Breivik ‘at risk of inhumane treatment’

The solitary confinement of mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik risks turning into "inhumane treatment", Norway's parliamentary ombudsman said in a report published on Wednesday.

Breivik 'at risk of inhumane treatment'
Aage Thor Falkanger is a Norwegian judge and legal scholar. Photo: Cornelius Poppe / NTB scanpix
Breivik, a right-wing extremist who killed 77 people in a bombing and shooting rampage in July 2011, is being held in a high-security unit in southeast Norway's Skien prison with severely limited contact with the outside
The 36-year-old, who carried out the attack in opposition to Norway's multiculturalism, has likened his prison conditions to “torture” and is suing the Norwegian state. Court hearings are due to begin in March.
Breivik has also repeatedly threatened to go on a hunger strike.
“The regimen in the very high security unit imposes very strict conditions on inmates' freedom of movement and their possibility to have contact with other people,” ombudsman Aage Thor Falkanger, tasked with investigating injustice by public agencies, wrote after visiting Breivik's prison.
“This, and the fact that in reality there is an extremely limited number of inmates in the very high security unit, means that this regimen represents an elevated risk of inhumane treatment,” he added in his report.
The report called for more interaction between guards and inmates to “reduce the risk of damage” linked to solitary confinement, as well as a review on the adoption of “less intrusive security measures than handcuffs”.
According to public broadcaster NRK, prison authorities have already adopted some measures to ease Breivik's isolation, such as allowing him to engage in activities with guards for one hour a week.
On July 22, 2011, Breivik killed eight people in a bomb attack outside a government building in the capital Oslo and later murdered another 69 people — most of them teenagers — when he opened fire at a Labour Youth camp on the island of Utøya.
In August 2012, he was handed a 21-year prison sentence, which can be extended if he is still considered a danger to society.

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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.