Rights court dismisses Breivik's complaint about jail conditions

AFP/The Local
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Rights court dismisses Breivik's complaint about jail conditions
Anders Breivik photographed in 2017. Photo: Lise Åserud / NTB scanpix

The European Court of Human Rights dismissed on Thursday a complaint by Norwegian neo-Nazi terrorist Anders Behring Breivik, who alleged his prison conditions were "inhumane".


Breivik is serving a 21-year sentence for the July 2011 mass murder of 77 people, most of them teenagers who were attending a youth camp. 

He appealed to the ECHR after the Norwegian Supreme Court refused to hear a case last year against a ruling that his near-isolation in a three-room cell respected his human rights.

His lawyer argued that his prison conditions violate articles 3 and 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The former prohibits inhuman or degrading treatment, the latter guarantees a right to a private and family life.

At the time Breivik's appeal was filed his lawyer, Øystein Storrvik, told AFP that the case focused on the issue of isolation.

But the court based in Strasbourg said that "its examination of the case did not reveal any violations of the Convention, and rejected the application as inadmissible for being manifestly ill-founded."

Norwegian officials have repeatedly rejected allegations that Breivik is isolated, arguing that he is treated as a "VIP prisoner" and has regular  contact with prison staff, his lawyer and visitors.

He has the use of three cells, each measuring more than 10 square metres and equipped with a television, computer, DVD player and gym gear. He has no internet connection, however.

Survivors of the Utøya massacre expressed satisfaction at the ruling.

"It's a relief. We're hoping not to hear his name again for many years to come," Lisbeth Kristine Royneland, the head of a victims' support group whose 18-year-old daughter was killed by Breivik, told AFP.

Writing on Twitter, a survivor of the massacre, Tore Remi Christensen, wrote: "The Breivik case is rejected in Strasbourg. Delighted. May he and all those who share his shitty message rot in hell."

Breivik's killing spree began on July 22nd, 2011, when he set off a bomb outside a government building in Oslo, killing eight people.

Disguised as a police officer and armed with a semi-automatic rifle and pistol, he then went to Utøya where the Labour Party was holding a youth camp, killing 69.

During his trial the extremist, who has changed his name to Fjotolf Hansen, repeatedly addressed the courts with Nazi salutes and complained about the cold coffee and frozen meals served in prison, among other things.

His sentence can be extended indefinitely if judges determine he remains a threat to society. 

READ ALSO: Norway: Breivik more extreme now than before his attacks


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