matter what situation you are in.”

Two of the couple’s children were born with disabilities. One of them, Rebekka, died during preparations for the trial.

“We are a diverse family with children in different shapes and sizes. For us it has been important to see the people and the value in the simple things,” Geir Lippestad said in reaction to the announcement.

The couple were also praised implicitly for Lippestad’s work on the Breivik mass murder case, which was not mentioned by name. They “helped to make visible the fact that human dignity applies to all people, whatever they’ve done and whatever their background”, the citation said.

“That he could champion the belief in democracy and the Norwegian judicial system was also largely thanks to his wife , Signe Lippestad . Her formidable and open support before, during and after the trial has in many ways been crucial in enabling Geir Lippestad to keep a steady course through the massive media coverage and at times inhuman pressure.”

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