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Mass killer Breivik to take Norway to court

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Mass killer Breivik to take Norway to court
Norway killer Anders Breivik makes a fascist salute as he enters the courtroom during his trial in 2012. Photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen/Scanpix
08:04 CET+01:00
Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik is preparing to take Norway’s Ministry of Justice to court, arguing that his prolonged solitary confinement amounts to “torture”.
The far-right extremist’s lawyer Geir Lippestad told Norway's Dagbladet newspaper that he intended to file the suit before Easter, after trying and failing to end his client’s isolation though appealing to prison authorities over the past two years. 
 
“We are preparing a lawsuit against the government at the Ministry of Justice,” Lippestad told the paper. “The central part of the lawsuit is that he is in practice still sitting in solitary confinement, and that this is the time that it should cease.” 
 
Lippestad believes that Breivik’s prison conditions are contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) Article Three, which states that no one should be subjected to "torture, inhuman or degrading treatment". 
 
“Prolonged isolation becomes a form of torture,” Lippestad maintained. 
 
Breivik was given a 21-year prison sentence in August 2012 for the twin terror attacks he carried out on July 22nd, 2011, which left 77 dead and more than 300 wounded.  
 
“Human rights also apply to him,” Lippestad said. “This is not about him getting an easy punishment. He will probably always be a special prisoner with special restrictions, but he can not sit in isolation forever. He now wants contact with other inmates. The longer he sits isolated, the greater the chance that he will be harmed by it.” 
 
Prison authorities last December passed a resolution preventing Breivik from sending out letters because they believed he was attempting to found a militant anti-Islamic movement. 
 
Lippestad said that prison authorities now stopped the killer sending out even anodyne postcards. 
 
Lippestad said that his client was now spending most of his time preparing for the trial and writing a new book. Otherwise, he reads newspapers, goes on a treadmill and watches news on the television. 
 
According to the lawyer, Breivik has already completed one manuscript, which he keeps in his cell as he is forbidden from sending it out to be read by others. 
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