Skien prison, where inmates are calling for Anders Behring Breivik to be released from solitary confinement. Photo: Tor Erik Schroder / NTB scanpix
A representative of inmates at the prison told Norwegian broadcaster NRK that the prison had seen cutbacks ever since Breivik was moved there from Ila prison outside Oslo.
“What people are talking about the most is the economics of it. It affects all of the other inmates,” he told Norway's state broadcaster NRK. “He sits there; he has an entire cellblock to himself, with five empty cells around him. Everywhere else, there are cut-backs. He should be serve with the others. He is an ordinary prisoner.”
Breivik was sentenced to 21 years in prison In August 2012, more than a year after his twin terror attacks in Oslo and on the island of Utøya left 77 dead and more than 300 wounded.
Since then, he has repeatedly complained about his prison conditions. He is the only person in the Norwegian prison system to serve his sentence in long-term isolation.
Last week, the his defence lawyer Geir Lippestad revealed that his client was preparing a lawsuit against the government, arguing that “prolonged isolation becomes a form of torture” and is therefore prohibited under European Convention on Human Rights.
In February 2014, Breivik threatened to go on hunger strike if prison authorities did not grant him a long string of demands, including his request for his Playstation 2 to be upgraded to a newer model.
More recently, the Norwegian prison service stopped allowing Breivik to send and receive letters on the grounds that he had been using his correspondence to try and recruit people to his cause, rather than to build and maintain personal relationships.
It is unlikely that the other prisoners at Skien prison would benefit from Breivik’s release into the general population, as the prison gets extra funding to keep Beivik in a high security block.
“He is not kept at the expense of other inmates at the prison in Telemark”, Erling Feste, deputy director of the southern Norway's prison services told NRK.